23 TSA Friendly Prepper Items – Stay Prepared While Flying

tsa friendly prepper items

We do as little flying as possible. We love to road trip. Plus, you can take any gear you want when you’re in your own vehicle!

Whether for work or personal, flying might be unavoidable for some. As preppers, we want to stay prepared at all times, regardless of where we are or what we’re doing.

In this post I’ll be talking about some prepper specific items that we can take with us in our checked bag.

Sometimes, though, we need to change our mindset and get creative when it comes to being prepared, especially when it comes to flying and getting through TSA.

First thing’s first:

TSA is not consistent.

From airport to airport and TSA agent to TSA agent; there is no consistency. While there might be certain items that are never, ever allowed, there are also certain items that I’ve passed just fine through several airports and then all of a sudden a TSA agent has a problem with it at another airport. It’s basically up to the individual.

As an example, my husband was carrying a gun shaped USB device in his carry on. It was gun shaped. NOT an actual gun. And it was a USB device. NOTHING threatening about this thing. None of it was sharp, no moving parts (except to take the USB in and out). Nothing special about it. It was just a USB device that happened to be in the shape of a little tiny itty bitty gun. Upon inspection, it’s clear it’s not a threat and just a USB device.

Except, to one TSA agent, it was somehow a threat and was confiscated.

A gun shaped USB device was confiscated.

And on the other spectrum, I was carrying around a paracord organizer tool that apparently had a little razor blade in it (I completely forgot it was part of the organizer) and it made it through THREE security checks at three different airports before it was stopped at the fourth.

This is a clear example that even if something is deemed ‘TSA friendly’, it may not be.

However, the items listed below are generally considered safe. Just be aware that literally anything can be taken for any reason. If you have any doubts whether it’ll make it through security, just put it in your checked bag or don’t take it at all.

Here are 23 TSA friendly prepper items:

  1. Paracord – if you wrap it around an organizer, just make sure it doesn’t have any sharp cutting objects in it. ;)
  2. Nail clippers – a manicure set should be fine, unless it has some sort of actual blade or scissors in it, just take the blade or scissors out.
  3. Pen/notepad – as far as I know, a pen and notepad have always been okay.
  4. Empty reusable water bottle – don’t pay for overpriced beverages!
  5. Medications – as long as they’re in the original bottle, but even certain places you go might have specific regulations
  6. Ceramic striker – just as long as it’s not an actual blade, a ceramic striker should go through just fine.
  7. Ferro rod – never had any trouble getting a ferro rod through an airport
  8. Lighters – disposable lighters and zippo lighters are fine, without fuel in them
  9. Map – for obvious reasons this is ok to take on
  10. Compass – also ok to take, and encouraged
  11. Duct/gorilla tape – goes through just fine
  12. Survival blanket – it’s just a blanket
  13. Shemagh – yep, good to go
  14. Bandana – perfectly acceptable
  15. Water purification/filter straw – yep, good to have
  16. Snacks – they allow outside food and you should always carry snacks
  17. Books – encouraged to take with you, especially for reference
  18. Poncho – never know, good to have around
  19. External cell phone charger and cord – yep, perfectly fine
  20. Hand sanitizer – as long as it’s 3.4oz or less, also baby wipes, tissues and any type of antibacterial wipe are good to go
  21. Cash – gotta carry cash
  22. Chapstick – never leave home without it
  23. Boo-boo kit – bandaids, alcohol wipes, gauze, tourniquet, should all be fine, just keep scissors out

Firearms are allowed on planes, but click here to read the very specific guidelines that must be followed.

I’d stay away from bringing any type of sharp object. You run a risk of it getting confiscated.

Now, you may be saying, “but I’ve taken ‘such and such’ on an airplane and it was fine!” Great! I’m really glad that whatever you took, such as a multitool or pepper spray, made it through. However, I always err on the side of caution, specifically because of the examples I gave in the beginning of this post. It’s ultimately up to the TSA agent.

You should always err on the side of caution and either leave it at home or in your checked bag if you’re unsure. Or be prepared to have it confiscated.

What are some TSA items that have made it through and probably shouldn’t have, or some items that didn’t make it through and probably should have?

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. I’m a knitter and except for about a year right after 9/11 I’ve never had any trouble bringing metal knitting needles (the TSA website lists them as ok for carry on baggage w no restriction on what they are made if) or a small sharp pair of craft scissors on any flight (the little Fiskars ones-again the TSA website says as long as they are less than 4” tip to end)

    1. Yes the TSA website says 4″ or less, but again, it’s all dependent on the TSA agent. I always just err on the side of caution. :) Thanks!

  2. I had problem with a large stainless paper clip that was on my badge wallet it proper a full search of my badge and normal wallet for knives. And the female TSA agent was right nasty abt it while looking at retired LEO credentials making sure she pulled everything out of both. Go figure it was obvious that it was a retention clip. In contrast I’ve had monkeyfist keychain go through without a second look.

    1. Isn’t that wild? It just proves the point that everything is dependent on the individual TSA agent. Thanks!

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