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How To Stay Safe While Going It Alone


How To Stay Safe While Going It Alone

If you live for the thrill of adventure, there is one thing you probably already know should be at
the top of your packing list - safety. But when it comes to staying safe while you’re going it
alone, what should you prioritize? The following is a quick guide to help get you ready to hit the road, safely.

First, Think About Survival

What are some basic necessities for survival if you were to go camping, hiking or venture off
road somewhere you could potentially stay overnight? To keep you safe, you should first pack
yourself some food and water, at least enough to last a couple days if not more, and some first
aid items like bandages and antiseptic. If you know you may venture into territories with
dangerous animals, pack accordingly with items such as bear spray or a knife. A knife will
double as a means to acquiring more food, or triple as a survival tool in the case of an


Pack Your Bags with Safety in Mind

In addition to these items, you should pack other gear you might need. This should include
weather-appropriate clothing, any harnesses or equipment for hiking or climbing and other tools you may need for the environment you will be in. Always keep in mind that you will be alone, so having all the safety items you may need at your disposable is key in a dangerous, or even life-threatening, situation.

Bring Your Phone!

Even if cell signal may be weak, bring your cell phone. And download a safety app like Virtual Halo as a quick and easy means to get help if you need it. Not only will Virtual Halo let you keep in touch with friends or loved ones to let them know where you are, it will also let you send an SOS if you need help. This SOS will alert them immediately, and they can find out where you are and get help to you - fast. So any time you’re going it alone, be sure to have the app downloaded, and your phone on hand.


Adventure of the Week - # 1 - Bali


Adventure of the Week - # 1 - Bali

Each week, we're featuring a journey, an adventure, a unique event somewhere around the world. It could be in your back yard, or it could require four flights, a tuk tuk ride and you helping crew a junk across one of the vast stretches of water that cover our planet. We travel - a lot! It's in our blood, it's who we are. All Adventures that we write about we've done - unless you've got one that's so awesome, we need to share it. Got an adventure that competes? Email us your experience and who knows, it might be featured!

Our Founder, Josh at the Besakih Temple on Bali

Our Founder, Josh at the Besakih Temple on Bali

Adventure # 1 - Bali

Bali is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but getting there isn't one of the easiest, although it's worth the journey. From the US, you typically need to traverse to Australia and then take a 3-hour flight from Melbourne to Denpasar, Indonesia, which is on the island of Bali. The US State Department has listed Indonesia in its list of "Worldwide Caution." They've also assessed the Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Indonesian air carrier operations. While their advice is extremely valuable and should be headed, we believe that life is about the journey. Weigh the risks and choose for yourself as long as you're not breaking the law.

Once you've made it to Bali, the main tourist spot is Kuta Beach. It's beautiful, but can be crowded. You'll find yourself one of the only American's to be found, but in a sea of German, British and Australian tourists. English isn't a problem - everyone speaks it that we encountered. While there are a ton of cheap motels around Kuta, you need to think about what you're looking for. Are you going to go out to the bars and clubs each night? Just lounge on the beach? Or do you want a more secluded stay? Bali has it, but if you want quiet, Kuta is not for you.

Unfortunately, the backdrop of Kuta has been slightly diminished by the site of Western chains such as McDonalds. This is unfortunate. Do yourself a favor and bypass the urge for a Big Mac. Sure, there's a novelty to say you've eaten a Big Mac in each country, but is that really something to be proud of? We think not.

Instead, explore the city on foot. You can go inland 3-5 blocks and that's all you need to get out of the tourist centric areas. You'll smell the sweet scent of incense burning and see the offerings laid at the foot of shop doors, placed on car dashboards and on the desks of hotels everywhere. Bali is unique in a way that it has a split religious population; about 50% of the people are Hindu and the remaining 50% are Muslim.

While on Bali, make sure you get a Thai massage. Everything on Bali is less expensive than the United States (except entrance to the Hard Rock Hotel pool complex - which is amazing!), so give it a try. Our experience was that everything can be negotiated. During our time on Bali, we never spent more than $5.00 for an hour-long massage. For the modest-minded people, be warned - they have you strip naked in front of them and lay down; apparently, they have no modesty.

Another great thing to do is to rent a cab driver and his car for the day. When we did this, it cost about $30, and we drove into the city, visited traditional art houses, ventured around 3-story tall ancient statues in the middle of roundabouts. We went further into the island to see the volcano crater lake, rice plantations and visited several ancient temples including the Pura Besakih temple complex (pictured above), which were beyond compare.

As a guy wearing shorts, I had to purchase a sarong to cover my legs and then was on my way up the hill to the high temple with a guide ($2). He taught me how to pray the traditional prayers and explained the significance of the structures and houses within the temple complex, the offerings that people left each day and what their God expected of them. Oddly enough, on my way back down, we came upon an honest to God cockfight. That was a first. The locals were nervous with a 6'4", 270# white American stood over them watching their chickens fight, but I didn't mean any harm and they finally figured that out (my guide had a little to do with smoothing things over).

Without a doubt, you'll be surprised at the smog, the motorcycles that know no lane and the tangle of overhead electrical lines. The chaos of Bali is in stark contrast to its tranquility, beauty and calm. You can be yourself, explore nature, work with the islanders to learn their forms of art, or relax on the beach. We've assembled a top 5 list of things to do in Bali while you're there. You won't be disappointed.

Our Top 5 List of Things To Do in Bali:

5.) Dine at a live volcano - The Madu Sari Mountain Restaurant
4.) pend time at a few unknown beaches - we like Nyang Nyang Beach for its towering green cliff and pristine sands
3.) Experience a day as a Balinese Rice Farmer - in Tabanan
2.) Visit an abandoned place - the abandoned plane parked between a few houses in Kuta, the defunct amusement park Taman Festival, or the uncompleted hotel Taman Rekreasi Bedugul for an adventure you won't forget. Click here for more info.
1.) Visit a hidden underwater temple - The Pemuteran temple was deliberately constructed underwater for divers and snorkelers and is very impressive. It's on Bali's "quiet" side of the island.

One thing to keep in mind while in Bali or anywhere else - stay alert. Everyone wants your money, whether through goods and services, or by pickpocketing. It's ok to say no if you don't want a massage, or their car service or to buy their trinkets. Keep moving - like Dory, if you just keep moving, it's hard for them to corner you into a compromising situation. When traveling internationally, we also recommend registering with the US State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Now, get out there and have an adventure! Enjoy Bali!



Do you remember to let Mom know you're OK?

I was out to dinner with a colleague the other night and we started talking about adventures that ranged from SCUBA diving to hiking in the national parks. I'm always impressed when I talk with other people that are in their 40's + and they still live an adventurous life; and for Jim, there's no moss growing around his feet.


He started telling me about a trip a few years ago where he and a few buddies did a cross-country trip over the Baja peninsula of Mexico from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez on dirt bikes and ATV's with their only "safety net" being a van with their food and supplies that met up with them at the end of each days ride. "When you get out there, under the sky with the grains of sand flying up in your face, it's magical. It's you and nature; you get lost in the adrenaline and the moment - nothing else exists!" That, I felt, is the way life should be. 

The trip sounded amazing; how long would a trip like that take? Jim mentioned that the trip across the baja was only 10 days, but he was gone a little over three weeks. Three weeks! Was he hanging out on the beach drinking cerveza's and surfing? "No" he replied, "I crashed on the 7th day." To make a long story short, he wedged himself into the van that night and rode around with the support crew for the rest of the week.

By the time Jim made it back to San Diego, he could hardly walk; he hadn't seen a doctor yet. That evening, he laid down on the floor of his hotel room - that was the last he'd move by his own free will for about two weeks. A luggage cart, taxi, wheel chair, and gurney ride later, and Jim was in the hospital. Not a fun way to end such an amazing trip. Or was it? If you're not living life to the fullest, is it worth living? I'll let you ponder that one; now, back to Jim.

About a week later, a nurse came in Jim's room. He had broken 7 ribs, hurt various parts of his back, and his entire body was bruised. It was a miracle he made it back to the U.S. That's when Nurse Nancy asked Jim the question he hadn't thought of since he left home: "When did you call your Mom last, Jim?" An expletive enraged shout boomed out of Jim's mouth. In the fog of the adrenaline, adventure, and pain, Jim had forgotten to let those nearest to him know that he was OK, hurt, but OK.

I found out about this adventure of Jim's because I started telling him about the SPORT module of Virtual Halo. He was amazed. "That" he said "is an amazing app. I hate technology; I'd give up my cell phone if work would let me, but I can't. This would give me a reason to by a smart watch!"

Want info on Virtual Halo as it comes out? Give us your info and we'll keep you informed.