Security is of paramount importance when you are traveling. For most backpackers and adventurers, everything you need to survive is contained in a small bag. Parting with it could strand you in a foreign country, with no money or resources. Staying secure should combine the right equipment with the right behavior.
A bag protector, like the Pacsafe Camera Bag Protector, is about as close as you can come to creating a force field around your bag. Bag protectors look like chain link fences, but are supple and wrap around the outside of your bag. They protect your things from thieves who may get past normal locks by simply slicing open your bag’s fabric. After all, it’s the Ipads, passports and wallets they want, not your sweet bag.
Secure Travel Pouch
Secure travel pouches come in several different styles, but serve the same purpose: to keep your most valuable items, i.e. passports, credit cards, tickets, in the safest place possible. The place is under your clothing, close to your body. There are pouches that are worn around the neck and those worn around the waist. One is not necessarily more secure than the other, but you may find one is more comfortable.
On trains and buses, keep your bag within eyesight at all times. If you plan on taking a nap, put your bag in your lap, with any openings or zippers facing your body. In hostels, where multiple people may sleep in the same room, ask about secure lockers. If none are available, lock your bag to the frame of the bed. If all else fails, wear your secure travel pouch to sleep, or place your most valuable items under your sheet or in your pillow case.
Simple baggage locks can go a long way to deter prying hands. You should only use TSA approved locks when securing your baggage. Security officials can open TSA locks if they need to check your bags, locking them back up when finished. If you do not use TSA locks, security officials have the right to break your lock, rendering it useless and your bag unsecured.
While you are walking between destinations, pay attention to the people around you. If you feel you are in a particularly unsafe area, wear your bag backward so that it is in front of your body, and cross your arms in front of it. You should also consider holding onto the shoulder support straps. A common tactic for thieves is to simply cut the straps, causing the bag to fall off your body and into the hands of strangers. Not a problem if you have one of several Pacsafe bags that feature slash proof shoulder straps, like the VentureSafe 32L.