Whether you are traveling to complex, hostile, high risk environments or an adventure travel destination in a foreign country; I recommend carrying a “Grab Bag”.
What is a grab bag?
A grab bag is that small “on the person always” bag, that you don’t go anywhere without. If everything else goes bad, you will use your grab bag to get you out of trouble. It does not leave your person. It’s in your carry on during flight and it’s the foundation set up to the environment you are in once you arrive.
During the six years I spent working in Afghanistan after I discharged from the military, my grab bag was with me every single day. If it’s important and it’s not in your pocket, its in your grab bag so if you ever have to run from danger towards safety, all the essentials are in one place and you can literally ‘grab and go’.
It needs to be easy to carry so you don’t want it any bigger than a small back pack and the following items are what we recommend it contains:
- Passports & travel docs like airline tickets
- A means of communication. Spare mobile phone or even better a fully charged satellite phone for remote adventures
- Emergency contacts list
- GPS & map
- Folding knife
- A method of lighting fire
- Cash, $1000 US and some local money depending on your location
- Spare credit card
- Water bottle
- A small amount of food (snack bars are a great long-life option)
- Torch or head lamp
- Med Kit, including your prescription medications and spare. Also give your partner a third spare.
Although it may seem like overkill, remember when it comes to travel no preparation is ever wasted. A well prepared grab bag can save your life.