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Carrying a knife abroad?

Dogfighter

Armchair Traveler
 
Posts: 34
Joined: October 21st, 2008

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Tags: swiss army knife, knife, pocket knife, paul hogan, skobb
  • Added on: November 11th, 2008
May seem like a strange topic, but I've read "knife" on many people's packing lists. And I can definitely understand why. I mean, I carry one like I carry my cellphone and keychains... not a Paul Hogan special or a switchblade, just a simple utility knife. Comes in very handy in a variety of situations.

But these days, I know they wouldn't let me on an airplane carrying one. I also don't know what the laws are overseas regarding this.

What do travelers do? Buy a cheap utility knife on arrival and toss it before taking off again?

Africaholic

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 177
Joined: May 9th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 11th, 2008
Put it in your CHECKED luggage.

static

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Mod Squad
 
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Joined: January 1st, 2001

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  • Added on: November 11th, 2008
Checked luggage is no problem. My Swiss Army knife always comes with me when I travel. But, if I couldn't check my luggage for an overseas flight (like on Spirit Airways), I would just buy one "over there" and leave it at my last guesthouse on the day that I fly out.

Over the years, I have picked up oodles of really cool pocket knives made locally.

Dogfighter

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Posts: 34
Joined: October 21st, 2008

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2008
Yeah I'm not checking any luggage. Got a 3100 cu.ft. pack and it's small enough to be a carry-on.

tsftd

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 157
Joined: October 11th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2008
you have a few choices:

1) get a small, disposable bag to check things not allowed on many planes, ie knives.

2) buy a knife after you arrive, and toss it (or gift it) before you go home.

3) just don't take a knife. remember that the legality of things like knives vary GREATLY from place to place, and one of the countries you go to may not allow it, or it may even be illegal. also, USING a knife (even in self-defense) is often a bad idea as many jurisdictions classify them as "lethal weapons" which carry vastly different sentences, even in the case of self-defense.

if you decide you must take a knife, PLEASE research thoroughly the legality of the places you are going to.

on another note, there are many other odd laws concerning things that are generally considered common items. as an example, many motorcycle gloves have a knuckle guard made of carbon fiber, hard plastic, or other things. in most jurisidictions of the USA, these are considered "deadly weapons" and thus, if you punch someone with one on, your charge goes from a simple "assault" charge to "assault with a deadly weapon" which has a vastly increased sentence; also, in many cases if you for instance are attacked by someone barehanded and defend yourself with a "deadly weapon", you can still be charged as you are considered to have defended yourself with "unnecessary force". just things to keep in mind.

peregrinator

Lost in Place
 
Posts: 66
Joined: April 15th, 2007

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2008
a knife is something i never leave the house with (along with a bandana), just a pocket knife, maybe a 4" flip-blade with a serrated edge towards the handle. one of those "clip-blades" where you can clip it ot your pocket so it won't weigh at the bottom of your pocket. very accessible for rope cutting or slicing salami or bread. i bet there are restrictions for lengths of blade you can carry, but i think a knife should be regarded as an oft used tool, not really a weapon - i wouldn't worry about carrying one wherever i went, even it were illegal.
~ I will mount a long wind some day and break the heavy waves and set my cloudy sail straight and bridge the deep, deep sea. - Li Po, from The Hard Road ~

travis

Squat Toilet Professional
 
Posts: 875
Joined: June 22nd, 2002

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2008
Ditto the above post!

Never leave home without one and it's not a weapon, it's a tool that I use often. Therefor I check my bag. The buy one there option is considered but I prefer a high quality knife to some cheap thing that'd you most likely end up with if buying once 'there'.

Jabberwocky

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Joined: April 10th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2008
I buy a cheap knife at the flea market or a discount store. The kind with a clip to clip to your pocket. Then I take it home and sharpen the heck out of it with a sharping stone. A freshly sharpen dollar store knife can be really sharp. Then loosen the pivot mechanism so it flips open with a flick of the wrist.

I check in into a small bag when I fly. If it gets lost, no big deal.

tsftd

Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 157
Joined: October 11th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2008
obviously not a pocket knife, but for survival/hiking type people imho nothing beats a good ka-bar. theyre easy to find, cheap, used, and practically indestructible. depending on your preference you may want a post-1995 version which has a lot of differences. ka-bars are legal almost anywhere in the states, but due to their fuller some other countries have banned them. also be aware that due to their historic use in the US military taking one to a non-american friendly area may not be the best idea.

back on the legal mumbo jumbo, a few examples for common countries people visit and how the laws are almost the exact opposite:

in Germany (as of feb 08), butterfly and switchblade knives are among those which are expressly illegal to even possess. additionally, locking folders with one-handed lock mechanisms are illegal.

in Japan, any knife longer than 15cm total, 6cm blade is illegal EXCEPT butterflies and switchblades. similarly contrary to germany's laws, in japan it's blades WITH one-handed lock mechanisms that are legal. also, in japan you MUST conceal knives, whereas in many other countries you CANNOT conceal them.

this is just an example of how two modern industrial countries can have almost completely contradictory knife laws.

nevergoinghome

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Posts: 17
Joined: September 29th, 2008

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2008
i find it best to carry not a straight out knife but a swiss army tool .. (the one with the pliers in a thick body not a crappy swiss army knife) or a leatherman. they come in handy for so many situations from cutting finger nails to cutting paper

Eppyboy

Sells Travel by the Gram
 
Posts: 2081
Joined: June 20th, 2005
Location: New York

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  • Added on: November 14th, 2008
i think people mean swiss army type knife tool...i bring one every time it has helped me out every time...they are great...MAKE SURE YOU CHECK IT IN YOUR LUGGAGE.
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

nadens.newzealand

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Joined: May 18th, 2007

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  • Added on: November 21st, 2008
aaahhhmm... seems pretty self-explanatory to me -> CHECKED LUGGAGE!
-----
oooohhhh! life is sweet!

gojonesgo

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Holds PhD in Packing
 
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Joined: May 22nd, 2008

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2008
I took a swiss army knife with me on a 12-month RTW trip and used it...zero times...

WT

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Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 711
Joined: February 19th, 2006
Location: 7 years into an open ended world tour as a family

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  • Added on: November 30th, 2008
Interesting gojonesgo, we are into our 3rd year of traveling the world as a family & have used our swiss army knife probably hundreds of thousands of times.

It is not something we used much at home.

We actually have carried it with us a few times on flights with carryon by accident. Oops. Forgot some liquids and other things too. Oops.

Easy to forget, we have a kid to distract us. Wink

Hasn't been a problem, but I recommend putting it in checked baggage or buying there.
http://www.soultravelers3.com

I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
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