By Colin Pereira ()
Journalists are used to carrying flak jackets and first aid kits to hostile environments, but it is important to keep up with improvements in the kit and to make sure your equipment is still fit for purpose. For instance, in response to the threat from improvised explosive devices, manufacturers now make body armour where the plate goes in from the side. Top loading plates have a tendency to pop out when there is a blast from below and can even injure the wearer. These days even Kevlar underwear is available to protect your bits from an explosion.
First aid kits
First aid kits now include tourniquets and clotting agents to stop major arterial bleeds. Again, developed by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, these simple bits of kit are regularly saving lives on the battlefield, whereas only a few years ago they were frowned upon. It is only sensible that journalists take advantages of such improvements.
Crucially, know what is in your first aid kit, where it is and how to use it. There is no point taking kit you do not understand; if you are not familiar with your first aid bag, you will lose vital time when dealing with an injury.
Tracking devices with panic buttons are now being used more frequently. In areas with a kidnap threat or in remote locations, the ability to discretely raise the alarm and notify your location by the press of a button will speed up any rescue operation.