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View Full Version : Trekking Poles, Carry On, TSA, all that....



GolfHiker
03-19-2019, 16:15
I知 guessing the topic of putting your Hiking Poles in carry on luggage has been addressed previously. I know what TSA says on their website, check em.... I also see what people have said in TSA forums, about having no issue with this, and I壇 like to get some personal insight from my fellow WBers.
Naturally, I will break down my poles, use rubber tips, and have them completely inside my pack when going thru security. I値l also be prepared to limp my way thru, to justify my Pacer Poles being legitimate medical, stability devices. ( in truth, I知 not really kidding, as the medical device issue seems to work for some).

Finally, not to complicate matters, but I will be flying to Europe, thus the same security question on the return trip.

Thanks.

Time Zone
03-19-2019, 19:54
I'd recommend you call the airline you'll be flying.

PennyPincher
03-19-2019, 20:06
I'd recommend you call the airline you'll be flying.

Has nothing to do with the airline, it's TSA who will either let you through the screening or tell you to check the poles.

MuddyWaters
03-19-2019, 20:30
Has nothing to do with the airline, it's TSA who will either let you through the screening or tell you to check the poles.
And its their discretion.I travel a lot for work and I've had to throw away quite a few things that were allowed. Then gotten other things pass that weren't. usually in my backpack which is full of lots of little odds and ends and they can't search all the compartments, sometimes I can't even find all the compartments.

Once youve checked your luggage, your remaining option is only to throw them away.

In other words, its stupid to risk it imo. But plenty do without issue. Even if no problem 12 times, if on 13 th you are forced to leave poles behind, was it worth it?

If you dont have a checked bag, sure. If you do, no reason not to check them imo.

outbound I usually have a throwaway duffle with my pack in it packed full of my first food supply. My poles are in there with my pack. I carry on fragile and expensive items in a throw away carry on.

returning I take the frame out of my pack and pack it and poles in a throw-away duffel, with my hiking clothes and stuff, and carry on my fragile and expensive items in my pack sans frame.

But I also don't have to pay for baggage.

Traveler
03-23-2019, 08:05
It used to be (several years ago) TSA was vague about trekking poles being allowed in carry-on making it hit or miss if they would allow them or not. However, TSA now clearly states no trekking poles are allowed as carry-on, though they can be carried in checked luggage.

Analog_Kidd
03-23-2019, 18:57
I'm glad this thread got started. I'm going to the Canadian Rockies (Banff) this summer. I had seen a TSA page listing what is acceptable for checked it carry on luggage, but had forgotten to book mark it. This made me go look for it.

Here is the link for a pretty definitive list of what can be brought on a plane via carry on or checked. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all-list

I was happy to learn that a rocket launcher is not acceptable in either mode.

Coffee
03-23-2019, 19:54
I either check my poles along with other things that can't be taken on the plane or I send it FexEx or USPS to my starting location. I've read of too many hassles trying to take trekking poles onboard. When I went to Europe and didn't want to check luggage, I went without trekking poles. I actually didn't mind the lack of poles. I didn't need them because I didn't camp in the alps, staying in the huts instead.

Deacon
03-27-2019, 06:44
I flew American from Bangor to Philly to Toledo with my poles inside my carry-on Arcblast. No issue.
Just break them down.


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Traveler
03-27-2019, 07:05
I once drove from Bangor to Boston at speeds of 80 mph or greater and didn't have an issue either. Of course, I didn't get caught. Its a gamble doing either.

steve_zavocki
03-27-2019, 07:10
I flew American from Bangor to Philly to Toledo with my poles inside my carry-on Arcblast. No issue.
Just break them down.
Deacon, I think you just got lucky. I wouldn't follow this advice unless you had cheap walmart poles and you would be fine if you had to throw them away. It would kill me to have to toss my Leki's. I always check my bag when flying to go hike.

MuddyWaters
03-27-2019, 07:15
Theres gonna be a difference between collapsible poles and one piece as well, or even 3 piece and 2 piece. The bigger it is, more it can be perceived as being used as possible weapon.

I doubt 4 piece inside a pack, with ruber tips, would ever get flagged.

T.S.Kobzol
03-27-2019, 07:23
fwiw I packed my collapsible poles inside my backpack yesterday and I will be checking the backpack in at the airport. I'm done with it. :-)

Deacon
03-27-2019, 09:45
I once drove from Bangor to Boston at speeds of 80 mph or greater and didn't have an issue either. Of course, I didn't get caught. Its a gamble doing either.

It may be. The TSA guys opened my pack and looked right at them.

Maybe he was a hiker too. I dunno.

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Alligator
03-27-2019, 15:27
It may be. The TSA guys opened my pack and looked right at them.

Maybe he was a hiker too. I dunno.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk ProBangor is a tiny airport plus TSA agent has likely seen them before, probably routinely.

In my limited experience, at the smaller airports, TSA tend be a little more relaxed. They are not rushed and not overloaded.

I would consider mailing ahead as Coffee mentions though. Not worth losing. You could even include other stuff.

Deacon
03-27-2019, 16:29
Good points!


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Gambit McCrae
03-28-2019, 09:02
Here is a personal experience: Chattanooga, TN Airport. Headed up to finish PA this past Oct(2018). My buddy checks his pack, I choose to carry mine one. My komperdells have lueko tape and stints of wood I taped on in CT to keep them from wobbling and so I can not break them down. I get to TSA holding them, looking like a hiker already in my hiker clothes and wearing my pack.

TSA: Your not flying with those, END OF STORY! With an angry little look on his face.

We run back down to the check in station, the nice lady gets a guy to go out to the aircraft, pull my buddies bag off, I break the poles down(1 of the 2 joints, top joints weren't taped) and all worked out. Still ticked me off though.

Now after that experience what I will always do is for one remove the baskets, and fold them up. Roll them in your tent and when I have done this I nor my hiking buddy have had issues.

GolfHiker
03-30-2019, 16:01
I’m flying out of Indy to JFK, then on to France. I’m bringing my oldest set of poles, broken down, with rubber tips, and placed inside my Arc Blast. Taking my chances with carry on.

BTW, Deacon, we shared an evening or two in a shelter in ‘17. Vermont, I think. ( it was the octagonal shelter) I could use some of your luck...

Ragnar GA-ME ‘16/‘17

AllDownhillFromHere
03-30-2019, 17:47
Just check your pack.

PennyPincher
03-31-2019, 14:04
I collapsed my polls last time I flew to their shortest length and they have rubber tips on them. No problem. But I ended up having to check my pack anyway because I have a tiny knife with about a 1.5" blade that's been on every backpacking trip I have ever taken.

Deacon
04-01-2019, 10:26
I知 flying out of Indy to JFK, then on to France. I知 bringing my oldest set of poles, broken down, with rubber tips, and placed inside my Arc Blast. Taking my chances with carry on.

BTW, Deacon, we shared an evening or two in a shelter in 17. Vermont, I think. ( it was the octagonal shelter) I could use some of your luck...

Ragnar GA-ME 16/17

Yes I remember well! Also at the Notch Hostel!


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Dogwood
04-01-2019, 23:18
Never flown international with any trekking poles.

Last fall flew out of Atlanta Hartsfield, the busiest AP in the world, to Alberqueque with folded down CF with AL bottom shafts komperdell vario 4 on the outside of my pack bungee down securely as a carry on. Nothing was asked. Rarely check a pack. 90% of the time I'm using a 50L or less UL kit with nothing hanging off the pack. Might be a good idea to place inside a pack otherwise.