Hey guys here we are with our second installation of the border crossing series and in this article were going to cover how to move around without arousing suspicion.
Most people plan their vacations with all the hotels booked in advance and all the tourist places they will visit and stick to a well rounded plan. They usually don’t wander out too much and stick to the hotel restaurants which is a great plan actually.
But lets say you have decided to just go off and kind of do your own thing so to speak and throw all caution to the wind. Let start with the basics, modes of transportation, and how to find a good taxi driver. You want to find one that doesn’t charge you more than what your route should cost. In most third world countries you’ll have taxi stands, ask a couple of different ones how much to drive you around the city. This will do a couple of thing’s, you’ll first be able to scout out the city and find out the different routes and you’ll get time to feel this guy out. Second you ask this guy about a phone and where has the best prices to pick up a cheap phone. Most places have super cheap phones and pay as you go credit so you can pick up a 30-40 dollar phone and put 40 dollars credit on it and you’re set to go. So in a short amount of time you have secured yourself a route of the city with landmarks you can pick out, a phone for communication and a taxi guys number for transportation. Find out when this guy runs, most of these guys will run in the nights as well as the day. These taxi guys are a wealth of knowledge, you can find out all of the hangout spots, clubs where to go and where not to go.
Another thing that is over looked is clothing, when headed to any foreign area you should consider what to wear and how to not make yourself look like a tourist. Some great clothes are the pants that convert into shorts, Columbia, Mountain Gear and Outdoor Research make great stuff. Plain shirts are good and I would recommend Under Armour, just keep it simple. There is no need to pack your whole closet, bring a couple of thing’s and buy some local stuff that way you blend in. Buying clothes while in country also allows you to only bring a carry on, thus preventing loss of your baggage or theft of property.
Now lets talk gear, it’s not necessary to pack a whole bug out system to take with you. Get a good E&E kit that has all the items in a small container, Rob here at Sigma 3 has an excellent video on concealing handcuff keys and E&E equipment. Get a good quality multi tool and knife and a small pouch to carry all this in with your passport and money. Everything else is going to be your own personal preferences and what you choose to carry with you.
- Get a mode of transportation
- Get some sort of communications set up
- Know your area, Keep an eye out for local land marks you can pick out for references points.
- Have at least one local person you can reach out to that has knowledge of the area and a way to extract you from a situation
- Blend in with the local attire, remember when in Rome do as the Romans
- Don’t go to the local downtown bars unless you’re looking for trouble, if you want to go out for a good time look for bigger clubs/bars that have larger crowds that you can blend into.
- Be careful wearing a lot of jewelry while walking the streets
- Don’t loose your passport!
- Make sure you do plenty of research on the place your going to visit beforehand. Know local customs, danger areas, and what to look out for.
Stay safe and Stay ready! Semper Paratus!