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Carry-On UL Packs
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Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Carry-On UL Packs on 06/19/2007 08:02:51 MDT Print View

In August I'm going to be flying to Switzerland to go for a month-long mountain walk. I haven't been abroad since before the New York tragedy and have no idea how the airline regulations have changed since then. I'm hoping to keep my entire load to one carry-on backpack, but am worried that the airlines won't allow me to bring a lot of the equipment, like trekking poles, stove and pots, and Swiss Army Classic knife on board. I won't be going through the US so I won't have to deal with that particular level of paranoia, but I'm uncertain of how other countries have responded. Would any one have any idea if my plan to carry my stuff on board is possible?


Laurence Daniels
(GNR) - F

Locale: Boston
Knives on a Plane on 06/19/2007 08:54:20 MDT Print View

I see you are in this might not apply, but if you can get on board with all of that, you probably should notify some authority somewhere, that the security screeners at your airport are working for Al-Qaeda.

More seriously, I wouldn't try to get on board with a Swiss Army knife or poles. When I travel by plane, I ship my poles and sometimes more ahead of me by UPS. If I'm packing a knife, I stow it in the checked baggage, or I think of a knife as a good thing to buy when I arrive as it makes for a good keepsake when I return(and put it in my checked baggage).

Harald Loeffel
(hikingharry) - F

Locale: Tyrol - Austria
Knives on a plane on 06/19/2007 09:34:40 MDT Print View

I think, also the tent pegs/nails belong in the checked baggage.

Greetings from Tyrol - Austria


Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Carry-On UL Packs on 06/19/2007 11:03:52 MDT Print View

Hey Miguel,
I just went through this situation. The only one I wasn't sure of was the poles (if you can bring a cane, why not poles?), and now I know, you cannot bring them on. I was also worried about my pack and gear getting damaged during travel, so I just went to MEC and purchased a cheap big duffel bag for 14 bucks. I put pack inside along with my poles (get a poster tube for them) and off I went. When you arrive, just stash the duffel in the woods and pick up upon return. Hope that helps.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Snakes on a plane on 06/19/2007 11:49:31 MDT Print View

snakes need to be checked in as well---so if you're hoping to go the Moses route of magical trekking poles, you're out of luck. Samuel Jackson would be very upset, as well.

Switzerland---land of the SAK, buy a cheap one there. A cheap duffle bag to protect your UL gear is absolutely the way to go. Cheap enough, you can give your incoming one to someone on the street then buy another for the flight back. I emphasize CHEAP---get one at goodwill or the equivalent. You're getting fuel cartridges in Switzerland, why not tent pegs, as well? They won't be Ti but just for avoiding check-in...

Edited by kdesign on 06/19/2007 11:51:32 MDT.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Carry-On UL Packs on 06/21/2007 08:30:15 MDT Print View

I like carry-on travel very much, done a lot of it last year. But for backpacking just go for the duffle option. I've done that a couple of times and works great. And you can carry your stove, knive, stakes and poles with you all the way from Japan, no need to buy them in CH.

Here's a link to Ryanair's website with a list of prohibited items to carry-on:


Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Carry-On UL Packs on 06/21/2007 10:41:26 MDT Print View

Another vote for the checked duffle bag!

My travel is withing the US but I do travel several times per year on airlines with all my backpacking gear, including poles, in a large duffle bag that I check as regular luggage. That includes my stove, alcohol for summer and MSR Windpro canister stove for winter. I make sure the stove is cleaned of any fuel and throughly air dried. I purchase only food and fuel at my destination. I can always find a local hiker to leave my unspent fuel with.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Carry-On UL Packs on 06/21/2007 19:07:53 MDT Print View


A duffle bag will work, of course, but it's one more thing to carry for the entire trip.

There is a FREE OPTION -- Many international airlines (and I believe ALL the ones that belong to the Star Alliance) give out huge, heavy duty plastic bags for people transporting golf clubs, baby carriers, etc. I have used them with great success. I can fit my Ghost backpack, water bottles and hiking poles, etc. and still with tons of room to spare. The United Airline ones weigh 2.6oz. each.

A second option is to pack everything into your carry-on size backpack, except for your hiking poles and Swiss Army knife. You check those using a mailing tube -- like this:

The main benefit is that you minimize the chance of your entire backpack getting lost enroute. After all, if your hiking poles and knife get lost, you can still continue on with your trip. Anyway, food for thought.

Edited by ben2world on 06/21/2007 19:12:02 MDT.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Re: Carry-On UL Packs on 06/22/2007 10:15:50 MDT Print View

>>A duffle bag will work, of course, but it's one more thing to carry for the entire trip.<<

Yup that's why I check into a youth hostel on the day of arrival. All hostels have the option of leaving your bagage in a locker for about one EUR or pound per day. So that's where I leave the duffle bag. This also brings more benefits.

I feel silly going on a plane in my running thights and featherlite pants. I also feel awkward traveling back without having a shower and looking like a bum. So what I do is I travel in my normal clothes, put all my hiking gear in the duffle and also a bag of toiletries, a fresh set op socks and boxers and a normal towel.

The first night I check into the YH and check out the town where I am staying, drinking a nice pint of guiness/dram of wisky/glass of wine (depending on the country). The second day I start my hike in hiking clothes and with all the gear I took from home, than on the second to last day I travel back to the YH and take a much deserved, heavenly shower, shave and get back into my normal, fresh clothes. The last day is spend on traveling back home.

Works for me, but you loose some hiking time, which I don't mind cause next to hiking I also like to see towns and meet people.