Bug Out Bag

Airport Go Bag | 10 Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler



Young couple carrying brown leather bags at air plane on runway | Airport Go Bag | Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler | Featured

With these 10 must-have items for your airport go bag, you'll be safe and ready during air travel.

RELATED: A USGI Sea Bag: The Ideal Vehicle Go Bag For You

How to Build an Airport Go Bag

Build an Airport Go Bag With These Essentials

Airport security can deter you from bringing along adequate prepper supplies, but having an airport go-bag or airport survival kit can save you. Your wallet can take a sizeable hit, you can miss your flight, or you can have your trip categorically ruined if you get detained just because of a piece of gear you unwittingly packed inside your bag.

Traveling by air has gotten a lot more complicated than it used to be. Not only are the counter and security lines getting longer and slower, but also the available choices for travel gear seem to diminish with each passing day.

Considering all the scrutiny continuously being added to the airport, it’s best to be sure and plan what exactly you should take with you in your travel bag. With that in mind and these 10 must-have items for your airport go-bag, you'll be ready and safe during your travels.

1. Your Airport Go Bag Backpack, of course!

I recommend using backpacks or rucks with good staging areas for each piece of your gear.


I suggest it to be:

  • A more compartmentalized gear so it will be easier for you to get something you need.
  • Light so it is easy and convenient to carry around.
  • Spacious to have a room in your travel go-bag for your comforts. Find out what additional gear you will need an account for when choosing a pack.

2. A Water Purifier

These foreign places may not be foreign to us in a regular sense but they are certainly foreign to our digestive systems.


Having a water purifier is not just for emergency situations but it is certainly handy to have in your go-bag for your everyday traveling needs.

3. A Tactical Flashlight

Having a good tactical flashlight gives me a bit more confidence in my readiness while traveling. So, I practice often with my tactical flashlights.

With the proper training, you have one heck of a self-defense tool that can save your life!

4. Some Backpack Body Armor

Look no further than recent events for validation of body armor’s importance. Get the best you can afford and be careful with all the knock-offs available.


The last thing we want from our preparedness effort is a false sense of security.

5. A Tactical Pen

You can cause ten times the damage than an ordinary pen if you plan on utilizing a real tactical pen for self-defense. It looks like a black pen and nothing more.


I can carry it in my pocket and just about anywhere, no one looks at it twice.

RELATED: Tactical Pen Roundup: The 7 Best Tactical Pens For Your Dollar

6. Some Paracord

Serious survivalists never underestimate the value of basic cordage. Paracord is light and packs easily.


Most of us have paracord bracelets, belts, and other gadgets made from paracord. Having a few feet of extra cordage in your travel bag is always a good idea.

7. Small Dry Bag(s)

I keep a small dry bag in my travel go-bag because of this, along with some incidentals and tech gadgets in it.


Anything can happen while traveling so it is a smart idea to protect your sensitive gear from the elements which may render them unserviceable.

8. A Spork

Yes, a spork. Those I use are made of titanium, making them lightweight as well as hypoallergenic. Your immune system gets taxed enough while you travel.


Any additional germs picked up from utensils left out in the open, countless fingers rummaging through them and you can see why a spork is a good piece of gear to have with you.

9. Electrical Tape

You know what they say about duct tape – it fixes anything. In our case, it repairs gear and builds temporary structures to make use of.


To avoid confiscation and being questioned in an international airport, you can use electrical tape. It has similar applications to what the duct tape offers and a smaller profile.

10. Ferro Rod

Everyone is aware matches and lighters are illegal on a plane. So in lieu of this, we carry a small Ferro rod.

It is incredibly lightweight and blends well with the pack. I use various Ferro rod necklaces and like to show them as a necklace to whoever is inspecting my travel bag.

Check out the full tutorial video on the items you should place in your airport go-bag by Coach Helder below:

I keep other items in my travel bug out bag I consider a staple. But I’m continually testing and reviewing gear. When I find an item that works better for me, my skill sets, and the situation at hand, I upgrade my travel go-bag accordingly.

Also, having cool gear is awesome but there is a caveat: you need to know how to use it and how to use it well! Get familiar with every piece of your gear in your go-bag and you’ll be good to go.

Do you have additional insights or suggestions you’d like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment on the comments section below!

Up Next: 

Go to our Survival Life Store to shop for some of our favorite self-defense tools and gear!


Follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitterTumblrand Pinterest!

***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Airport Go Bag | Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler | https://survivallife.com/airport-go-bag/

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 15, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Continue Reading


  1. Outdoor Survivalists

    January 15, 2017 at 10:51 AM

    Absolutely awesome & thorough article!!! This website needs more of these quality posts!!

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and for the kind words. I appreciate the support!

      • Outdoor Survivalists

        January 15, 2017 at 12:44 PM

        No problem! I’ll look forward to future articles from you… ☺

        • Coach Helder

          January 15, 2017 at 12:56 PM

          Thanks again, Be Safe & Enjoy your Sunday!

          • Outdoor Survivalists

            January 15, 2017 at 1:19 PM

            You too, sir!

  2. Frank Zhong

    January 15, 2017 at 1:24 PM

    Been keeping up with you for a while coach you always have interesting things to share outside the box… Ferro rod and dry bag parts were especially intriguing!

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 1:27 PM

      Thanks Frank, I appreciate the support! I promise to keep the “interesting things” coming. 🙂

  3. John Belkewitch

    January 15, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    #4… Two weeks ago I may have sloughed it off as a bit “paranoid”. A non-essential, perhaps. Ft Lauderdale put that into perspective — quickly.

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 2:40 PM

      I agree, John. Preparedness gear is often ridiculed & rendered unnecessary… Until It’s Needed! 😉
      Thanks for posting!

  4. Drew Moore

    January 15, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Excellent selection of essential items for one’s bug out bag. I recently did some domestic air travelling and feel lucky that the craziness that has been so recently report in our air terminals were absent on the legs of my trip. TSA can be so fussy however all your items make complete sense. The size of the bag is perfect for under the seat or overhead storage. I probably would add some prepackaged wipes, lol. That way when I get a cut like you have on your right index finger I’ll feel better. Thanks for the great review.

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 2:42 PM

      Thank you for the positive words Drew and for sharing your experience!
      I’ll remember to add the wipes as Item #11! 😉
      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      • Huggy

        February 23, 2018 at 11:29 AM

        Coach, with all the articles written on this subject, it is oftentimes difficult to see them all, much less read them all. That said, I’m happy I stumbled onto yours, although it has been quite some time since it was originally published. The comments Mr. Moore brings up are very insightful.
        As a long time Prepper myself, spanning five decades, I’ve seen and done a LOT of things and used, abused and discarded untold quantities of “stuff” that purport themselves to be the “ultimate” this or that, which is, frankly, unadulterated BS in a LOT of cases.
        Regardless and to the point, while I have traveled a fair bit and hope to continue to do so in the future, might I ask your indulgence and assistance in one regard?
        You state that you write only about QUALITY gear which you can wholeheartedly suggest I I applaud this position. I do the same thing, although I don’t have a personal blog by which I can spread the word outside of personal contact with individuals. And since I don’t travel via airlines much (for personal reasons) you apparently do .
        To that end specifically, would you be so kind as to mention, by NAME, which products SPECIFICALLY that in your travels you have found TSA to permit as part of a travelers “kit” and to better prepare the average air traveler?
        My reason(s) for asking is to preclude buying and carrying product X (say a Ferro rod) as you suggest then find that TSA personnel confiscate it because it doesn’t meet their criteria as part of your carry on baggage or pocket items?
        This would/could be a HUGE boon to the traveling public and, hopefully, prevent such item(s) from being taken from a traveler?
        I would certainly like to learn your thoughts on the topic and be able to learn from your experiences in such a situation a flying.
        I’m sure I speak for everyone who would avail themselves of your kind suggestions so they are all but certain they won’t be relieved of some important gear while the travel via airline. I’m most keen in learning the name and manufacturer of the pack you suggest and use personally along with the Ferro rod discussed as well as water purification gear (I’m fond of both the LifeStraw as well as the Sawyer unit. Both serve specific niche’s while complementing each other).
        In closing, Thank You for your article and information. Those inclined to prep will surely find your words and presentation to be great value and comfort. Especially in time of need of such gear.
        God Bless and Good Luck, Sir!

        • Huggy

          February 23, 2018 at 11:44 AM

          My apologies for failing to include the following suggestion with my above comments.
          Keeping in mind I try to refrain from air travel (honestly, I prefer to drive, allowing extra time to take in the sights, assuming I’m not flying overseas to another country, obviously), one small but EXTREMELY important addition to the “kit” you suggest should be some kind of First Aid Kit that covers minor Boo-Boo’s as well as a major ouchie as well.
          To that end, along with a few bandaids and alcohol prep pads, I’d highly recommend a compressed gauze pack or abd pad, a compressed roll of “cling” type gauze and, if allowed, a small hemostatic clotting agent and “Israeli” bandage. Lastly, a TQ if space allows and a small Sharpie pen to jot down notes or time of the TQ is applied.
          With the exception of the TQ, all of the items mentioned can be enclosed in a heavy duty Ziploc bag and takes up minimal space in a carry on bag.
          The inclusion of the kit can be of immeasurable help in the event of most minor accidents as well as a major problem, albeit on a smaller scale but effective until First Responders or other ALS personnel can take over.
          Again, Thank You for your article and information and God Bless .

  5. Karina

    January 15, 2017 at 5:02 PM

    Thank you for sharing this. There is so much information out there and it gets overwhelming…I really appreciate how streamlined and helpful this list is!

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 5:04 PM

      Thanks Karina! I appreciate you taking the time to share that with us.
      Have a great day!

  6. InklingBooks

    January 15, 2017 at 5:10 PM

    I’d add a basic compass like those made by Burton and Suunto, though I’d probably have it on a lanyard around my neck. And it would not be just for outdoors. You can get in confusing situations in buildings, airports, or cities where knowing directions can make a big difference.

    A second flashlite carried in a pocket is also a plus. One with a moonlight/medical mode, such as the ThorFire PF01S, is not only handy for a battery life of hours, but for situations where you need to see to get about or consult a map without attracting attention.

    If its animals that you’re rather not notice you presence, get one with a dim red light. For that, I have the Coast 19286, although the blasted buttons on the side are too easily turned on when stored. For other red and dim lighting options, search for aviator and astronomy flashlights.

    Another advantage of dim and red flashlights is that they won’t destroy your night vision. You may also want one that can be reliably turned on in moonlight mode. You may find yourself in situations where the last thing you want is a bright light signaling, “I’m here. Come and get me.”

    Battery life can matter. A friend and I once found ourselves coming down off a mountain on a poorly marked trail. We were late returning and the only flashlight we had was a small pocket one whose battery died. In some situations, we might have been in big trouble. Fortunately, in this one we only needed to keep moving downhill, keeping the sound of a creek to our left.

    Here’s a good navigation technique. If you’re headed for a stream, trail or road along which you’ve parked your transportation, deliberately aim hit to the right or left of your goal. Then you’ll know which way to turn. Pilots and boaters often use that deliberate-miss technique.

    And don’t get addicted to navigation aids such as a GPS. Always have at least one backup way of navigating when it fails. In worst case scenarios, that may be a direction that always gets you back, such as going downhill to hit a road that runs through a valley. Better a long but sure route than taking a chance with something risky.

    One of the best ways to deal with getting lost in the woods is to stop and seek shelter as soon as you realize you’re lost. That puts you closest to where the search teams will be looking. If you wander, you’re likely to wander further away. That, incidentally is why small children have a better survival rate than adults. The adult, consumed with pride, will try to find his way out. The little kid decides he’s uncomfortable, finds shelter, and waits for help.

    –Michael W. Perry, editor of Across Asia on a Bicycle.

  7. Giulio Bertoli

    January 15, 2017 at 5:20 PM

    Great list. Never had one and Never felt I needed a prep bag until now.
    Thanks President Trump.

  8. Anthony Moraes

    January 15, 2017 at 5:21 PM

    Wow! As an executive for Facebook, I travel a lot around the world and I found this one of the best, most interesting and most useful articles I have ever read on your site! Thank you Survival Life!!!

    • Coach Helder

      January 15, 2017 at 6:02 PM

      Thanks Anthony, I appreciate the positive feedback!
      I’m glad that Survival Life was able to bring this information to you and it’s other subscribers.
      Have a great day!

  9. Adriana

    January 15, 2017 at 9:15 PM

    Very interesting, I never really thought about this in such depth. I guess I need to be more prepared. Thanks for the info, very helpful.

    • Coach Helder

      January 16, 2017 at 8:01 AM

      Thank you for the kind words, Adriana!
      I appreciate you taking the time & for the support!

  10. Jerry Derillo

    January 16, 2017 at 10:54 PM

    Coach, Thanks to you previously suggesting this combination of gear, I was able to take my family to Disney with an extra layer of security and safety.

    • Coach Helder

      January 16, 2017 at 11:50 PM

      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us, Jerry!
      Also… Say hello to Mickey for me the next time that you visit Disney. 😉

  11. Rob Gill

    January 17, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    This is a very well thought out list. I just started poking around on your site as well. Appreciate all of the amazing content you provide. Definitely going to start stepping my preparedness up!

    • Coach Helder

      January 17, 2017 at 9:02 AM

      Thank you for the great compliment & for the support!
      It is truly appreciated!

  12. Paul Rodrigues

    January 27, 2017 at 7:15 AM

    Hopefully we all travel with common sense and thoughtful preparation.
    Taking into consideration the areas we travel to can be situational, this review is full of very good products along with detailed content.

  13. Pingback: Travel Survival Kits | What To Prepare For A Long-Haul Flight

  14. Pingback: Do You Have A Ferro Rod In Your Survival Kit? Here Are 9 Reasons You Should!

  15. Pingback: TUTORIAL: How To Use Your Tactical Flashlight As a Self-Defense Tool

  16. Pingback: Why A Shemagh Is Part Of My Travel Go Bag [Survival Life]

  17. Pingback: Travel Safety Tips You Shouldn't Ignore | Survival Life

  18. Pingback: Do You Keep A Combat Casualty Kit In Your Go Bag?

  19. Brian

    January 18, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    After hearing the experiences of those stranded on planes when 9-11 happened, one of the biggest problems I heard of was the toilets on the plane being so full that they were unusable. I have added a empty hydration bladder and adapter funnel for my wife to my carry on bag to use just in case. It adds very little weight and folds up enough to take up very little room. It can be discreetly used and carried off the plane. Once you get to your destination, if you haven’t needed to use it for relief, you can still use it as a hydration bladder. I am also trying to find out if urination bags are allowed by the TSA. Of course this only solves for bladder relief. I have also considered adding disposable briefs for #2 (light weight and they won’t take up much room either). If they are not needed for restroom duties (pun intended) the lining of the briefs (depending on what the material is) could be used as fire tinder.

  20. Pingback: 10 Must-Have Items For Your Airport Go-Bag | For The Prepared Traveler

  21. Pingback: 10 Must-Have Items For Your Airport Go-Bag | For The Prepared Traveler - Survive!

  22. J Watters

    October 8, 2018 at 12:20 PM

    Thank you for your insight of airport go bags. I would also carry extra shoelaces, for aid in shelter to tourniquets also some bandanas both are light weight and take up little space. Thank you and look forward to your next helpful article.

  23. Pingback: 10 Winner tips for smooth air travel - Yogallai

  24. Pingback: Travel Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore - Survival Gear Review

  25. Pingback: How to Survive North Korea | 7 Tips on Surviving North Korea – Sprent Brass

  26. Pingback: How to Survive North Korea in 7 Foolproof Ways – SurvivalCove.com

  27. Pingback: How to Survive North Korea in 7 Foolproof Ways -

  28. Pingback: How To Use Your Tactical Flashlight As a Self-Defense Tool | Free Patriot Gear

  29. Pingback: Airport Go Bag | 10 Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler – Survival Enquirer

  30. Pingback: Sac de voyage pour l'aéroport - 10 articles indispensables pour le voyageur préparé - Guide Survie

  31. Pingback: Airport Go Bag | 10 Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler – BestSurvivalSkills.com

  32. C

    December 28, 2023 at 3:12 PM

    It ironic the things you can’t carry on as cary on or on your self. In 2009 when my son was graduating we went on a trip to Scotland to get her. A always wear a watch band that has a fire rod built in to it and a 550 cord band .and have cared a p 58 in my wallet for years. We made it to Amsterdam then Scotland no problems then on the way back to the US leaving Scotland they confirmed my p38 saying it was a weapon. But the watchband with firo rod got throw customs. Ironic and crazy.Tsa can be fickle one person will let someone go the others will confiscate things . They havenicommen since and profile the wrong people . There rime and reason make no sense.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply



Enter for a chance to WIN a pair of these Tactical Boots when you sign up today for our exclusive email newsletter subscription.