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Safe Foreign Travel

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US Army First Aid Manual
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Appendix A: First Aid Case and Kits, Dressings, and Bandages
Appendix B: Rescue and Transportation Procedures
Appendix C: Common Problems/Conditions
Appendix D: Digital Pressure
Appendix E: Decontamination Procedures
Appendix F: Glossary

Despite the recent attacks in New York and Washington, people will continue to travel by air. As we move past this tragic series of events, there will be more rigorous safety measures implemented, and airport security will be unlike anything we have seen. However, people will continue to travel abroad. Below are a few tips for increasing your safety when going abroad, thanks to Dr. Murray Hamlet, DVM. Dr. Hamlet offered these tips at a recent conference, along with some additional suggestions, compliments of Survive Outdoors:

When traveling outside of the United States, it is important to take some simple measures that can be helpful in increasing your safety:

  1. Copy your passport. Put a copy in your backpack, and keep a copy in your pocket. Stolen passports are going anywhere from $10,000.00-$20,000.00 U.S. dollars on the black market. It is really important to have an extra copy.
  2. Always know where the U.S. Embassy is located.
  3. Stay away from large groups of Americans. Sadly enough, the possibility exists that you will be targeted.
  4. Know a few key words of the language in the area where you are traveling. "Where is the police?" or "Where is the American Embassy located?" are just a couple important examples.
  5. When staying in a room, apartment or hotel, stay on the 2nd or 3rd floor. You usually cannot survive a jump higher than the 3rd floor. You increase your chances of survival in case of fire or bomb. Stay in the back of the building, not in a room facing the street.
  6. Wear good, light footwear, very important if doing a lot of unexpected walking or traveling if you find yourself stranded.
  7. Carry an extra pair of eyeglasses if you wear eyeglasses or contacts. You should definitely have a hard case for your glasses. Have some type of small screwdriver with which you can tighten the screws in your glasses.
  8. Have an extra watch or timepiece and carry an extra battery in case your watch breaks or battery runs out.
  9. A waist belt is important. Make sure the pack is not too big or heavy.
  10. Make sure you have the Embassy number for every country you are visiting.
  11. Know the diseases in the area where you are traveling.
  12. It is important to have some basic medications: Immodium AD, some basic, broad-spectrum coverage antibiotics are always helpful (check with your healthcare provider), some antihistamines such as Benadryl.
  13. Write your passport number in a separate spot. You may want to write it inside the belt lining with a permanent marker.
  14. Know where everything you have packed in your backpack or suitcase is located. Be obsessive with this. If the electricity goes out, you will then be able to find where things are located while in the dark.
  15. Avoid very flashy clothes, expensive looking items. Keep a low profile. During the time I lived in New York City, I personally was mugged twice. In areas of high crime, it is important use commonsense in what you are wearing in terms of clothing and jewelry.
  16. Rain gear, hat, gloves, have these things on hand. Many airlines will not allow waterproof, windproof matches on board. Fire starters like a metal match are allowed, and those are very handy.
  17. Water bottles: Nalgene water bottles are excellent. However they can be bulky. Old soda bottles are excellent for carrying water.
  18. Flashlight with spare batteries. Again, it is important to note that flashlights that Survive Outdoors promotes are very long-lasting and really outshine the competition at this time. Please see the LED flashlights in our store area.
  19. Sunscreen should be waterproof, at least 15-30 and bug repellant should have at least 30% Deet, no less. Anything much higher can cause allergic dermatitis and skin problems.
  20. A Leatherman tool is excellent, as well as small knives. Obviously due to the recent tragedy, these will no longer be allowed. However it will be allowed in your baggage that will be sent to baggage control.
  21. Toilet paper is a must. This can be a very difficult commodity to come by in many countries, especially in Third-world countries, and it is very light-weight and can be folded up and put in many different areas.

In closing, these are just a few ideas. There are many, many other ideas. I strongly encourage individuals to write Survive Outdoors with their ideas, tips and tricks. For all individuals who plan on traveling abroad, please be safe and use commonsense and good judgment.

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