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

October 1, 2023 / Comments (28)

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

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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 go 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 comfort. 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 that 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 in the comments section below!

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

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

28 Responses to :
Airport Go Bag | 10 Must-Have Items For The Prepared Traveler

  1. Coach Helder says:

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

    1. Outdoor Survivalists says:

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

      1. Coach Helder says:

        Thanks again, Be Safe & Enjoy your Sunday!

        1. Outdoor Survivalists says:

          You too, sir!

  2. Frank Zhong says:

    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!

    1. Coach Helder says:

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

  3. #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.

    1. Coach Helder says:

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

  4. Drew Moore says:

    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.

    1. Coach Helder says:

      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!

      1. Huggy says:

        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!

        1. Huggy says:

          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 says:

    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!

    1. Coach Helder says:

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

  6. Coach Helder says:

    Thank you for the detailed info.

  7. Giulio Bertoli says:

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

    1. Coach Helder says:

      Thanks for posting Giulio; I appreciate the feedback!

  8. Anthony Moraes says:

    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!!!

    1. Coach Helder says:

      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 says:

    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.

    1. Coach Helder says:

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

  10. Jerry Derillo says:

    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.

    1. Coach Helder says:

      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 says:

    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!

    1. Coach Helder says:

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

  12. Paul Rodrigues says:

    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.

    1. Coach Helder says:

      Thank you Paul, I’m glad that you found the article useful!

  13. Brian says:

    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.

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