Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Travel Travails

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

I recently spent a weekend visiting my son. On the trip I made some good -- and a few less-than-good -- decisions before, during and after flying.

The Good
I was able to get out to see my son, his wife and their house for the first time. Since this was a weekend trip I just carried a day pack with a change of clothes and some personal items. I didn't have to go through the normal Travel Nazi screening, since my Boarding Pass came out with the Pre-Check logo on it(!), so that meant no removing my belt, shoes or being irradiated! I did have to empty my pockets and put my pack through the x-ray check, though.

I forgot to take my pen out of my pocket and was asked to put it in the tray, which I did. It is a metal body Zebra F 402 ball point, which I've carried for many years. I like this model because it has a medium diameter and a comfy rubber pad that feels nice in my hand. When I worked at my local gun store, a Deputy Sheriff commented on my writing instrument saying it was the pen of choice of his department since it was sturdy and not an obvious Tactical Pen. I had not thought of it as tactical or even Tacti-Cool, just practical. Besides, if it ever gets to the point (heh!) where I'm thinking of needing to use my pen in a self-defense situation, I'm in big trouble.

Two lines over, however, was a guy having a problem getting through the checkpoint. It turned out that he had a tactical-looking Tactical Pen and was having a difficult time getting it out of the screening area. From eavesdropping on the 'discussion', part of the holdup seemed to be the guy's tone and manner of speaking to the Travel Nazis. While I don't believe the TSA is a legal operation or has done anything to keep air travel safe, keeping quiet about it does seem to be a good idea if making your flight is important. I moved on before finding out how everything turned out, but I believe the pen went into the Bin of No Return.

The Less-Than Good
Since I packed the night before, kept my pack in the trunk, and drove straight to the parking company right after work, I didn't triple-check my pockets before turning my car over to the attendant and hopping on the airport shuttle.

Big Mistake.

I made it all the way to collecting my boarding pass and, while digging my wallet out, discovered my Kershaw Leek still in my pocket.

My $120 Leek
Luckily for me, there was a convenient stand for mailing prohibited items back home. If you look closely directly above the knife, you will see that for only $13.95 plus S&H (not to exceed $5) I can have my knife back.

In 3 to 4 weeks. No favorite, familiar knife in my pocket for a month. This is not the first time I've mailed this knife to myself, but it is the most expensive trip home.

Good thing I have another Leek (a black version!) that I bought several years ago for dressy occasions. This way, I at least have a familiar knife to carry; it's just not the stainless steel version that I don't worry about leaving in the bottom of my pocket, or taking a beating if I drop it.

I don't plan on abusing the black one over the next 3 weeks. I hope.

The Takeaway
  • Plan ahead for your travel. Don't make things harder or more expensive than necessary 
  • Getting through airport screening can be affected as much by attitude as the contents of your luggage. 

The Recap
  • Nothing was purchased (luckily!) this week. I really don't NEED any more knives (but WANT is another matter).

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NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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