Taking Survival Items on an Airplane

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taking-survival-items-planeIt is a fact that flying is safer than driving. But there is something unnerving about to board a metal tube and flying at 35,000 feet.

Plane crashes do happen, and they can crash in very remote places. If you are lucky then you may experience a successful crash landing like the one in the Hudson Bay a few years ago. If not you may end up on a remote island, just like on the TV show Lost.


The thing is that if you prep at home and have enough in your stores to last 5 years for your family, your cousins, friends, and your whole extended family, it won’t do you any good on that remote island.

The trick is you have to get around and think about the damn TSA rules. It isn’t hard at all but you need to know the rules inside and out. Believe me, it doesn’t take a genius to outsmart the TSA!


The Main Issue…

  • You can’t bring any real blades.
  • No pocket knives.
  • No multi-tools.
  • No Leathermans.

That is okay because we have some alternatives.

What to bring on the plane to help you survive

You can bring any combination of these items as you see fit. Some of them are redundant so mix and match.

The Big Disclaimer: Do your own research. These rules and policies change all the time. Plus, an ill-informed TSA agent can throw out your grandma’s toothpaste because he or she thinks she looks a little funny.

Disclaimer: It’s important to know that even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane. Also, please note that some dangerous items below are illegal in certain states and passengers will be subject to state law. It is a passenger’s responsibility to be aware that origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of these items.  — From the TSA

Cutting Items

  • 2 Disposable Razors – You can break the plastic housing to easily get to the blades
  • Scissors – But only if they are under 4 inches. The TSA says, “metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited.” Look for very small sets, like sewing scissors. These work well most of the time and they are all metal.

Fire Starters

  • 2 Sealed BIC lighters – They need to be sealed! And, you can’t bring a zippo lighter that has fluid.
  • Cotton balls, Q-Tips, Lint – You can use these for getting the flames going.
  • Large Ferro Rod with Striker Plate – It is wise to separate the striker plate & store it elsewhere.
  • Magnifying Lens – I like the credit card sized lens to keep in my wallet. Simple. You can leave it in there full time.
  • Very Fine Steel Wool – #000 works well. You can use the battery from some of the sources below. Read more here.

Other Items


Here is a video that gave me some pretty good ideas about survival items on a plane.

Here is the full article from the Organic Prepper.

Image Credit: TheeErin, “Plane crash into Hudson River (crop)” by Greg L – originally posted to Flickr as Plane crash into Hudson River. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Micah May 5, 2017, 11:59 pm

    Excellent article, very concise and to the point, I have been thinking of this topic for some time and will have to leave my “safe space” for international travel, leaving me and mine at our most vunerable. I would.add a life straw water filter in addition to a bottle with an internal charcoal filter as well as handcuff keys, your shoe laces can be replaced with 550 cord as well as your belt, also pack a tourniquet, some clotting agent, and a small amount of duct tape around your water bottle. Dont forget a simple compass. The blade situation still perplexes me, I have thought of ceramic blades but I dunno. Popper footwear and carry-on back pack will be nessecary.