Like many of you out there, I have a variety of survival gear. I have duplicates of some things. I have multiples of other things. I have it organized fairly well…it’s in a couple of bags and some boxes in a storage area. I feel well prepared for a basic to mid-level emergency. Problem is, the bags that I have packed are too heavy!

I’m happy with one of the bags I have. It was a thrift store find of an insulated cooler backpack . . . I hadn’t seen these before but when I saw it I knew it would be perfect for a gear bag. It has a large main pocket and a smaller outer pocket that both close with zippers. Because it’s a cooler, it’s lined with waterproof fabric and the outside of it is plastic. And it has wheels. I liked that it was more waterproof than your typical backpack and it rolled, and I didn’t have to pay survival gear bag prices for it.

The other bag is a bowling ball bag that is also a plastic-y material making it more waterproof than typical fabric, but it doesn’t hold as much as the other one. One drawback to using these bags is that they aren’t fully MOLLE’d like “real” survival gear bags. But I like them, I’m using what I have, and I saved money on the deal.

I knew the cooler bag was too heavy. But I moved some things around in that storage room over the weekend and I realized that it were WAY too heavy. What to do?I know that I need to keep them lightweight, so I’m going to start looking for some new bags. Ideally, my husband could take the heaviest bag and our son can take the lightest bag. But SHTF situations are rarely “ideal” and we’re not going to plan for an ideal situation.

Keep it light

When planning your bug-out bag. Be realistic about weight. You might be along. You might be injured. You might have children with you that also need your help. If you have multiple bags, spread your gear out among the bags so that your bag is light enough for you to actually handle and yet also contains your essential stuff.

Pack large, heavy items on the bottom.

Put items on the bottom that you don’t think you’ll need as much, and also anything squishy that can handle being compressed by the weight of things above it.

Keep frequently used items at the top.

Items that I’d keep at hand are fire starting equipment, rain gear (so you’re not digging for it in the, you know, rain), lighting, and one serving of food or snacks and water.


Utilize bags or containers to keep things together. For instance, your fire starting material all in one pouch and your first aid all in one kit.

Review your pack occasionally.

If it’s been months since you packed your bag and stored it away, get it out and go through it. There’s nothing worse than knowing you have something but not being able to find it. Or thinking that you have something but then realizing it’s not there or not what you thought it was. It’s a good idea to continually edit and curate the items in your survival bag anyway. You may discover that you’re lacking something or you find gear that you like better than what you already have.

And, actually use the stuff.

That last point is key. If you get gear, use it. Try it out. Become familiar with it. Think about how you would handle a stressful situation if you were trying to get a fire built or filter water and you were trying to read a label or product instruction manual in the dark, in the rain, in the freezing cold, because you never used it beforehand and didn’t know what to do. Yeah. That’s genuinely a situation to avoid being in.

So repack your gear! And get out there and use it.


No matter how much gear you have in your pack or bug-out bag, if you don’t know how to use them or have some basic survival skills, you’re not going to last very long. These are the top 5 skills you must have if you’re going to survive TEOTWAWKI or a SHTF social breakdown situation of any kind.

1. Find and Purify Water

There are a number of ways to do this. We’ve written about “collecting water in the desert” as well as “building a better rainwater harvest system, ” so click around on this site for ideas. You must have some sort of purifier like a Lifestraw, or know how to collect water through condensation. Even in the desert there is some amount of water in the air. I’m lucky enough to live in a place with an abundance of water, so to be honest I’ve never actually tried any of the water-collecting methods I talked about in that first article, but I’m inspired to try them now. Look for an upcoming column about how some of these methods actually work.

2. Start a Fire

Another topic we’ve written about before…Click around for articles like “testing petroleum soaked cotton balls for firestarters” and “firestarter options and backups.” I personally have a small biofuel stove at home, which efficiently burns sticks, twigs, pinecones and stuff. I have a 2-quart plastic container in my utility room full of stuff that I picked up off the ground in mid-summer . . .  twigs, moss, fir cones, pine needles and other things that are bone dry and will readily burn. I have a packet of char cloth (both purchased and home-made), I have a fire piston (which utilizes only char cloth to make a spark), a magnesium scraper, matches, lighters, and a magnifying glass. Someday I’ll learn how to make a fire with sticks. Seriously, making a fire and having dry tinder is crucial. Have many options for fire starting available to you.

3. Build a Shelter

Depending on the geographical area where you are, the materials and techniques you use to create a shelter will be wildly different. In my part of the country, I would use the teepee approach by cutting down saplings and lashing them together. Then I’d take any tarps I had and use that as a covering and enhance that with branches. It would be tough to make it sturdy when one of our windstorms kicked in, which is why it’s so important to have some tools and rope available. I found this video that I thought had a good example that anyone could do provided they had a tarp:

4. Find Food

I’ve invested in a few books about identifying and using wold foods and you should too. I’m familiar with what grows around me and I keep an eye out for what foods are in my area. I know where the nearest stand of cattails is from my house and I no longer pull the cleavers out of my yard now that I know they are edible. Take a course on “how to eat acorns” like I did, and get either books specific to the wild food that is available in your area or learn from a skilled forager.

5. Basic First Aid

Everything I mentioned before will keep you alive, but it won’t help you if you get an infection (because there’s no soap or hand sanitizer) or you gash your leg and bleed out. We’ve reviewed the book “Bushcraft First Aid” and that’s a good start. Have some basic supplies in your kit and know what to do in a variety of situations. Just taking a basic first aid course through the local Red Cross would be a good start.

Everyday carry is a concept that most firearm owners know these days, however this should include more than just a firearm. I have had a few people ask me what my everyday carry load-out is and why, so I figured that this would be a great topic to cover.

Ask anybody you know, what are the things you have on you every time you leave the house? There will be a list, some shorter than others but the point remains; everybody has some sort of “everyday carry” items. Those of us that carry concealed do as well, ours just may be a bit more extensive. What should this list consist of though? What should we have on us at minimum, especially if we are carrying concealed?

First things first, something I was told a long time ago has really stuck: Bad guys travel in packs. What does this mean for us and how can I apply this concept to my everyday carry load-out? The first thing to touch on is also the first problem I encounter with everyday carry pistols. The three “C’s” of concealed carry are: Concealability, capacity and caliber.

You are always going to sacrifice in one of these categories. More often than not, I run into people that go out and get the smallest pistol they can find, because it’s easier to conceal. Now, with the smallest pistol you can find, you sacrifice in capacity, so I see people try to compensate by finding the smallest pistol in the largest caliber possible. While this is an option, there is a better solution that many don’t consider: carry at least one back up magazine. My general rule of thumb is to never leave the house with less than 25 rounds. With that I am comfortable in dealing with any situation that may arise, potentially multiple threats, and subsequently being able to control my scene until help arrives.

The next aspect of everyday carry that I see many people ignore or fail to consider is that roughly half of every day is night. Therefore, it would be wise to carry a light. I personally carry two separate lights on my person at all times. One is a weapon-mounted light and one is a pocket light. This allows me to utilize the weapon-mounted light in a self-defense situation in low light conditions. Not all situations are going to justify me drawing my firearm however, so if this is my only light I would not be able to utilize it in every situation that I may need a light. One thing to consider as well, both of my lights use the same type of battery. If one goes down I have uniformity, therefore I can switch a battery out and get my light that I need back up and running.

A few other things I always have in my everyday carry load-out are: a knife, some kind of medical or trauma kit, and pepper spray or some other less-than-lethal defensive weapon. If I am going to carry a firearm for self-defense purposes it would be advisable to carry a medical or trauma kit to deal with any injuries sustained in a situation should I need to defend my life or the life of another. There are a ton of places to get pre-made medical and trauma kits online, or you can build your own. There are also tutorials online that will walk you through what should be in a medical kit should you want to make your own for your everyday carry bag.

Thanks to American Concealed for the previously published article.

In December of 2016, a rash of winter weather swept across Oregon, bringing thick bouts of freezing rain and snow to Lane County. The ice piled onto roads, trees and power lines causing massive power outages and hazardous road conditions. Tens of thousands of people were without lights or heating and many didn’t have a way to leave their homes with trees and wires blocking off roads.

Search and Rescue operations center.

To help out, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office set up a special call center to service people who were going days and in some cases a week without any power or access to essentials. Search and Rescue members and reserve deputies were tasked with helping people who were low on supplies or weren’t able to safely restock. We would also clear debris from the roads we traveled on to make them passable.

Partially blocked roads following the storm















There are several things I gained from what I saw on these assignments that are pertinent for everyone.

  • Three days of supplies is a MINIMUM
    • You could be without power for days if not weeks depending on the type of area that you live in and what kind of disaster has hit. Consider your need for heating, power, food, water, electronics and medical supplies. You should have a secondary source of heat for your home in case of cold conditions outside. Otherwise, make sure you have warm clothing to help you stay comfortable. You will also need food and water for an extended period of time. You can often buy dry packaged meals and non perishable items wholesale.
  • Keep important phone numbers close.
    • Who you gonna call? Not the Ghost Busters. Have numbers for Police/Fire dispatch, utility companies and close friends and family written down and easily accessible.
  • Follow your local news sources and government social media and web pages.
    • When disaster strikes, these sources will list the locations of shelters and other hubs for people who need assistance. Knowing where these are can help when your home runs out of supplies, or if you can’t return home when a disaster cuts off means of transportation.
  • Have a means to clear your area.
    • Severe weather means falling trees and other debris. Several of the roads I traveled while making supply drops had branches or trees completely or partially blocking the way and needed a chainsaw to clear out. Of course, many people will think that public works crews will get rid of the problem. But in a disaster, emergency and utility crews will have a prioritized task list in their response, and your personal property may not be high on the list. Also, are responsible for clearing debris from your personal property. You may need to help your neighborhood by clearing out your street to help you and your neighbors travel. You never know how long it will be before crews are able to start servicing your area. A shovel should be the start of your list of tools along with a handsaw. If you live in an area with large trees, a chainsaw and extra fuel should also be a consideration.
  • Have a plan for your family.
    • Schools will often be closed or delayed after severe weather. What are your kids going to do if they don’t have class and the power is out? There’s a chance that you will still need to go to work if school is cancelled.
  • Prep your vehicle
    • Your car needs to be ready for the weather. Make sure you have the tires you need to get through the rough seasons. An ice scraper should be within reach to clear your windshield and windows. You should also have a go bag with supplies to make it home if you’re vehicle is rendered in operable. You should also keep a blanket in case you’re snowed in but don’t want to leave the protection of your car.
    • In snow, keep chains and a bag of cat litter or grave; in your car at all times even when you think you won’t need it.
The Search and Rescue truck

With essential supplies in a user-friendly package, a BackPak Buddy is a great tool that can help keep you alive and nourished if things go wrong on your next adventure.

A friend of mine in my SAR team recently started BackPak Buddy. Each buddy contains 15 feet of 550 paracord, compass, ferro rod, scraper, tinder, aluminum foil, whistle, duct tape, carabiner clip and a user guide. This gives you the ability to make fire, boil water and set up a shelter if your next trip goes a bit longer than you’re expecting.

BackPak Buddies make a great gift for the dedicated outdoors person or for someone who enjoys an occasional hike or paddle. They also offer more cordage and features than a standard paracord bracelet. To top it off, it has a very friendly form factor.

The whole purpose behind BackPak Buddy is to keep people alive and signal for help when they’re lost in the woods. All the components are assembled and thought out by an experienced and dedicated SAR operator who knows very well what people need to make it through the night.

Looking for an excellent stocking stuffer? Check out BackPak Buddy and purchase one in various colors for only $25.

There are a lot of reasons to love the invention of tactical pens. If you’re trying to figure out a good gift or stocking stuffer for someone in your life, consider a tactical pen. We got to test one out from UZI recently, the UZI Tactical Glassbreaker Pen ($22) and we think it’s just great. Here’s why.

It’s a smooth writing pen that is also a weapon.
Most of us carry a pen around with us on a daily basis. Women carry them in their purses. Men tuck them in their pockets. There’s always a pen or two in the car’s glovebox. With a tactical pen, no matter whether you’re in the grocery store or in line at the bank, you’ve got a weapon on you. The tactical pen is larger than a typical pen but still the same size and shape of a pen.

The Pen is compatible with Fisher space pen refills which write upside down or in the rain. It can write underwater, in zero gravity, and from below zero to practically the surface temperature of the sun.

It’s affordable.
While prices vary, this particular model is super affordable at only $22.

It’s a glass breaker.
This pen has an integrated glass breaker tip which could help you save someone’s life. Or your own. If you frequently drive around in vehicles that are not your own, this gives you a convenient way to get out of the car if you ever need to.

You can take it on airplanes.
When you’re traveling away from home, it can be a very vulnerable feeling to have to leave your weapons at home. When you get to your destination, you don’t have your EDC or survival gear on your person like you normally would, or your bug-out bag in your car like you normally would. The tactical pen gives you back some of that confidence.

You can carry them where you can’t take other EDC weapons such as knives.
In many workplace environments, guns and knives are not allowed. A tactical pen makes for a self-defense item that no workplace rules can take away from you. You can take a tactical pen into a courthouse, for instance.

It’s easy to hide.

These pens fit into a purse or pocket, suitcase, glovebox, lunchbox, or anywhere you might want to tuck a weapon that could be used as a punching tool. Tactical pens don’t appear as a weapon to most people. You can hold it in your hands and it is not obvious. This can give you the element of surprise in a self-defense situation.

It’s a good conversation starter.
The tactical pen looks enough like a pen that using one does not call attention to yourself. But, if you really look at it and think about it, a tactical pen looks different enough that people who are wondering about it might ask. It’s a great opening for a conversation about self-defense and to let the people around you know that you are not to be messed with.

It’s a jabbing tool.
Tuck it in your pocket and it’s not obvious like a knife or gun might be. It can make puncture wounds similar to a knife. It can gouge eyeballs better than fingers alone. It’s lightweight but solid enough that it can be held in the fist to support a punch.

It’s difficult to get taken away from you.
Tactical pens let you keep a tight grip on them. Because of the size and shape, they fit very well into your hand. It’s difficult for someone to pry your grip off a pen and take it away from you.

They are overlooked in pat-downs.
Because they are the same size and shape as a pen, they are easily overlooked if you are in a crowd such as a concert venue. It’s nice to know that you can retain a weapon just in case you ever need one.

There you go. 10 fantastic reasons to get the UZI Tactical Pen.

Know an outdoor enthusiast, wilderness worker or tactical pro? These items will be perfect for stuffing their stocking or putting under their tree!

For the Utilitarian

CRKT  Homefront

A problem that has plagued many users of folding knifes is that they are difficult to clean after hard use in the outdoors. The CRKT Homefront gives the user to completely strip down the knife for cleaning without any tools. A lever and wheel built into the knife allow the handle to split apart, freeing the blade and allowing access to the interior or the handle scales. The Ken Onion designed AUS 8 drop point blade gives good cutting power and edge retention for utility tasks. Rain, mud and everything in between won’t stop this blade from performing.

Mechanix Wolf Gray Fast-Fit Gloves

I’ve been using the wolf gray Fast-Fit gloves for a few months now both in Shadow Fox gear reviews and in Search and Rescue. They give good hand protection whether handling ropes, knives or kindling. My favorite thing about these gloves compared to the original Mechanix gloves is that I don’t need to move or take off watches or bracelets when wearing the gloves. Look for a full review on Shadow Fox soon!

Wild Hedgehog tactical base MED Kit

A good medical kit is essential to any kit whether you’re at the office, job site or range. The WHT BaseMED kit includes the means to treat a variety of common injuries in a watertight package. It includes the dressings and medications that make it perfect for keeping in an everyday carry bag or on your next day hike.

For the Busy Bee

Vanquest Envoy 3.0 Messenger Bag

Vanquest’s update to it’s popular messenger bag makes it perfect for someone looking needing functional load carry around town. The new bag packs collapsible water bottle pockets, a low profile webbing platform and expanded loop fields for adding hook-backed pouches and holsters. With plenty of pockets and a luggage handle pass-through, the Envoy 3.0 is a durable piece of gear that you’ll probably never leave home without.

Maxpedition ERZ Organizer Pouch

Maxpedition’s latest addition to its Advance Gear Research line is a semi-rigid organizer pouch that allows you to both sort and protect your small essentials. The outside shell has a loop field for morale and I.D. patches. Inside, there are elastic loops, a mesh pocket and a zippered pocket. Webbing on the back allows you to attach the pouch to your favorite pack or bag.


For the Vertically Inclined

Petzl Altitude Harness

Petzl’s latest harness takes aim at skiers, mountaineers and alpine climbers who are looking for a lightweight harness that doesn’t get in the way whether inside a pack or on the body. The altitude harness can be put on and off without having to step through any loops or remove crampons. Four gear loops on the waist and leg keepers allow plenty of gear organization without getting in the way of backpack waistbelts. Petzl’s WIREFRAME construction makes sure each size of the harness weighs in at a fraction of a pound.


Petzl Ride Ice Axe

Petzl’s Ride axe combines the construction of the company’s Glacier Literide and Summit axes to make a short tool with a bent shaft for ultra light mountaineers and backcountry skiers and snowboarders. The axe’s small size and shape reduce the risk of injury when carrying the tool on the outside of a backpack. The machined grip at the bottom of the aluminum shaft gives better grip on technical sections.

For the Tactician

Gerber Strongarm

Gerber’s flagship fixed blade combines new ideas as well as influences from the LMF II and Prodigy knives. What you get is a solid, affordable tactical and survival knife with an astounding sheath system. The blade comes with both fine and serrated options, something Gerber fans have been craving for a while with their tactical fixed blades. The sheath can me mounted any way imaginable on a vest, belt or pack.

Leatherman Skeletool RX

Leatherman’s Skeletool is a favorite among outdoorsmen and women. The RX edition takes the functionality to a new level with a serrated 154 CM stainless steel blade and a carbide glass breaker. An orange finish allows quick identification in an emergency. The model keeps the pliers and, wire cutters and carabiner loop/bottle opener that made the skeletool series a staple in the outdoors world.

Leatherman Skeletool

First Tactical Tactix 1-Day Plus Backpack

The market for assault packs is filled with products that don’t stand apart from each other in terms of designs and features. First Tactical’s Tactix pack shakes things up with a slick exterior and an interior organization layout that gives near infinite options to law enforcement and first responders. The outside of the pack is covered in the company’s Lynx laser cut webbing system, giving the user unlimited placement for pouches and the pack’s removable and replaceable compression straps. Inside, the pack is stacked with pockets, an interior organizer and a loop Velcro lined main compartment. The pack also comes with the ability to slide in a First Tactical rifle sleeve, all but eliminating the need for a dedicated rifle pack.

Looking for gift ideas for someone that needs good gear each and every day? We’re going to be posting a lot of cool items over the next few weeks to point you in the direction of gifts that any outdoors person or survivalist would love to have. Heck, forget giving these as gifts! Get something cool for yourself!

SOG Knives MACV Tool

Pocket sized tools are all the rage, and SOG has put out a design that’s radically shaped and packs plenty of features in a travel friendly package. The tool is shaped like the MACV-SOG symbol, from which SOG Knives draws its heritage. The tool carries a big driver, three wrenches, a bottle opener, knife sharpener, cord cutter, several screw drivers and a pry edge. Few tools carry this many features (including the carbide sharpener) and look this awesome at the same time.

ITS Titanium Pocket Tool

I’m a fan of carrying a blade besides my pocket knife. My knife is for self defense first, and the edge should stay sharp for that purpose. I carry a multitool for utility tasks, but it can be clunky and heavy in my pocket. ITS Tactical’s titanium tool gives users a slim utility piece that offers essential features. The tool fits standard utility razors for easy replacement. The blade opening is also cut for 15 wrench sizes. The opposite end has a bit driver and a flathead/pry edge. The included leather sheath allows you to safely carry the tool in the change pocket on the right hand side of jeans.

Ontario RAT in D2

The RAT is a standard when it comes to EDC knifes, and the D2 version adds a new level of durability to the already heralded blade. D2 gives the user enhanced edge retention whether you’re cutting open boxes or making feather sticks for your fire. The handle design is unchanged, leaving the user with a very comfortable EDC tool.

Ontario RAT in D2
Photo courtesy of

Trayvax Summit Wallet

The Summit was one of the best pieces of gear I tested this year. It’s so simple yet effective in its purpose. It’s perfect for trimming down what you carry and is far more comfortable than shoving a thick wallet into your back pocket.

Maxpedition Riftcore Backpack

Maxpedition’s AGR Rifcore backpack has a shape similar to the Falcon line of packs but with revamped materials, features and an interior layout that gives near infinite options for organization. The pockets and elastic loops inside the pack allow the user to organize knives, tools, camping gear, electronics or anything else you could want to put in a backpack. The padded shoulder straps, back panel and hip belt means comfortable wear. The sleek exterior and webbing system allow this pack to fit right in while traveling or on the trail.

Maxpedition AGR Rifcore backpack

A good knife is an essential part of any outdoors kit. A knife can aid with many tasks like shelter building, food preparation, fire building and self-defense.

But shopping for knives can come down to finding the best quality blade for the lowest price. There are plenty of options in the knife world, and Boker has introduced a fixed blade that delivers a well built knife for less than $40.

The Boker Plus Outdoorsman is designed for, of course, outdoorsmen and hunters. The blade is Sandvik 12C27 steel with a titanium coating for corrosion resistance. A good thing about the coating is that it’s smooth and doesn’t get in the way of batoning and feather stick making. The blade is has a 3.5 inch fine edge and is .17 inches thick, which gives you a durable and light package. The drop point has a false edge that covers about half the blade, which gives the knife great penetration.

But beware, it should not be your first choice if you expect to be prying things apart. The handle is plastic with a rubber molding. With or without gloves, it offers a solid grip on the knife. But I found it to be a little small, so users with smaller paws may get a better fit and feel for the knife. There are four holes in the construction which allow you to lash it to a pole for a spear.

Since it’s a light and short blade, it does not fare well with chopping. It can however baton smaller sticks to make kindling. The knife is great at making tinder piles. The blade holds a good edge and makes very fine cuts on dry wood.

To top it off, the spine of the blade, while not a totally sharp 90 degrees, can make sparks off a Ferrocerium rod.

My main issue with the knife is that it comes with a Cordura sheath that is only for righties (sorry, a southpaw is writing here). Also, it isn’t flush with knife’s construction, which is starting to wear away at the fabric after some insertion and removal.

But all things considered, the Outdoorsman is a solid blade that delivers good quality at a fair price. Purchase the Boker Plus Outdoorsman for $60.


When you travel, you might feel limited in what survival gear you depend on, because you can’t always take your important items with you. If you’re flying on an airplane, TSA has strict guidelines regarding the type of products and their sizes that you’re allowed to carry on board and pack.

Review the following checklist for survival items you can take on an airplane. The good thing is that these items don’t take up much space and whether you travel regularly or just once in a great while, you’ll feel better knowing that you can be far from home and still be prepared.

1. Sunblock. Sunblock is an essential everyday item to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If something unexpected happens — especially in a sunny or tropical location —  sunblock will be a lifesaver. Take a small bottle with you, no more than 3.4 ounces.

2. Portable water filter and pouch. The pouch is a container that can give you filtered water in case of an emergency. Taking these survival items on a plane is ideal because it consumes minimal space when empty.

3. First aid kit. Take a basic first aid kit with you that includes common medication and wound care items.

4. Hand sanitizer. Small bottles of hand sanitizer will pass TSA screenings. For obvious reasons, this product will make traveling more sanitary by helping you keep the germs in check of the billions of travelers have touched multiple surfaces you’ll encounter. An extra bonus to hand sanitizer is that it’s highly flammable and can assist in starting a fire, a major survival tool in emergency situations. Keep the size limit to 3.4 ounces.

5. Baby wipes. If a situation arises in which you can’t shower or bathe, baby wipes will suffice for hygiene. Take a small package with you on the plane.

6. BIC disposable lighter. This brand is highly advised since it’s more dependable than other “flimsy” lighters, according to The Preppers Dome. Fire is a vital part of survival, so you’ll want something reliable.

7. N95 masks. Respirator masks will help you avoid contracting contagious diseases and shield you better from harmful particles in the air following a disaster. The masks are good at preventing the inhalation of smoke and many other trace particles.

8. Compass. A compass can aid in navigation when you’re in a place you aren’t familiar with. You’ll at least know which direction you’re heading with a compass in hand.

9. Space blanket. These blankets fold into small squares and go far in keeping you warm, and shelter you from the elements. It has a dual purpose in that it can be used to alert search planes with the shiny side that reflects light. Invest in a high-quality blanket because the dollar store brands are prone to tearing the first time you use them.

10. SAS Survival Guide. This is a miniature guide that has 625 pages of clear, precise instructions for a variety of survival situations in a broad spectrum of environments. It’s a great survival item for preppers to take with them on an airplane.

11. Solar lantern. New models like the “Luci” light are plastic and inflatable. They deflate to a very compact size which makes them perfect for tucking into a suitcase.

12. Scissors. Check to see if TSA regulations regarding scissors change with time, but in the past they have allowed scissors with blades up to 4 inches.