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How To Hide Your Stuff While Backpacking


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Deirdre Seeger

How To Hide Your Stuff While Backpacking

How To Hide Your Stuff While Backpacking


When you embark on a backpacking adventure, it’s important to take precautions to protect your belongings. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of a vibrant city or hiking through remote wilderness, there’s always a risk of theft or loss. That’s why learning how to hide your stuff effectively is essential for a worry-free trip.


Choosing the right backpack, strategizing your packing, and employing various concealment techniques can make a significant difference in keeping your valuables safe. In this article, we’ll provide you with comprehensive tips and tricks to ensure that your belongings are protected throughout your backpacking journey.


By following these helpful strategies, you can minimize the risk of theft, keep your important documents secure, and enjoy your trip with peace of mind. So let’s dive into the various methods you can employ to hide your stuff while backpacking.


Next, we’ll explore the importance of choosing the right backpack for your trip and how it can optimize your concealment efforts.


Choosing the Right Backpack

When it comes to hiding your stuff while backpacking, selecting the right backpack is crucial. Opting for a backpack specifically designed for travel and security can greatly enhance your concealment efforts. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing the right backpack:

  1. Size and Style: Look for a backpack that is the appropriate size for your needs. It should be roomy enough to accommodate your belongings, but not excessively large. A smaller, more compact backpack can be easier to conceal and less likely to draw attention.
  2. Hidden Compartments: Check if the backpack has built-in hidden compartments. These pockets can provide secure storage for items you want to keep hidden. Look for compartments that are discreetly located and not easily accessible to pickpockets.
  3. Lockable Zippers: Consider a backpack with lockable zippers, as they can add an extra layer of security. Locks can deter opportunistic thieves and prevent quick and easy access to your belongings.
  4. Slash-resistant Materials: Look for backpacks made from slash-resistant materials, such as cut-resistant fabric or reinforced panels. These materials make it more difficult for thieves to slash through the bag and steal your belongings.
  5. Comfort and Fit: Ensure that the backpack is comfortable to wear for extended periods. Look for padded shoulder straps and a supportive back panel. A well-fitted backpack will be more comfortable to carry and less likely to attract unwanted attention.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a backpack that aligns with your concealment needs and enhances the security of your belongings. Remember, a backpack with hidden compartments, lockable zippers, and slash-resistant materials can significantly reduce the risk of theft while backpacking.


Now that you have selected the perfect backpack, let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll delve into effective packing strategies to further safeguard your valuables.


Packing Strategy

When it comes to hiding your stuff while backpacking, a well-thought-out packing strategy can make all the difference. Here are some effective packing tips to help you conceal your belongings:

  1. Divide and Conquer: Divide your valuables and important items into different compartments or packing cubes. This way, even if someone gains access to your backpack, they won’t find all your valuables in one place.
  2. Layering Technique: Use the layering technique while packing your backpack. Place less valuable or bulky items at the top, and hide your more valuable belongings deeper inside. By obscuring the valuable items, you can minimize the chance of them being easily spotted.
  3. Roll Instead of Fold: Roll your clothes instead of folding them. This not only saves space but also allows you to create hidden pockets within your backpack. You can tuck small items such as jewelry, cash, or documents into the rolled clothes for added concealment.
  4. Use Vacuum Storage Bags: Consider using vacuum storage bags to compress your clothing. This method not only saves space but also creates additional compartments for hiding smaller items. Just be sure not to overstuff the bags, as it may attract unwanted attention.
  5. Strategic Placement: Be mindful of where you place your valuable belongings within your backpack. Consider placing them near your back, as it is the most secure and least accessible area. This makes it harder for thieves to access your valuables without your knowledge.

In addition to these packing strategies, it is essential to stay organized throughout your trip. Keep a mental or physical inventory of your items, so you can quickly identify if anything is missing. Additionally, pack a small combination lock or cable lock to secure your backpack to fixed objects when you need to leave it unattended.


By employing these packing strategies, you’ll be able to hide your stuff effectively and minimize the risk of theft. In the next sections, we’ll explore specific techniques for concealing different types of valuables, such as money and documents, electronics and gadgets, as well as jewelry and small items.


Concealing Valuables: Money and Documents

When backpacking, it’s essential to keep your money and important documents secure. Here are some effective techniques for concealing these valuables:

  1. Money Belt: Invest in a discreet and lightweight money belt that can be worn under your clothing. This belt usually has hidden compartments where you can store cash, credit cards, and important documents like your passport. Wearing a money belt keeps your valuables close to your body and out of sight.
  2. Hidden Pockets: Look for clothing items, such as travel pants or jackets, that have built-in hidden pockets. These secret compartments are perfect for concealing cash, cards, and important documents. Remember to distribute your valuables across multiple hidden pockets to mitigate the risk of losing everything if one pocket is compromised.
  3. Decoy Wallet: Carry a decoy wallet with a small amount of cash and expired cards. Thieves may target wallets, so having a decoy wallet can help divert their attention and protect your actual valuables.
  4. Document Protection: Use waterproof document pouches or ziplock bags to protect your important documents from moisture and potential water damage. Additionally, make digital copies of your documents and store them securely in a password-protected cloud storage service or email them to yourself for easy access if needed.
  5. Hidden Wraps: Consider using hidden wraps, which are secure envelopes or pouches that can be wrapped around your waist or other parts of your body. These hidden wraps are designed specifically to hold cash, cards, and documents discreetly and snugly against your skin.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that when using these concealment techniques, you should always maintain vigilance and be aware of your surroundings. Try to avoid displaying your money or documents in public and only access them in a safe and discreet location.


By utilizing these methods to conceal your money and important documents, you can minimize the risk of theft or loss while backpacking. In the next section, we’ll explore techniques for concealing electronics and gadgets to keep them safe and secure during your travels.


Concealing Valuables: Electronics and Gadgets

When traveling, your electronics and gadgets are valuable and often targets for theft. Here are some effective techniques for concealing and safeguarding your electronics and gadgets while backpacking:

  1. Disguise: Consider disguising your electronics to make them less conspicuous. Instead of carrying a brand name laptop case or camera bag, opt for a generic-looking bag or use a padded sleeve within another bag. This can help deter potential thieves who target recognizable electronic accessories.
  2. Separate Storage: Store your electronics and gadgets separately within your backpack. Keeping them in a different compartment or hidden pocket from other items, such as clothing or toiletries, can make it harder for thieves to locate them quickly.
  3. Use Anti-Theft Backpacks: Invest in an anti-theft backpack that has hidden compartments, slash-resistant materials, and lockable zippers. These backpacks are designed to deter theft and provide additional security features for your electronics.
  4. Cable Locks: Secure your gadgets through the use of cable locks. Attach the lock to a fixed object or through a loop on your backpack, and then lock it to your electronic device. This adds an extra layer of protection and makes it more difficult for thieves to snatch your gadgets.
  5. Dummy Devices: Consider carrying dummy devices, like old smartphones or outdated models, as decoys. You can place them visibly in accessible pockets to divert attention from your actual valuable devices.

Additionally, be mindful of where you use and store your electronics in public. Avoid flaunting your gadgets in crowded areas where it’s easy for thieves to spot and target them. Keep your devices out of sight when not in use, and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded places.


By employing these techniques to conceal your electronics and gadgets, you can minimize the risk of theft and protect your valuable devices while backpacking. In the next section, we’ll explore methods for concealing jewelry and small items to keep them safe during your travels.


Concealing Valuables: Jewelry and Small Items

Keeping your jewelry and small valuable items secure while backpacking is essential to protect them from theft or loss. Here are some effective techniques for concealing and safeguarding your jewelry and small items:

  1. Travel Jewelry Organizer: Invest in a travel jewelry organizer with multiple compartments and secure closures. These organizers allow you to keep your jewelry tangle-free and discreetly hidden within your backpack.
  2. Portable Safe: Consider using a portable safe specifically designed for travel. These safes are compact, lightweight, and equipped with secure locks. They provide a secure storage solution for your valuables, including jewelry and small items.
  3. Hidden Pouches and Secret Pockets: Utilize hidden pouches and secret pockets in your backpack or clothing to conceal your jewelry and small items. Look for clothes with hidden pockets or purchase discreet pouches that can be attached securely to the inside of your clothing.
  4. Diversion Containers: Use diversion containers to hide your small valuables. For example, you can store your jewelry in empty toiletry containers or hide it in unexpected places within your backpack, such as a sock or a hidden pocket within a book.
  5. Minimalist Approach: Consider limiting the amount of jewelry and small valuable items you bring with you while backpacking. Stick to only the essentials and leave behind any items that are not necessary for your trip. This reduces the risk of loss and makes it easier to conceal the valuables you do bring.

Remember to be discreet when accessing or wearing your jewelry in public. Avoid drawing attention to your valuable items and be cautious of your surroundings. If possible, consider leaving your expensive or sentimental jewelry at home and opt for more affordable accessories during your backpacking journey.


By implementing these strategies to conceal your jewelry and small valuables, you can mitigate the risk of theft and maintain the security of your precious items. In the next section, we’ll explore additional techniques, such as diversion techniques and utilizing hidden pockets, to further enhance your concealment efforts.


Diversion Techniques

Diversion techniques can be highly effective in deterring thieves and keeping your belongings safe. By creating distractions or hiding valuables in plain sight, you can divert attention away from your actual valuable items. Here are some useful diversion techniques to consider:

  1. Fake Wallet or Decoy Money: Carry a fake wallet containing a small amount of cash and a few expired cards. This decoy wallet can serve as a diversion if you encounter a thief. While they are busy with the fake wallet, your actual valuables remain concealed and protected.
  2. Hidden Pocket Scarf or Vest: Invest in a scarf or vest with hidden pockets. These stylish accessories allow you to hide small items, like cash or cards, in discreet compartments. Thieves will likely overlook these items, assuming they are just accessories.
  3. Reverse Pickpocketing: Instead of being a victim of pickpocketing, turn the tables by placing a small, harmless item in the pocket of a potential thief. This technique can create confusion and give you a chance to retreat or alert nearby authorities.
  4. Diversify Valuables: Rather than keeping all your valuable items in one place, spread them out among different pockets or bags. This way, even if a thief manages to steal one item, you still have other valuable items that remain concealed.
  5. Conceal in Inconspicuous Containers: Store your valuables in containers or packages that don’t draw attention. For example, you can use an empty sunscreen bottle or a snack bag to hide money, keys, or small items.

These diversion techniques can be effective in deterring opportunistic thieves and keeping your valuable belongings safe. However, always exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. It’s important to strike a balance between implementing diversion techniques and maintaining personal safety.


In the next sections, we will explore the use of hidden pockets and compartments as well as techniques for disguising valuables to further enhance your concealment efforts while backpacking.


Utilizing Hidden Pockets and Compartments

Hidden pockets and compartments are invaluable assets when it comes to concealing your belongings while backpacking. They provide discrete storage options that can keep your valuables safe and secure. Here are some effective ways to utilize hidden pockets and compartments:

  1. Hidden Pocket Clothing: Invest in clothing specifically designed with hidden pockets. Look for pants, jackets, or underwear with secret compartments that can securely store your valuables. These hidden pockets are usually designed to blend seamlessly with the garment, making it difficult for thieves to detect.
  2. Secret Stash Belts or Bras: Consider using special belts or bras with built-in hidden compartments. These discreet accessories allow you to store cash, cards, or small items in hidden pockets, ensuring that they remain concealed and close to your body.
  3. Hidden Backpack Compartments: Look for backpacks with hidden compartments or secret pockets. These compartments can be strategically placed within the backpack, providing secure storage for your valuables. Utilize these hidden compartments to store important documents, electronics, or any other items you want to keep concealed.
  4. Money Socks: Use specially designed socks with hidden pockets to carry small amounts of cash or small items. These socks typically feature a zippered or Velcro compartment, allowing you to stash your valuables discreetly.
  5. Belt with Hidden Zipper: Opt for a belt with a hidden zipper compartment on the inside. This secret compartment can hold emergency cash or small items that you want to keep hidden and within reach.

By utilizing these hidden pockets and compartments, you can keep your belongings secure and out of sight. However, be mindful of pickpockets who are experienced in searching for hidden pockets. Stay vigilant and consider using multiple concealment methods to further ensure the safety of your valuables.


In the next section, we’ll explore techniques for disguising your valuables to make them less appealing to potential thieves.


Disguising Valuables

Disguising your valuables is an effective way to make them less attractive to potential thieves. By concealing them in ordinary or unexpected items, you can protect your belongings while traveling. Here are some techniques for disguising your valuables:

  1. Hidden Compartment Items: Look for everyday items with built-in hidden compartments, such as hollowed-out books, false-bottom containers, or diversion safes. These items provide a clever way to hide your valuables in plain sight.
  2. Camouflaged Bags: Choose bags or backpacks that don’t appear to contain valuable items. Avoid obvious camera bags or laptop cases, as they can attract unwanted attention. Instead, opt for bags that blend in with the local style and appear less valuable.
  3. Fake Containers: Place your valuable items in containers typically associated with less valuable items. For example, store your camera in a toiletry bag, or keep your jewelry inside a snack box. This way, potential thieves are less likely to target these items, as they assume they contain ordinary goods.
  4. Repackaging: Remove the original packaging of expensive items before traveling. Instead, place them in inconspicuous containers or wrap them in clothing to make them less recognizable as valuable items.
  5. Use Non-Descriptive Bags: Avoid using bags with logos or branding that may indicate expensive contents. Opt for plain and unbranded bags that draw less attention to your valuables.

Keep in mind that while disguising your valuables is a great precautionary measure, it’s still important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Thieves are becoming more sophisticated, and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.


In addition to disguising your valuables, it’s essential to practice general safety measures and be mindful of your personal security. We’ll explore some personal safety tips in the next section to help ensure a smooth and worry-free backpacking experience.


Personal Safety Tips

While concealing and safeguarding your belongings is important, ensuring your personal safety is equally crucial while backpacking. Here are some key personal safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research Your Destination: Before traveling to a new destination, research the safety concerns and common scams associated with that area. Familiarize yourself with local customs and culture to avoid inadvertently drawing attention to yourself as a tourist.
  2. Blend In: Try to dress and behave like a local to avoid standing out as a tourist. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or accessories that can attract the attention of thieves.
  3. Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Pay attention to who is around you, especially in crowded areas or public transportation. If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation.
  4. Avoid Traveling Alone at Night: If possible, avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar or unsafe areas. Stick to well-lit and populated areas. If you have to travel at night, consider using trusted transportation services or arranging for a trusted local guide to accompany you.
  5. Use Secure Lockers or Safes: Many hostels and hotels offer secure lockers or safes for storing your valuables. Take advantage of these facilities when available to further protect your belongings.
  6. Keep Important Documents Secure: Make digital copies of your important documents and store them securely in a password-protected online storage service or email them to yourself. Keep physical copies of your documents in a safe place, and be cautious when providing personal information or showing identification to protect against identity theft.
  7. Trustworthy Accommodations: Research and choose accommodations that have positive reviews and a reputation for security. It’s important to feel safe and comfortable in the place you’re staying.
  8. Travel Insurance: Purchase travel insurance that covers theft and loss of personal belongings. This will provide financial protection in case of any unfortunate incidents.

Remember, personal safety should always be your top priority while backpacking. By following these safety tips and staying cautious, you can reduce the risk of becoming a target for theft or other crimes.


Now that you have these valuable personal safety tips in mind, you are well-equipped to enjoy your backpacking adventure with confidence and peace of mind.


Safe travels!



While backpacking is an exciting and rewarding experience, it’s important to prioritize the safety and security of your belongings. By implementing the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can effectively hide your stuff and minimize the risk of theft while enjoying your travels.


Choosing the right backpack with hidden compartments, utilizing packing strategies to conceal valuables, and employing diversion techniques are all crucial steps in safeguarding your belongings. Concealing money and documents in secure pockets or belts, disguising electronics and gadgets, and using hidden pockets for jewelry and small items can greatly reduce the likelihood of theft.


Additionally, personal safety measures such as staying alert, blending in with the local culture, and researching destination safety concerns are paramount to your overall well-being while backpacking. Utilizing secure lockers, keeping important documents safe, and investing in travel insurance further enhance your protection.


Remember, it’s essential to strike a balance between safeguarding your belongings and enjoying your trip. While taking precautions is necessary, it’s also important to maintain an open mindset, trust your instincts, and have the confidence to explore new places.


With the knowledge and strategies provided in this article, you can embark on your backpacking adventure with peace of mind, knowing that you have taken the necessary steps to hide your stuff and protect your valuable items.


Stay safe, be mindful, and make unforgettable memories on your backpacking journey!