6 Treatments for travel sickness

All travel involves motion. Do something as soon as you feel queasy.

Whether you travel by car, plane, boat or train, you can experience motion sickness. This feeling of being unwell is caused by the relationship between movement, balance and your inner ear.

Typically, motion sickness is caused by the mixed messages received by your brain. If you cannot feel the motion that you can see, or cannot see the motion that your body is feeling, you will experience uneasiness, sweats and dizziness. Nausea and vomiting are also common reactions, as are headaches and a general fatigue. The cure is obvious but not always practicable: stop moving. But, there are also other remedies that might ensure that you have a pleasant journey whilst moving in the right direction.

6 treatments for travel sickness

  1. Minimise your exposure to motion. The middle seats in a plane, over the wings, are the most stable. In a ship, the lower level cabins near the centre are the best for preventing sea sickness.
  2. Gaze at a fixed point or look at the horizon.
  3. Move to a source of fresh air and keep busy. On a boat, sit on deck. On a plane, turn the air vents onto your face.
  4. Isolate yourself from others who might be talking about sea sickness or are sick.
  5. Take medication such as Dramamine or Antivert. However, these drugs sometimes cause drowsiness.
  6. Suck a ginger (zingiber) sweet or chew a piece of the root. 

Learn more about our effective emergency medicine solutions and how to protect yourself in a hostile environment. Join a course today.

H.E.A.T. tip: Rather than breathing fast and with shallow breaths, maintain a regular slow and deep breathing rythm.

How to eat in a hostile environment

According to the Rule of Three, you can survive 3 weeks without food. But, why starve when a little preparation can go a long way?

Eating food is a basic human need. Ideally, the food should be nutritious and filling but people’s tastes differ considerably. Whatever your food preferences, all food is a source of energy in the form of calories. In a hostile environment, you will require energy not only to survive but also to fuel your exertions by day and night.

Before travelling anywhere, consider some basic nutritional requirements. Wrap a small packet of biscuits, an energy bar and a bar of very dark chocolate in duct tape. Leave this at the bottom of your pack and know that you will always have a few hundred calories to sustain you.

Remember, too, that you should not eat until you have access to water. Hydration is a priority because you can only survive for three days without water (see the Rule of Three).

6 foods to help you survive any hostile environment.                                                                     

  1. Carry one or two Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) packs. These retort packs can be eaten cold. If you want the meal to be hot, immerse in boiling water for 6 minutes and use the boiled water to make a brew of tea or coffee.
  2. Freeze-dried meals are lightweight but require water to be rehydrated. There are many dishes available but their quality, taste and nutritional values differ from each supplier.
  3. Carry a small bottle (200ml) of cooking oil. You can prepare any food in a pot with some oil.
  4. Carry some salt, bouillon cubes and hot pepper sauce. These ingredients will heighten the flavour of any dish.
  5. Learn how to make chapattis from flour and water. This Indian bread is quick and easy.
  6. Always clean your cooking pot to prevent food poisoning from leftover food in the pot.

You can learn more about feeding yourself in a hostile environment by attending one of our courses.

H.E A.T. tip: If you forgot to carry a small tin opener, tins can be opened with a knife. Insert the blade into the lid and move the blade in a circular sawing motion around the rim of the tin.


6 Steps to Protect Yourself from Landmines.

Cluster munitions are air or ground based explosives that release smaller sub munitions. Are you at risk?

For the past decade, the United States has prohibited the use of cluster munitions because of their threat to civilian populations. This ban had been lifted.

For some victims, the ban was meaningless as several African countries have more mines than other countries currently experiencing conflict. In fact, 22 African countries experienced mine casualties in 2016 and agriculture has been severely hampered.

Angola has an estimated 10 million landmines strewn across its land and Zimbabwe has the highest number of mines than any other country. Islamic State ( IS) have used mines in Libya; Egypt has uncharted  minefields from World War 2; Angola has actioned  a major demining operation from Menongue to Cuito Cuanavale; and Nigeria still has uncovered mines from the Biafran war in the late 1960s. There are over 600 different types of landmines and travelling in Africa exposes you to risk.

6 steps to protect yourself from landmines.

  1. If you see a landmine on the ground, do not touch.
  2. If you suspect, or have been advised, that an area is mined, ask a local about identifying markers. Often, there will not be signs clearly visible but there will be markers. These markers can be small rock cairns, sticks or painted rocks.
  3. If you have driven into a minefield and one explodes under a vehicle, stop all movement.
  4. If you have walked into a minefield, retrace your steps or vehicle tracks as closely as possible.
  5. Think twice before helping a mine-blast victim. Rather, reassure them and call for help. Otherwise, you might become a victim, too.
  6. If you have access to body armour and a helmet, wear them in your vehicle. Sit on the body armour and let the helmet protect your head, because it could hit the roof in an explosion.

Attend one of courses and learn how to identify different mines, travel safely in convoy and treat blast victims.

H.E.A.T. tip: Mines can be exposed by the downwash of a helicopter during a medical evacuation or after heavy rains.












Get any information you want from anybody

When media stories about successful hacking attacks make headlines, the public perception is that the ability to hack is a mysterious and dark art. Often, the image is one of a young, socially inept but really clever computer nerd, typing complicated code on his keyboard.

Yet, the reality is much simpler. Hacking is defined as the unauthorised access to or control over a computer network security system for personal gain. The computer network security system can be a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, pc, a network or the cloud. It can also be poorly secured, easy to penetrate and open to abuse.

In much the same way that you can sometimes gain access to a locked room or building without knowing how to use lock picks ( door not locked, window left open, spare key etc.), so you can hack without learning Java, Python, LISP or any of the other hacking languages.

When a British teenager named Kane Gamble hacked the then CIA Director’s confidential information on his computer; and News of the World journalists accessed voicemail on mobile phones, the technique used is called elicitation. 

Elicitation is a process for getting information from someone by getting them to react in a particular way. It is also known as “social engineering”.

6 techniques to get the information you want                                                        

  1. Accept that most people believe that others are honest and polite. Although this social conditioning ensures civil society, you can use it to your advantage. People want to be helpful 
  2. Research the source of your information. If you want personal details about a subscriber to a mobile phone company, use the language of a phone company technician when calling the customer service helpdesk.
  3. Build rapport first. Ask questions later. Rapport can be built by starting a conversation, making a comment or paying a compliment.
  4. Express disbelief or ignorance to encourage a person to defend their position or show off their knowledge.
  5. Share information so that the person will reciprocate. Sometimes, lowering your voice or prefixing a comment with the phrase” I should not be telling you this”, encourages a reciprocal response.
  6. Ask a person to elaborate on what they have already said by using flattery or pretending to be ignorant.

Often, you need to get information from someone to help you survive in a hostile environment. Attend one of our courses and learn the art of social engineering.  

H.E.A.T. tip: When eliciting information, use the conversational hourglass. This will help you ask general questions first before focusing on more specific topics. Use the person’s responses to build a fuller picture of what you require. 


How to survive a shooting

How to survive a shooting        

The thinking behind your best response to an active shooter divides the survivalist world. Read on to discover what to do to remain safe.

There is an ongoing debate in various forums and amongst both security and survival professionals as to how to survive an active shooter. Certainly, the number of instances is growing and the majority of shootings are unexpected. Yet, some understanding of guns can save you before anything happens.

Typically, there are four types of weapons: a handgun, machine gun, assault rifle and shotguns. All these weapons will kill you but knowing their limitations could save your life.

Handguns are either semi- automatic pistols or double-action revolvers. You can see if a pistol will not fire (called a stoppage) if you can see the barrel sticking out from the barrel. Revolvers have a limited range (about 5 metre accuracy) and are difficult to shoot well.

Submachine guns have a longer range but tend to be used on fully automatic in close quarters.

Assault rifles have a range of 300 metres when used by an untrained shooter but they also experience stoppages.

Shotguns are used for hunting but have been adapted for urban attacks. They use different types of shotgun shells but most only hold a maximum of 5 rounds.

  How to survive a shooting

  1. Understand the types of guns available and the shooters effective range.
  2. Look for a bulge where a handgun might be carried. A bulge in the standard holster location is a good indicator as are bulges at the front of a jacket or at the ankle
  3. Larger weapons have to be concealed. Carrying an assault rifle in a beach umbrella (as by Seifeddine Rezgui on a Tunisian resort beach in June 2915) is cumbersome and using a sling under clothing can be fairly obvious.
  4. Most unskilled gunmen look and behave in a nervous way.
  5. Once the shooting starts, count the rounds if you can.
  6. Determine where the shooters entered the building and escape in the opposite direction.

Learn more about surviving a man-made or natural disaster by attending one of our courses.

H.E.A T. tip: If you are running along a wall towards an exit, stay 50 CMS from the wall to avoid ricochets.

How to tell if someone is lying

How to tell if someone is lying

Despite the prevailing use of polygraph testing in some national intelligence agencies, law enforcement departments and businesses, there is no evidence that the tests work.

A lie is a verbal statement that is supposed to be false. Whilst there are many reasons as to why people lie, all lying has the intention to mislead. As such, it is generally viewed as wrong. But, the theory behind polygraph testing is incorrect as there is no evidence to support the theory that there is a pattern of observable responses which are unique to deception.

You might scratch your nose when asked a question because you have hay fever. You might avoid your interrogator’s gaze because you lack social skills. However, many polygraphers do secure admissions because they ask good questions in the proper sequence. Or, the subject is convinced that the polygraph machine does work.

6 ways to identify a liar

  1. Research the subject and their employer to gather some background intelligence.
  2. When meeting the subject, put them at ease. Observe how they behave in a relaxed environment. 
  3. Ask some personal and non-commercial intrusive questions about themselves that they have no reason to lie about.
  4. Ask some questions about which you know the answers but the information is negative. See how they answer the questions and whether they are lying or being untruthful. You want to create a comparison between their answers when they are truthful and when they are not.
  5. During your questioning, look for clusters of possible indicators such as- avoiding the answer, head shaking, legs pointed away from the body or overreacting.
  6. An effective technique used by successful interrogators is to ask a sequence of SKY questions. This refers to: S (whom do you suspect?); K (whom do you know did it?) and Y (did you do it?). Give the subject an opportunity to elaborate about their answers.

To become a human lie detector and prevent being ripped off, attend one of our courses and know how to detect deception.

H.E.A.T. tip: As a professional interrogator, confirm with the subject that their version of events is totally accurate. Then, ask them to tell you the same story but backwards. If the subject is lying, you will notice inconsistencies and indicators of deception.


How to travel safely aboard an aircraft

Although the recent figures from the International Civil Aviation Organisation suggests that flying is perfectly safe, you should still take some safety precautions. 

The highest number of fatalities occur on a motorcycle, which is 3000 times more risky than flying. Travelling in a truck or car is about 100 times more dangerous and train travel is about twice as deadly, per kilometre travelled, than flying. But, survival is always a numbers game and you should try to stack the odds in your favour.

6 Ways to fly in safety

  1. Check- in early and move through security to the airside area as quickly as possible. The majority of shootings occur in the landside area of an airport.
  2. Always carry some EDC kit with you, preferably in your pockets or a tactical belt. Such kit could include a tactical pen for defence; a tactical torch; foreign currency to pay for incidentals when you land at your destination; some paracord; lighter and a tampon for tinder; map of your destination city and a compass.
  3. Before you board a plane, ensure that you have booked an aisle seat a couple of rows near an exit. Do not sit at an emergency exit. This is the entry point for a hostage rescue assault in the event of a hijacking.
  4. Be aware, have your seatbelt tightened and your footwear on during taxi, take-off and landing. These are the three times that accidents occur and you need to be able to evacuate a damaged plane in 90 seconds or less. 
  5. Show the flight crew that you are aware and be helpful. Flight attendants might call on you in the event of an emergency and always appreciate knowing that competent volunteers are on the flight.
  6. During the flight, periodically get up and walk the length of the plane. You will be able to observe the other passengers and benefit from moving out of your seat.

Whilst travelling by air is deemed to be safe based on the number of flights annually, the reality is that airports and aircraft remain attractive targets for terrorists. Attend one of our courses and learn how to enhance your personal safety and security when travelling.


H.E.A.T. tip: Practice the brace position as it has saved passengers’ lives on impact



The Value of Every Day Carry (EDC)

The concert hall was packed and local parking was limited and in high demand. Nonetheless, we found parking in a levelled building site within walking distance of the concert venue. Paying the entrance fee, we were directed to one of the few parking spots left. We were assured that all vehicles were parked in such a way to allow easy access and egress. We found out that such assurances were misplaced.

Returning to the fenced parking area a couple of hours later, we noticed that a white Ford SUV had parked along the fence line but too close to a small blue Honda Civic. As a result, the SUV had blocked the only route for others to leave.

Attempts to contact the police and Traffic Department were met with the same response- contact the parking company owners.

Another couple arrived and were faced with the same problem. They too were parked in by the white SUV. The concert was only scheduled to end in over three hours’ time but there was no means of communicating with the SUV driver. The parking attendants had left for the night.

Looking around, our options were limited. A fenced in area, cars parked with their handbrakes engaged and a white SUV blocking the only route out. Smashing the SUV front passenger window with my special tactical pen did cross my mind. The purpose was to gain access to the vehicle’s handbrake and move the SUV out of the way. This was an emergency, after all.

But, there had to be another way.                                                                               

Looking at the Clear Vu™ metal fence, I wondered if we could somehow get to the road on the other side. As with all fences, the options are to go over, under or through. We could not drive under or over, and the wire mesh was too thick to cut, even if I had a pair of bolt cutters.

However, examining the fence posts, I noticed that the fence panels were attached to the fence posts with Allen bolts.

I asked the other couple if they had an Allen key. The husband said that he was an engineer and had a set in his company toolbox.

We selected a # 9 Allen key and in 4 minutes had removed the bolts attaching a fence panel to the post. We pulled back the panel, drove through to the road and replaced the fence panel, before heading home.

So, a hugely inconvenient situation was avoided by an EDC item.

From now on, I have included a # 9 Allen key in my EDC bag and suggest that you do the same.

Join one of our courses to learn what you should carry every day and why.

Or, share your experiences about when an EDC item has saved the day…or night

How to Survive a Prison in Africa

Prisons are one of the most hostile environments on the planet. Whilst some institutions have televisions in the cells and good food in the canteen, the majority of prisons in Africa pose a serious threat to one’s mortality.

When Diwani (a suspect in his wife’s murder trial) fought extradition to South Africa on the grounds that the country’s prisons were brutal, his lawyers were not exaggerating. Sexual abuse of juvenile prisoners is common, malnutrition common and overcrowding endemic. Many detainees awaiting trial are on remand for several years before their cases are heard. 

Yet, other African prisons offer far worse conditions. Gitarama Central Prison in Rwanda was built for 400 prisoners. Today, there are almost 7000. Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in Kenya holds several political prisoners but they still have to suffer from beatings by the guards, cholera and malnutrition. Black Beach Prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea offers inmates a choice on their birthdays: hands or feet. The amputation of one or the other is a hard choice to make on the morning of your birthday.

6 ways to survive prison

  1. Understand your rights and what you are allowed before you go to prison. Some prisons allow you to bring food or open an account to buy food during your incarceration.
  2. During processing, you are strip searched and must hand over all your possessions. You will sign documents that you cannot read or understand.
  3. Each prison has its own cash economy. Tea, coffee and food are universally accepted trading items. In the United Kingdom, where smoking is banned, nicotine patches are in high demand. 
  4. Make friends quickly. Introduce yourself and make it apparent that you are either a thief, sex offenders or a threat.
  5. Do not give anything away but rather trade.
  6. Develop a skill or reputation for being able to get things done. Mix with the guards and build an inside network of contacts.

       Attend one of our courses and understand how to behave when arrested and protect yourself in prison.

      H. E.A.T. tip:  Do not do anything illegal once inside. You can get your sentence reduced for good behaviour.


Prevent getting attacked in your car or home.


The number of home invasions is rising. Whilst the FBI reckons that there are 15 000 home invasions each day in North America, Other figures suggest that a forced door entry occurs every 12 seconds. Whilst these figures refer to North America, similar figures have been reported (as proportional ratios) in more benign countries such as England or Switzerland.

Whatever the reported figures, criminals are becoming more involved in home invasions because they are efficient. Burglarizing a home when the owners are out is safe but not necessarily profitable. Kicking in the front or backdoor causes fear and confusion for the occupants. After being threatened or actually tortured, most victims explain where the safe is or where they have hidden cash and jewellery.

6 ways to protect yourself against a home invasion

  1. Ensure that your perimeter is strong. Whether your perimeter extends to the boundary line or your front door, you need to provide an effective barrier against unauthorised access.
  2. Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door with a three point Mul-Ti- lock. If the door is strong enough, you will create a delaying mechanism for further attacks.
  3. Be wary of home invasion by deception. Uniforms and clipboards are no guarantee that the wearer is genuine. Always ask for a positive ID and ring the caller’s boss if you have any submissions.
  4. Be very cautious of a distressed caller preying on your compassion. If they request access to make a call or to use the bathroom, deny access.
  5. Install an alarm and keep a dog as a pet. Both the device and the animal will provide you with an early warning system and act as an effective deterrent.
  6. Consider creating a mutual aid organisation in your neighbourhood. Everyone is looking out for everybody else and your security, but not your privacy, is maintained. Have a list of your neighbours by name and contact details. Maintain regular contact and build a profile of the criminal activities in your area. Share this information and empower others.

Join one of our courses and learn about the threat of home invasion and what you need to do.

H.E.A.T. tip: If you are alone in the house when the door is knocked, call out loudly: “I will see who it is”. This will create the impression that you are not alone.