You may feel overwhelmed when it comes to packing for a flight, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made it easy for you to know what to bring without compromising anyone's security. If you're concerned about following the rules for the items you can bring on the flight in your carry-on bag, consult the TSA's guidelines. Remember -- when in doubt, leave it at home or put it in your checked luggage.

Special Items

Unusual items, such as camping or sports equipment, may be allowed on board provided they meet the TSA's safety regulations. You can bring a camp stove on board, for example, if it contains no gas. Small batteries are allowed as long as they are sound (not leaking). If you are transporting cremated remains, you may take them on board as long as you allow them to go through the airport scanner. Items such as knitting needles and fishing rods are also allowed.

Gifts & Edibles

You can take food from home, including baked cakes and pies, on board the aircraft if you allow it to be inspected by TSA officials. Food that you purchase after the airport security checkpoint can be brought on the plane without inspection. If you want to bring a gift on the plane, it must be unwrapped. International foods may be brought on board if they are first inspected by airport personnel.

Exceptions to the "Prohibited Items" List

The TSA publishes a list of prohibited items that must not, under any circumstances, be in your carry-on luggage; however, some exceptions to the rule exist. Sharp and pointed objects are generally prohibited, but metal scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed. You can also take general tools, such as pliers and wrenches, on board provided they measure less than 7 inches. Cigarette lighters are allowed on board if they contain no gas.

Liquids, Gels and Aerosols

If you must take toiletries on board, follow the TSA's strict guidelines to get through security faster. The TSA allows one zip-top quart-sized bag per passenger filled with toiletries. Each bottle must be clear plastic and contain no more than 3.4 ounces of any liquid, gel or aerosol. Even when the items are packed properly, you must still allow them to be inspected by security personnel.

Everything Else

The TSA and airlines do not strictly regulate personal items such as books, clothing and small electronics except in the event that they disturb other passengers. Passengers wearing racist, sexist or otherwise offensive clothing may be asked to change. You can bring jewelry and small electronics on board; however, keep in mind that you must pass through the airport scanners without these on your person.