Wild animals can be dangerous, but wild places kill people. At high altitudes warm clothing is essential. In rainforest stay on the path and never put your hands where you can't see - snakes may be there.

Trust locals - A bit

Local people are a great source of information. But be wary of their estimation of distances. "One day's walk" may take three. And I have never met a local person who didn't assume that all snakes were deadly!

Cultural taboos

When in remote areas it is easy to cause offence, unwittingly, by infringing a local taboo. Bradt Travel Guides all contain advice on cultural dos and don'ts. Heed them for your own safety as well as out of courtesy.

Be prepared

In all the adventures we had warm clothing and several days' supply of food. Don't go into remote areas inadequately equipped. Always carry a compass or GPS. A mobile phone could save your life.

Organised but remote

Remote places are not reserved for intrepid backpackers. Some tour operators will take tourists off the beaten track, with the advantage of a local guide who can ensure that you don't come to harm.

This is a cruise?

Small expedition cruises have the flexibility to stop a while at small islands and in isolated coastal villages, miles from anywhere. In these places local people may never have seen a foreigner before.

On the high road

Mountains areas are wonderful for backpacking off the beaten track since you can see for miles and there are usually paths made by local people. Carry a good, topographical map and a compass.

On the low road

Below the treeline you must stay on a path of some sort or risk your life. The most rewarding - though very tough - jungle treks I have done were from village to village, relying on local teachers for directions.

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