IN BRIEF: Grab bags

It is advisable to carry a grab bag with you at all times when in hostile or challenging places. 

Backpacks are best as they are easy to carry on your front or back.

INSI advises to keep it basic. Here are some suggestions. Your bag’s contents can have several variations.  Your location and the security situation should dictate the equipment you have packed.

• Passes and other permits

• Passport and documents

• Local and foreign currency, credit cards

• Water and snacks

• Prescription and essential drugs

• Emergency contact numbers – hard copy

• Hat, sweater, jumper/jacket or sunhat and sunscreen, dependent on heat or cold

• Mobile phones and chargers with spare batteries or power source

• First aid kit

• Torch with spare battery

• Wet wipes/toilet paper

• Compass/Map

• Tracker

Contact INSI for more information.


Note: The views here are those of the author and are personal reflections and safety advice. They are meant to assist journalists using grab bags and are not meant to be negative in nature. INSI holds no responsibility for any ensuing problems as a result of this advice.

Photo: In this Feb. 19, 2013 photo, a Myanmar policeman, right, armed with cameras and video equipment, monitors an AP photographer in an opium-poppy field in Shan state for a story on the country's thriving drug trade. Two years after Myanmar's new government promised its people a more open way of life, one relic of the old Myanmar remains - a vast internal intelligence apparatus that spies on journalists, activists and anybody else deemed a potential threat to state security. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Gecker)

Photo: A grab bag and contents (INSI)