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What Can You Not Take On A Plane? The Outdoor Woman’s Guide.


Are you the type of packer who lays everything out 2 weeks in advance or the type that throws everything in a bag 1 hour before the flight? (Both welcome on Explorer Chick trips!)

Half the excitement of an upcoming trip is often the packing process itself. But the airport part of it? We can skip that part TBH. Prepping yourself for going through airport security ahead of time can make it easier and avoid having the TSA agent go through your stuff (yes, the 12 bars of chocolate are completely necessary).

The number of items you can and can not take on a plane, whether that be in your carry-on or checked luggage, is expansive. Just check out the massive list on the transportation security administration’s (TSA) website and you’ll see what we mean! Today we’ll be discussing a number of items on this list.

It’s also important to note that each airline may have different regulations for what is generally allowed, too. While the final decision rests on the security officer, a quick review of the carry-on and checked baggage requirements for airline approval is also a good idea.


What Is Not Allowed on a Plane (in Carry On Bags OR Checked)


gear not allowed on a plane


Restricted items that are not allowed on a plane, whether that be your carry-on baggage or checked luggage, include items and devices that can cause injury to air passengers, and the aircraft itself. These include:

  • Fireworks
  • Illegal drugs
  • Chemicals like chlorine
  • Fertilizer
  • Alcoholic beverages over 70% (The airport’s duty-free shop offers a wide selection of acceptable liquor and alcohol, providing unopened retail packaging when traveling.)

Along with these normal(ish) ones, there are also the outdoorsy camping no-nos we have to look out for too!

  • Bear spray
  • Stove fuel
  • Strike anywhere matches

A TSA officer will confiscate any of these items if you try to bring them.


What Camping and Outdoor Items Are Not Allowed in Carry On Luggage (But Is in Checked)


gear allowed in checked bag


Okay, the full list for what can’t go in a carry on is long and dreary, so we won’t bore you with all of them. Instead, we’ll skip to the important ones — AKA, the outdoorsy ones (and the ones we get asked about more often).

If you’re bringing any of these camping and outdoors gear on your next trip, you gotta pay for a checked bag:

  • Hiking poles (some lucky Explorer Chicks have said they’ve been able to take hiking poles in carry on, but to avoid potential hassle and stress, we recommend just checking them.)
  • Peanut butter (it counts as liquid, believe it or not!)
  • Knife
  • Tent poles and stakes
  • Micro spikes


How Much Liquid Can You Take on a Plane (Including Gels and Aerosols)?

One of the most common issues for carry-ons is liquids. Liquids include jam, baby food, and pudding, as well as aerosols like hair spray.

Under the TSA liquids rule, you generally get one quart-size bag to bring liquids in your carry on. Many airports actually provide a clear plastic bag of this size throughout various stages of a security checkpoint. Snagging a few as a guideline for how much liquid to take on the plane can help in the packing process at home.

But that’s not all! Each item is limited to a travel size of 100 millimeters for carry-on — any containers larger than this will need to go in checked baggage.

Ready to Book that Trip?

Women holding a banner from the guided tour travel company Explorer Chick.

Now that packing is complete, who’s ready for take-off?

If you’re champing at the bit to get your butt on a plane (safely and COVID-19 permitting), check out some of our epic trips for ladies like you!


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