TSA and Bushcraft

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Fixedblade, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3%

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    Going on a trip out west, taking Bushcraft/Camping stuff in a checked bag. I know what I can't take, checking to see if anyone has had problems with fire steel, flint and steel, char cloth? Anyone ever have a fire steel on your key ring and had TSA take it?

    I just signed up for TSA precheck, go for final interview tonight.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  2. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

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    I have never taken that chance.

    For example, as I start packing for my trip to Yellowstone NP, I am putting all questionable items in my checked bag. Then again, out in the bone-dry western USA I do not plan to do much fire making at all.
     
  3. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3%

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    Gotcha on checking.
    I'm going to Olympic National Park a rain forest. Don't need fire just practicing skills.
     
  4. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

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    I would add that my family and I have been signed up for TSA pre-check for the past few years. Makes life a lot easier at the security checkpoints.
     
  5. Jtulkas

    Jtulkas Tracker

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    I’ve gone through airport security (multiple times) with a ferro rod on my keychain or in my carry-on with no issues. I have not gone through with char cloth, I did have jute in my carry-on. This was just a ferro rod not a mag bar, and was around 1/4” diameter and ~2.5 to 3” in length -so not a monster ferro rod.
     
  6. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3%

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    Thank you for the reply.
     
  7. AdamD1776

    AdamD1776 Scout

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    No relevant experience to share, but another option is to mail your stuff ahead of you, and pick it up when you arrive. With the costs of checked bags, it can sometimes come out cheaper that way (so I've heard, never done it myself), and it shouldn't get "reorganized" for you like checked bags sometimes do.
     
  8. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    No advice just wanted to wish you safe travels my friend.
     
  9. Sandcut

    Sandcut Sed ego sum homo indomitus Vendor Supporter

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    I just pay $20, check my luggage, and take what I want that isn't on the prohibited list. I pack knives, hatchets, camp stoves (minus the fuel), etc.
     
  10. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I travel for work and typically fly weekly, Sunday through Thursday. The most I've risked with carry-on only is a bladeless keychain tool. Although yes -- I've had keychain sized ferro rods pass muster just fine. I'd be leery of trying to get a "goliath sized" ferro rod through based on it being potentially a kubotan.

    December before last I was working in Austin, TX and stayed put over the weekend so I could attend the Texas Hill Country Rendezvous, put on by John of Badger Claw Leatherworks. In that case I packed a larger, checked bag with pretty much everything you would take on a bushcraft outing and then some, except no firearms. A few particulars:

    ESEE / Expat Libertariat machete
    Michael Presnell Bushcrafter
    14" @kcardwel "steak fork" / squirrel cooker <-- pretty awesome BTW, worked great around the fire,
    2-3 smaller knives, forgot exactly which ones
    Ferro rod(s)
    Fire kit including flint, steel, char tin, char cloth, fatwood, fatwood matches
    Baddest Bee tinder
    UCO matches in a match case
    Candle lantern

    After the event I set up my stuff in the hotel room. In the below pic you can see the fire kit including the char tin, sulfur matches and ferro rod, it is up near the top of the image. Sharps to the upper right of my bedroll.

    Hotel Bushcraft.jpg

    So just put all the bushcrafty stuff in a checked bag and try not to worry about it.

    A word about Olympic National Park: depending on where you're going in there will be fees and in some cases you'll need reservations. Just a reminder to do some homework if you haven't already.
     
  11. Fixedblade

    Fixedblade 3%

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    Thank you for the post! We have local friends taking care of everything for ONP, still have a month before we go, can't wait.
     
  12. Foilist

    Foilist Guide

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    I've gone through with lighters recently with no issues. I can't imagine that a ferro rod is somehow worse.
     
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  13. doulos

    doulos Supporter Supporter

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    The whole flying thing has become such a circus I won't do it unless I am forced to. When I have had to fly, I put almost everything in the checked luggage. I have no desire to experience being that one exception.
     
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  14. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

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    Have you considered UPSing it to your hotel and back?
     
  15. NoBrakesRacing

    NoBrakesRacing Scout

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    I fly with a ferro rod in my carry on a few times per year, it's always in my back pack , hasn't been an issue except when flying back from Calgary. It was confiscated as a fire hazard. Still had a couple lighters.

    I think most of the time they don't know what it is. I have it next to a pen and a ceramic sharpening rod in the pen holders of the back pack.

    They did just confiscate a little swiss brand utilitikey knife that I've flown with for 10 years or so, the guy in Missoula knew more than those in London and Paris.
    Tried to take my leatherman PS that doesn't have a blade, that's how he saw it. Not going to miss it much however.
     
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  16. NoBrakesRacing

    NoBrakesRacing Scout

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    This trip I also checked pine resin, birch bark, natural cordage in a pouch and neither it not the usual knives were bothered.
     
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  17. Andy 315

    Andy 315 Supporter Supporter

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    Wife and I flew to MT from NY in June. Wanted to bring some gear but totally petrified it would get lost or confiscated. I don't fly much so unsure what was acceptable or not. Like posted above thought of mailing but just hate the idea of my stuff being lost. Good luck and safe travels.
     
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  18. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Have fun on your trip.

    I have removed air travel from my options. Not doing it ever again.
     
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  19. jswi2374

    jswi2374 Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Me neither. The cost is too high, and I'm not talking about cash cost.
     
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  20. Toddg

    Toddg Bushsquirrel Hobbyist Supporter

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    Check it all. It’s the only way to be safe
     
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  21. Luke Dupont

    Luke Dupont Scout

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    I flew from Japan > America > Japan with flint and steel, a ferro rod, knife, tomahawk, and other camping gear in my checked bag. Maybe I'm just lucky but none of it was disturbed.
    I omitted the char cloth and just brought a tin and some stuff to char because I figured that could smell funny and be suspicious looking -- people who don't know any better might not know what to make of it.
     
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  22. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hope you all have a great trip. My wife is from Port Angeles and I used to live in Neah Bay. You know you're remote when going to Forks is a trip to the big city. Beautiful country though. Wish I was back on the peninsula...
     
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  23. Captain Airyca

    Captain Airyca Scout

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    Just flew with a minimal bushcraft kit a few days ago. Checked my leatherman, Carried on: small ferro rod, fatwood, firstaid kit, flashlight, duct tape, can opener, paracord, BIC lighter (has to be BIC, or something similar, definitely look that one up), water filter. On the way back we brought back and carried on a couple big rocks - they looked thru that bag in the security line because I also had ice packs in our bag, but tbh it was fairly painless. The gal was really nice. I also was traveling with a cute toddler, so I think that helps :D
     
  24. Daniel82

    Daniel82 Tracker

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    If your looking for cheap thrills take a couple niacin walk up to the checkpoint and pace a couple times like you are getting your courage up to go through. Guaranteed strip search. The niacin will raise your temp enough to make you sweat and stand out in a crowd temp sensor and pacing will single you out. This is only to be done if you have lots of time to kill at the airport.

    I’ve flown with a bunch of checked tools before. Just organize it so the stuff they want to see is on top and they shouldn’t toss the rest of your bag. Pay attention to the X-ray profile of your stuff too. A couple of knives thrown in could look like a gun in the image. Just organize it well and take whatever you want in the checked bag.
     
  25. RangerWeaver

    RangerWeaver Woodloafer Supporter

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    I just made sure to take out my sharps and tent stakes. Only problem I had going through the TSA check was with my harmonica. They couldn't tell if it was a knife or not.
     
  26. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Just check a suitcase with your gear inside. My theory is that a soft pack invites pilfering because it stands out as more unusual.
     
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  27. JGB

    JGB NO SIGNAL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hahaha that would take up some time for sure...reminds me of the first (and last) time I drank a Rockstar energy drink on an empty stomach on the way to a wedding...it was the biggest can they sell and I downed it. I’m pretty sure everyone thought I was coked up...had to go change into dry clothes after ceremony..

    But on original topic, I took a 6” x 1/2” in carry on before, they just asked me what it was and let me keep it.
     
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  28. Luke Dupont

    Luke Dupont Scout

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    Sorry, a bit off topic but I have to ask: What blanket is that?
     
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  29. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    It is an old David Spencer point blanket. Made in England and sold through Spencer's department stores in western Canada. Spencer's operated from 1873 to 1948 so it's a pretty old blanket. Warm though. :)

    @Red Ochre, our resident wool blanket guru, pointed it out to me on eBay a few years ago and I nabbed it. Been using it inside a canvas roll made from a painter's tarp ever since. I don't treat it badly mind you but it is worn enough to not be of much value so I don't feel bad hauling it around in the woods.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  30. foxfire

    foxfire Supporter Supporter

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    I have flown for years with a ferrorod on my key ring and a larger one in my carry on without any problems.
     
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  31. Mountain Turtle

    Mountain Turtle Tinder Gatherer

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    I've never had any issues with fero rods in carry_on. On a business trip to Anchorage I picked up an Optomus solo pot and stove and a fero rod to light it so I could have dinner on Flat Top mountain, it sure beat eating by myself in a restaurant. I left the fuel can with a friend and everything else went in carry-on, I now take that setup with me whenever I travel and haven't been bothered.
    I have to say that the ONP is truly God's country. I hope your trip goes well.
     
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  32. Lee C.

    Lee C. Supporter Supporter

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    I've flown from VA to Utah with a checked 1911. Secured in case. Declared,fill out lil orange card saying it's unloaded. Really easy.
    The cute tsa agent actually wanted a look at it in Utah, she complimented me on it. Was a Springer trp in stainless. Really wasn't a bad experience.
     
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  33. Smokey Radley

    Smokey Radley Guide Bushclass I

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    I've never had issues with checked stuff. And I've had some of those bags loaded up because I was teaching a class. Think a dozen plus knives, etc. Now, on the way back from that trip I stuck a tin with some flint and uncharred cloth in my carry on bag. The TSA did not know what to do with me lol. Now luckily it was a small airport, and it only took an extra 15 min or so, but the look on their faces was fun.
     
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  34. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I just got back from a trip, always have a Ferro rod and quick tinder tabs in my first aid kit that I carry on and a mini bic in my pocket litter. I’ve never had an issue. The only things that have caused me any grief were a hot wheels car and a pack of baby wipes. The car who knows, the baby wipes I’m told look like a block of explosives. I want to see more of the country and don’t have a lot of free time so I fly, don’t like it but I do it. I use the same pack I carry to work and at work it’s full of guns and ammo that I dump out to travel, that’s not caused an issue either.
     
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