Traveling & backpacking abroad without the knowledge of self-protection is like going to sea without a life jacket!

One of the most important factors in keeping safe while traveling anywhere in the world is situational awareness. But be aware situational awareness will be completely different when walking the beaches of southern Australia to walking around the Bronx or Brooklyn New York. The beaches in south Australia are far safer than the Bronx, but on the other hand the Bronx will seem like a walk in the park compared to certain locations in South America or Africa. It is all relative.

It is worth remembering your wallet, camera and valuables are not worth dying for, should you be forced to give them up.

Also remember 9 times out of 10 when you are selected by a predator for being robbed that is all he or she will want and will quickly disappear once they have got what they want.

Then we have the other type of predator, the one who wants to sexually attack you, hurt you, kidnap you and maybe kill you to avoid any chance of you being a witness to their crimes against you.

New York 2018

· Be Aware never relax when in unknown territory.
· Constant awareness of your environment is your best defence. Always be alert, whether you are in your car, on the street, or accommodation.
· Have a plan of action.
· Play a mental “what if” game. Where would you go and what would you do should a dangerous situation occur?
· Trust your instincts.
· Research shows that most assault victims had a feeling something was wrong just before they were attacked.
· Take notice be aware if you are suddenly getting beautiful people paying unwanted attention to you.
· Keep your senses free. Do not wear radio headphones, large hats, or other devices that make it difficult for you to sense an attacker. Be always alert.
· If you can afford a tracker GPS phone get one. (Keep extra batteries and charger units if you are planning any type of trip to the outback).
· Try and blend in, human predators are no different to predators in the animal kingdom, they will target group outsiders, people who look lost and are not in their normal environments.
· Always have a plan an exit route out of your accommodation in an emergency, and when planning a walk-through unknown territory, urban or bush always look at places you can get help before you leave.
· Full First Aid kit and plenty of water especially when traveling in unpopulated areas.
· Always carry duct tape wherever you go, it has so many uses if you get a bad open cut or wound its strong enough to close it up until you get proper medical attention. It can also be used as leg-splint, arm sling, repairing a cracked water bottle, butterfly bandage, temporary patch a hole in a canoe, hand cuff someone should the need arise, mend shoes and clothing, repair tents, you can even make a drinking cup from it, emergency repairs on a vehicle such as pipes and hoses, splint a broken tent pole and probably many other uses.

I am sure you have heard the saying stick to the road stay off the moors (American werewolf in London) Sounds a safe way to travel, my own opinion is do not do what everyone else does. If pack packers are abducted, chances are they were traveling along the side of a road. Predators do not go off the beaten track or wait in the woods on the off chance a hapless victim might come strolling by. Predators are always on the lookout for potential victims where potential victims are meant to be. If you are a traveling backpacker and on your own, you are bait for an opportunist predator.

Would you find a fisherman trying to catch a fish by a lake or sitting in the woods near a lake? I would personally say there is a good argument for not traveling by a roadside, you are too easy to spot and extremely easy to grab and be pulled into a car and abducted.

My advice would be travel just off the beaten track, I am talking maybe 25-50 feet away on an adjacent path or track if possible.

Where is the safest place to sit in a restaurant/café?

The main things to consider when taking a seat in a restaurant or café is the type of crime that could be committed while you are peacefully having a meal or coffee. The most probable crimes to be committed is robbery or terrorism.

Sit at a table where you can see the entrance, but not next to or close to the entrance, if possible do not corner yourself or your family, choose a seat where you can see the door but have an escape route through the back or at least access to a fire exit to the left or right so try not to box yourself in on a bench seat in corner.

Also keep far away from the area that takes the money and payments, if someone is going to rob the place this will be the focus point of any frustration and anger.

If it’s not possible to sit with your back to the wall from the back of the room, position yourself left or right of the door but not close enough to attract attention and make it by a window because that way if a gun totting manic comes in you have a chance of smashing through the window to make your escape.

When you are in a theatre try and sit and the end of the isles on the outside edges, preferably near an emergency exit sign.

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