When traveling in the 3rd world one of your only weapon options may be an edged weapon – hopefully it will work out better for you than it did for this guy
Disclaimer: The following article is for academic and entertainment uses only – do not follow the information below.
Over the past 10 years I have spent about 90% of my time outside of the U.S. ether for work, traveling to a gig or just exploring. Most of the countries I visit or pass through are relatively safe outside of random crime or getting hit by a taxi.
But many times I am traveling in countries that have a small minority who dislikes westerners – dislikes as in: “hates my guts and would love to kidnap and kill me over the internet” dislike. In most of these countries I am passing through on my way to a gig so I am only carrying what is allowed in a carry-on bag so flying with any type of “weapon” is not even an option.
Even when I am staying somewhere long enough where I can grab my checked luggage I don’t like to pack knives, impact weapons or anything resembling military or police equipment because it can draw unwanted attention when going through customs (I once spent 2 hours in Kuwait arguing with customs over a Ka-Bar in my checked luggage).
Not to mention I don’t want an expensive knife or flashlight “borrowed” from my bag (ask anyone who has flown through Amman about missing knives, lights and GPS’s).
So my only other option is to locally source “defensive tools” from whatever semi-legitimate store, souk or even the grocery store.
Stand still dude, you got a bee on your shoulder
So, you have found yourself out and about far from home and the legality of you carrying your trusty side arm of choice or your favorite pocket folder is not an option. Quite possibly, obtaining a weapon off of the local black market is in fact just a great a threat to your long term health as the predators that you carry your weapon of choice for.
If you are not a federal agent, Secret squirrel, or other person who can obtain diplomatic immunity and travel armed, there are certain options at your disposal if arming yourself legally is an extreme difficulty. As many of you know, your presence in parts of the world is not necessarily appreciated as you pass through or conduct business.
There are certain elements who in fact may welcome you as a potential victim for their criminal enterprise, or you may be a target of opportunity for the latest terrorist propaganda video. With all of the legal hurdles in your way, that does not mean that you go silently into the night unprepared.
We have discussed the mindset of traveling grey so not to draw attention to yourself. We also have discussed in a previous article that a combat mindset is essential to self preservation. This article is to point out certain everyday items that can be used as a weapon, but do not raise any concerns from the folks that are around you.
This article is designed to get you to think outside the box. Best of All, these items are legal, globally!
Be smart with the information your NGO publicly displays
OPSEC = Operations security
Every time I see some well meaning yet idiotic humanitarian aid guy flashing the peace sign in a picture with a caption like “This is me and my local fixer Jang Wang getting ready to cross into North Korea on our mission to bring bibles and polio shots to poor people” on Facebook all I can do is shake my head.
What these people don’t realize is any half descent photo intelligence guy can not only pinpoint there exact location based on the vegetation and topography in the background – he has put himself and anyone working or traveling with him on a shit-list. Or even worse, they may have endangered the very people they are supposed to be helping.
I understand that most people who work with or run smaller NGO’s don’t have any counterintelligence training so I have written up this quick primer on OPSEC for NGO’s.
While living or traveling in the 3rd world If you look out your window and see this you better grab your Expat E&E Bag and get the hell out of dodge
This is a supplemental article for: URBAN SURVIVAL: Do You Really Need a Bug Out Bag? Part – 2; Yes Some People do Need a BOB, But Not Everyone (if you have not read it please do before you read this article).
NOTE: I have changed the title of this article to “The Expat E&E Bag” because I feel that that better represents what it is used for. E&E = Escape and Evasion
For those of us who travel, live or work in the 3rd world having an Expat E&E Bag is a necessity. In the 3rd world things like nationwide civil unrest, famine inducing food shortages and civil war are regular occurrences.
I personally spend a good amount of my off-time living in a country that has had a dozen natural disasters, a major regime change, nationwide famine, several small civil wars and weekly occurrences of civil unrest – all this just in the past 10 years.
And when I am working it is always in some tin-pot 3rd world country on the verge of civil or all out regional war. The few 3rd world countries where I don’t need an AK-47 just to take a dump are still ass-backwards shit-holes.
They may not have IED’s going off every 10 minutes but if I accidentally bump into a lady at the local gaudy shopping mall I could end up in jail getting man-raped by my cellmate Ali Abdul. Even in paradises like Thailand where I used to go fishing on R&R they seem to be on the verge of a coup every other week.
If you need a visual example of how most of the 3rd world is, just watch the movie “Soylent Green” – that’s pretty much the way it is in all large 3rd world cities.
Considering the unique circumstances of having to bug out in the 3rd world the standard “Swedish fire-tool and ammo” list isn’t appropriate. So below I have listed out the items and miscellaneous stuff that any Expat should have in their Expat E&E Bag.
The Disaster in Haiti – If You Lived There When This Happened Would You have Had a BOB Ready to go?
If you have not read URBAN SURVIVAL: Do You Really Need a Bug Out Bag? Part – 1 please read that article first. In this series of articles (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4) I will go over several different scenarios (natural and man made) and determine the need for a BOB. I will also list (well, suggest) things that you should include in your BOB in separate articles.
In Part 1 of ‘Do You Really Need a Bug Out Bag?’ I challenged the widely held belief that you need a BOB (bug out bag). After going over the most common reasons; hurricanes and tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, civil unrest, pandemic, terrorism, nuclear attack and even zombie attack – I could not find one instance in the western world where you would run out your front door full blast only grabbing a bag.
All right, that was easy – so you don’t need a BOB right? You can go out and spend you BOB budget on beer and ammo instead of Swedish fire-starters and space blankets?
Not exactly, there are several situations that you may find yourself in where it is not only suggested that you have a BOB, it would be foolish not to have one. Location and occupation are the main determining factors deciding the need for a BOB.
So, who needs a BOB?