Stop Crooked Thieves With a Tailgate Lock

By: Mike Rosania

Sitting in a meadow at dawn. Huddling around a fire roasting marsh mellows. Gazing into galaxies far far away, pondering life's deepest questions. For me, camping is a tranquil escape from the hustle-bustle of everyday life. Living in a city has it advantages, but it also means dealing with traffic, inflated prices, long lines and paying for parking, which is why I retreat to the mountains as much as possible. My gear's security is the last thing on my mind when I'm scaling a gargantuan mountain, but last weekend I came back from a long hike only to find my tailgate hanging wide open and my belongings missing.

I haven't had anything stolen in the city, which has a ridiculously high crime rate, but when I go to an area where the deer population vastly outnumbers the people, my truck is broken into. How ironic. Don't ya think? After this past week of work, I was dieing to get away. So I laced up my hiking boots, packed my gear, and took off. I was headed for a weekend away from work, crowds, and most importantly, my wife-two nights alone, just me and my yellow lab, Jasper.

The second we get out of the city I'm hit with feelings of relief. I lower the windows, turn of the ac, and let out a sigh as Jasper and I breathe in that cool mountain air. As the road begins to twist and turn, bringing us up the mountainside, I can tell we are close. "This is more like it," I thought. Just a guy and his dog, getting away for the weekend; that's all we are-nice, slightly creepy, but nice.

I pull off the paved road and pull into a small secluded parking lot. Jasper can tell from the gravel crunching under my tires that we have arrived. I pop open the door and he barges out; trying to take in all the scents like a kid scoping out the presents under the tree on Christmas morning. We have a few hours of sun light left so I decided to hold off on pitching the tent and setting up camp. I needed some exercise and a hike to the summit is just what the doctor ordered.

The weather is perfect. The temperature is just right and the cool air fends off pesky bugs. I march up the trail at a nice quick pace, which Jasper has no problem following. From the openness of the trail, I can tell that it is a well-traveled path. Luckily, I was the only car in the parking lot and hadn't seen anyone else in miles. I soon reach the summit and it is gorgeous. The green seems to go for miles in every direction. I plot down on a tree stump to take it all in-the sounds of a babbling brook, birds chirping, the setting sun. I'm on top of the world. I look toward the base of the mountain. Oh nice, there is the parking lot. Wait a minute. Is someone taking breaking into my truck? I shoot up and race down the trail. Jasper breaks out in a gallop next to me. We finally make it down to the lot, sweaty and exhausted, to find my tailgate hanging open. I have a pick up truck with a truck bed cover over it, but the actually tailgate door doesn't have a lock. I rip off my cover and all of my gear is gone. You have got to be kidding me. I look around in all directions and the only thing I find is a sign. It read, "Caution. Secure Valuables in Car." It wasn't the hundreds of dollars of camping equipment that hurt the most. It was that my place of solitude and tranquility had been tainted-and that I had to go home for a weekend with my wife.

How will I be able to move on and continue with my life you ask? I now have a Tailgate Lock, which can secure all my goods. It doesn't lock if I have my Truck Bed extender attached, but at least now I know not to store anything in there. -Mike Rosania

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