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  1. #1
    Registered User RabbitHole's Avatar
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    Default How to get your gear on a plane

    I'll be flying to Atlanta via Delta, I have a Z pack Arc Haul with trekking poles. Should I check it or use it as a carry-on, and how to accomplish such a thing?

  2. #2

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    If you have a stove mail it. Even if it's new TSA may throw it out due to possibility have residue fuel it in.Highly recommend staying at the hiker hostel, just makes things easier logistically. Get a cheap duffel or suit case,put your stuff in it and check it. I flew delta and did it this way. Everything in my bag was fine but trekking poles can be a possible issue. I just left the suitcase with the hiker hostel who have a place to donate them (people take this route a lot and they even advise you do this just to save possible headache).


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  3. #3
    Registered User RabbitHole's Avatar
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    Already booked at the hiker hostel. My alcohol stove is super small so I'll just mail that as a precaution. I was scouting cheap duffel bags at TJ Max already too. Thanks for the help!

  4. #4

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    Treat it as you would any other carryon but mail your shuttle driver things like stove. I just rolled up my trek poles and tent stakes into my tent. Put pack into duffel bag. Give shuttle driver duffel bag when hitting the trail.

    Also see here : Flying with a pack

  5. #5
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    For a JMT thru this year, I got a cheap duffel from a local thrift store for the trip out and tossed it in the trash once I got to California.
    For the return flight, I bought some Saran Wrap and just wrapped up the entire pack, making sure all loose straps were wrapped down, and making sure the pack could still be opened from the top should TSA decide to open it up. Left-over duct-tape from my repair kit helped secure the Saran Wrap.

    My packed bear canister and stove were include in my carry-on luggage. The only issue there is that I don't think the local TSA knew what to think when the bear canister went thru the scanner, so they pulled it aside and swabbed it. But beyond that, no issues getting on the plane with my stove and food.

    BTW, don't pack a lighter in you checked luggage. You are allowed to fly with a lighter, but it must be in your carry on.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHole View Post
    I'll be flying to Atlanta via Delta, I have a Z pack Arc Haul with trekking poles. Should I check it or use it as a carry-on, and how to accomplish such a thing?
    I wouldn't try to carry on a pack with trekking poles: http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/05/tsa-trav...-tips-for.html

    I think my last long hike I put my pack and poles in a beefy box, with my very expensive carbon fiber poles inside a length of PVC pipe inside the same box.

  7. #7

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    March 2015, Southwest airlines. I put my pack in a large light weight duffle bag. the Hiking pole and stove inside pack,no fuel. They got it to me with no problems. I mailed the duffle home from the Atlanta airport about $7. Road the Atlanta Rail to the last stop to the north side. Stayed at the hotel next to the mall and REI got fuel. Shuttle picked me up in the morning at 8am was hiking up Springer Mt. before noon.
    There are wonders out there, now to find them.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHole View Post
    I'll be flying to Atlanta via Delta, I have a Z pack Arc Haul with trekking poles. Should I check it or use it as a carry-on, and how to accomplish such a thing?
    I wouldn't try to carry on a pack with trekking poles: http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/05/tsa-trav...-tips-for.html

    I think my last long hike I put my pack and poles in a beefy box, with my very expensive carbon fiber poles inside a length of PVC pipe inside the same box.

  9. #9
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    I always check it. Rather than a duffel I buy a roll of packing tape. Before they take it, I wrap the holy hell out of it. I use up the whole roll. 100 percent coverage. The backpack looks like a cocoon. I have never had a problem.

  10. #10
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    Goodwill, Salvation Army, and flea markets have duffel bags and luggage dirt cheap.

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHole View Post
    Already booked at the hiker hostel. My alcohol stove is super small so I'll just mail that as a precaution. I was scouting cheap duffel bags at TJ Max already too. Thanks for the help!
    Hiking is the best teacher, it grades on a curve.
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  11. #11

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    TSA website says you cannot carry on hiking poles. But, I did just that at Portland, Maine airport. No issue whatsoever. Alcohol stove was no problem either. I would never check my pack. What happens if they lose it, mangle it, or rip it? That could be the end of your hike. Way too risky. To be safe, I would mail poles, pocket knife and stove to hiker hostel or REI in Atlanta.

  12. #12

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    Alternatively, just check your poles, knife and stove and carry everything else on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulWorksHard View Post
    Alternatively, just check your poles, knife and stove and carry everything else on.
    I am sorry, I must be missing something. Check your poles, knife and stove into what, exactly? Besides the cargo hold...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulWorksHard View Post
    TSA website says you cannot carry on hiking poles. But, I did just that at Portland, Maine airport. No issue whatsoever. Alcohol stove was no problem either. I would never check my pack. What happens if they lose it, mangle it, or rip it? That could be the end of your hike. Way too risky. To be safe, I would mail poles, pocket knife and stove to hiker hostel or REI in Atlanta.
    Some TSA stations will allow poles through, some don't. Though that can change with the shift supervisor or from a security alert or threat the TSA station is working with. Even getting through the airside security station I have seen people turned away from the gate with poles strapped to their packs by TSA doing random gate checks as well. Carrying trekking poles onto airliners is an issue of regulation interpretation, which can differ significantly between TSA stations, with TSA having the final word with their interpretation that day.

    To the issue of fuel containers, it can be a serious issue bringing fuel containers with any fuel (or residue that can be detected via dog or swab) in them as these are considered accelerants at best, explosives at worst. The same penalty for the dull witted who try the "I didn't know my gun was in that bag" excuse can be levied for hazardous materials. Its an expensive gamble and not one I would want to mess with.

    In my view, the safest bet is to ship the pack and equipment via UPS to the destination, especially if you are bringing stove equipment, knives, and poles. I've done this for a number of years and have not suffered loss or damage of items, and not had to wait for a delayed delivery once I got there. The next level would be to check the pack with all the stuff (keep electronics with you in carry on of course) in a duffle bag for protection. If you use a lock, get a TSA lock so they don't have to cut the lock off or slice open the duffel if there is something in the back that draws attention.

    Good luck!

  15. #15
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    I've bought a poster tube to check my poles and knife before. That worked really well, and was easy to trash afterwards.

    I've also carried on poles and stakes several times with no problem from a few different airports. I would never check my entire pack.


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  16. #16

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    I'm flying to Atlanta from northern Wisconsin via a connection in Minn/St. Paul on Delta.
    I'm planning to send my poles, knife, stakes, stove, lighter and matches to The Hiker Hostel, where I am staying the night before I start my Thru.
    I'll carry on my partially loaded Zpacks Arc Haul.
    The cost of shipping will be less than the cost of paying for a checked bag, and I won't have any possibility of extra hassle with airport security or baggage claim.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    I'm flying to Atlanta from northern Wisconsin via a connection in Minn/St. Paul on Delta.
    I'm planning to send my poles, knife, stakes, stove, lighter and matches to The Hiker Hostel, where I am staying the night before I start my Thru.
    I'll carry on my partially loaded Zpacks Arc Haul.
    The cost of shipping will be less than the cost of paying for a checked bag, and I won't have any possibility of extra hassle with airport security or baggage claim.
    man are your arms gonna be tired!

  18. #18
    Registered User Oventoasted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    man are your arms gonna be tired!
    Cant believe i laughed at this...

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oventoasted View Post
    Cant believe i laughed at this...
    one of my favorite jokes.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    one of my favorite jokes.
    My arms will have 5 months to rest since I'll be "just walkin" thereafter

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