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Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response
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Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response on 12/23/2013 00:30:22 MST Print View

A proposal was made early this year to allow many previously forbidden items (ski poles, hockey and Lacrosse sticks, pocket knives) to be carried through security and onto domestic flights. I asked a TSA supervisor at Portland International Airport about the status of said proposal today. The salient points were:

1. The proposals were not approved.

2. Trekking poles may only be carried onto an aircraft if they are needed for mobility (similar to using a cane) purposes. They must be collapsible to fit in overhead bins.

3. Trekking poles for recreational use can not be carried on - they must go in checked baggage.

Daniel Pittman
(pitsy) - M

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response on 12/23/2013 00:34:23 MST Print View

What proof is required re: Salient point #2?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response on 12/23/2013 08:45:59 MST Print View

Probably some document from a physician or other.

. Kirby
(Kirby805) - F
Flying With Trekking Poles on 12/23/2013 09:15:50 MST Print View

> What proof is required re: Salient point #2?

A convincing limb?

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 12/23/2013 10:18:36 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/06/2015 12:10:26 MDT.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response on 12/23/2013 12:56:10 MST Print View

FWIW, Several years ago I was turned away trying to carry on trekking poles that were packed in the outside pocket of my pack. Since then, I have switched to using Black Diamond Ultra Distanc Z-Pole, which I fold up and pack inside the pack. I've flown with those many times and have never had an inspector ask to open the pack. I bought that model specifically to enable me to do carry-on.

In the first instance I had a knee injury and my knee was visibly swollen up like a grapefruit. The agent was having none of the "needed for mobility" even though my injury was obvious. I was told that if I had mobility problems I would need to register for wheelchair delivery to the plane.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
weird... on 12/23/2013 16:23:13 MST Print View

when we went to Yellowstone last summer I was forced to check my bag but took my trekking poles and fishing poles and checked them into the overhead compartment.

Didn't have a problem...

That's weird.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: weird... on 12/23/2013 16:26:59 MST Print View

Depends entirely on the TSA "crew of the moment".

But you can't depend on the answer being yes. Denver is NO 99% of the time.

Edited by greg23 on 12/23/2013 16:27:49 MST.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
TSA on 12/23/2013 16:42:51 MST Print View

TSA agents are too fickle. You never know if one will say yes and if another one will say no.

It may be just as easy to ship any gear that is suspect ahead to a PO, hostel or motel.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Flying tools on 12/23/2013 16:51:24 MST Print View

If I end up wanting to travel with a basic pocket knife or other contraband, it is the same issue. So I check a bag with all the things that are problems at the security line and my cameras, electronics and enough clothes to get me through a day or two of lost luggage get carried on the plane with me.

For stateside travel, you could do a "hold for pickup" at a local post office, just like a thru-hiker's bounce box, grab it on the way out of town and mail it home on the return.

If it was just a Swiss Army knife and international travel, I could just pick up something on the other side of the pond. I do hate baggage claim! We like to travel with one bag, Rick Steves style, using convertible pack/suitcases at maximum carry on size. We went to Europe on a winter trip and I stretched things a bit, getting on the plane with a couple extra layers and shedding them the second I got to my seat. Rules are for stretching ;) If they allow two bags, I'm all over that with a small day pack and my convertible.

(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Checked bagged on 12/23/2013 21:47:39 MST Print View

There is this thing called- checked baggage for the stuff you can't carry on

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Checked baggage on 12/24/2013 08:13:45 MST Print View

Yes but of course most airlines are now charging $25 per checked bag. It's cheaper to mail the poles.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Flying With Trekking Poles - TSA Response on 12/24/2013 09:13:11 MST Print View

I took an adjustable aluminum cane with me to hike in Scotland when my back was sore. Very sturdy tool and no problem taking it on the plane.