Dangerous Situations


(i double posted this in the research section, since i didnt know where it better applies, please delete one if necessary, thanks)Ok, so im a beginner in the whole overland travel/road trips and such. However, i have been doing a close research on other people travels anywhere from backcountry camping to continent and world-wide travelling for about 6 months now. Me and my girlfriend got an FJ80 and very tempted to try different countries and even continents. Im trying to do as much research as possible. So here's the meat and the potatoes so to say. I always read about people doing up to world-wide expeditions from few months to decades and it all seems like great experiences and whatnot. My question is what about the worst case scenario or close calls. Like if you get attacked, robbed, bit up, vehicle damage, wild animal attacks, kidnapping and simple hurt physically and/or mentally. For example, a couple goes to mexico, and gets attacked by local gangs. Im especially worried about having a girl with me and getting attacked and.......well you can imagine some 3rd world counties and a young good looking girl outcome. I would like to hear if there are some bad stories and close calls. This is my biggest concern that's on my mind. I got all the good stories but not to be demotivational i would like to hear some bad ones. Better else how to prevent them. Thanks


Ok I’ll give you my 2c
From my experience . Local people are
Overall decent and friendly.often giving
Great hospitality and advice.
I’d venture the people who are traveling
That get in trouble aren’t aware or are indulging in things they shouldn’t.
For starters.
Research and then research more
Your destination,join groups and ask
We always know pretty close to where
We are going to camp the next night and get there before nightfall.
We avoid driving in the dark.
We don’t drink to excess.
Camp with other travelers.
I usually stay with the vehicle
While the wife grocery shops.
Keep your vehicle doors locked all the time.
Just be aware is one of the biggest
Most importantly go travel
You will not regret it
Good luck

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Paperwork Specialist
This question get posed quite often and the answer is depending on where you are going and what you'd like to do.

Living "on the other side" and having travelled to most "difficult" countries with men, women and apart from a few times when you'd meet people who obviously have different activities than you but leave you alone we've never had problems.

Of course there are incidents - but that is what they are : incidents.

Most people are very happy to greet you as a visitor to their country and will treat you with the greatest of hospitality you could possibly find. However, like well said above, understand you're a visitor and need to learn about where you're going and the do's and don't s.

You are not there to change their world - you're there because you wanted to experience something different.

Enjoy !


I have been traveling since the early 80s on all continents except Antarctica. These trips were business trips from a few days to weeks and pleasure trips (like crossing the Sahara) from a few weeks to several months. I worked in mining for 13 years therefore even business trips were often in remote locations. Since I retired in 2010 we spend about 8 months a year in Africa, Asia and Latin America, always only the 2 of us and usually in one of our Overland Campers. In all those years we only had one dangerous situation. This was in Israel were I visited a Kibuz which was attacked. Of course robberies or terrorist attacks happen but they are very rare. The statistical probability of such an incident is as far as I can tell not higher abroad provided you avoid crisis areas. If you travel to one of the Kongos or Nigeria or to remote drug areas in Columbia or certain Townships (Slums) in South Africa you run a high risk. Do your home work before you travel. IOverlander and the Facebook Group Overlanding South & Central America are sources for up to date information. Otherwise use your common sense and enjoy the trip.


Engineer In Residence
The biggest risks are vehicle accidents, or falling/injury. Statistically, unless you are spending lots of time in very dangerous areas, your risk from violent crime is not terribly high.

There are always risks of theft. Typically smash and grab type, but robbery is a possibility in some locales. While many of these are very unpleasant, they are not a risk to your life normally. I know it feel different standing next to a smashed window with your belongings strewn on the floor though.

Its very important to remember that not all countries have the same civil liberties as the western countries. Violating what would seem to be a simply local custom can sometimes offend a major religious law. Bending money with a monarchs face on it, pointing your feet at someone, touching your girlfriend or wife in public, etc. This can result in significant issues sometimes. So you need to do some research ahead of time.

The only other concern is where the government is either non-existent, or does not follow international norms. Somalia, North Korea, Iran, etc. Iran for example has little compunction about using foreign tourists as bargaining chips for prisoner release. North Korean is a totalitarian regime with no human rights protections.


I travel for business a lot globally. Worst situation I have ever encountered was in Tokyo about 8 years ago. Never trust the bars there run by Nigerians. This event did not include a lot of alcohol. Luckily my credit card only allowed a $700 max charge & I woke up with all my body parts.

Never had a problem overlanding. Enjoy your travels.
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Engineer In Residence
Humans are really bad at assessing true risk from a mathematical perspective. The most dangerous things you do everyday are typically. Walking down stairs, driving a car, eating that big mac with large fries and coke (especially if mixed with driving or stairs!), and pissing off a relative. These hold true even in most of the developing world.


Too Much Fun Club, founder
Humans are really bad at assessing true risk from a mathematical perspective. The most dangerous things you do everyday are typically. Walking down stairs, driving a car, eating that big mac with large fries and coke (especially if mixed with driving or stairs!), and pissing off a relative. These hold true even in most of the developing world.
Good point...it’s really the old “perception versus reality“ thing, isn’t it?

So for example, while it’s a pretty low risk cause of death statistically, because we live and hike in the desert, I’m abnormally terrified of being attacked by Killer Bees! These kill only maybe 3-6 people a year in Arizona (even more animals though), but still...

Rock Climber and his dang dog (!) found dead from killer bees attack (geeze, what a horrible way to go!):
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Engineer In Residence
Its a bit of a necrothread, but these questions do come up fairly often, and the information is still valuable.

My in-laws were terrified we were going to get killed traveling through Mexico. But they have no issue with doing 12+ hour drives through the night in remote areas. Operate machinery without safety guards installed, and don't have a functioning smoke or carbon monoxide detector!

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Well-known member
There is a thread about a couple from Australia traveling in Iran. Find it. They pretty much did everything a traveller in a foriegn country should not do and they ended up in jail.

First and foremost, blend in, respect local customs, dress codes, try to not look like a foriegner from a country the locals are having diplomatic concerns with,,,, ie don't fly your flag, don't defend your countries actions, listen and learn. Be an ambassador, be a diplomat. Don't travel with weapons.

Contact your countries embassy, ask where you can travel, where to not travel, if they let you, register where you plan to go. Learn the language and customs before you leave home. Dress appropriately, women especially. If bare skin on a woman is not welcome.... cover up.

You might not be able to learn the language but learn how to communicate.

Your best resource is your countries embassy. It will post which countries we are welcome in and which countries to avoid..... AND once there follow current events. We can go from being a welcome ally to an enemy of the state overnight.
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