Flying with a trauma kit

| July 21, 2014 | 8 Comments

The She-Shepherd and I recently flew to the east coast. I’ve made it a habit of taking a trauma kit of various sizes and shapes with me, and have taken to carrying a tourniquet in my pocket at work. I wanted to take something with us on our travels, but I wasn’t sure if I would have to check it with our blasters or not.

The TSA regulations for what you can or can’t bring on board a plane in carry on luggage is so stupid I decided to ask the folks over at WarriorTalk. The answer was “yes,” even with medical shears. I know the TSA has weird guidelines about scissors, but I was curious if my rounded tipped shears would be okay.

I had contemplated building a purpose-built kit for this experiment, using a gallon Zip-Loc bag as the container and a bunch of gauze, gloves, etc. However, I wanted to see if the shape and composition of the container made a difference. I have a Condor rip-away EMT pouch in my EDC bag, so I thought I’d just use this one and see what kind of reaction I got. I also took a separate Slick tourniquet with me.



I had all sorts of responses ready for what the kit was, what it was for, and why I would bring it into an airport (including the TSA agent who bled out because no one would go to him), but I didn’t need it. No one said anything, and I passed right through screening without a hiccup.

Flying with my trauma kit and my separate tourniquet was super easy, and if you have the room in your carry-on I highly suggest you consider taking at least a small kit with you when you fly.


About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

8 Comments on "Flying with a trauma kit"

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  1. nDjinn says:

    I fly with mine. I have a vacupacked small kit in a cargo pocket containing gloves, tourniquet, z-fold quickclot dressing, NPA and micro shield. In my carry on (Khard 30) I have a custom kit (as an ALS medical provider) using the ITS Tallboy trauma pouch. For the sake of time spent at the TSA checkpoint I pull out the shears and hemostats and have never had an issue. I think everyone trained to, should carry at least a basic trauma kit to control hemorrhage and maintain airway along with PPE to do it safely.

  2. B says:

    Hi Shep,

    Yes, I had similar fears but started doing the same. I fly several times a year, for work mostly, around the country. I’ve always left a pair of scissors and needles out of the bag for the same concerns you had. IF the agents are sensical you shouldn’t have any problems. I have had the open the kit and inspect but never took anything out of it. Once in a while I’m asked why I have it and I simply let them know that I always travel with a first aid kit. And, if you are concerned about sharps, you can place those items in your checkin bag if concerned or as you say, with your blasters. Better to heir on the side of caution I suppose. Additionally, I’m a war veteran and always try to grab an emergency exit seat. Not cause I’ll be first off but because I know I would help others to safety, if capable. Surprisingly I’ve yet to carry when traveling. I need to seriously look into this so I can have my piece with me for peace of mind when I land. Thanks for the write up!


  3. B R Kurtz B R Kurtz says:

    I suspect most of the TSA types have gone back to sleeping unless they had a recent asschewing or maybe a fight with their husband’s baby momma on the way to work. Keep in mind the TSA crew are the SAME folks who let the 9-11-01 hijackers through with box cutters, now they just have a federal pension and union to keep them from being fired the next time they ride through the xray machine to see how their broken leg healed.

    • nDjinn says:

      Hey now, The TSA was formed AFTER 9/11. I worked for the TSA (until I couldn’t take the incompetence any longer) and you are right on the money for an expanding segment of the screeners. When I started 30% of us had some sort of background that you would think would be an asset and we were committed to trying to do the job. It quickly became clear it was theater. In my 6 months I saw a shift leader let a guy on a plane with a 5 ft piece of 1 inch link chain (an obvious weapon) another guy on a plane with a manrikigusari. During penetration tests I saw a screener place HIS HAND ON A GUN in target luggage and CLEAR IT!. I went though a check point with C4 (inert) and detonator with out alarming. I started trying to quit then (it’s hard to quit low level g jobs). Then one day when we were being trained how to sweep a terminal for IED’s and one “screener” said, and I’ll quote the best I can. “I ain’t going down there if someone sayz dere is a bomb, Imz here for the paycheck, I ain’t no bomb sniffing dog, ya’all need to call the pol-lice if that happens”. Se had a shift lead position open. I applied as did a retired airman that taught IED identification when he was in. Do you know who got the job? A 65 year old woman with no security or tactual background not even any government work, she had just worked at the TSA longer than either of us. Lastly I put in an application to make penetration testing my official job all over the country. I didn’t get it for the same reason and resigned. The TSA airport manager begged me to stay but I saw the writing on the wall. I sign 4 or 5 forms binding me to not tell anyone what I learned about internal system or the equipment.

  4. JDM says:

    Fly all the time. Carry one of the vacuum-packed ones in my knapsack, along with 2 flashlights. Never even been questioned…about those. 🙂

  5. TJ says:

    I fly with my Dark Angel Medical Pocket Dark Mini and a CAT 7 TQ on every flight. Only time I got questioned was when the TSA agent thought the windlass on the CaT 7 was one of those “tactical” pens. A quick explanation cleared that up. Actually the only time I was really hassled about it was at a concert security check point. Older gentlemen with a veteran hat on actually asked why I carried one and wanted me to put it back in my car. All I said is that it’s not illegal to carry and not on the prohibited items list at which point I was allowed through with the gear.

  6. Gbreze says:

    My question is will a Chest Dart ( Chest Decompression Needle ) get flagged? It’s part of every blow out/ trauma kit I have.

  7. Darren frazier says:

    I dont take any chances with mine. The darts go in the checked baggage.

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