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Flying with Backpacking Gear

by Paula G

Hi there -- we have planned a wish bucket trip in October for through hiking the Trans Catalina Trail. We've worked out many logistics... others we are waiting for schedules to be available to book (Ferry not reservable that far in advance for instance)

We have never done a backpack via air travel. What is the best way to ensure packing it/checking it so it gets there safely?

Because of the hiking poles and the first aid kit, it wouldn't make it as a carry on (no one wants that beautiful leatherman knife taken by TSA)....

Thanks in advance.


Comments for Flying with Backpacking Gear

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Mar 29, 2023

by: Diane

If you are flying only to hike, here's one approach that I have used with success.

Get a really rugged duffel bag with sturdy handles on each end and on the top. (Mine is Mountain Hardwear, with metal handles.)
Put your packed backpack, poles, water bottles, Leatherman, first aid kit, etc. into it. There should be no issue with checking the duffel, but check with the airlines just in case.

Use a smaller volume daypack as carry on luggage.

Two important points to note:
1. I either wear my boots or put them in my carry on. They're irreplaceable!

2. Take a photo of all the contents of the duffel, in case it gets delayed/lost/stolen.

I know of folks who check their backpacks, wrapped in plastic or in a large plastic bag, but I've never tried it.

Enjoy your bucket list trip!!

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