Flying with a backpack

Backpacks, Daypacks, Hydration Packs, etc...

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Nan
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Flying with a backpack

Post by Nan » May 10 2007 3:07 pm

No, not off the edge of a cliff - on a plane!

Do you ever check your backpack through as luggage? If so, do you wrap it in some protective cover first, like a plastic bag, to keep the straps in line? What works best?

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Davis2001r6
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Post by Davis2001r6 » May 10 2007 5:11 pm

I flew from here to Sacramento last August. Actually had 2 peoples worth of gear. Just can't bring a fuel canister, I have heard that occasionally a stove or empty fuel bottle will get taken here or there. I just put both bags inside a large duffel bag, it worked great for me.

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big_load
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Re: Flying with a backpack

Post by big_load » May 10 2007 6:06 pm

Do you ever check your backpack through as luggage?

Yes, 2-4 times per year

If so, do you wrap it in some protective cover first, like a plastic bag, to keep the straps in line? What works best?

The most popular method is a giant duffel bag. I use an Osprey Airporter, which is lighter and folds up to nothing, while still containing the straps and protecting from abrasion. Lawn-size trash bags work almost as well. It's best to make it easy and non-destructive for TSA to search.

As mentioned above, no fuels (including alcohol) or lighters. Some kinds of matches are OK, others are not. It's best to check the TSA: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... items.shtm

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jaybird
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Re: Flying with a backpack

Post by jaybird » May 10 2007 7:55 pm

In response to Nan's reply:

Giant duffle.

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te_wa
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Post by te_wa » May 10 2007 8:22 pm

I once checked myself in a giant duffle, and flew to Hawaii for free
:D

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Desertroux
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Post by Desertroux » May 10 2007 8:44 pm

mikeinFHAZ wrote:I once checked myself in a giant duffle, and flew to Hawaii for free
Ex girlfriends do not count.
:lol:


When I flew to Kona, HI I brought my backpack, but it was still small enough to be carry-on. It all depends on how large your pack size is going to be. If you are going to somewhere where gear is accessible just buy food and other stuff there and save weight/size.

Large trips with a huge pack and gear, duffel for sure.
The Dude Abides.....

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big_load
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Post by big_load » May 10 2007 8:57 pm

Desertroux wrote:When I flew to Kona, HI I brought my backpack, but it was still small enough to be carry-on. It all depends on how large your pack size is going to be. If you are going to somewhere where gear is accessible just buy food and other stuff there and save weight/size.
It also depends on the pack. Carrying on an internal with metal stays can sometimes be problematic, especially if they appear to be removable.

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Davis2001r6
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Post by Davis2001r6 » May 10 2007 10:09 pm

When I flew I had an ice axe, crampons and trecking poles. Just a hunch but I don't think I could have carried on.

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Ace4
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Post by Ace4 » May 11 2007 8:33 am

Most airlines have plastic wrap or a large plastic bag you can place your pack in. Make sure nothing sticks out from the pack, if you have trekking poles cap the tips and strap them to the side of the pack, making sure they don't stick up above the top of the pack. If you're taking crampons, either get the rubber tip caps for them, or else wrap them in towels so they don't shred your gear. I've sometimes just checked in the pack with no plastic wrap, but I'm much more comfortable if the airline has it. Most airports have the plastic bags, but for some reason most airlines at PHX don't seem to. I always tie the straps together and tighten them as much as possible. The only damage any of my friends have ever had with internal frame packs checked in are the tips of trekking poles, if they stuck up beyond the top of the pack.

Don't even carry empty fuel containers on an aircraft, it's illegal and you could get a $250k fine. It's kind of a blanket law, since they don't care if you've cleaned it out perfectly, they will take it if they find it, and it isn't worth the trouble when containers cost like $9.

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Davis2001r6
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Post by Davis2001r6 » May 11 2007 2:38 pm

Ace4 wrote:Don't even carry empty fuel containers on an aircraft, it's illegal and you could get a $250k fine. It's kind of a blanket law, since they don't care if you've cleaned it out perfectly, they will take it if they find it, and it isn't worth the trouble when containers cost like $9.
Can you show me where it's illegal to have empty (and cleaned) fuel canisters/stoves.

It isn't listed on the TSA website as restricted, not could I find it anywhere else. I'm not saying your going to get thru 100% of the time with them, but I can't find where it's prohibited.

I don't have time to read CFR 49 right now, otherwise I would look at it, but I know the answer I'm going to find.

This article may be helpful.
Here:

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » May 11 2007 4:24 pm

In response to davis2001r6's reply:

I've heard of people losing empty fuel bottles at the airport. Apparently if there are even fumes it's enough to take it. When people come in the store and ask, I usually suggest that they just buy the bottle (or canister) when they get where they are going. That or ship (ground) the bottle/cannister to themselves at thier destination. I have never heard that it's illegal or of anyone getting fined for it.
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Sredfield
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Re: Flying with a backpack

Post by Sredfield » May 11 2007 7:46 pm

In response to Nan's reply:
I took my back pack to the Winds via PHX-SLC. A good long time ago I purchased a navy sea bag (forced purchase, bought a lot of blue clothes the same day). It's been in my closet for years. Lo and behold, my fully packed back pack and hiking boots fit perfectly in it. I'm sure you can pick one up at any surplus store.
Shawn
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see.

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big_load
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Re: Flying with a backpack

Post by big_load » May 11 2007 8:28 pm

Sredfield wrote: A good long time ago I purchased a navy sea bag (forced purchase, bought a lot of blue clothes the same day).

Thanks for the laugh of the day! :lol:

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » May 12 2007 5:19 am

Desertroux wrote:
mikeinFHAZ wrote:I once checked myself in a giant duffle, and flew to Hawaii for free
Ex girlfriends do not count.
:lol:


When I flew to Kona, HI I brought my backpack, but it was still small enough to be carry-on. It all depends on how large your pack size is going to be. If you are going to somewhere where gear is accessible just buy food and other stuff there and save weight/size.

Large trips with a huge pack and gear, duffel for sure.
Ok, you guys got all that useful info in, now for my story, somewhat related:

I moved to Kona in 1978. I flew there by myself (my parents had already moved there to retire, which was quite convenient for me). I took my trusty A-16 external frame backpack, my nice 10-speed, a Centurion Super Le-mans, with Campanolo stuff hanging all over it, a surfboard, plus a suitcase or two. (To keep to topic, I did check the backpack as luggage, as is, nothing special except to tie ropes around it so it wouldn't open accidently.)

So, 8 years later, after NEVER leaving the state of Hawaii for all that time, I moved away from Kona. I still had the A-16 backpack, checked it as luggage. I had no surfboard and no bike. I did have 15 other pieces of luggage, however, including a sewing machine. Also, I was not alone. I had a husband and three toddlers that I had somehow "acquired" by living there.

So beware all you who wish to remain free, single travellers in this world! Watch out for Kona! :)

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Ace4
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Post by Ace4 » May 14 2007 8:40 am

davis2001r6 wrote:Can you show me where it's illegal to have empty (and cleaned) fuel canisters/stoves.

It isn't listed on the TSA website as restricted, not could I find it anywhere else. I'm not saying your going to get thru 100% of the time with them, but I can't find where it's prohibited.
Every airport I've been to that has one of those glass cases showing prohibited items always has both a propane gas canister and a white gas canister. Each of the airline agents I've asked has said it is illegal even for the empty containers. I've done it both ways, just cleaning it out well (zero smell of gas) and not mentioning I had it, and gotten away with it, and other times I've said I had it and they confiscated it. The last time I tried to argue that it was allowed (because I assume the law is meant for the pressurized propane canisters, but airlines blanket interpret it for all gas containers so that no thinking is required by their agents), they threatened to call the police. I've never had trouble with the stove itself or the pump, just the empty canister. Whether it's really legal or not doesn't seem to matter to any of the airlines I've been on in the past, since it seems like after 9/11 it's apparently illegal to argue with an airline over their policies.

If you can find one of the unmarked white gas canisters (the stupidly expensive titantium ones, or I've seen painted ones before), I'm sure you could get away with it by saying its a water bottle or something, but to me it's not worth the hassle anymore, I just spend the $9 and buy a new one each trip.

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BAD BOY
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Re: Flying with a backpack

Post by BAD BOY » Mar 08 2008 2:46 am

I've traveled out of the country many times with only my pack (checked). I purchased a large duffel that's actually pretty decent at Wal-mart for cheap, just drop it in there with anything else I would normally attach to my bag and off I go. When I arrive I simple take the duffel off and pack it away. Best way to travel in my opinion, hiking or not.

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