This is a post in an ongoing feature on Her Packing List called “The One Little Thing“. Each week or two, I’ll be interviewing a traveling lady to find out the one little thing she just can’t travel without. This one comes to you from Londoner Kate.
What one little thing can you not travel without?
I prefer to not to even leave the house without my ila dusk personal alarm.
I know what you’re all thinking – “Yeah yeah, we all have a personal attack alarm, they make a loud squeak that draws no attention, they’re rubbish”. But that’s where you’d be wrong! For you do not own the all singing, all dancing ila dusk alarm… ok it doesn’t sing or dance, but it does scream!
When activated the ila dusk lets out a piercing 130 decibel female scream that would put any on-screen damsel in distress to shame. This is designed to not only stun the attacker but to also draw the attention of any knights in shining armour. Personally if I hear a car alarm sounding (Which I often do in London) I’m not likely to seek out where it is, but if I hear screaming I’ll be 100% more intrigued to see what’s going on, I would maybe even phone the police.
It comes in a varying range of cute designs for the girly girl or Tomboy.
Why has this one item been so important to you?
Mainly because I live in one of most high crime areas in London. Unfortunately it’s illegal in the UK to carry a stun gun, pepper spray, a light sabre, or any other discreet weapon of defence. The ila alarm replaced my tin of hair spray which made me feel more at ease knowing I wouldn’t end my day permanently blinding somebody with some extra hold L’Oreal.
It has accompanied me around the world and made me feel a lot safer in Brazil and Mexico especially.
How pack able is it? Does it take up much room? Is it heavy?
To look at, the ila alarm looks like an expensive chunky metal charm, but in reality it’s actually plastic and light as a feather. I remember feeling disappointed at the time but I’ve since learned to appreciate how little it weighs whilst still looking sexy. It’s larger than your average alarm and personally it’s too big for me to keep on my keys. I usually keep it in an accessible pocket in my bag and take it out when I’m uncertain about my surroundings. The beauty of this alarm is that it doesn’t look like one so it can be attached to the exterior of any bag without making you look like a paranoid lunatic.
Why would you recommend this to your travel friends?
Definitely. In the past I have bought this as a parting gift for friends going travelling. It’s not good to be paranoid of everyone and everything but if you’re wandering off the beaten track into a neighbourhood you’re uncertain about then it’s great to have an alarm for peace of mind.
Can you name one incident or situation where you were so happy to have this item with you?
In Brazil I was staying with a friend and made my way back to her house alone a little later than usual. I had my alarm ready as I always do when I’m coming home from a night out. The street was empty and I saw a guy randomly standing on the corner that I had to turn. I threw my hood up and put on my best ‘F*ck with me and I’ll take you down’ stride in an attempt to not look like a victim. “Oi Gostosa” (Hey sexy) the scumbag sneered as I passed him. My paranoia kicked in and I played out a scene in my mind where he followed me out of street view to my door as I fumbled with my keys.. so I activated the alarm.
It was possibly completely unnecessary and even perhaps borderline mental, but I know it wouldn’t make sense for him to even think of attacking an already screaming female.
Much to my dismay I pulled the activation chain so frantically that I lost it somewhere on the floor, which meant the alarm continued to scream even as I reached the flat. It’s designed to sound for 10-15 minutes when pulled, but I swear I spent even longer than that holding it in a sink full of water at 1am trying to make it shut up!
How did you hear about this item?
In a dream?…
Honestly I don’t remember.
What sort of traveler is this item perfect for?
Mainly females that want that added bit of security. Great for those that like to wander into the unknown or find themselves stumbling back to the hostel after a heavy night.
>> Find the ila personal security alarm on Amazon UK for £14.
About the Author: Kate is a quirky, life-loving 27 year old crazy for London, travel and anywhere that sells a good latte. She is on a one woman mission to show the world that there is more to London than Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. The rest of her time is spent planning a fun fuelled one year solo trip to S.E. Asia & Australia and meeting other travellers from around the globe. Follow her adventures at The Lost Londoner or connect with her on Twitter, Google+ or Instagram