Wednesday 23 July 2014

Losing your car key outdoors

At orienteering events people have lost (and will continue to lose) car keys and even cell phones. Pockets are not infallible. Zips slide down, holes become sufficiently holey... and because you're so caught up in the adventure, you don't even notice until the finish (or later) that your car keys are gone.

This happened tonight at my night navigation coaching session; a fellow lost his car key. When it is pitch black, the ground surface is grass, the key is single sans chunky keyring, the route you've taken is not on a path and you don't know where you lost the key... the chance of finding it is next to zero.

That's problem one. (It's a similar problem to locking your keys in your car)

Next, your house keys are in your car, you live alone and there is no duplicate set with a friend or neighbour. With security being what it is you can't just climb through a window, like in the old days, to retrieve your spare car key.

What to do!?!

This guy has a friend who is a locksmith so he didn't have to break a car window (costly to replace) to get to his house keys. And there were car guards in the parking lot to keep an eye on the car (and the guy). The friend came out and within two hours everything was sorted.

This situation was, fortunately, quickly resolved and it reminded me to check my spare set of house keys, which are - I think - still with a neighbour. But I've got a newer security gate, which was added after the duplicate set was made (years ago), so the spare keys are not much use because they can't get me inside to retrieve my spare car key. I'll be updating this set tomorrow.

A car key is rarely just a key. It has buttons and all kinds of other elements built in. They're very pricey to replace but would definitely need to be if you've lost one already. Having just one copy... that's way risky.

The key, really, is not to lose your keys. Double check the pockets of your backpack and shorts for hole and functioning zips (zips can unzip, as happened tonight). Use those key-tie-in things within the pocket to secure your keys. Make use of key boxes at events (I'm not totally keen on these myself).

We don't often think about lost car keys (or house keys) - until we lose them. So instead of losing your keys to be reminded of this, take this post as a nudge to check your key situation. I'll be doing this too.

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