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Tents in carry-on luggage
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Susan Hicks
(Susanita) - F
Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 05:30:21 MDT Print View

I want to carry my one man tent in a duffle bag on the plane. I've received conflicting advice. Will this pass screening?


Phil Barton
(flyfast) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma
Re: Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 05:59:21 MDT Print View

Susanita, the tent body will likely be just fine. But the TSA probably will not accept your poles and stakes.

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Tents in plane on 05/11/2008 06:58:14 MDT Print View

They will not allow any poles or stakes - I was not even allowed to take my trekkingpoles as carry-on luggage.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
"Tents in carry-on luggage" on 05/11/2008 16:53:24 MDT Print View

It seem strange that they wouldn't allow it. I have seen guys carry on fishing poles in hard tubes before.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 17:28:12 MDT Print View


The above information is wrong.

You can carry a tent, tent poles, and tent stakes without problems. TSA does not prohibit them, and I carry them all the time. For a non-hunting backpacker, just about the only things you may not carry on are:

1. Hiking poles -- must be checked.

2. Blades or Swiss army type multitools containing blade(s) -- must be checked.

3. Bear sprays -- must be checked (further restrictions apply)

4. Fuel -- liquid or gas -- cannot be carried on or checked. You'll have to buy your fuel at your ultimate destination. Note that a thoroughly cleaned stove is OK to carry on, as is one or two BIC lighters.

Click here for more details at TSA.

Edited by ben2world on 05/11/2008 17:40:38 MDT.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Tents/stakes in plane on 05/11/2008 17:34:46 MDT Print View

I can see where they might allow stakes in checked baggage, but I'd bet TSA will be looking to confiscate if found in carry on bags. I've lost several small screwdrivers this way: working until the last minute, then rush to the airport and forget I had one or two of those precision screwdrivers in my shirt pocket or computer bag. Vendors give them away, so I'm not concerned about the cost. It is frustrating when I can recall about a dozen or so confiscated tools in the years since 9/11/01.

Susan Hicks
(Susanita) - F
Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 17:45:17 MDT Print View

Thanks to all that replied. I chickened out and packed a duffle with the tent as checked baggage. Then I packed all the other things I definitely need in my carry-on backpack. I'm going to ask at the airport for future trips.


Edited by Susanita on 05/11/2008 17:45:49 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 18:03:57 MDT Print View


[Warning - Begin Rant] If you read all the above posts that say you can't carry on tent poles or stakes -- not a single one speaks from actual experience or can point to an authoritative source. It's a real shame that folks have to chime in like this -- adding nothing but more noise and confusion. It's no wonder that infrequent travelers are forever confused! [End Rant]

As an UL hiker, I lug one carry on all the time -- checking in just my hiking poles and blade in a cardboard tube -- which is available for purchase at all post offices. I have had TSA search through everything inside my pack (the guy said it was a "random" choice and I got picked) -- and as expected, my tent poles and stakes and my cansister stove all passed actual TSA examination -- no questions asked.

If you can fit everything as a carry on (excluding stuff like hiking poles and knives, of course) -- then you should -- because doing so eliminates the chance of the airline losing your pack and ruining your trip altogether. It also eliminates waiting at luggage line at both ends of each flight -- outbound and return.

Edited by ben2world on 05/11/2008 18:26:38 MDT.

Susan Hicks
(Susanita) - F
Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 18:19:19 MDT Print View

Well I just called United and they said there was no problem with the tent in carry-on luggage. So ... not sure what to do. I already packed the duffle for checking and it's getting late. But at least I got an answer.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Tents in carry-on luggage on 05/11/2008 18:23:36 MDT Print View


It's your call, of course... but for me, I would definitely carry on the pack. Just knowing that your pack won't get damaged or lost enroute is well worth the repacking effort.

Either way, have a fun -- and safe -- trip!

Edited by ben2world on 05/11/2008 18:25:01 MDT.

Alexander Stair
(circakool93) - F - M

Locale: APO military overseas
Stakes on 09/26/2015 19:37:02 MDT Print View

Can we get an update on this? Did you have any issues?

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Stakes on 09/26/2015 20:25:56 MDT Print View

I carried a Hilleberg Enan in my carry on bag from SJC to DEN earlier this year. I taped up the stakes into a block, no sharp points showing, and I had no bother with TSA. However every airport is different, and you might be advised to allow extra time to check the bag if you're stopped at the checkpoint.