We all love to travel, it provides us with new locals to challenge our creativity. But if we travel outside our own state, province, county, or country how do we keep ourselves safe and healthy? One great peril to our safety is our camera gear itself! We all love to tell others how great and latest our gear is. This is what muggers and thieves are hoping for; us to identify the best stuff to steal. Use a camera backpack that does not look like a camera bag to lug your gear around in. I know that it is sacrilege but if you are in a high crime area at least cover your Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Mamiya, etc., logo with a bit of electrical tape to hide it. When you sit down to lunch place the leg of your chair through one of the loops of the bag, this prevents the grab and run. Use the room safe if you have one in your room. Another option is a backpack net that is sold at many backpacker stores it is made of wire and can be locked to stationary objects. Remember anyone can steal anything if they have enough time, you just want to slow them down or inconvenience them enough so they go elsewhere. Large Zip lock bags are great to place your cameras and lens in when traveling. They protect your equipment from rain, sand, waves, all the nasties. When you are in the Caribbean or Central America you will get condensation forming on your cameras and lens when traveling from your air-conditioned room to the humid outdoors. As electronic items they dislike the moisture. It is far better to place the camera in the Zip Lock bag and allow the condensation to build up on the bag not the camera. Works the other way here in Canada in the winter – Bringing your camera indoors will cause the condensation buildup.
Now that you have looked after the camera; how about you? Scan a copy of the first page of everyone’s passport and email it to a Hotmail or Yahoo account as they are easily accessible everywhere. Encrypt it with a password and then if your passport is stolen you can easily provide your embassy with a copy of your passport.
Bring a door-stop – a rubber wedge, not to keep the hotel room door open but to keep it closed. With one of these just behind the door a person will not be easily able to force their way into your room. A small flashlight for the bedside table incase of a power outage and you have made a start.
Bring your own first aid kit as medical facilities may be nonexistent or seriously lacking. It need not be much. The following should make your life easier.
oImmodium (lots), Peptobismol caplets,
oAllergy medcations (benedryl, epi pen, Claritin)
oOzonol, zilocaine spray
oSuntan lotion, 45, 30, 15
oprescribed medications such as asthma inhalers, nitro spray.
oHepatitis A & B innocculation, malaria pills(if required)
oBandaids, moleskin, elastic bandage, butterfly bandage
Plastic cooler bag for beverages on the beach, ear plugs, flydope, insulated mugs. Small flashlight, knife, lighter, mini screw drivers, pliers, duct tape. Don’t forget the language translation book .