Hiding in plain sight is a useful defence strategy. Common in the natural world where chameleons look like twigs and fish lie on the sea bed, it is also useful when you find yourself in societal collapse.
Experience of various hostile environments in Africa has shown that mobs sometimes target specific ethnic groups. Government troops have been known to intern foreign nationals at will; and expats have become victims of home invasions, abductions and assaults.
Observe the local street scenes and determine a baseline of activities at a certain time of day. Dress as a local but favour neutral or dark colours in the local style. Do not wear camouflage or carry a military daysack unless absolutely necessary.
Always carry a 24 hour grab bag. The contents must sustain you for a day and provide the basics on which to build a larger kit. As such, the bag should include items for your protection, communications, navigation and some supplies.
6 items in your grab bag
- Depending on the local circumstances, arm yourself with lethal and less- than- lethal weapons.
- Create a means of knowing where you are, where you want to go to and how. A map, compass and small GPS will help.
- Keep an emergency stash of nuts and raisins.Other foodstuffs include powerbars, GU, raw chocolate and whiskey.
- Develop your communications protocols using paper and pen ( Sharpie), whistles, mirrors, flares, hand-held PTT radios and satellite phones. This provides you with various options when the cellular networks are taken down by the government.
- Carry a means of illumination. A torch can be used for signalling, lighting up an area and as a distraction weapon. Always carry spare batteries.
- Carry a lightweight and waterproof jacket. Often, hot days are followed by cold nights during certain seasons in Africa. Keep a pair of gloves and shemagh in your pack to protect your hands and face, especially in a riot.
Attend our Escape and Evasion course to learn more about what to carry every day, different types of weapons and covert movement by day or night.
H.E.A.T. tip: As tear gas is actually comprised of synthetic halogen compounds that are solid at room temperature, simply rinse your eyes and clothes with cold water. Do not use hot water. This will open up your pores and cause more irritation.