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Aeroplane survival thoughts


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Aeroplane survival guide


Okay lets face the truth here, there are only a limited number of incidents likely to lead from aeroplanes.


1) Terrorist threat

2) Crash into land

3) Crash at sea


I will start with terrorist threats, It is normally advisable to make your self as unnoticable as possible, this makes you a less likely threat, However if they are going to crash the plane, you might as well risk your life to try and stop it. I hope this never happens again, but it is not impossible.


Crashing is really quite simple, you either survive uninjured, injured or you die. We will assume for the sake of this thread that you survive.


Crashing into land can lead to some specific threats, eg contaminated air due to dust, smoke etc.

For this a quick mask can be made from bandanna, boot lace and water. It's not great but it is better than what everyone else will have.

Fire leading to smoke and burns, carrying a jar of honey will help burn victims, treat yourself before others though.

Twisted and exposed metal fragments will be sharp and can cause injury, you can choose to carry a pair of garden gloves, leather gloves etc for making your way out of the plane, Tougher clothing will protect you for longer than weaker clothing, so a cut into the skin from exposed metal may not be as deep.

Severed limbs are a possibiity from flying metal during crash, keeping the head down is your best action here. Large sanitary towel will help stop bleeding especially if bandanna is used as tourniquet etc.

You can carry a blade on a plane, but I am sorry that is one secret I will not let out, I am not getting sued. But something which can be used for slicing open a seat belt would be handy. Your stone nail file may weaken it enough to break out.


Assuming you manage to get out (Don't at this point stop to help ppl) Evaluate risks of being inside plane, is it on fire?, is it in quick sand etc?

Then if safe go and help people with what you can. Save as much luggage as possible too, yours and others, this can provide clothing and shelter options.

Try to act confidently, this will reassure others.

If a leader has self appointed him or her self, don't challenge them unless it's a serious health risk, But work with them, they might be more experienced than you in dealing with emergencies.

Dealing with all medical emergencies first, and getting wounded into safer enviroments. Get the capable ones into some sort of team effort and outside the plane, possibly saving what they can from luggage, food from plane, water, first aid kits. Everything that can be saved should be.


When everyone is outside, group together and arrange shelters, fire, water sources, send people out to look for food if they can recognise it etc. But only in pairs and for short distances.


Most officials seem to suggest a seventy two hour rescue average, hence the name of the kit, but evaluate the enviroment, is this likely? Snow covered mountain/heavy jungle?


Carrying some good knives, axes etc in your normal luggage bag, is a good idea especially if it happens to be one of the ones saved. Highlight it somehow???






Crashing into water, May not be the sea, could be a river, or a lake etc.


You may have upto a few minutes before plane actually lands in water, You will have to gather a floatation aid for you, Make sure your family has one, blow up one for your gear if you have one, put a mask on etc. Doing these things will keep a positive attitude and not give you time to worry about things too much.


The plane may split

With this the risk of drowning either in hull or in suction when hull goes down is high. If the plane is not intact. Get out ASAP, forget everyone else. They won't think about you for a second. I hesitate to say this includes your family, but maybe not your children.


Even while your head is down you can tie your spectra line to the kit you are carrying.

Did you pack a floatation aid for your gear? (This can be a childs arm band maybe, test it in your local swimming pool to see if it makes your choosen gear float)

Tie the flotation aid to the gear you have in front of you, and with the other side of the line, tie a large loop which will not slip easily from the hand but can be if it ends up pulling you under the water. This will leave you free to swin and tread water.


If the plane landed well, you will have a slide and life rafts to climb into, you will be cold and wet, your clothes will be heavier and everything will weight you down. So work out quickly if it is a better idea or not to tie jumpers etc to floating gear.


Get to the doors, and help others, you can always bail out if you feel you need to.


Is it possible to wear a dry suit on a plane? Quite possibly, but you sure as hell wouldn't be comfortable about it.,


Here is a link to read through






A few things I would advise anyone to take is a basic first aid course, as well as learning to recognise paticular symptoms eg dehydration, hypothermia etc,.

Learn it. No questions.


Take a basic survival course. Helping you to apply the stuff you probably only read about in most cases.

If you can't take a course then learn somehow to make fires, shelters, find food and water.





This is by no means a fixed list, I offer only options, you can chop and change to suit. In almost every case here I practice what I preach, I always get stopped and searched but only rarely had anything confiscated by security. That was for carrying fuel for the esbit cooker and a P-38 tin opener, but sometimes they let you off with this.

I think it really depends if they prick themselves with it when they lift your keys.






Clothing department.

A decent but long side split skirt can be used, but trousers offer more variations, for natural materials I always prefer mole skins, I have walked through brambles and got no thorns in me from these trousers. Can be used to filter water too if need be.


Wether it is summer or not, wear merino longjohns/leggings, It can get cold at night in the wild where these would be very handy.


Best walking boots, broken in. Good in many conditions. I prefer non gore tex lined for breathability. A full grain leather boot with ankle support. I use meindl borneos.


Good thick pair of socks, even in summer. the thicker they are in summer the more breathable they will actually be, try it and see. But do not tighten boots too much as this will restrict the air flow.


A good highwicking sports bra would simply be more comfortable if you need to run I think these come in merino now too.


A good icebreaker merino skin 200 and mid layer 260 offers decent breathability and temperature in summer and winter (only as a base in winter)


The swandri extreme ranger shirts, are warm, windproof, water proof and very tough. I only just got one, but it has replaced my german army jacket. Which before it was a leather jacket which is far too heavy for all year use.


You will notice I really like wool, thats because it is suitable for all season wear, It will absorb a bit of water, so may not be perfect for a crash in the sea (Swimming) but would keep you warmer than most if that was the case. Merino is also non itchy, doesn't hold odours, warm when wet, Compactable, Naturally antibacterial, easy to wash, and a natural UV repellent to a degree.

I swear by the stuff.



I offer three possibles here

Buff, normal versions but two of them inside each other. These can be used to keep the hair out of the way, ears warm when cold out etc.

Taken off they can be turned into mittens, for milder cold weather until fire gets started.


In wetter climates, a barmah foldable hat, when waxed offers great UV protection as well as good water protection, Ducking the head down, the hat will take abuse going through thorny undergrowth etc. I have gotten rid of the original hat band and use a head torch, people rarely notice this and if they do, tell them you normally work inma cinema and it comes in handy so you got used to carrying it.


A bandanna which should be carried in the purse, or on a belt loop etc anyway, can be used as an additional head warmer.


Moistened cloth headwear can cool the body too.


If you want to include a silk pashmina but quite see through, this could be used as a mosy repellent for the head, keep arms and legs covered and wrap socks over trousers. Silk is also windproof when well made.




Fire department


Bear in mind some international airlines do not allow any modern fire making equipment there fore we resort to primitive methods


If it is allowed, stock a small amount of matches with wased heads in film canister padded with cotton buds. Storm matches are unreliable in terms of quality but the good ones in a pack are very good.


Zippo lighter, i carry mine in a braided leather pouch, the pouch can double as a lashing for spear making shelter making etc.

spare flints can be carried in a calypso straw in purse, wallet etc.

Zippos can be used to start fire from vaseline wrapped cotton, or the rayon inside the zippo etc. It takes practice but is easy when learnt. I also carry a zippo fuel container, I have not had a problem with this yet, but two flights only so far.


Fire steel on a larks head attached to non demim trousers, used with a carpenters scraper. Sweedish fire steel strikes approx 12,000 times at 3000 degrees C, a very good fire starting system. Wear trousers but not denim as denim is too cold when wet. trousers can later be ripped up for hotter enviroments. And offer enviromental protection. The carpenters scraper can be used as one of the best fire steel starters. Trust me on that. The carpenters scraper can also be sharpened on stones to a knife edge in a few hours. Or the nail stone mentioned later.


As a necklace wear a fire piston, preferably a small one in natural materials, eg bone or horn, less suspicious than brass versions though more expensive. This will reliably ignite charred cloth. Which you can carry in a ziploc in your pocket.


Long lasting candle, I am pretty sure somwhere in america sells 30 hour candles, good either for hypothermia risks, or getting a flame going in order to light wet fuels.


Tampons offer a good source of almost sterile but certainly water proof fire tinder.


Small tub of vaseline for adding to tampons to create fire tinder, or for dried lips etc.





No airline should have any objection to this area.


Small but possibly two litre water bottle, even the plastic still water bottle is good enough to carry water. Can be turned into a fish trap too.


Light weight titanium cup, heats up easily, but is difficult to hold after wards unless a cloth is used. Also has obvious digging potential.


Millbag, IMO the only completely forever lasting water filter, needs washed if used on a regular basis but easily done if water is available, even easier if you carry a small nail brush. Also can double as a small carry pouch for berries etc.


Broken knife kubotan, I will try and get a link to this product. Every airline security personal will recognise this item, until you point out that the knife inside has been removed, they tend to let their defences drop after this. It is used for carrying potassium permanganate, which has many uses including water sterilizer, snow marker, antiseptic lotion, antifungal lotion, mouth wash, Fire starting with glycerin or anti freeze. Might be a good idea though not to carry the glycerin also, as they might recognise the possible chemical fire risks. Tell them you use it as a foot wash.


If the kubotan is a no go then carry a decent number or puritabs for sterilizing water. Make sure you know how to use that paticular brand and check labels some of them are not suitable for pregnant women.


Takmuria seeds, an indian seed used for fasting, drink a teaspoon with a cup of water and it will hold the water there in for upto 22 hours. You may need to experiment to find out how long you can last before getting chapped lips from this.


Tea bags, hand made. These can be carried as if they are a gift to someone else, so maybe wrap it and ribbon it or something.

We can get ready-to-make tea bags here from a chinese tea supplier. you just add your herbs and fold to tie shut.

Recommended herbs. Look up the reasons for these yourself and learn them.

Ginseng triple mix or siberian as an adoptogen

Valerian as a relaxant

Cloves as a mouthwash or dental anesthetic, cloves also good for pregnancy, give 6 ground up in a litre for easier birth.

As a physical chock treatment, ginger, alfalfa, cayenne pinch of, and sage.

Sage added to cloves makes a great dental treament. A coffee enema also can relieve severe shock.

For nervous shock, skull cap, valerian, and mistletoe in one.



For carrying and storing water, but not reliable really.




Most places I doubt could object to this


Emergency blanket carried in esbit folding cooker, they can allow the cooker as a blanket protector, but without fuel they can really have no objections. It can be used with a regular wood fire in order to concentrate heat into ti cup for cooking and boiling etc maximising fuel economy.

Can also be used as a solar reflector to gain attention or solar still for water collection, Possibly also as a solar cooker if a good pit is made, I have never tried this though.


Thirty hour candle also applies here if hypothermia is a risk. It can't be bad to carry a few, Perhaps wrap them up as a gift as a pack of four. If you soak each in a different essential oil you can maybe claim they are scented candles. i am not sure they would hold the scent too long though. Possibly wrap in silks or fancy material and ribbon it also.


Spectra, or kite line is extremly strong, enough for full on sex in a hammock, light weight and looks a lot weaker than it is.

Most airlines will not allow anything that can be used for restraining people but it's worth a try, I have not yet had mine confiscated.

Do not use paracord, it is too obvious.


Paracord can be used in non military colours as boot laces, tie the end in dental floss, to give a look similar to regular lace ends.




Who can really object


Snickers bar, for high energy resource.


Kendall mint cakes the classic old time energy bar, you can get them in choclate too.



High carbohydrate and fairly nutritous snack


Bag of mixed nuts and raisens. Sucking raisens are a good way to keep the saliva flowing, But so is sucking a button. Diabetics be careful.


One a day multi vitamins and minerals, need not be taken daily for extended use, perhaps every three days.


First aid

See teas, tampons and potassium above

But also.


Two types of pain killers and not enough to over dose on.


Roll bandage, get long rather than wide, easier to wrap whole body then. And make sure it has the stretchy hook system not safety pins.


Steri strips for closing wounds, get several sizes and buy the good ones, you would regret it if you didn't.


Sanitary towels as a large wound cover, highly absorbant for heavy bleeding. And extras if it's your time too.


Manuka honey in a medium sized jar, can be carried as a gift again. but also great for burns, cuts, stings etc


Rescue remedy (Bach) For shock and stress. Did I mention this above?????


Super glue will help to shut an artery, in a worst case scenario. But airlines may not allow it, I never carry it to be honest.


Eyeliner,for sun protection of the eyes. They're not going to question this...


You can also carry oral rehydration powders, anti diarrohea tablets, eppi pens,


I have one pair of trousers where the button has been replaced by a single good quality safety pin, they usually miss this. If they don't then make sure your trousers can be made to look like they will fall down if not used.




Specific tools


Carpenters scraper as mentioned above but for wood shaving too. Probably the best way to get tinders from wet wood. I am not sure but you may want to try carrying a good quality eyeliner sharpener, but they might refuse it.


Small glass mirror, if you also can get away with a glass cutter, which doesn't look like a blade type cutter you can turn the mirror into a blade, with stones for knapping it, or a spear etc. Cut the glass cutter down untill it almost has no handle and stick it on a key ring.


Nail file, the stone ones. These can be used to sharpen the carpenters scraper into a knife, it is not great steel but it will hold an edge for skinning the average critter etc.


I can't think of a single thing to act as a good awl for stitching, sorry.



Self defence options

Some of these might not be allowed but certainly are not outlawed yet.


Fountain pen, Use your imagination


Rape alarm, Very loud or as a rescue aid.


Pure capsacian, (Check spelling) mixed into strong purfume, the pure pepper burns hotter than hell and leaves no taste, not sure about scent but I doubt it. Can be used as a pepper spray. For humans and animals.


A strong mouth wash spray can also be used here, I carry a bottle of this.



Optional extras

A gps system as well as your phone could be handy, but in remote areas the phone probably won't work anyway and the gps is worthless unless you have a map of the area.


Locator beacons are apparantly available but I know very little about them.


Small vibrator, for the sole purpose of embarassing the security staff at airport, This will weaken their determination to harass you, hopefully.

Even males may choose to do this as the airline has no right to question your sexuality, however this may lead to discrimination. Also in some countries a vibrator is illegal. Batteries should also fit head torch. if you carry one.


If you do not carry a head torch as noted in clothing department then cary a keyring torch at least, with red light, works better at night for retaining night vision but lasts upto twenty times longer than a white led. Green is better for seeing contrasts at night.


Note book pen and pencil, for leaving notes to search and rescue, writing a diary etc, more usefull than you realise.





You will certainly look like a practical and outdoor person by wearing and carrying this stuff, but much of it is commonly carried anyway.


Here are a few carry options.


Small expensive label shopping bag, for the gift like stuff, food, snacks and water bottle.


Purse, handbag or small day pack

Contains a lot of stuff, but try to carry a lot of it on or in the trousers.


Barmagh hat can be worn on a thong around neck.

Bandana sticking through a belt loop.

Buff, on head....

Stick your tooth brush, eye liner, tampons, small bottle of purfume, in with first aid kit, you can probably still make it look mainly like a toilitres bag.





The rest of it you will have to work out if and how to carry it, shoulder bags should really be avoided though, back pack type designs are more comfortable, and tend to last longer IMO.



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Wow...there's alot of work in this, and I believe it merits space in our Manuals...


I am very touched and appreciative that you took the time to compile all this information...while I try not to fly often, there are those who's jobs or other reasons, put them in a place where they travel by air quite frequently.


Thank you so much.

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8thsinner,,,there is truly some great stuff here. I think the only thing that I didn't understand was some of the clothing names.. Like the buff,,,,I've never heard of it and perhaps some others haven't either. We might have to clarify that but this is some really helpful information.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We would be open to any more survival information that you feel might help.


Great job

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I have no problem with elaborating on anything I have posted here. I will try to add what I can.


But at the same time please try to appreciate that I am writing my own survival manual, and have been for going on two years now, I am upto page 853 or something, and still hundreds to go.


I am trying to get tutorials on many things done for quite a few other forums.


Heres a link to BUFF



I find the normal ones more versatile as it is not difficult to add leaves between two layers to increase waterproofness and insulative properties.


The kubotan I spoke off


It will hold enough potassium to last a very long time.


If you have any other doubts on brand like names let me know and I will post links or clarify if I can.



I have also been advised by an Ex navy guy to say that in training there first priority was to get out then get everything else out.


Also be prepared for the plane to look different after landing.


He shares concerns about the lanyard getting tangled and drowning you but I think he missed the bit stating that the kit is attached to it's own flotation system keeping it afloat and there fore less in risk of snagging sinking plane debris.


Of course he is right, it is still a dangerous procedure and should be carefully weighed against alternatives.


He also suggests a vest to wear everything in.

Airline personel also may not allow kit to be caried with you, but if you throw it out the door they can't exactly say go and bring that back can they?????


In one forum my post was actually removed, for some unknown reason. thats all the updates I can offer right now.






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