Tog safety while travelling in pick pocketing Spain

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by malignau, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. malignau

    malignau Member

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    Hey guys,

    Im travelling alone to Spain and the UK at the end of the month for a 5 week holiday and am planning to take my 5Dmk2, 17-40L and 70-200 F4 IS with me.

    I'm wondering if anyone's been to Madrid and Barcelona mainly with their DSLR's? I've been reading the tourists spots are strife with pick pocketing and i dont want to become a victim to crime.

    Is it safe to bring it out with me or should i just leave it behind? Please share your experiences with me.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. whatdoesthisdo

    whatdoesthisdo Member

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    I went to Barcelona about a year ago and it was completely safe. In fact I felt more safe there than I did in Paris.

    Just common sense mate. Don't go walking down little side streets at night that have no other people on it. If you are in public you will be fine and if anyone tries to come to talk to you, do not stop and act totally disinterested.

    Also be aware of your shit at all times, wallet in front pocket and if in a crowd bring your back pack to the front.

    I love Barcelona it is gorgeous and the woman are just as beautiful.
     
  3. Shortass_Jr

    Shortass_Jr Member

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    I just got back from Barcelona there is heaps of dodgy people but the way I saw it was ill take it I'm covered by insurance so what the hell.... I had a d3s and 24-70 people looked!! but I had it on a black rapid and if someone took it, it was heavy I'd probably feel it missing.....

    Ps I hate Barcelona!!! To touristy for me....
     
  4. OP
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    malignau

    malignau Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys.

    Its still quite warm while im there so im not quite sure how to keep my wallet and passport safe without it being obvious that its under my tshirt or in my shorts pocket lol. Any suggestions?

    Is it worth getting a black rapid? I know its going to be a lot more comfortable to carry but the way it attaches to the camera looks like it'll be easily removed.

    Hmm i should probably make sure i book a hostel on a main road then, some of them are on small back streets lol.
     
  5. Shortass_Jr

    Shortass_Jr Member

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    Passport..... well pop that in a safe at hotel or hostel.... I had to take mine out of the hotel once of twice as bad as this sounds I put it down my under pants lol I was not going to loose my passport!!! As for black rapid well it has a lock on the strap you need to twist it to open the lock I think it's worth getting one... Try and get a hostel in la rumbla it's the Main Street in Barcelona just so you know food isn't cheap in that area so keep that in mind!!!
     
  6. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I once read an article about how not to get mugged. I can't remember all of the suggestions, but 2 that I use are to carry your bag bandalero-style and keep your hand on the strap and stride while looking about you.

    That last one saved my mum from being the target. We were in a shopping centre carpark and some muggers were eying off their next target. I was doing my usual and eyeballed the guy. He was heading for my mum, I told her to hang on to her bag, but when he saw me looking at him he peeled off and "did" another lady a bit further ahead. Looking like you've got your wits about you is an effective tool. They want somebody distracted who will not notice while they grab and hoof it. If you want to get your stuff out or look at a map or whatever, don't just stand about in the street.
     
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    malignau

    malignau Member

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    LOL okay i might need to bring some seal-able plastic bags to chuck in my undies ahaha

    Yea my tour finishes in La Ramba, so i figured i'd stick to that area. Is it far to walk to areas with food catering to the locals? Im not interested in eating tourist food, would much rather eat and drink with the locals.

    Hmm i'll try not to look overwhelmed by the city and my inability to speak espanol ahaha (fat chance). I'll definitely be carrying my bag in front, need to find a good sized bag with hidden compartments to put extra money.

    Thanks for the tips guys. Keep them coming =]
     
  8. gobbledegook

    gobbledegook Member

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    Not uncommon for pickpockets to work in pairs. One person will bump into you and while apologising a second person will swindle your stuff. And variations of the above :Pirate:
     
  9. redav

    redav Member

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    It's a shame to taint the one place with the one brush as by all reports, it's a nice enough city. My wife was there with some other friends and they almost were done over at an ATM. Some dood tried to knock off one of the guys wallets but he worked out what was going on and the guy even managed to get his hand into his pocket when he pushed him away and then chased after hill yelling police in Spanish. The guy tried to distract him with a handshake first.

    Keep your wits about you and don't put all your eggs in one basket (cards, passport, money).
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  10. shazzad0c

    shazzad0c Member

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    I was in Barcelona 2 years ago in August... Very hot summer! Just be alert at all times... It's a relatively safe city, but don't forget where you are. Their subways are filled with dodgy looking people... So keep clear of those areas.

    Eating where the locals eat isn't an issue... Plenty of good food places close to the main La Rambla where the locals eat. We just asked the hotel staff where they recommend or eat at. I've saved some business cards or taken some pics of places. Happy to give you the names... Some are cheaper than others, but we weren't disappointed. I won't back home for a few days... But PM me in a few days and I'll let you know :)

    As for how to carry cash, passport and other cards etc. I used two items from Kathmandu... A 'travel belt pouch' which attaches to your belt, but sits inside your pants. When you need it, you can flip in out. The other was a 'travel money belt'. Both were useful all around Europe.

    http://www.kathmandu.com.au/accessories/travel/wallets-cases-organisers/travel-belt-pouch-black.html

    http://www.kathmandu.com.au/accesso...es-organisers/travel-money-belt-v3-black.html

    Plenty of other maybe cheaper brands also available.
     
  11. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    I nearly lost my wallet in Barcelona. I was alone, walking through small lane ways, then onto a main one when a guy started talking to me and had his hand on my wallet in my front pocket.
    He had peeled off from a group of guys, I shrugged him off and power walked the fck out of there. Haha
    No issues with my camera though.
     
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    malignau

    malignau Member

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    Thanks Shazza, I think i'll be buying both of those. I'll hit you up for some suggestions in a few days :thumbup:

    yea everyone tells me im not the most observant person around, i think i might have take a cheap wallet with me just in case it gets stolen. Worst thing is we're so spoilt in australia, its so safe its not something im accustomed to being worried about.
     
  13. redav

    redav Member

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    You could probably leave a fakie in your back pocket :lol:
     
  14. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Consider the risk, do what you can and then forget it. Act confident and with an "I'm not the mark you want" (Obi-wan voice) vibe, keep your eyes and ears open, don't go anywhere stupid and have a good time.

    Make photocopies of all of your insurance, serial numbers, and passport and everything, and keep with your luggage. If anything awful were to happen, you've got all the info to help with any claim or replacement or whatever.
     
  15. bigmaxy

    bigmaxy Member

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    I had quite a bit of camera gear stolen at the train station in Barcelona. I was tired after a long flight, had caught the train to Barcelono on the way to Valencia.
    1 bloke asks me a question and while distracted another bloke comes through and grabs the bag. Rather smooth operation and was difficult to give chase with my main luggage. Urgghh.
    I take responsibility as I wasn't aware of spain's reputation at that time and wasn't as aware of my surroundings as I should have been.
    Insurance covered everything but I missed a lot of photo opportunities afterwards..
     
  16. csremedy

    csremedy Member

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    I got felt up by a transvestite (or a really ugly woman) who was obviously feeling for a money belt in Barcelona.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about a DSLR. It would be difficult to take that without you noticing.

    During the day you'll probably be in busy areas where your not likely to be mugged, but at night, Barcelona has hundreds of little laneways that you can easily find yourself isolated in. Try not to walk down them alone - make friends and to stay in groups at night if you can.
     
  17. akashra

    akashra Member

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    Something to watch out for (anywhere) is anyone who wants to shake your hand.
    As a person who can steal a watch from your wrist without you even noticing it, I can tell you it happens quickly, and you'll have no clue until it's too late unless you know what to look for.

    I myself wear a $100 watch I've had for over 10 years now, which has a stretch-strap, but I feel sorry for idiots wearing $3000+ watches with regular buckle-style watch bands... and quickly find them missing.
     
  18. redav

    redav Member

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    Gee... you should go see someone about your kleptomania :D
     
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    malignau

    malignau Member

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    lol jeez sounds like i have try and avoid being bumped or touched at all while in spain, power walk away from anyone who tries to talk to me.

    bigmaxy that sounds horrible man. Worst thing is to land and then be robbed straight away..... Not a great start to the trip.

    Oh and i think i'll avoid shaking your hand akashra... I dont have $3000 watches but i dont fancy losing them lol

    My buddy at work told me when he first arrived in Bali he bought three knives lol... told me to do the same when i arrive in Madrid. Might be overkill but protection is protection right? Not sure if i'd be prepared for the repercussions if anything went down though lol.

    So i'm going to be putting my DSLR on a blackrapid for comfort. Is there anything i can do to make it more secure than it already is?
     
  20. Pinkeh

    Pinkeh Member

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    My buddy got mugged on his last day in barcelona. he sent copies of his images home the night before, so he managed to retrieve all the images up till the morning he was leaving.

    insurance covered the gear.

    it's a good idea to make hard copies and backups of images and send them home as you go. plus you dont always find reliable internet whilst traveling too.
     

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