Does something soaked in water count as a "liquid or gel" for going through security? Say I went swimming in the morning, and I have my wet bathing suit in a plastic bag. Is that a problem? Should I stuff it into checked luggage to avoid being detained or having my bathing suit confiscated?
What about damp things - towels, say, or some laundry that didn't dry overnight after all and we have to leave now? How important is it to keep these things out of carry on?
If I am wearing a cooling scarf that is filled with beads of hydrogel, and it has been soaked in water so it is swollen up and doing its job of cooling me? (Example with pictures, this is not where I bought mine but the pictures explain things.) Am I now carrying a gel through security? How would anyone establish its volume? Is this an item that they will just confiscate?
I realize the solution is to put these things in checked luggage. I'm trying to establish how worried and reminded I need to be about that. The trip I'm headed on has 26 legs, meaning 26 times through airport security, and that's a lot of packing and unpacking and making sure things are in the right bags. If things need to move bags when they're wet, I'll do it, but if they don't it will be a relief.
For added complications, only one transit will happen in the US, and that is for the final leg that takes me home, where confiscation is less of a worry to me. TSA rules will not apply elsewhere and I don't really know where to find a consistent set of rules that apply worldwide, thought I expect the TSA rules are a reasonable model to go by. I'll be boarding in many different countries but the ones where I might have wet things will be small island nations like Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa and so on.