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  1. #1

    Default Need advice for checking in backpack

    Getting crazy stoked for our HMW trip at the end of this month. Lots of little details to fill in, such as: how do you protect your pack when checking it in at the airport? Was going to wrap it like a burrito in tyvek and duct tape, but figured it might get ruined if they inspect the contents...if they inspect the contents....

    Would need same for return flight so I'd probably carry cover on our trip so needs to be light and durable...

    Thx in advance

  2. #2

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    Get bag from thrift store, put pack inside.
    Throw away at destination

    I picked up a nice large duffel for $2.50 last week

    Mail another to final destination with clean travel clothes . Unless can hit a walmart
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 08-08-2018 at 06:44.

  3. #3

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    Take everything off the outside. Cinch down all straps and tie loose ends together. If there are zippers that zip together, you can zip tie the pull together.

  4. #4
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Many (all?) airlines have heavy duty clear plastic bags that you can request that the pack be placed into. Used this on a recent flight from Birmingham and pack came through unscathed. I was not charged for the bag.
    Lonehiker

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    I've used MuddyWaters' approach for the flight out.

    For the flight back, I bought some Saran Wrap at the destination and used the "burrito" approach for the flight back. However, the purpose of the burrito was to tie down loose straps. I made sure that the top of the pack was still accessible and therefore airport security could search the pack if they wanted without having to unwrap the burrito.


    lonehiker, thanks for the info regarding checking with the airlines on clear plastic bags.

  6. #6
    Registered User Yukon Ron's Avatar
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    I've been using a "large" box bought at Wal-Mart. Costs about $2.50 and will easily hold my pack. Around the pack I put my sleeping pad and along side I put my trekking poles. I've used other methods, but this provides good protection and is cheap.

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    I keep it simple. Packing tape. Cheap and easy to find. I check in at the front counter at the airport then just before they take my bag, I say wait a second and I whip out the tape and just go nuts on the bag so it looks like a giant spider caught a mega bug. It's easy to cut it all away. Been doing it for years.

  8. #8
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    I went to Spain to do the Camino and I purchased the "airline case" from Zpacks. I put the pack and trekking poles inside and checked it. It got a hole in it on the second flight so i ended up patching it with gorilla tape because that is what i had brought. When i got to my destination the case went inside my pack as my pack liner.

  9. #9
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    I recently finished a trip to the Whites where I flew in and out of Boston. What I did is bought a cheap lightweight laundry bag from Walmart. My pack fits snugly inside and I cinch the top. I also bought a bungy cord that I wrap around it to help secure the laundry bag. This also gives the airport workers something to grab when moving it.

    When I get there, I just put the bungy inside the laundry bag and throw it in the bottom of my pack. I wrote my name and address on a sharpies on the bag in big letters. Total cost of about $5 and reusable. So far I have used this method successfully twice.

  10. #10
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    I have done the duffel bag route on several flights. I don't even put things in the pack. That way TSA won't damage anything trying to check it if they want to. I even label things with medical paper tape. that way they usually don't pull it out to check, and the paper tape pulls off without leaving any residue.
    Blackheart

  11. #11
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    You don't need another bag to put your pack in. Just put everything inside the pack; nothing on the outside, and strap it down good. I've flown three times with my pack on Allegiant Air, and Delta Airlines, and have had no issues.

  12. #12
    Registered User Bubblehead's Avatar
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    Another point: check your bag thru; do not bring it on board.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    Many (all?) airlines have heavy duty clear plastic bags that you can request that the pack be placed into. . .
    Yes, when you check your bag you can request a plastic bag. The airlines (probably all?) have these bags to put child car seats into. They are all used to managing this and it works fine. I personally prefer a duffle if my logistics allow me to not have to carry my duffle backpacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubblehead View Post
    You don't need another bag to put your pack in. Just put everything inside the pack; nothing on the outside, and strap it down good. I've flown three times with my pack on Allegiant Air, and Delta Airlines, and have had no issues.
    I have also flown without protection around my backpack for a few flights without damage. Heck, I've had unprotected sex without producing children also. BUT, I have also had backpacks damaged significantly by airlines. Given the cost is . . . NOTHING, unless you choose to buy a duffle for convenience, I would highly recommend NOT checking a backpack without some kind of a protective bag around it.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  14. #14

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    Purchased these Ikea zip up bags, Ill secure/remove the carry handles, TSA lock the zips and should be good to go...

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...SQXYLYHJ&psc=1

    I can fold them up and stuff them in the bottom of the pack and use them for the return trip. Or bring a USPS prepaid priority small box and mail them to ATL where we will spend our last night...

  15. #15

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    We hiked in New Zealand just using carry-on size backpacks (about 50 l). But you can't have a stove, knives, matches, or much food, etc. That's how we plan to go in the future, overseas. No checked baggage.

    Domestically you could ship the stove and knives, even gas canisters if you go ground shipping only. We've even shipped our whole intact backpacks and poles via UPS to a hostel on the AT, and it was great not having to worry about the damn airlines and their rules. Only hitch was the joker owner of Hiker Hostel, Dahlonega, GA, who asked "backpack, what backpack?" and then watched us meltdown before letting us in on the joke.

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