The Field Guide to Deployment Planning

The essential guide to planning engagements in complex or higher-risk locations and getting there safely.

By Grant Rayner

US $6.99

"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 Deployment Planning is the first book in the Field Guide Series.

This is a comprehensive resource designed to guide you in your preparations for travel to higher-risk destinations. This practical guide covers all aspects of travel preparation, meticulously outlining the steps you need to take to ensure a safe and uneventful trip.

Chapter 1 covers different aspects of preliminary planning, detailing all the things you’ll need to do in advance of your trip. We cover such details as passports, visa, vaccinations, embassy registration, and insurance. We also provide advice on how you can research your location to identify potential threats and risks.

Chapter 2 focuses on travel arrangements. We detail how to select a safe airline and how to select safe and secure accommodation. We evaluate different transport options at your destination, highlighting the risks relating to each option.

Chapter 3 details how to prepare communications equipment for your deployment, including mobile phones, satellite phones and handheld radios.

Chapter 4 outlines basic protocols to secure your devices while travelling. We provide advice on how you might secure your IT equipment, and include guidance on email, messaging, password management, and VPN applications.

Chapter 5 focuses on essential power requirements, including adapters, cables, and power banks. We also discuss the requirement for solar panels.

Chapter 6 reinforces the importance of researching the standard of medical care in advance of your trip. We cover the essential aspects of medical planning, including hospitals and clinics, medical support at your hotel, and medical evacuation.

Chapter 7 considers clothing and equipment. We provide practical advice on what to pack. We focus on key concepts, like layering, and introduce new concepts, such as fly-in kits. We also include recommendations for the contents of emergency kits.

Chapter 8 focuses on money, covering what to carry with you in terms of cash and cards. We also touch on exchange rates and risks relating to black market exchanges.

Chapter 9, new to version 3, focuses on your profile as a traveller. We discuss the importance of congruency and touch on the need to manage your social media profiles.

Chapter 10, new to version 3, details the different types of support you may require, and guides you regarding how you can arrange that support in advance of your travel. We cover guides, fixers, interpreters and translators, drivers, and protective security details.

Chapter 11, new to version 3, provides guidance on how you can physically and psychologically prepare for assignments in higher-risk locations.

Lastly, the Field Guide incorporates a comprehensive pre-travel checklist to ensure you haven’t missed any crucial aspects during your planning and preparation.

The Field Guide to Deployment Planning is infused with decades of experience travelling to higher-risk locations.

Whether you’re an experienced traveller or embarking on your first international adventure, this Field Guide is an essential reference to ensure you’re fully prepared for your trip.

If you’re looking for checklists, consider the Quick Reference Guide to Planning and the Quick Reference Guide to Packing.


Table of contents

  1. Preliminary Planning
  2. Travel Arrangements
  3. Communications
  4. IT Equipment
  5. Power
  6. Packing
  7. Money
  8. Personal Profile
  9. Local Support (new)
  10. Physical & Psychological Preparation (new)
  11. Contingency Planning (new)

First published 16 July 2020

Updated to Version 3 on 28 November 2022

ISBN: 978-981-14-6842-1

79 pages

View all publications