Do People Lock Their Tents?

Locking your tent zippers is a simple way of adding a layer of security to your tent
Locking your tent zippers is a simple way of adding a layer of security to your tent

Yes: all people have at some point locked their tents during a camping trip, so drop the excuse of the unsafety if that’s holding you back from going!

Whether someone feels unsafe or scared while sleeping in a tent in the middle of the night away from home or fears wild animals attacking them or thieves coming through, the reasons are many to think camping is unsafe.

However, the solutions are also many! Depending on the camper’s choice, there are several different kinds of locks that can work: some will involve a combination lock and others a tent padlock, etc.

Why Do Campers Need Lockable Tents?

Fear of Wildlife Encounters

A locked tent is the best barrier against wildlife in dangerous camping areas.

Wild animals such as raccoons can really ruin the experience for campers, and lockable tents provide much needed extra layers of protection. 

Valuable Belongings Require Extra Security

The often expensive camping gear and other accessories (phones, GPS, tablets, etc.) require extra protection when tent camping.

Lockable Tents Are Great If You’re Seeking Security

Lockable tents are flexible, versatile, and suitable for different camping situations: whether you’re going with your family or on a solo trip.

Plus, they are easily locked with a tent lock from inside in less than 10 minutes! To lock a tent is no longer something complicated.  

Tent Locks You Should Consider

A good tent lock can save the day!
A good tent lock can save the day!

Tent Locks With Cables

These use a locking mechanism with a flexible cable and can be used to protect camping tools such as zippers, bikes, and coolers. 

They are easy to use, lightweight and easily portable. However, they are not as secure as the other options we explore in the article.

Snow Peak Land Lock

These are similar to a rooftop tent with cable locks and tent padlocks, making it easy to place a lock on the tent’s zippers.

These can bear any weather condition because of its durable design and excellent material, and are easy to assemble.

On top of this, you can still add a good lock from the outside of the tent for even more protection! 

Combination Travel Padlock

These are like a traditional tent lock and can be used to protect tent zippers.  

They are sold in different sizes to suit the camper’s needs and are made of different materials such as brass or steel. 

While they are highly versatile and suitable for any camping scenario (can be used on tent doors, windows, zippers, etc.), they are not the best: thieves may be able to break into them relatively easily due to their more traditional locking system.  

Smart Tent Locks

The introduction of smart locks has truly revolutionized things.

The latest ones can be easily controlled through cell phones, let campers lock their tents remotely, and have unique features such as activity monitoring and temper alerts. 

Although these remote locks are very convenient & offer great features, you will have to charge or change the batteries occasionally. 

Also note that these won’t work in all tents – you need to have a modern tent.

How Often Do People Lock Their Tents?

Camping Location Matters

If the destination point is crowded or a well-managed area, people are most likely not to lock their tents, as it’s highly likely that someone will unconsciously keep an eye on the tent.

However, in secluded areas, people lock their tents precisely because if someone wanders around and sees that no one is there, there may be some temptation to steal from a tent. 

Past Experiences

Lile every bad experience, if a person has experienced any theft or dangerous situation in the past while wild camping, then the likelihood of that person using a tent lock is higher than someone who has had only great & safe experiences before.

Group Size

People with large groups will be less worried about tent security and may not choose a lockable tent.

However, smaller groups or solo campers will be highly focused on the security of their tents and will likely get a tent lock. 

Expensive Belongings

Campers that bring expensive items (computers, tablets for the children, etc.) to camping trips are more likely to lock their tents than someone that is in a hunting tent with practically no items.

This is especially true in glamping experiences (also known as fancy/luxurious camping adventures).

Always keep your valuables safe by locking your tent and/or bringing a safe with you. You can also keep the safe in your car (if you’re driving to the campsite), as long as you keep your valuables inside.


Areas with more presence of wildlife will push campers to lock their tents, as no one enjoys being awakened by a rabbit or seeing ants in their cereal.

Other Ways To Stay Safe

Although a good tent lock is a great way to secure your tent, there are other considerations that you need to remember when camping.

Trust Your Instincts and Take Precautions Against Wildlife

If precautionary measures are taken to avert dangerous situations, then the need for tent locks is reduced accordingly. 

Measures such as proper disposal of food and keeping your belongings in a safe place help a lot and should not be neglected.

Use Common Sense and Organize Your Tent

By keeping your tent clean, tidy and properly organized, chances are you won’t need a locked tent door to keep wildlife away. 

Group Camping > Solo Trips

Going camping with a group is often enough to prevent thieves
Camping in a group is not only safer but can also be a lot of fun

Compared to solo camping, group camping is considered secure because while one person is busy, the others can keep an eye on the belongings.

For this reason, it is safe to say group camping reduces the need to lock your tent door.


Ultimately, the decision to have a locked tent door when tent camping is yours only. We have offered our thoughts on the factors that may influence your decision one way or the other, but there isn’t one perfect answer as everything depends on the circumstances.