The Field Guide to Personal Security

The Field Guide to Personal Security is focused on ensuring that you can stay safe while operating in complex and higher-risk environments.

By Grant Rayner

USD $9.99

Grant's Field Guides are essential for all travelers to higher-risk environments, regardless of experience. These guides equip you to handle the uncertainties that arise during travel, and I have personally integrated many of Grant's suggestions into my own approach for safer and more informed travel. Living in the US, I have - on more than one occasion - found many of the Field Guide suggestions helpful when traveling domestically.


The Field Guide to Personal Security is the second instalment in the Field Guide Series.

This guide is an essential reference for anyone travelling to higher-risk locations. This comprehensive guide offers invaluable insights and practical advice on a wide range of security aspects, empowering you to navigate challenging situations with confidence.

Chapter 1 focuses on planning and preparation, building on the advice provided in The Field Guide to Deployment Planning.

Chapter 2 provides guidance and recommendations on the types of protective equipment you may need to pack. We guide you on the selection of body armour, helmets, goggles, respirators, and gloves.

Chapter 3 focuses on communications, with advice on mobile phones, satellite phones and handheld radios. We also explain how to plan for a loss of communications.

Chapter 4 introduces a series of activities you can do on arrival to help you proactively manage risk. We cover accommodation assessments, area familiarisation, building a local network, preparing contingency plans, and other aspects critical to your ongoing safety and security.

Chapter 5 focuses on your safety and security at your accommodation. We explain how to secure your accommodation. We then go into detail regarding how you should respond to an explosion or an assault on your hotel.

Chapter 6 gets into detail regarding your personal security while outside on the streets. We reinforce the importance of orientating to your operating environment and maintaining situational awareness.

Chapter 7 focuses on security while driving. We provide advice on hiring a car and driver, and detail basic security protocols to follow while in the vehicle. Then, we work through how to respond to different contingencies, including breakdowns and accidents.

Chapter 8 addresses the risks associated with protests. We describe how to objectively assess the risk posed by protests, addressing the dynamics between the protestors, security forces and the media. We then explain how to stay safe if you happen to be in proximity to a protest. We cover risks associated with undercover officers, provocateurs and kettling. Lastly, we explain how to protect yourself from non-lethal weapons and riot control agents.

Chapter 9 explains how to avoid, how to detect, and how to evade surveillance. We focus on several nuanced aspects of surveillance, including the fact that it’s often difficult to work out exactly who is surveilling you (and therefore hard to determine whether you’re at risk and how to respond).

Chapter 10 explores the nuances of corruption. We explore several different corruption scenarios, identify the inherent risks, and provide options regarding how you might respond. We cover facilitation payments and share strategies for dealing with corrupt officials. We also touch on gatekeeper scenarios and situations where you may have to deal with corrupt police.

Chapter 11 provides advice on how to respond to different confrontation scenarios, including situations where you are physically threatened, where you are confronted by someone with a firearm, and when you are fired upon by someone with a firearm. We walk you through how to respond to each of these scenarios, focusing on your decision-making process at each stage.

Overall, The Field Guide to Personal Security provides an invaluable reference for anyone travelling to higher-risk locations. The information contained in this Field Guide could save your life.

Table of contents

  1. Planning And Preparation
  2. Protective Equipment
  3. Communications
  4. Arrival
  5. Security At Your Accommodation
  6. Security On The Streets
  7. Security While Driving
  8. Protests and Riots
  9. Surveillance
  10. Navigating Corruption
  11. Managing Confrontation

First published 28 August 2020

Updated to Version 3 on 28 November 2022

ISBN: 978-981-14-7625-9

102 pages