Health Hygiene and Infectious Disease

I am going to start this by say that I am not a doctor, I have had a lot of medical training over the years from different jobs and courses. Most health and hygiene is common sense (washing your hands) but I know most of society seems to be lacking common sense these days which is why I have to write this article. The key concepts are washing your hands, don’t touch your face, use hand sanitizer (if you cant wash your hands) and if you are going to a region that has insect borne illnesses its important to take precautions.


Hand Sanitizers and Washing Your Hands

This is something you should all be doing anyway but since the soap shortage at the beginning of the Corona virus outbreak I am now more skeptical on how many people are actually doing this. There is rinsing your hands and there is washing your hands, HERE is a link how how to do the ladder. Hand sanitizer is a good alternative only if you cant wash your hands. There have been studies that show that hand sanitizer can actually attract some bacteria after it dries and that it is less effective than washing your hands. Not to mention the high amounts of chemical exposure your subjecting your self to if you have to use it regularly. So if you have clean water available and can wash your hands don’t go crazy with the hand sanitizer and just wash your hands.


Don’t Touch Your Face

You’ve been told this since you started getting acne as a kid and never paid any attention after it started to clear up. Then the recent outbreak happened and you started hearing it again. Then once you started paying attention you started to realize how often you actually do touch your face. Unless your skin is broken by a wound or some other opening it actually functions as a great barrier for most bacteria and toxins. Bacteria needs an entrance into your body to actually infect you. This is why you wash your hands before your eat or routinely clean wounds with disinfectant. Touching your face transfers the bacteria and possibly SOME, (I emphasize that word specifically) viruses from surfaces you have touched onto your face where they have greater access to pathways into the human body. These areas like your eyes, nose and mouth are where the bacteria and viruses can actually enter and start to do damage. Most viruses cannot survive on surfaces for very long, that’s why when working an ambulance we were not overly concerned about viruses unless they were air born. The notable exception being Hep C which can live out side the human body on any surface for approximately 6 weeks give or take.



When you’re traveling to and from your destination, whether in the airport or bus stations or just out on the town, avoid cramped and crowded areas whenever possible to lower the chances of getting sick while traveling. This is the basis for the social distancing that we have seen since the corona virus outbreak started. Crowed areas are also targeted by a wide range of criminals and terrorist so its wise to avoid them when you can anyway. The distance keeps any particulates that are coughed into the air from reaching you in a way where they can be inhaled. This is especially effective in large areas or out doors because the particulates are diluted by the larger quantity of air moving around. This wont be as effective indoors especially if a virus is truly airborne.



Masks are a huge topic right now, Should we wear them? Do they really work on viruses? There is some data to support it and some data that doesn’t. A great video that just puts out all the facts with no political bias one way or the other can be found HERE. Its a long video but it is very thorough. Now if masks are mandated by the local government or your employer you have to decide for your self based on your situations. Now here is the rub, Nothing taken to the extreme will ever be good for you. Whether its Drinking Eating sweets, smoking, wearing a mask, using hand sanitizers or neurotically washing your hands. If we try to live in a sterile environment and never come into contact with bacteria and viruses our immune systems break down and become less effective or in some cases completely ineffective. Like a muscle that’s not getting exercised eventually it will atrophy and when you need to use it you wont be able to. We are all adults and can make out own decisions. If you want to wear one wear one if you don’t then don’t. But don’t get in fights with, insult, or assault people who don’t agree with you and be ready to face any consequences that there may be for your choice.



Bugs can spread a number of diseases around the world. Malaria, Zika, West Nile are a few from recent history. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medications but you can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites. The obvious option is bug spray but there is some things that you should know about bug sprays to make sure that you are using the correct kind for your situation. Also this is only one option and I always recommend a multi layer approach when it comes to security whether its from burglars or bugs.

Starting with bug spray make sure that the main ingredient is deet. Some sprays made only for mosquitoes may use other ingredients. Deet however works on both mosquitoes and ticks. Also make sure that the concentrations is at least 20%. You can even find 100% deet sprays. The higher the concentrations the stronger it is and the longer it lasts. There may be some health concern with higher concentrations of deet which is why its harder to find these days but you can still find it and like everything else moderation is key. As long as your relatively healthy, not drinking it and not using it everyday for the rest of your life your body should be able to detox it out with our issues when your back home.

Mosquito nets are another popular option, they are a super fine mesh that lets air in and keeps bugs out. Made to go around your head or around your whole bed. I personally don’t like the ones that go around your head but I will use them with tents or ones that go around your bed. That’s just me.

Covering as much skin as you can is probably the easiest preventative measure. This is not 100 percent as some mosquitoes and other bugs can bite through clothing, just ask an Alaskan about their mosquitoes. But paired with Bug spray this can help a lot. They also make anti bug clothing that is worn as a base layer specifically to stop biting insects. I don’t have a lot of experience with them but I will be testing some in the near future and Ill keep you updated.

We will be covering what to do with with bug bites in a future series on first aide so I wont cover it here. But Ill just say this don’t scratch them!

In Closing

Do wash your hands and don’t touch your face and avoid crowded areas especially when you’re traveling in a region that has illnesses that your immune system is not used to fighting off. If your destination has the risk of bug borne illnesses be sure to bring bug spray and take precautions to avoid bites.

Using the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar for Travel Safety



     I love the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar, there are plenty of reviews out there that deep dive into the watch and its specs and features so I am going to focus on the watch from its travel and safety aspects and benefits.


     The obvious benefit is having a GPS attached to you in case of emergency. The GPS doesn’t require cell service from your phone should you become separated from it. The battery life is great for a smart watch and I get about 20 days on a charge on average.


     The big aspect for safety is a feature called Assistance. Assistance is going to be one of the few “safety apps” that I will recommend but only for a specific situation. Assistance works by having a hotkey set on the watch that when you press and hold it, will notify your emergency contact(s) that you designate in the Garmin app via SMS text that you are in trouble. When they are notified it will send them your GPS location as soon as your watch acquires the satellite connection.


     This will not help you in the moment and does not substitute the need for getting training in self defense, but should for instance you get taken it will give your contact the information needed for the authorities in the area that you are traveling in start the search. It will also allow them to track you as long as you can keep the watch on you.


     As you can probably tell this is going to require that you turn on the GPS access to your watch so that others can see it. This is called LiveTrack  in the Garmin platform. Now provided you set up your phone securely which will be covered in depth at a later date, you can set this up in a relatively private manner

that I will cover at the end to mitigate and data collection that Garmin may

do, though to this point from dealings with them and their policies I have seen no evidence of data collection done in a way that releases personal information. That being said I still make it a point to anonymize my data my self as much as possible.


     For this to work it does require that your phone have cell service as it needs to connect to the app to notify it to send the text message. The text message is sent from a third party number (not your own) This means that you should talk to your emergency contact ahead of time which you should be doing anyway.


     Setting it up requires that you opt in to the LiveTrack. This allows Garmin to send your GPS location to your emergency contact.



You will then need input a name and city/location inside the

assistance settings in the Garmin app. As you can see from my pictures, That can be an initial and just about anything for location.

The name is used in the text message to Identify you in the message to your contact and I have not been able to pinpoint what the location input is used for.



     You will then enter your emergency contacts, which can be a maximum of three who will all receive the emergency text should you press the button. As you can see you can also put as little as an initial to keep your Contacts privacy as protected as possible as well.


     The picture below is an example of what the text message will look like. In this case my watch didn’t have GPS on at the time but is activated when you press the button so when the GPS is acquired it will then send follow up text with your location information. You can see the text justs says “may need help” because of this you should talk to your contacts ahead of time and decide what it means if they get the message ad what they should do.



     You can opt out of LiveTrack at any time and it will shut off the assistance functionality.

My set up


     I always err on the side of privacy when I set up anything so I personally keep the LiveTrack functionality turned off 90 percent of time in my day to day life.

     I will turn on the LiveTrack and set up the assistance each time I am headed on a trip to an area that concerns me enough that I feel the functionality is warranted. I have ahead of time let my emergency contact(s) know that I am setting them up in the app.

     We then cover what it means if they get the message and what they should do. In my case I let them know that If I am going to activate the watch its most likely that I see something coming or that an incident has already happened. This is because if I don’t have time to activate the watch before something goes down I’m not going to waste time trying to activate it. I tell them they should wait 5 minutes and if I havn’t shut it off or contacted them directly to notify the authorities in the area I’m in or a specific number if I want them to contact someone specific.

     Then once I am back from the trip or feel it is no longer needed I will shut off the LiveTrack access to keep any unnecessary access to my GPS location to a minimum.



     Through out my testing I ran into no bugs or miss hap with activating the assistance, the only bug I encountered early on was One time I activated it I couldn’t get it to shut off and had to re set the watch and app. Not going to be a big deal if your wanting the assistance activated.


General Review



     If you are looking for a good review of the Garmin Fenix 6 Solar to look into its other features suck as activity tracking, Compass, and its other outdoor feature I personally used this review from DC Rainmaker to make my decision.

How To Survive a Riot


Riots and civil unrest is nothing new, despite the illusion of peace and order that you find in most developed countries the world is a chaotic place and we are only a few missed meals away from eating each other.


That is to say society as a whole is only one tragic or catastrophic event away from loosing its damn mind. Take the beginning of the corona virus…I am not going to say pandemic because it doesn’t fit the definition so we will go with outbreak. People were getting in to fist fights and pulling guns on each other in stores over packs of toilet paper….. so much so that cities actually had to assign police officers to guard pallets of the stuff inside stores.


When the atmosphere is that charged it only take one more nudge to push it into full on riots and un-rest. One second you can be at a peace-full protest or other large gathering and the next something happens and violence erupts as to many people these days know. So how do you survive a riot?


The best option is not to be there in the first place. Those who have been in those situations know you can almost feel it in the air when it’s coming, Trust that gut feeling and if you feel it in the air get out now.


If your in a large crowd stick to the edges when ever possible, if the crowd starts getting violent start heading for a safe area. If you not already towards the edge of the crowd get there. Then head for a safe area. Safe areas include high ground and inside buildings but this only temporary. Safe areas are to buy you time to make a plan to get out of the area. On your way to a safe area avoid areas with increased violence or danger. This may include areas of the crowd clashing with Law enforcement or a rival crowd , getting stuck between the crowd and barriers or buildings that you cannot get into.


Look for any open direction that can get you away from the main crowd. Preferably in a direction perpendicular or in the opposite direction the crowd is heading. This will get as much space between you and them as possible.


If your stuck in the crowed or cant get away from it stay upright at all costs and avoid getting pushed or falling to the ground. If you do, assume a position that protects your vital organs especially your skull. The best option is to be kneeling, bent over covering your head. Never lay down! If you can get near a sturdy object that you can kneel near that can help keep you upright that might be good just make sure that you are not on a side that is going to get you squeezed or crushed between the object and the crowd.


As soon as you can get up safely do so and keep trying to get out of the area. Never quit and get off the X


Corona Virus (COVID-19)

I am sure by now everyone has heard the news or seen memes about the corona virus recently. I did some research and thought I would put up a summery here for you guys before some upcoming posts on sickness prevention while traveling and other health related posts.

While the corona virus is potentially a major threat to the world. It was relatively Isolated to one country. But recently it has jumped to other countries, most of those few cases had been traveling in china when becoming infected and returning to their homes. Only a select few cases were contracted from person to person out side of China. I hope that this will not lead to those in charge letting their guard down, but for the moment they seem to be keeping a good handle on it and the virus doesn’t seem to spreading very fast out side of China. There is the current notable exception of Italy which has an increasing spread in the northern parts of the country with 11 deaths on the last report that I had seen.

Some Background

Corona viruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely can animal corona viruses infect people and then spread person to person such as MERS and SARS and now with this version of the corona virus.

According to the CDC, the corona virus was the causes of a contagious respiratory infection that lead to the current outbreak in China that started in Wuhan City. As of Feb 26th 2019, Over 78,000 cases have been confirmed and reported from within China with a global total just over 81,000. The virus seems to be spreading from person to person contact mostly from people that have traveled to The Wuhan area at some point. Some person to person spread has occurred outside of China but at a much lower rate and those cases still involved someone who had been traveling to China.

Early on it seemed that many of the patients had a link to a large live animal market but more patients began to come forward that had no ties to the market meaning that the spread was occurring from person to person contact more so then from the animals in the live market. Little is know about the severity of the virus as it seems to hitting everyone differently ranging from mild symptoms in some to death in others with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Inside the United States

Cases have be confirmed inside the United states with person to person transfer but they were recent travelers to China or had direct contact with someone who did. They have returned many United States citizens from countries with outbreaks including the stranded Diamond Princess cruise ship and they remain under quarantine According to the CDC there does not appear to be any spread of the virus in the wild at this time within the United states but that is now only a matter of when not if it starts to spread here.

The United States Government has stopped entry of foreign nationals who have visited china in the last 14 days as well as monitoring returning US citizens and residents who have traveled to China but that are allowed to return to the country.

The Risk

The CDC reports that the risk that the corona virus poses globally and in the United States is High. Specifically because the virus has caused illnesses that in some cases result in death as well as the continued person to person spread within China. The Risk is highest for healthcare providers as they will be some of the first to come in contact with any new infected patients.

Countries with Confirmed Cases

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Taiwan
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Thailand
  • The Republic of Korea
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam
  • Algeria
  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Switzerland
  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Iraq
  • Oman

The CDC has travel advisories in place for 5 countries as of 2/26/20 more info can be found here

Alert Level 3 – Avoid all non essential travel
South Korea
Alert level 2 – Practice Enhanced Precautions

States with Confirmed Cases

  • Arizona (one case)
  • California (eight)
  • Illinois (two)
  • Massachusetts (one)
  • Washington (one)
  • Wisconsin (one)
    (Additional Patients and confirmed cases have been brought back to the US and are not included in those counts)

Information Resources

WHO Situation Reports

CDC Corona Virus Summery

Sweeping a room for Cameras


Some of you may have seen the headlines about Airbnbs many safety concerns, among them is a hiden camera problem. However this is not a problem that is exclusive to Airbnb, this is a world wide problem that happens in major hotel chains as well.


The people that are installing these hidden cameras do so for a variety of reason. Some for…….. personal……. enjoyment we will say, others for blackmail purposes and for an example, one that is mostly overseas, there is reportedly a dark-web site that you can log on to and pick a hidden camera, like a tv channel, and stream live hidden video from all over the world.


Booking your accommodations anonymously is the best route to take because even if you are recorded then they cant really black mail you cause they don’t know who you truly are. We will cover this topic in depth at a later date as it could take multiple articles and still not cover all the possibilities.


For today we are going to stick with how to sweep your hotel room/ Airbnb as this can and should be done whether you renting anonymously or not.


You should start before you even book the reservation. Do your research into the property or hotel. Read reviews and search the address on search engines. 5 basic issues to check for can be found here.


You can also check sites like trip advisor however there has been some controversy surrounding Trip Advisor and Airbnb as of late. They have been accused of deleting negative reviews of properties even when they bring up possible safety concerns. So trust your gut and if something doesn’t feel right find a different place to stay.


If you read that article from the Atlantic linked above you will see that Airbnb allows hosts to place cameras in their listings as long as they are following some rules.


Airbnb’s rules allow cameras outdoors and in living rooms and common areas, but never in bathrooms or anywhere guests plan to sleep, including rooms with foldout beds. Starting in early 2018, Airbnb added another layer of disclosure: If hosts indicate they have cameras anywhere on their property, guests receive a pop-up informing them where the cameras are located and where they are aimed. To book the property, the guests must click agree,indicating that theyre aware of the cameras and consent to being filmed.


So during your booking process you should have been made aware if there are cameras in the house in the common areas…..if the host decided to enlighten Airbnb to their presence. I personally would not be staying anywhere that posted that they had cameras on the property but that is just me, you will have to make your own decision on that.


Now lets say you’ve booked your stay, you made the trip, you’ve checked in and your walking up to the door. Hotel doors all look pretty much the same with key card or keyed locks. Many Airbnbs, like many home owners, have started installing camera/intercom door bells. There are some privacy issues with these door bells, not from the Airbnb host who is only going to be able to watch you as you come and go, but from the company producing the product. Nothing criminal or unethical on the homeowners part just something to be aware of.


Now your inside the Airbnb or your hotel room. Which ever one your in will dictate how long this process will take, but either way the process is the same. Pick a starting point. I like to start from the door and just work my way in. Others do the opposite and like to start in the bathroom and work their way out. From there its entirely up to you. Just pick a way that you are not going to skip or forget to check somewhere.


Now start by checking any objects that are out in the open. This can include clocks, pictures, tissue boxes/ decorative covers, are hanging on the wall etc. Look them over, check behind/underneath them, check for memory card slots, extra wires, visible camera lenses, antennas that don’t make sense and anything that just doesn’t feel right.


Next check anything plugged into outlets. Cameras are often disguised as air fresheners, plug in smoke or CO detectors, chargers, basically anything the average person might not think twice about. Look them over for the same things you checked for with things that were out in the open. Now check things attached to the walls and the outlets themselves.


Now Im not saying start taking things off the wall and messing with wiring! Just like looking for a card skimmer at a public ATM give them a wiggle plug in a charger or something to make sure the outlet actually has power. Same goes for cable outlets in the walls smoke detectors, wifi routers etc.


The cameras that the average person might come in contact with will likely be found by this method. The people putting these cameras in place are not professionals and they are counting on the general obliviousness that the general public walks around with these days to hide the cameras for them. So if you haven’t found anything suspicious or obvious cameras, you are probably good to go and enjoy your stay.


You can also buy a scanner and scan for wireless frequencies, though one that will actually do the job will run you a minimum of $200 and a good one closer to $300-500. I have no personal experience with theses devices but have heard mixed reviews from sources that I trust.


Scanners in this price range will not find high end cameras that would be implemented by your typical government agencies or used in corporate espionage. Equipment to detect those devices would run in the thousands and with a few exceptions not the most likely threat you will face as an average citizen.


If this is your concern your department, agency, or company likely has an in house team or someone that they work with to sweep for bugs and cameras.



Now lets say that you swept your room/Airbnb and found one or more cameras. When you checked in there was no warning about the cameras and they are/or they are not within Airbnb’s policy. Or your in a hotel room where there should be no cameras anyway.


Step one is to make sure you are safe, if you do not think that you are safe collect your belongings and get some where that is safe. Do not hand over the cameras or memory card to anyone from the hotel or

Airbnb because you then loose any and all evidence that it occurred.


At this point if you are stateside contact law enforcement and file a report as they are the only person I would turn over the cameras to.


If you are abroad contact your consulate and do what they recommend. In most countries that will involve calling the local law enforcement.


For Airbnb contact them as soon as you can and they may help you find new accommodations. (disclaimer I have yet to find a contact phone number on their site so you will have to contact them through their online form/process and it may take them some time to get back to you. Mentioning you are in contact with law enforcement may speed up that process).


For hotels contact the front desk and demand to talk to the manager.


The likelihood that you will be in a room that has hidden cameras in it generally is quite low. However this is still a threat that you should take quite seriously, just because the chance is low doesn’t mean it cant happen to you.


Think about it, how many people that have been struck by lighting thought it would happen to them? Probably not that many. Now the more you travel, the higher that chance becomes simply because you staying in more places. The more times you roll the dice at some point your gonna get snake eyes.



Introduction to privacy topics

This is my main…passion… I guess you could say. We live in a time where our privacy, especially online is disappearing at an increasing rate. Most people don’t think about it because they see the flashy new tech products or the new hot app and don’t think about how they are taking away their privacy or how the loss of that privacy can affect them.

One argument you will get is “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about”… I’ll be covering how stupid this argument is, along with other arguments in future posts so stay tuned.

You’ll see posts on….

The risks loss of privacy present to the average person, as well as the not so average person

Social media security

Keeping your information as private as possible

Apps/cell phone usage

Specific apps to use

Segmenting your information

Privacy in person not just online

Daily life vs traveling (Hintnot that many differences)

The occasional alert for new risks to your privacy and security

Introduction to travel safety precautions

These are going to be the posts on the tactics. The bread and butter of how you should act and what to do, when to do it and what to look out for while traveling. Much of what I present will apply to everyday life. In order for these things to become habit you have to practice them and there is no better place to practice then at home!

Look for posts on…

  • Hotel security, selection and while staying there

  • Everyday applications

  • Traveling domestic vs abroad

  • Airport safety

  • Transportation safety

  • Situational awareness

  • Escape and evasion

  • Surveillance detection

  • Scenario posts

  • Tech security

  • and more

Introduction to travel preparation

          These posts will be the pre-gaming and equipment posts. Things you should know and do before leaving home such as things you should research about your destination and things you can do to make your life easier such as packing techniques.  You will also find travel related equipment/items and website reviews to help you pick and use the best information and items for your trips. 

Look for posts on:

Travel kits

Medical/survival etc.Everyday carry Items

General travel safety knowledge and tips

Location and trip research

Packing lite

Travel caching

and more

Introduction to the health and fitness side of travel safety.

 I am going to start out by saying that I am not certified in any discipline, medical, fitness or nutritional. Before starting any fitness routine or add supplements to your diet please seek the advice of your physician.


  • I WILL NOT be recommending any specific supplements for certain situations or in general.
  • I WILL recommend Companies I trust just like I would to any one I know.
  • I MIGHT recommend general training programs but they would be for certain situations and again won’t work for everyone.



These posts will mostly be what I use and why I use it but both supplements and work out programs fall into the category of “Anything is better than nothing”. The best work out program or supplements won’t do anything if you don’t do it or take them. The best programs are the ones that you are going to actually do while taking into consideration your goals. Someone who’s goal is body building is not going to do the same workouts as someone who is training for marathons.


Watch for Posts on….


  • Getting fit

  • Staying in shape while traveling and at home

  • Supplements I take and why

  • Workout regiments/programs that I do or follow and why

  • Applications to real life, your safety and security

  • and much more


Hello all,

My name is David,

I started this site because the while the world has many beautiful places, beauty and Danger often go hand in hand. The world has many dangers both natural and man made and to think other wise is setting your self up for disaster. Often times the most desirable destinations have the most dangers. Now while dangers cannot and will never be completely eliminated, you can mitigate them to a certain degree. My plan is to use this site to teach you the skills and techniques to accomplish that mitigation where ever possible as well as connect you with other sites and resources to further that goal. This way you can travel to these beautiful places and stay fit, healthy, and as safe as possible while doing so.

I have acquired this knowledge over many years of traveling that stated as a young kid, as well time spent over an ever changing career that started out with EMT school and a volunteer fire department and has continued to change and evolve over the years.

The fire service, and specifically wild land fire, where I discovered my passion for fitness and nutrition and the key role it plays or should pay in everyones life. It is one of the Corner stones of being self reliant which plays a key role in mitigating risk. I also learned how important it is for the average person to be able to handle the basics of first aide especially when traveling.

In addition to posts on fitness and nutrition you’ll find posts on

  • Traveler Safety

  • General Travel Tips

  • Preparation

  • Privacy both at home and while traveling

  • Reviews on destinations, products, books and equipment.

  • As well as the occasional rant but I will try to keep that to a minimum.

I hope that you enjoy what you find here and that you learn something new in the process.

~ David