I Hid Apple AirTags in my Equipment

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When purchasing four at one time, AirTags are about $20 each.
When purchasing four at one time, AirTags are about $20 each.

I just received my four Apple AirTags in the mail, and I have hidden them as follows:

The first one is inside a beehive at my out-yard, taped to the frame. Because this bee yard is closer to town and in sight of the road, I think there is the possibility that someone could steal the bees. While beehive theft usually happens in California and during pollination season, I’m willing to spend $20 to put a tracking device in the hive. I don’t like to think it would happen here, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. This was the reason I purchased the AirTags.

The second one is in the pistol grip of the AR15 I keep in the toolbox in my truck. If anyone steals the truck or the gun, I hope this will help me track it down.

The third one is at the bottom of a roll of silver half dollars that are inside a plastic coin holder. Yes, it is secure in my gun safe, but this is just an added the ability to track down anyone who might steal them. (If you broke into a gun safe, would you steal guns or silver?  I’d take the latter because it is untraceable.) As soon as I closed the door to the safe, the tag was unable to communicate with my phone. It now says was “last seen” 7 hours ago.

I don’t have a home for the fourth one yet. I am tempted to put it in my wife’s car, just in case it is stolen or she gets in trouble while out and about. That would allow me to track her down, but it also might make it seem like I don’t trust her.

Protecting my Guns

I am also thinking of putting it in a desirable gun. But will what I think is a desirable gun be the same as a thief wants? For example, I’m thinking of putting in under the grips of a 1911, even if I have to carve out a hollow spot in the grip to do so. But maybe a thief would prefer to steal a Glock? 9mm pistols are the most commonly stolen firearm, followed by .40 caliber pistols. Of course, that may be because those are the most popular guns, so here are more of them around to seal.

Perhaps I am just “gun shy” since the last (and only) gun I had stolen was a 1911.

Of course, putting an AirTag in a gun or a beehive doesn’t stop it from being stolen. With any luck, however, it will help you track down the item if it is stolen. AirTags are designed to put on your keyring or in your luggage, rather than a roll of Franklin half dollars that, with any luck, will never leave the safe. Your luggage and your keys are easier to misplace than a beehive.

The default setting is for the tag to alert you if you leave the area without the item it is attached to. I can see how this might be good on your keys or in your purse, but I don’t need my beehive beeping when I’m out of range. I turned that function off.

Surveillance Society

My house is surrounded by motion-activated solar-powered lights. I have cameras on the premises that send images to my phone and alert me to motion. Now I have AirTags tracking my stuff. And when I drive my truck, it will track me, or possibly my wife.

By all reports, only you can track your AirTags, but do we believe that the government can’t access this data? With GPS in phones and cars, where we go isn’t so much of a secret any more. I figure one more or tracking device won’t make thing worse, especially since I’m not going anywhere I shouldn’t.

AirTags do not offer real-time tracking. In fact, they are not the greatest tracking method, although they may be one of the least expensive. There is no annual subscription, for example, just the cost of a new battery. Here’s why they are less-than-perfect.

  • First, they rely on Bluetooth, not satellites, like GPS trackers. To get a signal from an AirTag, they have to be near someone with an Apple phone or other iOS device who has their Bluetooth on. (Mine is usually off.) Plus, they don’t work with Android, so I have to hope any thieves use an iPhone.
  • Second, to save energy, they don’t broadcast constantly. You may only get a beep every five minutes. This makes it unlikely you can track someone in real time. However, if there’s an iPhone nearby, you should be able to find them when they stop moving.

CR2032 Batteries

One good thing is the AirTags run off of CR2032 batteries. Most of my optics use these coin cells, so I buy ten-packs and have plenty on hand. Replacing the batteries in four AirTags every year will help me rotate through my stash and give me a reason to buy fresh ones.

When the grid goes down and the cell phones become useless, my AirTags will not help me survive. Until then, however, they will give me greater peace of mind.

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