View Full Version : Trekking Poles on Airplane

02-11-2011, 13:53
Will TSA/Airline allow trekking poles as carry-on baggage?

02-11-2011, 14:08
Likely not but check with the airline. I checked mine.

02-11-2011, 14:53
Check out TSA's Prohibited item page here (http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm#5) and look under the "Sporting Goods" section.

I think they'd consider trekking poles to be like ski poles which are a prohibited item. Bummer.

02-11-2011, 15:22
I saw a guy with his trekking poles as his carry-on for a flight in November (he just finished his SOBO). The TSA made him put them in a big clear plastic bag. He told me they questioned him pretty thoroughly about them. I fly alot, like really alot, for work, and I do not recommend this or any other questionable stuff with the TSA. They can be unpredictable, and what one guy lets you get away with, the next one might not. Unless you are completely willing to leave your poles at the checkpoint or forfeit your flight, put them in your checked bag.

02-11-2011, 15:38
I agree with BobTheBuilder. My buddy decided to check his poles on his flight when he hiked the Long Trail last year. As soon as he got on the plane hes sees a lady with her collapsed trekking poles as a carry-on!

TSA screeners are a fickle bunch. What gets through at one airport won't at another.

I say it's not worth the potential hassle.

02-11-2011, 15:46
Tell them they are a walking aid, and you require them… but seriously, see if you can get a answer from the airline, and if possible print out some form of documentation. You may want to consider dropping them in the mail a week or so before you leave.

02-11-2011, 16:24
I had no problem with my collapsible trekking poles as carry on with the small pack I was carrying for the last three years. But next time they go in my pack as check on luggage. The inspectors are a fickle lot to deal with. I specifically wear a belt with a plastic buckle when I fly to hopefully eliminate the minor hassle of taking the belt off. Some inspectors will wave the wand over it to make sure and some others said they didn't care...take the belt off. Yessir, yessir, three bags full.

02-11-2011, 16:41
Thanks everyone.....I will just put them in my checked bag....I dont want any problems to start a wonderful hike.

02-13-2011, 11:03
Has there been a rash of poles exploding and taking planes out?

I really have a hard time grasping what/who TSA and DHS deem to be a threat to our safety.

I guess the only safe option is to mail ahead. :-(

02-13-2011, 11:21
I really have a hard time grasping what/who TSA and DHS deem to be a threat to our safety.

Lately, people's private parts it seems. Biggest waste of money ever. Anyone with a few chemistry classes could turn the contents allowed in carry-on in the multiple 3 oz containers in the 3-1-1 bag into a formidable binary. If they were serious about real security and not just a politically correct dog and pony show that worries about offending ethnic and religious groups that historically have correlation with terrorist activity, they'd profile and also conduct background check everyone that flies. If you're a security risk, you shouldn't get to buy a ticket in the first place. Period. Body scanning and other security measures of most US citizens is a complete waste and only done out of political correctness so that those who should be profiled and investigated more thoroughly can be subjected to it too.

Speakeasy TN
02-13-2011, 18:22
My wife made a dash all the way across SEATAC and back when I needed a staff to hobble on Rainier. Don't bother. Enough aggravation out there without adding to it.

02-13-2011, 18:43
Like others have said above, it all depends on the TSA agent. I was able to fly one way with poles as carry ons, but not on the way back. On that flight where I had to check my poles, there were two people in front of me boarding the plane with trekking poles lashed to their carry on packs. If an agent says "No", it's probably best not to argue.

02-13-2011, 18:53
Will TSA/Airline allow trekking poles as carry-on baggage?

Most airlines have a rule about "walking canes." The rule is that you can carry on a walking cane if you need it to walk safely. You just have to say that you need them to walk safely. Now, isn't that really why you use trekking poles?

02-13-2011, 22:10
Thanks everyone.....I will just put them in my checked bag....I dont want any problems to start a wonderful hike.

Just ne more reason to take Amtrak imo ...

02-14-2011, 08:23
I bought a set of poles on a business trip and could not take them onboard and that was before 9-11.

02-14-2011, 17:12
I lost not one, but two sets of brand new carbon fiber poles via United Airlines in 2008. These were noncollapsible poles, so I checked them in the heavy cardboard tube I received them in. I spent hours on the phone with multiple call-center idiots and the poles were never found. I think your best bet might be to check them, but put a pocket knife into the package, then declare it in the special category for dangerous items, as apparently they track these much more carefully. I declared my knife, which was in a box of dehydrated food, and it was the only thing that came through the baggage process safely.

02-14-2011, 19:46
As I understand the rules, aids for walking are allowed on all flights. When my wife and I took multiple flights to Alaska no screeners questioned our homemade walking sticks -- possibly because we looked both safe and a bit on the old side.

Rain Man
03-06-2011, 22:27
So, are you the Walrus who I met at Haven's Budget Motel in Franklin, NC this evening? If so, nice to meet you and have a great hike!

P.S. Even if you're not, have a great hike! :)