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Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues?
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Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues? on 07/07/2012 16:39:01 MDT Print View

I'm leaving next week to fly out to Fresno to start my Sierra High Route hike. I've got a ~45L Zimmerbuilt pack that I am hoping to pass through security and take as carry-on. Inside will be my Bearikade Expedition absolutely jam-packed with my first 10 days worth of food.

Anyone have experience taking these things through security?

Does the TSA get suspicious of a dense heavy cylinder and want to remove it from the pack, open, and inspect the contents? There will be no liquids or gels in there. I am putting my container of olive oil in a small checked bag with my tent stakes, knife, and hiking poles.

Repacking that thing would be a PITA. Especially at security at the airport. I had to literally stand on my food after careful packing to get it all compressed enough to close the lid.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues? on 07/07/2012 17:05:32 MDT Print View

Check it. You know they will want to see inside if you were to attempt to check it.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues? on 07/07/2012 17:29:24 MDT Print View

I'd check it. I don't know how it shows up on xray but I'd say you have a 50/50 chance of it not showing the food contents, which then means they'll likely have you open it (and as much as I dislike the TSA, this is what they should be doing instead of taking nudie picks of people).

It's not worth the hassle IMO. If you do check it, I'd also make sure it was in a large enough bag. They do xray checked luggage and occasionally search bags. So they may open it and not be able to get it closed again...hence the big bag will keep them from "confiscating" your snickers as a matter of National Security, and hungry laziness.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues?" on 07/07/2012 18:28:42 MDT Print View

+1 on checking it. As stated, it's not worth the potential hassle. I've checked my pack and bear can every time. Every time, I've watched as they sent my pack through the xray scanner and watched it loaded on the cart on the other side. Never once did TSA elect to open and inspect the pack.

They aren't as paranoid about checked bags as they are with something you'll have access to in flight.

I'd guess that the more senior TSA folks use that seniority to avoid working the cluster-**** that passes for carry-on inspection.

If you DO decide to carry it anyway, be sure your stove also goes into your checked baggage; reduces your risk of inspection.

Edited by wandering_bob on 07/07/2012 18:29:22 MDT.

Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re; Bearikade and TSA issues on 07/07/2012 19:41:53 MDT Print View

+1 on checking as well. Advice here is sound.

I've checked my gear ththe last couple of times - including a month ago when flying into California for Sierra trip. I placed my ULA pack, Bearikade canister, sleeping bag and hiking polesin into a clear plastic bin. The pack was largely unpacked except for sleeping bag. I did not tape it up until I got to the airport and spoke with the baggage folks. Surprisingly, it didn't cost anymore than a normal suitcase on Alaska ($20).

It's the second time I've done this. It works. The trick is to have a place where you can ditch the plastic bin for the flight home. The bin really does protect everything and makes going through security a total non-issue.

As a bonus, because the bin was larger, it gets unloaded first with oversize luggage and placed in the oversize baggage area.


Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Bearikades and the TSA (carry-on) - issues? on 07/08/2012 00:12:04 MDT Print View

I plan on checking my BV450 along with my pack, poles, stove, etc.

From my experience with checked bags, TSA tends not to open things that seem to be too complicated to re-pack. They have generally left my bike boxes or backpacks alone, not that there is anything in them suspicous or prohibited to show up on the X-Ray, but I think they may not want the hassle.

OTOH, I did lose a ziploc bag containing my "girlie-undies" to a TSA inspection! A few years back I went to New Zealand and when I got my duffle bag, inside I found the nice note notifying me of the TSA inspection. Subsequently, I discovered my undies missing when I unpacked at my motel room. I was hoping that I had inadvertantly left them at home and that they simply failed to make it into my bag to begin with. No such luck. When I returned home, no bag! Apparently, they were snatched by TSA. Oh, the humanity!!

Somewhere out there is a randy TSA agent dancing around with my unmentionables on his head. If you see him, please tell him he's welcome to keep them.

Moral of the story, don't have backpacking equipment that looks like underwear, and you'll be fine.

Brent Mahan

Locale: Southern New Hampshire
Thanks on 07/09/2012 10:06:03 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for confirming my suspicions/fears.

Bag is all packed and will be checked. I'll do the whole, "wrap my pack up in a couple garbage bags" thing and check it.

Just hope the bag doesn't get delayed/lost/damaged. I always hate checking bags. I've lost some in the past, and in this situation that would be a trip ender before it even got started.

Wish me luck. Leave for the Sierras on Thursday. Completely psyched and can't wait.