This is a guide on carrying knives and certain non-permissive tools on your person and in your gear kit while traveling around the world.

I’ve just taken my 428th commercial flight through half of the world and have had bladed equipment as part of my everyday carry for every destination, this is how:

Global Legality

How to Travel With Knives Like a Vagabond

Knife ownership / possession laws in the USA are notoriously difficult to decipher from state to state and from blade length, type and purpose. This is no different to the rest of the world, with the exception of the few countries that completely ban civilian knife carry / possession.

Even when laws are specific and explicitly stated, they tend to be interpreted in not so precise ways because of the confusing nature of knife terminology and the person interpreting said laws.

So there are no universal knife laws, but there is a general concept of carrying knives while traveling you can follow as a guideline:

Again, it can be difficult to figure out every knife law for every country, and even the internet hardly helps in this regard. Just remember, better safe than sorry – legally speaking that is.

Knives in Checked Baggage

How to Travel With Knives Like a Vagabond

In the USA and most countries, knives are acceptable items if checked. There is generally no limit to how many knives you can pack, but a duffle bag full of only weapons will cause problems.

Even if your arriving country bans civilians from public knife carry, you will not be be arrested or get into any trouble upon landing (assuming your status is clear). Within these countries, keep your knives in your bag, not on your person.

There are some countries that will confiscate your knives from your checked baggage after you claim it. This is extremely rare and has happened to me only once:


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