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  1. #1
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    Default Airport Advise Needed (ie. transporting backpack)

    I apologize if this has been discussed in length, I searched for awhile and couldnt find anything.

    So, do I need to take any precautions in regards to my pack when I fly to Atlanta? For instance, should I just put the pack in a big box? Are they going to sort through my entire pack at check-in?

    Im not going to bother with bringing fuel on the flight...but are there other items that might not be kosher at check-in?

    Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    NICE MARMOT!!! DAKS's Avatar
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    i transport my pack and all gear(minus fuel)in a large duffel bag rather than a box. i've never had any problems or lost anything from it being searched or had anything break. if you are transporting trekking poles, be sure to pack them in a large cylinder of sorts so that they don't get damaged.

  3. #3

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    Most airlines won't take boxes anymore--check with yours. But you can always get a cheap laundry bag to put it in, even from the dollar store. You just don't want any of the straps on your pack getting caught in any machinery. Also, when you check it, ask them to put it in a tub. Make sure you have your contact information for where you're going in several easily accessible places and make sure they put the proper label on it. Also get there a little early.
    Last edited by Appalachian Tater; 02-20-2008 at 19:43.

  4. #4
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I also go with the large duffel bag, but it's easier when you're doing a section and can store the duffel bag at the airport. I just compressed my poles and laid them on the bottom of the duffel bag without problems, but a rigid tube is a good idea if it can fit.

    A box should work also, but you'd probably want to use a lot of duct tape to hold it together should it get ripped or crushed.

    All I've ever had security do when I check my duffel bag is use the chemical test for explosives. It doesn't appear that anyone has ever opened the bag itself. If they did, then they might have an issue with a stove component, even though I don't pack any fuel (which is another hassle in that you have to go find fuel once you land).
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  5. #5
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    (1) Check the TSA website for items forbidden in checked luggage.

    (2) Do full list of everything in the event something is removed.

    (3) Buy a cheap suitcase at Salvation Army/Goodwill to put pack and contents in.

    (4) No need to identify anything at check-in unless there is something forbidden. They will search depending on X-ray.

    (5) Buy your ticket well in advance, and use a credit card. One way tickets bought with cash shortly before trip are guarantees to have every item you have with you, checked or carry on, searched in detail at least twice, and special screening for you, too.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

  6. #6
    NICE MARMOT!!! DAKS's Avatar
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    for transporting my poles, i put them into a photo/document mailer after collapsing them. i went to a store that does framing and they hooked me up at no charge as they usually toss 'em(photo mailer). i then crammed clothes and socks in the tube to further protect them.

  7. #7

    Default Makes me even happier...

    About putting up with a certain dog of a bus company for getting between trail and home. I just put my hiking staff (over 6' long) on the floor next to me, my foot on it, the whole way. No search of my gear, either.

  8. #8
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    I agree with the above, and having done this alot, including overseas, pack your unloaded backpack in a duffel and then stuff everything else into the duffel. A cheap one works just fine. Make sure you have ID inside the backpack, and inside the pockets of the duffel. Check the TSA list. Collapse your poles and wrap clothes around them or use tubing as suggested. It is amazing, when I travel as a normal person on business I get checked. As a backpacker traveler, I have never seen anything disturbed. Plus, when I returned home, I thought, go ahead, smell my stinky socks. Nope. They passed. Check the airline if you are taking a Jet Boil. Some will, allow it, some won't. Southwest says a big No, probably depending on the day. Gas is a big no anytime. Put your food in heavy ziplocks. And if the handlers are stealing stuff, they are digging into the Gucci bags, not our duffels with socks and dehydrated beef jerky. Another thing we did, any thing that even has then tendency to be broken, put it in a hiking sock and wrap it inside clothes...water filter...head lamps, etc.

  9. #9

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    If U R checking your pack as luggage: put your pack in a duffle bag, shrink wrap it with all the webbing and belts tied up with no loose straps for anyone to mistakenly grab(keep the pack lift strap exposed for airport luggage handlers to grab, I've shrink wrapped my packs several times outside of Lowes or Home Depot), or box it up. Should go without saying, but U can and need to put your pocket knife in with your checked luggage. I've made the mistake, more than once, of going through security w/ my pocket knife - BYE BYE knife! Forget about carrying fuel on planes. If they find it, and they often do, it's gone. If U own a gas or alcohol stove pack it on top inside your pack. I have had more questions from TSA about what my stove(Snow Peak Giga stowed inside my Snow Peak Titanium Solo Pot) was than anything else; they almost always want me to take it out of the pack to see it. U may want to carry small high theft easily stolen items like cameras, GPS, etc. on your person.

    If U R carrying your pack on board: stow most, or all, of your small easily lost gear(like water bottles, cameras, GPS, etc.) inside your enclosed pack. Leave, maybe, a smallbook(the Companion), notebook, or a snack on the outside of your pack. This is my preferred way because I often have a small light wt. pack(a large expedition sized wt. and pack I would check in or mail ahead), I am in constant contact w/ my pack(I've had gear missing twice from inside my enclosed pack), and I know how to handle a backpack. Most aiport baggage handlers, that I've come across, are aware of how to pick up a backpack. I can't say the same of Greyhound or all airport baggage handlers. It sucks to have finally having arrived at your destination to find your shoulder straps, hipbelt, or load lifters ripped off or damaged!

    If u have fuel, knives, gels, soap, insect repellants mail them by ground mail to Atlanta or buy that stuff there. I like Erin's suggestion of dirty socks and placing contact info or some sort of state ID in your pack, but don't use a Driver's Lic., Passport/Visa, or SS card; these are hot items for identity thieves.

  10. #10

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    I just flew AA today to Texas I just put my packed pack inside a large duffel bag along with my other items for while I am here visiting. They never opened the bag as far as I can tell. Everything seemed to be in the same spots. Just remember like everyone has said to remove your fuel before you go. I almost forgot personally, I had to pull out the canister this morning.
    If you never try you've already failed ~ Me?? Somebody else??

  11. #11
    Formerly thickredhair Gaiter's Avatar
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    i used amtrak to get up to nyc w/ my pack, decided to use my rain cover over my pack, since there were things hanging off (poles, shoes, fuel), but my rain cover was ripped,
    Gaiter
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  12. #12
    2005 Camino de santiago
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    Default Duffel Bag

    A duffel bag is fine if you have a place to store it when you arrive or if you are willing to jettison it at the airport when you arrive.. But if not I began to put my pack inside a large plastic garbage bag so as to keep all the straps protected, wrap it up tightly with 100 MPH duct tape, then tie it with para cord to use as a handle for carrying. Then when I get where I am going, I remove the plastic bag, put it in nearest trash bin, save the cord for the return, throw the pack on and I am off. No duffel to save or toss. The shrink warp would work, too but the cheap garbage bag is easily accessible

  13. #13
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
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    What happens if you fly with your backpack not in a duffel bag?

    Kirby

  14. #14
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirby View Post
    What happens if you fly with your backpack not in a duffel bag?

    Kirby

    Your straps might get ripped off by the conveyors.

  15. #15
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    To echo The Weasel...make sure you have a complete packing list on your person and take inventory when you repack your stuff before leaving the airport/town.
    Last edited by Johnny Thunder; 02-21-2008 at 10:46.

  16. #16

    Default No

    I just took a plane from Portland, Maine to Atlanta and I didn't do anything to my pack. They did tape my poles to my pack so I wouldn't loose them! Good luck in you're travels and on your hike!

  17. #17
    Cindy From Indy
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    Default

    I've thought about Fed Ex'ing my pack to the Hiker Hostel where I'm starting out.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy from Indy View Post
    I've thought about Fed Ex'ing my pack to the Hiker Hostel where I'm starting out.
    Not always necessary, but it's an option that most hikers don't consider. It lets U travel unencumbered(I think that's the first time I've used that word), lighter, and faster. I guess it's a natural progresssion of mailing a floating bounce box over and over.

  19. #19

    Default

    [quote=Kirby;544475]What happens if you fly with your backpack not in a duffel bag?

    I think most people suggesting putting your pack in a dufflebag R going to check the dufflebag/pack in as luggage. U can also carry it onto to the plane - keep in mind the size and wt. of the pack if U do decide to carry it on.

  20. #20
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    wow, thanks for all the advice and information

    ...yeah, ive also considered the whole mailing my pack to the hiker hostel, havent made up my mind yet

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