Back in August of last year, I posted this
about my experience traveling internationally with a bunch of gear. It was all carefully chosen to be, and more importantly LOOK, innocuous, but still be effective supplies for a wide range of mundane to extreme problems to emergencies. With layovers and Customs both ways, I think it was a pretty decent test.
Since then, I have flown domestically from Texas to Utah & back.
On the flight out, the xray guy pointed out something to another person, who asked to look through my carry-on. What they wanted to see was the odd cylindrical shape in the xray... my Evac-U8 smoke hood. The Security Officer showed it to the Police Officer, who said, "Hmm... I think I
need to keep that"... except that he didn't mean it. He was teasing. What he meant was that he thought it was so neat and cool that he wanted one for himself. He winked at me and the Security Officer agreed with him... he also wanted one.
On the flight back in, the xray guy pointed out something to another person, who asked to look through my carry-on. What they wanted to see was the odd cylindrical shape in the xray... "Oh," I volunteered, "You must mean the smoke hood." "No," they replied, "It's long, thin, and very dense. It shows up quite dark on the xray." "Oh," I replied, mystified. It turns out that it was the carbon filter inside my water bottle/purifier. The guy seemed quite baffled why anyone in their right mind would "need" a carbon filtering water bottle. But that was just his personal reaction. His professional reaction was, "Oh, okay. Fine. No problem."
So, I feel that if we who carry a lot of stuff would consciously adopt the determinedly cheerful attitude that any air traveler should adopt these days and decide to have the patience to understand that occasionally we might need to spend the extra few minutes to let personnel look at our stuff, we should be able to travel with everything we would ever need and more (with improvisational items taking the place of blades, of course).
Granted, two trips is neither conclusive nor exhaustive. My next trip may be the one where the idiot with the chip on his shoulder, the newbie trying to prove himself or the poor guy with the hypercritical boss decides I'm probably a terrorist since I'm obviously "expecting" some sort of crisis. If/when it ever happens, you guys will read about it as quickly as I can get released and reach a browser, I assure you. <img src="images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />