Home Gear Airport Carry-On Get Home Kit

Airport Carry-On Get Home Kit

We are very limited with what we can carry on an airplane, but if you travel, then you really need an airport carry-on get home kit!

Airport Carry-On Get Home Kit

If you fly often for work or pleasure, then you should do your best to carry some form of Get Home Kit when you fly.

If you’ve followed our modular approach to my Survival Kits and Get Home bags, you can slide your EDC survival kit pouch into your backpack or carry-on luggage and it will provide you with a more effective kit than you had access to previously.

Can you imagine the frustration of being marooned in a far away city, wanting to get home to your loved ones, but having no supplies that would allow you to get started on that long journey home.

This list of gear isn’t all inclusive, since you are limited by what you can take in your carry-on bags. One item that you’ll need to scrounge up would be a decent knife, but you could look for that while you were already on the move.

We can’t have gear to cover every eventuality, but these are some good solid basics, that we can build on, if they are ever needed.


Airport Carry On Get Home KitYou should be constantly reevaluating your Airport Carry On Get Home Kit, but this is a good start for your carry-on bag or backpack.

  • Flashlight
  • Bandana or even better, a Shemagh
  • Duct Tape – wrapped around an old hotel key card.
  • Paracord – In addition to 50-100 feet of paracord in your bag, you may want to keep an extra Paracord Bracelet, clipped to your carry-on bag’s handle
  • Military Rain poncho – This can act as your rain gear and your shelter tarp, or in a pinch you add a poncho liner or jungle blanket and you’ve got a weather-resistant sleep system.
  • Compass – even a  simple, cheap Ball Compass
  • Small water filter – a Sawyer Mini (100,000 gallons) or a LifeStraw (264.172 gallons) would be perfect. (See how these 2 filters compare)
  • Stainless Steel water bottle – This can save you from buying the $4 bottled water at the airport and can be used to carry and boil water if you find yourself stranded far from home! If you don’t go stainless steel, you still need a way to carry water so consider a Collapsible water bottle – or a Nalgene bottle. Remember to make sure it’s empty before going through security at the airport.
  • Cigarette Lighter – You may not smoke, but if you have to get home on foot, it’d sure be nice to be able to make fire quick and easily. The Bic lighters seem to have a higher quality construction and reliability, over the generic gas station lighters.
  • carry-on would be pushing your luck, then try the Super Sharpie Marker (very large heavy marker) – Good for marking things, and perhaps an improvised kubotan!
  • Cell phone charger – you’ll want some form of battery backup charger and perhaps a hand-crank charger or solar charger for your phone.
  • Extra medications – in case you are on the road longer than originally expected
  • List of phone numbers – In case you’re phone becomes inoperable, you can still use another phone to call loved ones or emergency contacts.
  • First Aid Kit (Travel Size)

Bonus Items

If you have the space and can bear the extra weight, here are some nice to have items.

There is never going to be an Airport friendly kit that will let you carry 100% of the supplies you’ll need to get home from a long journey, but these carefully chosen items should allow you a great start.

If we overlooked any items, that you think would be helpful, let me know!


  1. Thank you for the post. I do research at the county courthouse and this get home kit would be allowed in the courthouse. I can be prepared and get to come home as well. thanks again.

  2. Maps!
    A couple large plastic trash bags (multi-purpose)
    And maybe a handful of Cliff Bars.
    spare socks

    Use a backpack for your carryon bag — in a SHTF crisis, you can ditch the business supplies.

  3. I was tsa pre-approved and forgot abt my cc knife. Well they found it. I have to say it was very evident that i had some kind of “knife” in my bag. They took it. Not happy abt that but good to know.

  4. I fly very often and carry a similar kit in my backpack. Here are some add-ons.

    Instead of a Nalgene bottle, I carry a Lifegreen 27 oz wide mouth stainless steel water bottle – Again, it’s fine to take this through security as long as it’s empty. Then you fill it up at a water fountain.
    A fold-up map of the US. I get a destination map from the rental car counter.
    Earbud headphones
    Earplugs (planes are loud)
    Chap stick
    A small power strip
    A Mylar bag (The rescue kind, like a Mylar blanket)
    A coloring book and small pack of crayons – I give these away to travel-addled kids
    $20 in one dollar bills. (For stupid toll roads.)
    A roll of pre-1964 quarters – I used to keep these loose in a zip-loc bag, but security hand checked it about 75% of the time. In the roll they only check it one time in 10.
    Oat and Honey cereal bars
    Alka-Seltzer – This is really handy and deserves special mention. It treats heartburn, upset stomach, headache, and muscle pain.

    I usually check a bag as well. In it I have my pocketknife and firearm. (Don’t forget to unload, lock, and declare the firearm.) I also keep backup copies (color xerox) of my ID and travel Amex.

    • Why pre-1964 quarters?
      I would add freezer bags to store the map and anything else so you have them serving two purposes, storage to keep things from getting beat up and stay dry and for use later if needed.
      Over the counter meds in a single dispense packet so there is no question what you have.
      Batteries have been an issue starting fires, so package them individually.

  5. Zebra F-701 Pen – nice pointy metal object in hand that doesn’t scream out tactical pen.
    Solar-powered flashlight/charger
    Paracord belt for pants
    Latex gloves, N95 mask, and bleach wipes
    Swimming goggles (to avoid smoke, gases, irritants, etc.)
    $20 in ones and roll of pre-65 silver dimes
    Granola bars
    Water purifier tabs
    Dollar store bota bag flask
    Duct tape
    Embroidery scissors
    Alvin brass pencil sharpener (Google and you’ll see why)
    3 mil contractor trash bag
    Ultralight rain/wind jacket
    Great pair of walking shoes
    Sharpened key on key ring
    Encrypted USB flash drive with important documents/info
    Button compass
    Magnifying glass
    Really good book

    Most of it is in one plastic bag so TSA can inspect and clear anything they want (never a problem), but dup use items go either in pants pockets or one/other of the bags. All very compact. I did have to use flashlight, mask, and goggles once due to hotel fire (smoke).

  6. Don’t forget tampons & feminine wipes. Us gals don’t want to be stuck. I always carry them no matter what because they can be used for so many other things as well.

  7. Great list… I’d just add
    Food… like protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, beef jerky, hard candy
    Menstrual Pads… they work on the obvious, and they are great to stop bleeding.
    Paper back book…. prevents boredom, and makes great kindling.
    Zipper bags… I love these things, and carry them everywhere. You never know what you will want to bag up.

  8. Blackhawk makes at least two different sized nylon zipper bags that are designed to fit into a BDU leg pocket. I use the smaller one as a traveling office to carry pens, pencils, Highlighters, sharpies, 4″ crescent wrench, tweezers, Leatherman “Style cs” scissors, smaller handled 4″ Phillips and slotted screw drivers (Have you ever seen someone stabbed with a screwdriver? Possibly better than a tactical pen!). In the larger bag I carry my survival stuff; nothing remarkable, but I do carry a compressed partial roll of electrical tape. Its sometimes quicker than duct tape for securing things.

  9. As anyone traveled Internationally with these items? I am putting together my carry on for a business trip to China and If my checked bag is lost or something bad happens I can have something to help me out. Any ideas of what to add and also how to get through TSA with minimum questions.


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