10 Emergency Tools to Take When Traveling

While most of us have a collection of emergency tools and gear stashed away in our home (or some other safe place), we don’t always know which items to bring along with us when we’re away from home. Lots of survival gear is too large and heavy to bring along easily, especially when traveling by plane. So, it’s a good idea to figure out which smaller things would be most useful to have in an emergency.

Overhead view of brown leather suitcase on a wooden floor packed with clothes and a camera


Here are 10 emergency tools you should always have with you while traveling.

1. Pocket knife

Though it may be an obvious choice, a pocket knife is such a valuable tool to have with you at all times. It can be used for a variety of purposes such as removing splinters, cutting someone free from a seat belt after a crash, making kindling for a fire, and plenty more. Keep it in your checked bag if you’re traveling by plane because you won’t be allowed to carry it on.

2. Mini LED flashlight

A flashlight is a necessity if you wind up somewhere with minimal lighting at night, like the side of an empty highway in the middle of the desert. You probably won’t want to carry a large heavy duty flashlight with you, but a mini LED flashlight with a long battery life will do just fine.

3. Portable water filter

You never know when you might be in need of a way to filter water, so this portable water filter or one like it is a great item to travel with. You could also bring some water purification tablets instead of a filter if that’s what you prefer.

4. First aid kit

Though you hopefully never have to use it, having a portable first aid kit on hand could prove extremely useful in an emergency. You should keep a larger, more extensive kit at home and travel with a more compact one in your car or suitcase.

5. Emergency whistle

An ultra loud whistle is ideal for alerting others that you’re in danger and in need of assistance. Its clear, high-frequency sound can be heard from an impressive distance, making it much more reliable than your average whistle from high school gym class.

6. Chemical light sticks

Glow sticks may seem like a cheap party favor, but they’re actually very useful in emergencies because they provide light for hours without requiring batteries or electricity in any way. They’re also inexpensive and lightweight, making them simple to travel with.

7. Small roll of duct tape

Who doesn’t love the usefulness and versatility of duct tape? It’s a smart idea to keep a small roll on you when you travel just in case you need to create a makeshift bandage, repair a tent, or do a number of other helpful things with it.

8. TSA friendly multi-tool

Most multi-tools are not able to be carried onto an airplane, but companies like SOG have developed some that can be brought through security without issue. This TSA-friendly multi-tool has tons of handy features such as pliers, wire cutters, scissors, and screwdrivers.

9. Lighter

In case you need to start a fire, having a reliable lighter is essential. Options like this waterproof lighter are fantastic for emergency situations because they’re more durable than the typical, plastic lighters at the convenience store.

10. Emergency weather radio

Another useful item to have around is an emergency weather radio that can warn you of hazardous conditions. Switch it to travel mode when you leave the house, and it will lock onto the clearest NOAA signal and start chirping when a hurricane or flood is headed your way.

Whether you end up needing to use them frequently or not, traveling with these tools will help put your mind at ease so you can fully enjoy whatever trip you’re taking!

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