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
- 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.
- Always know where the U.S. Embassy is located.
- Stay away from large groups of Americans. Sadly enough,
the possibility exists that you will be targeted.
- 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
- 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.
- Wear good, light footwear, very important if doing a
lot of unexpected walking or traveling if you find yourself
- 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.
- Have an extra watch or timepiece and carry an extra battery
in case your watch breaks or battery runs out.
- A waist belt is important. Make sure the pack is not
too big or heavy.
- Make sure you have the Embassy number for every country
you are visiting.
- Know the diseases in the area where you are traveling.
- 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.
- Write your passport number in a separate spot. You may
want to write it inside the belt lining with a permanent
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Water bottles: Nalgene water bottles are excellent. However
they can be bulky. Old soda bottles are excellent for carrying
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.