I carry thousands of dollars worth of equipment everywhere I go. Most of the equipment I carry is because of my online business. I’ve never had anything stolen other than an old iPod due to stupidity. Then there’s my clothes but I’m not sure if my clothes were lost or stolen, most likely probably lost.
Here’s how I’ve kept everything safe:
I travel like everything I own will be lost or stolen tomorrow. If all of my equipment is gone and I’m not able to recover it quick enough, then my traveling lifestyle is done. It would hurt. I can’t afford for that to happen. I have too many future plans that I’m looking forward to. That’s why I got insurance for my equipment. This is separate from health insurance though. Instead, my equipment is insured individually by State Farm Personal Articles Policy in the US. Check if you live in the US, check to see if you have this policy. They cover all costs of the item no matter what happens to it.
Check your insurance policy if it will cover lost item and what the conditions are for stolen items.
Buy locks for your backpack and another one for lockers. When you’re not in the room, lock it all up. Stephanie and I even lock up our stuff in private rooms at hostels and hotels. You never know who will be in the room.
If you’re staying in a dorm and it does not have lockers, don’t stay there unless you’re absolutely sure you’re okay with it. Don’t listen to the front desk that everything will be okay. They can’t guarantee that because there’s always people coming in and out of the hostel.
With so much equipment, we often opt to stay in private rooms rather than dorms. If we find the security at the hostel to be good, we’ll go for dorms. Since we can split the costs for a private room, it’s much easier to deal with the costs of getting a private.
On busy streets and crowded areas, put your backpack in the front of you. Keep an eye out and keep your bag close to you at all times. Only carry what you absolutely need for the day and nothing more.
I always recommend looking what others are doing. Where are they putting their bags? And how secure are they keeping their bags? Is everyone else putting their bag in front of them?
Use Common Sense and Instincts
There’s been so many times where my instincts have told me to leave the camera in the room because of safety concerns. Sometimes it was the right thing to do and other times I wish I had brought it along. I’ve missed out on some good pictures but having to buy a new camera or being robbed wasn’t worth the risk.
If you’re wondering how I got my iPod stolen, it really was because of stupidity. I was in Cambodia and we made a rest stop. I was sitting in the very back and thought nobody would notice my backpack. My instincts told me to bring it with me but I didn’t listen. I left the backpack on the bus and went to the restroom outside. When I came back and reached for my iPod, it was gone. Everything else was still in my backpack but not the iPod.
Backup Your Files
If you have files you want to keep like pictures and music, you must learn to backup your computer!! Never think it can’t happen to you. Read my article on how to backup and protect your files on the road.
How do you keep your expensive equipment safe on the road?