Safe Foreign Travel

Our World is always changing. The geopolitical issues seems to wax and wane with intensity. It never hurts to be very prepared when traveling abroad. At Survive we give you some basic and important points to at least consider.

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Ever since 911 and more recently with the disconcerting perceptions of Americans travel abroad has taken on a new level of safety preparedness. At a conference I attended in the past some astute tips were discussed by Dr Murray Hamlet. Here are a few of those tips with some of my own suggestions from Survive Outdoors.

  1. Copy your passport and put a copy hidden in your backpack as well as in your pocket. Stolen passports go for big bucks. Upwards of 20,000.00 dollars on the black market.
  2. Know where the U.S. Embassy is located.
  3. Depending on the country stay away from large groups of Americans. That is an easy red flag to be targeted.
  4. Know a few key words in the native language of where you are traveling. “Where is the police?” And “Where is the U.S. Embassy? As an example.
  5. When staying in a room, apartment or hotel try to stay on the 2nd or third floor. You usually cannot survive a jump from a 3rd floor or higher. You can survive a bomb or fire better on the 2nd or third floor and try to go to the back of the building rather than the front.
  6. Wear good, light footwear this clearly helps with foot and back health however also for any unexpected walking you might have to do.
  7. Carry an extra pair of glasses or contacts. Have a small screw driver to repair glasses ( its the little things that helps and do they do not compromise weight)
  8. Have an extra watch or time piece. Here is where solar watches and automatics are very beneficial and you do not need to worry about another battery.
  9. Make sure you backpack is not too heavy or cumbersome. Walk a few miles with your pack loaded before any long trip.
  10. Make sure you have the Embassy phone number for every country you are visiting.
  11. Know the diseases in your area. Specifically helpful to know zoonotic illnesses and what animals can carry in your given region. Know venomous snakes, etc
  12. Important to have some basic medications. Imodium AD, some broad-spectrum antibiotics, antihistamines etc. Check with your health care provider before traveling.
  13. Write your passport number down. One good place is inside your belt with a permanent marker.
  14. In the military and even many of my hunter peers can take apart and put together their weapon in the dark. Try taking things out of your pack and putting them back in over and over. If there is a power outage know where your essentials are at, more importantly your flashlight.
  15. Do not wear flashy clothes and these days probably not a good idea to where clothes touting the U.S.A. there are many abroad that do not hold us in high esteem. Especially watch yourself when wearing expensive watches and clothes.
  16. A raincoat, hat and gloves are essential. Airlines will not allow weatherproof matches but they will allow a magnesium rod or ferrous rod.
  17. Water bottles, Nalgene bottles are top notch although bulky.
  18. Flashlights are a MUST. The variety these days are amazing with exceptional quality. If you get a chargeable flashlight remember the wall outlets in foreign countries are different than the U.S. I advise a chargeable and a battery operated. You can very reasonably get a Europlug on Amazon for about 17.00.
  19. Sunscreen is important as well as insect repellant. Please be advised DEET will not work with Dengue fever. The mosquito that carries Dengue became resistant in about 2011.
  20. A multitool like a Leatherman is ideal and very handy when overseas. You cannot carry on the plane but you can bring it in your luggage.
  21. Toilet paper is always a good idea however it is very bulky. There are not compressed toilets that are amazing when traveling. They are about the size of a nickel and when two tablespoons of water added they enlarge. They have biodegradable ones and are quite strong.