Theft of hiker water tank, October 15

I was alerted via email by a hiker that something weird was going on at my hiker oasis. SoBo hikers who arrived October 14 found the tank with the faucet on and the water draining onto the ground. Another hiker who arrived on October 15 found the tank nearly empty and tipped forward to drain the last bit of water out. My security cameras showed a vehicle driving up my driveway in the wee hours of 10/14-15. A friend who went to check on things on October 15 found the big 550 gallon tank gone, along with a very large number of other, non-hiker-related things on the property. — Total replacement cost of the stolen items is around $15,000. — Ouch!

Here’s the platform where the 550 gallon tank used to be.

With SoBo thru hiker season in full swing, I needed some type of tank to supply water, so I brought a small (65-gallon) tank over and filled it.

The sign requests hikers to post to FarOut on the amount of water left, so the friend who is supplying the water while I’m away can monitor it and knows when to come over with more water.

At this point, I don’t know what the future of my hiker oasis will be. It’s very likely I’ll sell the property and try to put this sad event behind me. It’s hard for me to imagine that now, since I’ve been providing water to PCT hikers and equestrians from this corner of my property for over ten years, but I suspect that is what my final decision will be. In that case, hopefully someone in the area will step up and resuscitate the long-standing seasonal cache that existed at PCT mile 143, until it was laid down in 2020.

3 thoughts on “Theft of hiker water tank, October 15

  1. I was hiking southbound on the PCT in May 2021 when I stopped by your oasis. I was grateful for the water and picnic tables. I loved the Whitman, Muir, and Thoreau display as well as the little lending library. I am distraught to hear about the theft you’ve experienced. Thank you for everything you’ve done for hikers over the years. We completely understand why you would now want to sell your property and get out of the trail angeling business. God bless.


  2. Tony Ronco

    I’m deeply saddened to learn of this. If you decide to stay in trail angelling (and I hope you do), you can made your 550 gallon tanks much harder to steal by placing several hundred pounds of cobble stones INSIDE the tanks. While it would diminish capacity 50 gallons or so, it would have also the benefit of making the tanks exceedingly difficult to steal again.
    To do this your pad will have to be level and compacted (probably already is due to the handling the weight of 550 gallons)
    Blessings to you!


    1. Thanks for the idea about weighting down a possible replacement tank from the inside. I’m still mulling over what to do longer term about water at the site. At least for this year’s nobo thru hiker season, I’m committed to staying here on the property and adding water to the 65-gallon tank, as needed.


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