Airline travel, what carry on preps do you all include?

Hi All! With travel resuming (I traveled throughout last year domestically too, fun, creepy, empty airports) I thought I’d ask the question of what all you travel with on an airplane, specifically carry on. Usually due to space & weight constraints my preps don’t go much beyond proper clothing, etc. for the journey & destination, but I kinda always feel exposed without some goodies that are prohibited on the plane, so what do you all do? Also I’m a little gal, so can’t load up too heavily or I’d look like a turtle. 


  • Comments (11)

    • 4

      I too feel vulnerable when flying because of lack of ability to carry things with me that I would like to.

      Here’s a TSA approved survival kit that might give you some ideas of things to help you feel more prepared. What would you add or remove?

      • 2

        Excellent, thanks Gideon! Will check those things out & add them in my travel bags. 

    • 3

      Air New Zealand forbids blades and tools in carry on luggage. Scissors are allowed but only if they have blunt ends and small blade length. Always best to check terms and conditions when flying

    • 3

      Travelling by plane is now ALMOST unfeasable for preppers with the crazy levels of security, So where possible I drive or go by train with my GHB and EDC With me all the way.

      If on the rare occasion I do have to fly I tend to mail a cloned copy of my EDC gear to my destination which i pick up on arrival.

      I prefer to drive even if it adds days to my journey, but I like to go as self sufficient as possible so I converted my van into a stealth camper ( like an RV but without windows or bling) . That way I have food, fuel water, clothes, tools, GHBs , kitchen, toilet, etc  and FLEXIBILITY  to change routes, travel times etc.

      • 5

        Thanks Bill, good idea to mail ahead. I might just leave some basic items with family I visit often too. You might enjoy the book Nomadland about the stealth camping, etc. Haven’t seen movie yet, but book was great. 

      • 5

        That movie was great!

    • 2
      • 1

        Thanks for sharing, Paul! Some sound ideas on your list. The detailed itinerary is an especially good idea, and the extra cell phone. 

    • 2


      also I don’t have my pack in front of me so I’ve left out some items I’m sure.  Let me know what you’d add.  

      Wow this is my jam!  I’ve been traveling with a specialized travel BOB for third world countries for years!  We are divers and go to many places that lack good infrastructure or clean water outside of resorts. 

      Of note:

      -always travel with good quality insurance, I also like to spring for extraction

       —this bag is tailored to somewhat undeveloped tropical places

      -I wear one set of quick dry clothes and my boots and pack a second set of clothes. —this is customized for a woman so if reading about period or uti supplies offends you, avert your eyes
      -my husband and child also carry a bag that works with mine
      -I usually carry my backpack cinched down as my personal item and have a roll aboard

      -i also carry an unnecessary comfort item, a usb rechargeable fan.  It’s provided air flow on many a plane stuck on the runway with no ac.  

      first, things I have to leave behind or pack separately :

      Fixed blade knife, hand saw and multi tool (packed in checked dive bag)

      esbit tabs (left behind) 

      things I pull out for TSA because I always get flagged:

      -titanium stove 



      things I bring:


      -a flashlight that takes usb rechargeable AA batteries

      -usb headlamp

      -work gloves

      -a flat pack of duct tape

      -glow sticks

      -good quality form fitting goggles like Wylie x

      -a small crank emergency radio


      -quality carabiners 

      -inflatable solar lamp 


      -my husband and I have a big Agnes 3p copper spur tent we split up between the two of us

      -a very large, very sturdy emergency blanket that can double as a tarp or tent footprint

      -a sleep pad
      -sleeping sack (if I happen to end up somewhere cold I have an escape Bivvy in my rollaboard. )

      -a tent repair kit and superglue


      -a flat pack titanium wood burning stove

      -a Swedish fire steel and tinder

      -2 lighters

      -A fresnel lens (signaling or starting a fire) 

      -salt and pepper

      where we go we are worried about viruses and bacteria so I’ve tried to come up with a lightweight solution for getting rid of both

      -a lifestraw bottle for each person

      —a usb rechargeable steripen

      -a platy in line gravity system with the clean bag replaced with a zip top bag (can also act as a reservoir) with extra filter

      -aqua tabs

      -kleen canteen for cooking and titanium spoon 

      -aquarium stone/section of tubing/syringe (can collect water without being right on the river bank)


      -nuun tabs

      -protein bars and water bottles  from the airport

      -military can opener


      -plb with the ability to standalone or tether to phone for texting

      -marine plb

      -solar battery with both micro usb and usb c 

      -2 qty of each cord


      -kindle paper white loaded with emergency guide books


      -shampoo/conditioner bar


      -travel deodorant

      -travel sewing kit

      -travel pack of thick wipes

      -mini Lysol spray

      -hand sanitizer

      -microfiber towel

      -insect repellant


      -travel toothbrush and paste

      -hair ties

      -gold bond powder (travel size)

      – unlubricated condoms (for keeping items dry)

      -flat pack toilet paper

      -zip ties


      -pocket emergency kit with fishing lures, button compass etc (I keep waiting for this to get confiscated but I’ve taken it on probably 50 flights and they never look twice at it) 
      -flat pack n95s (3 )

      -3 gallon size ziplocs 

      -3 pint size ziplocs

      -3 trash bags


      -backpack rain cover

      -lightweight day bag

      -sleeping mask

      -diva cup


      -copies of passport etc, maps of destination 

      -good quality pen and a waterproof notebook

      -eyeglasses repair kit (an idea from someone here)


      -quick dry shirt

      -zip off pants

      -3 pairs thick socks



      -quick dry sports bra

      -period wicking underwear

      – flat pack sun hat

      -rain poncho

      this is beefy and we split it between our two bags.  We also carry specific items to diving like liquid prednisone and an epi pen.  


      -quik clot z fold

      -chest seals


      -quality tweezers


      -trifold sling and safety pins 

      -tourniquet (good quality)

      -sealed pressure bandage 

      -sterile gloves

      steri strips


      -extractor kit

      -lidocaine numb cream

      OTC meds (I put these in a weekly pill flat pack)

      -eye drops or contact solution



      -low dose aspirin






      -antibiotic cream

      -alcohol and iodine swabs


      -Azo tabs


      boo boo kit

      -assorted bandages

      -new skin

      -instant ice pack

      Rx meds


      -z pack



      – liquid prednisone

      -epi pen


      -leukotape (good for blisters)

      -coban roll

      -gauze roll

      – silk tape

      -4×4 gauzepads

      -ab pads 

      -syringe with 18ga irrigation tip for removing debris

      • 2

        This is awesome Frenchiepants! Great to get a woman’s perspective, and to consider how differently we should pack for a developing country vs. domestic travel. Is your carryon terribly heavy?

      • 2

        It weighs about 17 pounds.  Depending on the airline I might at times need to shuffle some stuff into my carryon or checked bag but I usually fly business when I fly to the South Pacific so they generally let me be.