I had a near miss yesterday as I tried a strategy of a fellow surfer: I buried my mechanical car key in the sand, put my bag on top of it, and went surfing. A few dogs on the beach must have shifted the position of the bag and I could not immediately find it; a shopkeeper lent me a rake and I was able to thoroughly sieve the sand and to find the key 10 cm away.

I have seen surfers with key boxes on door handles, such as these, and I fear that it simply says "here's the car, here's the key, I'm away for a bit."

Another option is to take it with me in the wetsuit (which I seldom use) or in the leash; most wetsuits and leashes have a key pouch. I could put the key in a waterproof bag first to avoid corrosion. I could also use such a bag with a belt and without a wetsuit, as mentioned here, although a friend and I have lost a car key in the ocean with a similar strategy.

Yet another one is the "fake-a-rock" that I found here: a fake rock with the car key inside.

What seems safest so far is what I saw from a surfer who placed a combination key box in an inaccessible part of the car, such as the wheel's drive shaft or the lower control arm after parking with the driving wheel completely turned one way. He said it's hard to break the lock hook and remove the box without the combination.

This similar thread mentions some strategies of securing keys while swimming and with a bike. My questions seems different in that it mentions a car and uses specific gear, such as leashes, which could provide a different solution. It could also apply to windsurfing and kitesurfing.

What other strategies do people use to secure the car key when they go surfing?

  • 2
    If there was a shopkeeper nearby who could lend you a rake, you could ask that person to look after your key. Same question was closed yesterday. Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 20:31
  • @WeatherVane Yes, if I surf at that location, I will ask the shopkeeper. I posted a new and updated question as I was unable to edit the previous one.
    – emonigma
    Commented Feb 23, 2020 at 20:45
  • Your question yesterday was closed as dupe - please don't ask the same question again. The answers to the duplicate do answer your question.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 15:24
  • 1
    @RoryAlsop one or both of these are no added value duplicates. One of both should probably be deleted. Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 19:21
  • @JamesJenkins I deleted the question I asked yesterday. I asked another question because I saw Your post has been associated with a similar question. If this question doesn’t resolve your question, ask a new one. So I added an explanation of why I though it was different from that related thread.
    – emonigma
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


Slightly diferent problem: Oh hiking trips I figure that the chance of losing the key in the back country is probably more serious than a key being found at/near the car.

I have:

  • Placed the key on top of the tire in a wheel well.
  • Up the exhaust far enough to require a stick to reach it out.
  • Inside the the curve of the bumper.

I've also used a little magnet box and put a key on the backside of a wheel, inside a fendor, back side of a license plate, bumper etc.

A friend would make sure that he parked where it was level, dig a hollow with his foot, put the key there, and push the car on top of it. Then he would set the parking brake and leave the car itself unlocked.

That said: Trail heads seem to be less attractive to thieves. My practice now is to just leave the car unlocked, and put the key under the driver's seat. But my back country car is a 10 year old subaru.

  • 1
    I personally know a handful of people who got their cars broken into at remote trailheads. Some thieves target backcountry parkings.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 21:01
  • One of the reasons I leave the vehicle unlocked. Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 0:55

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