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Hi fellow World Nomads,

I am travelling first time with a backpack (without lock). I am a little worry about the safety of it, particularly with the possibility that drugs to be put inside without my knowing.

Any advice on how to keep it safe or am I worrying too much?

Thanks for your help :)

Asked by CT via Site_iconWorldNomads.com

3 Answers

  • 0

    CT, Phil here from the WN safety Hub:
    you have every reason to be worried about such things. Not only do valuables disappear from luggage, but it's quite real that contraband may appear.
    Rule number one: never put anything of value in checked luggage. Keep all those items you just couldn't stand to lose in your hand luggage and take it on the plane/bus/ferry/donkey with you. If there's just clothes and toiletries in the backpack it doesn't matter is someone steals your smelly socks (even if they were your favourites with Dr Seuss on them)!
    music player, laptop, passport, credit card, the photo granny gave you - all goes in the hand luggage. To cut down on space have one of those gortex/nylon duffel bags as your hand luggage (they fold up and take no room in the backpack when not needed).

    How to stop drugs and contraband getting INTO your backpack. Take a stack of cable ties with you (maybe you call them zip locks?). Seal the backpack with them when you check it in. If TSA or security wants to see inside your bag they can easily snip it off (you lose a 10 cent cable tie not a $10 lock).
    When your backpack emerges you see very easily if the cable ties have been cut - don't touch the bag, call over a security or customs oficial and tell them you suspect your bag has been tampered with. That way you'll have a pretty good alibi if there is something illegal in there.
    Try to pick unusually coloured cable ties (its unlikely a drug runner will have cable ties of his own in your colour), or secure your bag with a special combination of coloured cable ties... if the red one's been replaced by black, you'll know someone's been inside.

    No lock will stop a determined thief from getting into your backpack (if they have the time), so why try to make it like Fort Knox and have expensive locks ruined at every airport when there's an easy and cheap solution to alert you that something's not right AND deter the opportunistic thief who only has a few seconds to grab your stuff (or slip something in).

    Enjoy the trip and let us know how you get along. Phil almost 7 years ago

    Answered by Ask Phil via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Thanks very much Phil, that's very informative. :) Just one more question (perhaps a very simple answer that I haven't thought of) - any suggestion to where will be the easiest place to get a pair of scissors to cut the cable ties or should I carry one in the small outside pocket that i leave untied?

    Thanks again :)
    CT almost 7 years ago

    Answered by CT via Site_iconWorldNomads.com
  • 0

    Just Buycableties usually the miniature ones will fit into any size buckle. they are easy enough to get back into and they will discourage some. If someone wants to get it they will but putting on a lock keeps your bags closed even when the tossers get to the bags. I found a pretty good deal on some here. http://www.buycableties.com/miniature18lbcableties.aspx about 5 years ago

    Answered by Andrew via Site_iconWorldNomads.com

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