hiking poles: airport/travel question
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Apr 21, 2008 at 1:52 pm #1228499
Is packing hiking poles an issue for airplane travel? Obviously, they can't be brought on board (!) But I am wondering about just taping mine to the outside of my pack. Any experience on this? I don't want to have to buy some fancy expensive case that won't fit in my pack anyway.
thanks for your time.
robApr 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm #1429364ERIC PAYNESpectator
@vaporjourneyLocale: Greater Gila
I'm in the same boat as you. On wednesday I'll be flying from Atlanta to San Diego to start the PCT. First I considered not having poles at the start of my hike and having them shipped to me a week into the trip. I scratched this idea when I decided to buy one of those poster sized cardboard tubes from a Mail Shipping place, and checking this. I didn't want to check anything at all, and still don't plan on checking my bag. I'll put things like umbrella, poles, and liquids like Aqua Mira and Olive oil into that tube to ease the security hassles. Maybe even my spork and lighter just in case.
Maybe someone has a better method, but I sure don't want my carbon fiber poles broken!Apr 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm #1429368
well, I'm not worried about breaking my poles per se. I am more concerned about piercing my pack, or having them simply not allowed. A large poster mailer is a great idea, though.
I will be checking my pack- I don't see a way around it. Unless that mailer will hold my fuel etc.
Thanks for the good idea Eric.
robApr 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm #1429371Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
I've flown several times with my collapsable METAL poles.
FIRST – I put the rubber caps on securely over the carbide tips.
I carry my poles tip-up in the side pockets of my pack, and secured there by one of the side compression straps.
My ENTIRE pack then goes into a cheap, homemade draw-string top duffle bag. (out of sight helps to keeps the curious from getting that way).
If I had carbon fiber poles, I would invest in a heavy-duty mailing tube (or use the packaging in which they arrived) and check them separately. CF can't take sharp shocks at 90° to the fibers, and baggage gets tossed around a LOT.
At my destination, the duffel or the tube could be (1) discarded and re-purchased when it was time to go home, or (2) shipped ahead to trail's end for reuse, or (3) as an absolute last resort, carried with me.Apr 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm #1429378
bob, thanks for your tips.
I am trying to figure out if the airport has an area for public lockers. that might make things much easier. I like the idea of packing your pack – great idea on that. but i am afraid that the cheap duffle will have to be disposed of, and then what do I do on the way back? Hmm.
We'll figure something out yet.Apr 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm #1429395Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
The answer to your question is in the last paragraph of my post.
Cheap duffles are readily available at sporting goods stores. My wife made mine in an hour out of uncoated nylon. Don't stress over it; pick one of the options or dream up your own. there are more important logistical things to worry about.Apr 21, 2008 at 5:16 pm #1429402Margaret SnyderBPL Member
@jetcashLocale: Southern Arizona
I transport my pack in an army surplus duffel. It cost me $10 and completely protects my pack from baggage handlers. And it's huge!Apr 21, 2008 at 7:12 pm #1429413Steven EvansBPL Member
I've travelled a number of times with my poles (collapsable). Just get an old cardboard box, or some cardboard, and wrap the poles up. Finish with a bunch of tape and throw them in an old duffel (mentioned above) along with your pack. When you arrive at your destination, stash (ie. under a tree) the bag with cardboard somewhere until you return to the airport.Apr 21, 2008 at 8:39 pm #1429431EndoftheTrailBPL Member
You can get a pair of these to prevent the tips from ripping into your pack.
Also, after taping the poles to your pack, note that some airlines — such as United Airlines — still give away HUGE extra heavy duty plastic bags for packs, golf bags, baby seats, and the like. I use these all the time to protect my pack/poles when I check them.Apr 22, 2008 at 7:46 am #1429481
OK. Thanks all. I am set now.
Steve – I like your idea to 'stash' a bag like that. I'm not sure how realistic that is, but I can just picture myself outside a busy airport, sneaking under the single tree in sight, tossing a bag under it – and getting followed from there…
Have a good one. Spring is here!
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