Congratulations! You have just made your choice of lugging around wherever what would be technically your “home” for the duration of your trip. Choosing the indie backpacker way for travel is already a decision to keeping your thingamajigs safer. However, backpackers continue to ask the immortal question of how you really keep your things safe during voyage, with extreme stress to travel in most parts of Asia or Africa.

Hit the Sack.

This is among the most vital things you should hit right. The backpack need not be simply sturdy and reliable. It has to be the right pack for the traveller and the traveller’s custom needs. This sets apart the genuine backpackers from the wannabes. Three C’s: comfort, convenience, and capacity.

Comfort equals padding, padding on the belts and straps of the hips, waist, chest, and shoulders. The major weight of your bag must set on the hips, and minor on the shoulders. Convenience also pertains to design, particularly the loading. Also, compartments and chimney make all the difference. And Capacity…your pack should stay within the carry-on limit in terms of size, weight, and contents. Airlines may vary in maximum weight allowance from 10 – 30 kg each for checked and carry-on bags. Remember to lock and label, and ensure it can stand against knife-slashing.


Animals are smart to take this on instinctively. Dress up or down as locals do to avoid eliciting unwanted attention and be the target of felons. Looking as though you’ve spent a long time in the area might reduce threats of stealing and even getting ripped. Keep that Submariner in your pocket and use that cheap mobile you got on a bargain to check the time. In some countries in South East Asia (SEA), the mobile is a socio-economic status indicator, so definitely, the uglier the better. Learning the basic conversation pieces in local vernacular will also help a lot.

Stick It.

If you have a safe deposit box in the hotel you’re staying, GREAT! You can leave SOME of your travel money and valuables here. Still, keep your things on you like your passport and credit cards. These two are the top concerns when travelling. Your original passport is best kept in a hotel safe if provided. Instead, carry around 2 certified photocopies of your passport with your National ID. Have a small travel bag for these essentials, or a sling bag you can hang around your neck and tuck under your shirt.

The key is to diversify your hidey-holes. Then, stash money in your shoes, socks, belt bag, and deep side pockets (never the back pockets). So should the traveller come across such a situation, know for a fact that a thief has not so much time. Effective…albeit unglamorous and undignified.

String It.

One cool strategy is stringing your stuff together, so when a no-good doer attempts something unlawful at you, it will surprise the pickpockets as if he’s been had with a bag of tricks. The crook might freak out and just drop what he tried to take from you. This is highly suggestive in some parts of Southeast Asia and Africa, specifically in an overly crowded area as the market. In addition, this makes for an innovative organization technique presenting a less painful way of looking through your paraphernalia. Know, though, the fundamental, that is to stuff the bulky in your pack, and never your valuables.

Leave It.

Understanding all the issues and hassles of bringing valuables in backpack travel, it is vital to reassess how badly you need to take some of your pricey loot with you, like a laptop or camera. Theft, loss, and damage are absolutely important considerations when preparing your stuff. The less you bring, the less you worry. In Johannesburg, South Africa, for instance, no amount of safety precaution will save you and your valuables when a robber spots you. Discretion is not a word in their vocabulary, unlike slick pickpockets in Thailand or Philippines.

Travelling with your pack, it is rather hard to refrain from carrying your valuables. Some quirky advices involve using and abusing people’s vulnerability for religion. In a Muslim country, lug around a book of sayings of the Prophet Mohammed, or in Christian nations, a Bible. Yet all the advice in the world will not ever beat this one word, AWARENESS. Treat your things as an extension of your body and keep a close eye to people and surroundings. This article is not to advise against trusting people and making friends. In fact, make a million friends, smile and be nice so people will be discouraged against doing you wrong. The most important thing is that you enjoy your trip.