One of the questions we were most often asked when we told people about our trip was “Are you bringing a gun?” Um, no! We did make some security modifications to the campers, basically installing security bars on the large window, back door, and in the generator storage area. Other than that, the following list largely encompasses our security efforts.
DeLorme inReach SE: The inReach SE provides two-way satellite text messaging, tracking and SOS anywhere in the world. We didn’t ever need to use the SOS function but we did use the messages to keep in touch with our Moms when we were not on a network. We sent preset messages to our families when we started a driving day and again when we had set up camp. Our parents loved seeing exactly where we were and knowing that they could get in touch with us if anyone needed to. We still aren’t sure who would show up if you sent an SOS in the middle of a jungle, but we liked having that added (sense) of security. FULL DISCLOSURE: DeLorme gave us a really nice discount on this product but it in no way impacts our review.
Guard Dog sign: When we started the trip we brought our 12 pound chiweenie guard dog with us, but we figured no one needed to know how small she was. We hung a Guard Dog sign on the back door and no one wanted to go in, even at check points after we had reassured them that Neli was the guard dog. I’d hang one of these up even if you don’t travel with a furry companion.
Machete Knife: We picked up a machete at our local Army Navy store before we left, nothing fancy but it gets the job done. Did we ever use this to protect ourselves? Of course not. Did we feel badass toting it around? Absolutely. Plus, it comes in handy for opening coconuts, cutting down hands of bananas, and trimming brush on jungle treks. Definitely not a necessity, but we were glad we brought one with us.
Maglite Flashlight: Power outages are going to happen and our tiny headlamps only help so much. We brought a full sized MagLite with us for power outages, but also because these would pack a punch if we needed to defend ourselves. This was Vic’s full security set-up when she was a single-gal living it up in New York City, not that she ever needed it, ha! We primarily used this in California when Vic was convinced she heard bears (she didn’t) and deer (a bunch of times) and again on the trip during power outages (mostly in Costa Rica, somewhat surprisingly).
Pacsafe Portable Safes: Pacsafe Portable Safes are made from heavyweight canvas on the outside with a slashguard built into (and concealed within) the bags. The slashguard, known as eXomesh, is a flexible, stainless-steel wire mesh, that surrounds the bag. We bought the 5L Travelsafe (to store our passports, original truck and camper documents, extra cash), and two of the 12L Travelsafe (one for our cameras and kindle, the other for our laptop and iPad). We locked the bags into place in hidden spots in the truck and camper most of the time. If we stayed in a hotel (or hostel, apartment, or house) we found somewhere secure in the room to lock the bags to. These things are great and we would absolutely recommend them to anyone concerned about theft on the road.