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Backpacks and poles = check or carry on?

Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
In the past few years, we have come up against various "rules" regarding luggage which seem to make no sense. For instance, last week I traveled from California to Oregon via air. I called the airlines ahead of time to be sure my luggage was of the size & weight to carry on, only to have them tell me at check-in that the luggage must be checked, which cost me a whopping $40 instead of the $15 I was prepared to pay for the one extra bag.

Sooo.. we'd like to be prepared when it comes to our backpack and hiking poles.

Does anyone have any recent experience flying on British Air from the USA to Spain/Europe?

Do we need to send our poles ahead to Ivar?
Can we strap them to our packs?
Can we carry our packs on or must they be checked? (scary, in case they don't arrive)

Comments, advice, stories?
Thanks.
 
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Portia1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I am wondering the same thing. I've taken lesser of the two the maximum sizes (I'm taking two different airlines--one of them a small plane) and hopefully by compressing as much as possible, my pack will be a bit smaller than that maximum. I am taking a reusable shopping bag (from the local grocery, which I will use for a variety of purposes on the Camino, including grocery shopping) and putting my poncho, fleece, water bottle, snacks, etc. in that to reduce the volume of what is packed in my pack. I will also be wearing my "fanny pack" with my passport, id, money, calendar (to demonstrate what I am doing--the travel agent suggested this because my passport name and airline reservation name are not EXACTLY alike, and a complete inventory of everything in my pack--again the suggestion of the travel agent as I purchased insurance for the very first time. She said with an exact inventory, I have a hope of replacing items in the event of a loss.). My poles will be disaseembled, put in a mesh bag and bungeed to the outside of my pack--I am claiming they are like a cane which is permissable on board (the rubber tips in place). Neither of these flights are full (yet) so I am hoping and praying that the Spirit of the Camino will be with me.

I too would like to hear of recent experiences--especially with American Airlines and Iberia. I am terrified of checking ANYTHING with Iberia as their luggage loss is one of the highest. A friend said that last year, this same time, she and her partner had no problems with taking their packs on-board, including their poles (with rubber tips). And they had two domestic flights before their international one.
 

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi-

Just returned home from Santiago. Two people in my group brought trekking poles. We had no problem carrying them on our NWA flights from Sea-Detroit and Det-London. But, on our EasyJet and RyanAir connections to/from Spain, they were not allowed as carry-on, resulting in last-minute bag check fees.

It's hard to keep up with the various dangers as you move from continent to continent. In the US, we're frantic about people hiding explosives in their shoes; in Europe, trekking poles constitute the greater concern...

Dave
 

jeff001

Active Member
As long as your pack is close to the allowable, and it should be, you should be able to carry it on. I did on several different carriers. If your poles won't break down to fit inside your pack maybe you should consider going without them - the vast majority do.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi, for my last 2 Caminos I took my backpack, 32 litre Vaude, weight 7 kg, trekking poles inside as carry on luggage with Singapore Airlines and United Arab Emirates, no problems. I flew into Paris, Vienna and out of Frankfurt and Duesseldorf. ( 2006 and 2008 )Regards Gitti
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In my experience, it's the security folks, not the airlines, that determine what you can and can't carry on. Dave's recent experience with Easy Jet and Ryan Air sounds more like a money maker for the airlines than a security problem.

On the US side, whether you'll be allowed to carry on hiking poles depends on the interpretation of the regulations that the particular airport uses. The government's own list for the TSA prohibits "ski poles" and allows "walking canes" (so long as they've been inspected "to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed"). Hiking poles are not on the list of either prohibited or permitted items, so that means it's up to the agents to decide whether hiking poles are more like ski poles or walking canes. (for the actual list, go to http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/Interpret ... ghters.pdf )

Just to be sure, I've always carried on my pack and checked my poles in a cardboard tube, along with my pocket knife and anything else that might catch the agent's attention.

If you're going to try to carry the poles on, I think rubber tips are a good idea and that if questioned you should emphasize the "walking assistance" aspect of the poles.

Good luck, Laurie
 

Portia1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I go back and forth with packing my poles IN my pack. I figured with that with them bungeed to the exterior of my pack, no one could claim I was attempting to hide anything. On the other hand, packing them in the pack says I can't easily extract them if I wanted to use them for any dangerous activity. And I agree that this is more a security issue than an airline issue. So it's a roll of the dice. If the issue is raised, I could offer to pack them inside if that would appease? I have surgical scars on both my legs/ankles (from fracture repairs) so the need for poles is a talking point. I suppose it also depends on how full the plane is. I've seen items taken at boarding that normally would be allowed on. Ah, the uncertainty remains...................
 
I've been able to fly with my backpack as a carryon, on both my trips to the Camino, as well as other trips around the US. I just don't stuff it with everything I'm going to put in there. ;) I keep only the essentials in the carryon; the rest (including my poles) goes in a sports duffel bag that's put in the hold.

And it pisses me off that we now have to pay for the privilege of having our bags tossed around the airport by gorillas. :evil:

Kelly
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Somebody is getting trekking poles through security:
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Yes, or they're checking them.
Hence the question.
But thanks for the lovely photo!
I guess more pilgrims are using trekking poles than when I walked.
At that time, they were a curiosity to us.
 
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andrewr

New Member
I disagree that 'the vast majority go without them'. We've just completed the Camino, and in common with most peregrinos, were helped considerably by having our poles. Easy jet and Ryan air don't allow them in the aircraft, but attached to our packs in the hold did not prove to be a problem.
Many of the climbs and steep descents were so much easier with poles. Don't be put off!
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
Flying from Stockholm to Paris I strapped my trekking poles to my rucksack, then I put the whole rucksack with the trekking poles in a big black plastic trash bag. Checked it in for the airline (SAS). Worked out fine, no problems.
annie
 

Susanna

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008 2014
Hi everyone,
I strapped my poles to my pack and had it shrink wrapped and checked in. If it was lighter I could have carried it onboard. Flew from Melbourne to Paris (n0 US) The wrapping stopped anyone from getting into it and made it a tighter item, no flaps to get caught on luggage carousel
Susanna
 

tohams

Member
If you are checking your backpack (which I probably will so I don't have to lug it around the airport on my layover...you know because carrying a backpack for 2 hours is the worst thing ever), I definitely recommend securing the straps somehow. I have http://www.rockcreek.com/products/listing/item12789.asp which has been a godsend in all my travels. It's a "backpack bag." It folds up, zips, and stores in itself in a small sized rectangular package. It's not waterproof, but it's pretty water resistant. It's also HUGE. My bag for el camino will probably not even fill half of it.

Here's my plan (please shoot some holes in it): I have about a week after my walk which is there in case I need it for injury or because I'm just pokey. If I don't need it, the plan is to kick around Barcelona and Paris, from which my return flight leaves. So in doing so, I'll want some "street" clothes and shoes outside of the rugged, and probably by then, completely soiled and stained, clothes for El Camino. So I'm taking a backpack that has enough space for my street clothes and shoes, but can be easily compressed for El Camino. I'll throw everything except my fanny pack with my electronics into my backpack bag and check it (disassembled poles too). When I get to Paris, I'll find a post office or somewhere I can ship things and send everything that I don't need (backpack bag, street clothes, street shoes) to Ivar in Santiago. Then when I get to Santiago, I'll ship my poles and knife back to the United States since I'm not anticipating needing these any further and it'll make my backpack a carry-on size.

My $0.02...
 
I flew with Flybe (to Birmingham) and Ryanair (to Porto) and from Faro back to Glasgow with FlyGlobspan (all budget airlines). I had my poles strapped to my back pack which went through as checked luggage. Because of the poles, after getting my luggage tagged, I had to take it through to 'outsized baggage'. However, this wasn't a problem and everything arrived undamaged. If you were coming in from North America and had a connection with a via a UK airport to France or Spain, I would definately put my poles in as checked luggage. You only have to go through the X-ray security area to see the mountains of stuff that gets confiscated from hand luggage (they leave it in piles by the X-ray machines as either a trophy or warning). I've seen knitting needles taken away from old ladies. An ex-SAS guy I know laughs at this as he says you can kill someone with a pen if you know how (and they don't try to take pens off you). The X-ray guys are still pretty serious about the 100ml of liquid rule as well (even if you have a larger volume container with obviously less than 100ml left in the container, this will still get confiscated).
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
We ended up packing our poles in a heavy duty mailing tube and checking them. They arrived just fine.

I did find it upsetting at one alburgue when they INSISTED that I leave my expensive Pacer Poles in a drum barrel by an open alley door. I offered to put them in my pack, but no way would they let me. So I passed on staying there, and went to another place.

I used those poles in particular because of wrist surgery and weakness. An otherwise wooden stick would have been fine there, but I wasn't comfortable leaving my Pacers.

I do understand that the REASON for not allowing those poles in the sleeping room (as explained to me by another hospitalero) is because they have been know to be used as weapons! No kidding! So I can understand the reason...

HOWEVER, I wish they'd take into consideration the expense invested and provide at least a more secure place away from an open door. It's not like there is no theft in Spain. I heard of at least 3 sets of poles being stolen while there last summer.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Yes
Anniesantiago said:
I do understand that the REASON for not allowing those poles in the sleeping room (as explained to me by another hospitalero) is because they have been know to be used as weapons! No kidding! So I can understand the reason...
.

Somehow I find it impossible to believe that there have been that many altercations in albergues let alone walking poles being used as weapons. :roll:
Sounds like another case of someone hearing of an isolated case somewhere and then using a lack of common sense to apply a prohibition.
Does anyone know of a case where the poles were involved in a problem?
 

ramble-on

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2010; LePuy 2011; VdlP 2013/14; CdN (to Oviedo) & Primitivo 2016
I see that knitting needles are on the list (provided by Peregrina 2000) of permitted items of a medical or personal nature, so the old lady whose needles were confiscated in Peregrina Nicole's post probably met an overzealous or brain-dead security agent, which are all too common in my experience.

It seems to be a total crap-shoot, and the only reasonable solution for me is to be prepared for the worst. So, I'll be wrapping our walking sticks in bubble wrap (I'd use a tube if I knew where to get one) and including my pocket knife and perhaps my toe-nail clippers (even though they're on the permitted items list, they do have an extremely lethal, 2 inch long, pointy nail file :roll: ) and checking that parcel. I like the suggestion of using a re-useable shopping bag to carry some items from the backpack. Should improve the odds of getting the backpacks into the cabin instead of having them checked. Our worry in checking the backpacks is that the baggage handlers sometimes have sticky fingers, and our packs can't be locked.

Dick
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Dick,
I think you will find mailing tubes at the dispatch office any private shipping company -- FedEx, UPS, DHL, I'm not sure what you have in Canada. And I remember that I was able to buy a tube for the return trip at an art supply store in Santiago.

Another thing I have done is to keep the tube and use it for the return home. Upon arrival at my starting point, I took out the sticks and stuffed some "post Camino" clothes, even a pair of shoes, into the tube. I sent my tube on to a hotel in Santiago, but with Ivar's operation now, it would be simpler to just send it there and not worry about it. Then the tube is there for re-checking on the return trip. In fact, I used one tube for three Caminos! Laurie
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi Dick-

We check our packs and poles and keep all valuables, medications, etc, in the "Flyweight Pack" by North Face. It is a totally unstructured pack that weighs only 10 oz. and compresses into its own attached nylon pouch. We use it as a carry-on, grocery bag when shopping in the mercado each day, and for holidaying after the camino. It fits unobtrusively in the bottom of the pack when not being used. We bought ours at MEC but any major gear store that sells North Face will have it - (about $50).

lynne
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
So many options, and each suitable to the person proposing it.

I put my poles, razor, knife, 8 oz. soap,and nail clippers in a bag and check it.
The rest comes with me in my rucksack on-board as cabin luggage.
If my poles don't arrive, I can walk away from them and begin my camino because I have the essential items of my kit with me. Having labeled my checked package correctly, it should be waiting for me at home after my camino. But if it doesn't, who cares? By then I'll have a new knife, etc...

The day I arrived in Seville, I was wandering around the cathedral, looking for the starting point of the VdlP, when I met a fine couple from Alaska. They were frustrated because a bag of essential items did not arrive with them. I spoke to them again the next day, and found out they went back to the airport and stayed until after midnight to pick up their missing bag when it arrived.

They slept briefly and started their camino that day.

The point of all this is that I don't let myself become hostage to the airlines. My solution is to carry on all essential items and purchase what gets lost if necessary. Just another option to the solutions offered above.

Buen Camino,
David, Victoria, Canada
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I agree with David, I will not let my pack out of my hands. I usually wear clothes I can ditch on arrival and start with clean ones from my pack when I start walking. I have baby nail scissors with rounded edges and they have always got through and I just use a Spork with serrated edge as an eating utensil it was quite ok, so that could be checked in and my lightweight concertina poles fitted into my pack and were not a problem either. I sent a parcel to my family in Europe before I left New Zealand, so when I got off the trail I had clean and nice clothes. The thought of checking in my pack is abhorrent as every item has been researched and weighed and it would be a disaster to be stuck without my gear. Well that is what I think anyway. Gitti
 

elzi

Active Member
Ok, this is how I usually do it...

On the flight(s?) to the camino:
I take my backpack as carry on luggage with the essentials in that I can't do my camino without. I don't want to lose my backpack on the way there. I then check in another bag (usually a disposable one like those big picnic-type cheap plastic storage bags) containing walking poles, heavy stuff, liquids + anything that I think is going to cause a problem with security. When I'm safely in Spain I chuck the disposable bag away and re-pack everything in my backpack. This way I know I'm carrying on the essentials without having massive security worries.

It is possible to get walking sticks in Spain you know if they get lost!!

On the way home:
I pack everything in my backpack and check it in. My walking pole breaks up into 2 bits just small enough to fit into my backpack. Check your poles do this just in case! By the time I'm going home I'm so sick of carrying everything I couldn't care less if it gets lost and I never see it again!!



I've noticed that if you're flying out of Santiago airport people seem to get a massive backpack+sticks carried on without too much trouble even on flights which are very busy! I think they are so used to it there! Everywhere else it's a bit of a lottery. Ryanair in stansted considers all backpacks (even my relatively small one) outsize luggage and you have to go off and check it it separately and get it specially x-rayed. The last minute check in fees are extortionate though so it's always better to assume you might have to check poles etc in...
 
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FilmTurtle

New Member
(This is my first post...)

I am walking the Camino very soon. I am flying first from Los Angeles to Central Europe, then will be traveling from Vienna to Spain (and back). I have a walking stick I want to bring, and will be flying British Airways. They said NO WAY to bringing it onboard, had to be checked. I actually called twice, at different times, to double-check. The first airline rep actually laughed when I asked her! So I called back a couple days later, got the same answer without the snark. It was a gift, and I would love to have it with me on the Camino, but I'm concerned about losing it. Might end up just leaving it at home and just finding a stick to use.
 

pat.holland

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C F 2007-10, Le Puy St. Jean 2011-13, C P 2015 Via F 2016-7
my sticks vanished somewhere along the way home, they can all too easily fall off the rucksack and get separated and lost. But then most walking sticks have a very short life anyway, the bits that expand outwards to lock them get dusty and wont stick or they just wear out, I regard sticks as useupable items and get a new pair when ever Aldi/Lidl have them ready for when the current ones give up
if you had very expensive/customised ones I would take them apart and put them inside the rucksac

I like the idea of wrapping the rucksac or putting it into a bag for transport, loss or damage of a strap could be annoying. The plastic wrapping would not be extra weight to carry

Air port security is now getting very tight, lately I heard of a drill where they let an umbrella through and were given out to because the spikes in umbrellas could be used as a weapon. What next ?

Mind you it strikes me that some of the socks etc in the rucksacs are more dangerous than any weapons. Two friends of mine were climbing in the Alps and were real weight cutters, half used tube of toothpast, cut all labels off , cut toothbrush in half etc They had only one pair of socks each and on return, after two weeks wiht the one pair of socks, the security insisted they take their boots off because there were steel shanks in the boots. Mistake !
 

Janet S.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June (2013)
do you think it's worth it for me to check a bag on Ryanair just to bring two trekking poles (they are nice titanium poles). Counting both there and back flights it would be a total of 55 euros. Would I be able to find a set of good trekking poles once on the Camino for less than that? also wondered about a pcoket kinfe... a friend wants to get me one of those multipurpose knives. I didn't really want to check any bags at all if I could avoid it. Do they have any issue with the size of these backpacks as carryons? Thanks!

Janet
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2006)Sarria-SDC,(2007)Leon-Sarria,(2008)Burgos-Leon,(2009)SJPP-Burgos,(2010)Sarria-SDC,(2013)SJPP-SDC.
While a little hit and miss I have found that in recent times airports are more strict on allowing walking poles in cabin luggage. Ideally if you could meet a few fellow pilgrims at the airport, put a number of poles in the same checked in luggage and share the cost.
The following are extracts of T & C from Ryanair & Aer Lingus websites:
Extract from Ryanair Terms & Conditions
8.10 PROHIBITED ARTICLES
8.10.1 Passengers are not permitted to carry the following articles into the security restricted area and the cabin of an aircraft:
8.10.1.1 Guns, Firearms & Weapons; any object capable, or appearing capable, of discharging a projectile or causing injury, including all firearms (pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, etc.) Replica and imitation firearms, Component parts of firearms (excluding telescopic sighting devices & sights), air pistols, rifles and pellet guns. Signal flare pistols, Starter pistols, Toy guns of all types, compressed air and CO2 guns such as pistols, pellet guns, rifles,ball bearing guns, industrial bolt and nail guns, cross bows, catapults, harpoon and spear guns, Animal humane killers, stun or shocking devices, e.g. stun guns, tasers, stun batons,cattle prods, ballistic conducted energy weapons (laser), lighters shaped like a firearm.
8.10.1.2 [b]Pointed/edged Weapons & Sharp Objects; pointed or bladed articles capable of causing [/b]injury, including axes & hatchets, cleavers, arrows and darts, crampons (grappling iron, hooked bar of iron, or plate with iron spikes used in mountaineering), harpoons & spears, ice axes & ice picks, ice skates, knives with blades of more than 6 cms including lockable or flick knives, ceremonial, religious and hunting knives, made of metal or any other material strong enough to be used as a potential weapon, meat cleavers, machetes, open razors and blades (excluding safety or disposable razors with blades enclosed in cartridge), sabres, swords and swordsticks, scalpels, scissors with blades more than 6 cms as measured from the fulcrum, ski and walking/hiking poles, throwing stars, tradesman's tools with a blade or a shaft of more than 6 cms that have the potential to be used as a pointed or edged weapon, e.g. drills and drill bits, box cutters, utility knives, all saws, screwdrivers, chisels, crowbars, hammers, pliers, wrenches/spanners, blow torches.
8.10.1.3 Blunt Instruments:[b] any blunt instrument capable of causing injury[/b], including tennis rackets, baseball and softball bats, clubs or batons - rigid or flexible - e.g. billy clubs, blackjacks (truncheon of leather covered lead with flexible shaft), night sticks & batons, cricket bats, golf clubs, hockey and hurley sticks, lacrosse sticks, kayak and canoe paddles, skateboards, billiard, snooker and pool cues, fishing rods, martial arts equipment, e.g. knuckle dusters, clubs, coshes, rice flails, num-chucks, kubatons, kubasaunts.

Extract from Aer Lingus General Conditions of Carriage.
While not as detailed as the Ryanair site, they appear to be basically the same.
8.3 ITEMS UNACCEPTABLE AS BAGGAGE
8.3.1
You must not include in your Baggage:
8.3.1.1
Items which are likely to endanger the aircraft or persons or property on board the aircraft, such as those specified in the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations, and in our regulations (further information is available from us on request);
8.3.1.2
Items the carriage of which is prohibited by the applicable laws, regulations or orders of any state to be flown from or to;
8.3.1.3
Items which are reasonably considered by us to be unsuitable for carriage because they are dangerous, unsafe by reason of their weight, size, shape or character, or which are fragile or perishable having regard to, among other things, the type of aircraft being used. Information about unacceptable items is available upon request.
8.3.2
Firearms and ammunition other than for hunting and sporting purposes are prohibited from carriage as Baggage. Firearms and ammunition for hunting and sporting purposes may be accepted as Checked Baggage. Firearms must be unloaded with the safety catch on, and suitably packed. Carriage of ammunition is subject to ICAO and IATA regulations as specified in 8.3.1.1.

THE FOREGOING ALSO REFLECTS THE CONTENTS OF THE DUBLIN AIRPORT AUTHORITY PASSENGER AND CABIN BAGGAGE LIST OF PROHIBITED ARTICLES NOTICE.

Slán.
Buen Camino.
Des. :lol:
 
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Deleted member 3000

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I take my backpack as carry on luggage with the essentials in that I can't do my camino without. I don't want to lose my backpack on the way there
I had no problem a dozen times on camino flights; my bag arrived with me. They were almost all Iberia flights. However, the last two times the bags did not arrive in Santiago with me -- U.S. to Heathrow to Madrid to Santiago. The connection times were ample, but the flights were code sharing flights with British Airways. Both times the pack arrived on the next flight from Madrid to Santiago, a later evening flight.

Iberia labor is very unhappy with the merger with British Airways. There is a good chance that the delays were deliberate. The delay was not enough to disrupt my pilgrimage, but enough to irritate me as a customer of Iberia. That is a pretty good labor tactic. Customer complaints, but no actual loss to the customer. In both cases the packs were delivered to my Santiago accommodations later in the evening, so I did not even need to buy a toothbrush.

It might be prudent to carry on baggage with Iberia for a while. They have announced further strikes, so all is not calm on the southern front.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Janet S. said:
do you think it's worth it for me to check a bag on Ryanair just to bring two trekking poles (they are nice titanium poles). Counting both there and back flights it would be a total of 55 euros. Would I be able to find a set of good trekking poles once on the Camino for less than that? also wondered about a pcoket kinfe... a friend wants to get me one of those multipurpose knives. I didn't really want to check any bags at all if I could avoid it. Do they have any issue with the size of these backpacks as carryons? Thanks!

Janet
The simple answer is that if you don't want to check your bag(s), leave the poles and knife behind and get them replaced when you arrive at your start point. I needed to replace my poles, and bought a pair of Altus Rift for about 35E in 2010.

Airlines set their own cabin bag limits, which can also vary depending upon aircraft type. There are both dimension and weight limits, not always enforced in my experience. Consulting the airline website is the best option for finding the details.

Regards,
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
do you think it's worth it for me to check a bag on Ryanair just to bring two trekking poles (they are nice titanium poles). Counting both there and back flights it would be a total of 55 euros.
Janet, is it not still the case that you can check one bag for free on international flights from the US? That was true as of last Fall (Nov. 2012), when I flew to Europe. If so, you could check the poles (in a tube or something), and carry on the backpack.

Frank
 

camino-david

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Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
Another suggestion is dismantling your poles and putting them inside your backpack. I have a pair of Leki poles which the manufacturer recommends dismantling to clean occasionally, so I put them in my pack. Another idea which I have seen on this Forum is to dismantle them, put them inside a tube, or wrap them in bubblewrap, and tie securely to your pack, which can then be wrapped in plastic at the airport if you wish.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
camino-david said:
Another suggestion is dismantling your poles and putting them inside your backpack. I have a pair of Leki poles which the manufacturer recommends dismantling to clean occasionally, so I put them in my pack. Another idea which I have seen on this Forum is to dismantle them, put them inside a tube, or wrap them in bubblewrap, and tie securely to your pack, which can then be wrapped in plastic at the airport if you wish.

I'd be careful with this tactic - I recently saw a pilgrim's bag being searched after going through the security screen at Santiago Airport. The poles were removed in pieces from inside the bag and they were then told to either discard them or check them into the hold - 60€ with Ryaniar :(
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Gosh darn it, Johnnie Walker, you had to go and ruin everything with your tale of the Santiago airport.

Over the last couple of years, I've carried my hiking poles, collapsed and with rubber tips on them, through security in the airports of Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Washington DC. Never a problem. And since my Camino plane travel usually ends in Madrid, I've never had a problem carrying my sticks over to Spain.

This year, I'm connecting in Madrid to an Iberia flight to Valencia, and it sounds like I may have a problem in Madrid. I think that when I arrive in T4, I'll have to leave the secure area and then have to go back through security to get my connection.

Looks like I have two choices -- to check the poles in the US (the airlines have lost them once and that was a royal hassle) or to take a chance and hope I have enough time to go back and check the poles if they won't let them through.

For those of you more familiar with T4, do you think a 3 hour window between arrival in Spain and departure for Valencia would give me enough time to check the poles if I can't get them through security? I know the distances are enormous in that airport, so I'm not really sure what to do now.

Any advice or helpful suggestions?
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
I would like to resurrect this topic, as I'm flying from the US to Madrid via Delta in late September. Does anyone have any current intelligence on whether it's still necessary to check trekking poles, or whether one can dismantle them into sections and carry them on in one's mochila? I know that the TSA backed away from its earlier (sensible) proposal to allow ski poles, small knives, etc., in carry-on baggage, but I have not seen anything on this topic lately. Thanks for any intelligence.
 

billmclaughlin

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP/Burgos 2012; Le Puy/SJPP 2013; Aumont Aubrac/Aire sur l'Adour 2014; Burgos/Santiago 2016.
Right. Small knives. Sensible.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Orafo, I should warn you that I am the resident "carry on your poles if at all possible" fanatic.

And an important detail is that I always fly from the US to Spain on US carriers or Iberia, with no other European port of entry. So my experience isn't going to be relevant for those who fly from other countries or on other airlines, especially those where a last minute checking of luggage will cost you a lot of money.

There are several more recent threads than this one, but I can give you information from my own experience in May/June 2013.

I collapsed my hiking poles and put a rubber tip on the ends. I put the poles in a duffel bag. They went through security fine, both in the US and in Madrid, when I had to exit the secure area and re-enter in order to make my domestic connection.

This has been my standard operating procedure for the last few years, ever since the hiking poles I checked in the US never showed up in Madrid. I figure that if I have a problem with security, I can just check the poles in the duffel and hope they arrive, but so far that has not been necessary.

I always check my poles and backpack on the way home from Santiago, though, so I can't tell you about the return trip. But I have heard from many sources that there is a rigid ban on bringing poles on board.

Good luck and report back! Laurie
 

dbebble

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances starting 29 Aug 2013
In preparation for my trip from the US, I have asked no less than 6 different TSA agents in 4 different airports (two of which were international airports-ORD and IAD) whether or not I could bring trekking poles. I explained that they would be inside my carry on backpack as they are collapsable. Everyone of them said "no problem". I guess I'll find out come the end of August. However, I will also be prepared to arrive at the airport early enough to "run" back and check the poles if there is an issue.
 
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Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
Hmmm. Thanks for that input, Laurie and Dbebble. I'm now tempted to chance it, leaving time to execute Plan B if some overzealous TSA official objects. If so, I'll report back. Of course, the small pocket knife would have to stay behind, and I'd just buy a cheap one in France or Spain.
While I have no desire to continue a debate on this issue, I do think the TSA's original proposal was sensible, as it is difficult to understand how one could inflict mayhem, let alone breach a secured cockpit, with the tiny blade of my little knife, any more than with my trekking poles. There are a number of items we can routinely fly with that would make better weapons for those intent on doing harm.
 

drutherford520

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August 26 (2013)
Debble,
As i see it, we can plan all we want. It's going to come down to the new security guard who hasn't had a chance to learn all the gray areas and how to deal with them. I also am leaving from the US in late August on my first camino. I also will start in sjpdp. I'm staying in sjpdp for a couple days - visiting my niece who moved to europe 2 months ago.
Maybe our paths will cross.
Buen camino

Dan from Colorado

Sent from my GT-N8013 using Camino de Santiago Forum mobile app
 

fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Was thinking about this topic in the middle of the night... Like you do... Thought about risking it, and putting the poles inside the rucksack, but don't want to have to face paying to check them in if its not acceptable.
So, I know where I'm going to be staying the first night in Pamplona, so why not POST the poles to them, and hopefully the poles will be waiting for me ?? :D
It's got to be cheaper than checking them in, if you live in Europe?

Any thoughts ?

Helen
 

Milepost99

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013); Camino Portugese TBD.
I won't be checking my bag and finally decided that I have so much time and effort already invested in this trip that I will buy poles in Europe after I exit the airport security systems. In my case, at Sport 2000 in Lourdes.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In response to couple of PMs I got on this topic, I edited my most recent post and want to stress that my experience is--

** on US carriers or on Iberia
** on travel from the US direct to Spain with no other European port of entry
** on airlines that do not charge for a last minute checking of a bag

If any one of those details were different, I might have different stories to tell! buen camino, Laurie
 
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Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
Laurie, you mentioned putting the poles in a duffel bag. What do you do with that bag once you arrive? I assume you don't carry it in your pack on the Camino (or maybe it's very lightweight and you do). Do you store it somewhere, or ship it ahead, or what?
For the return trip, I do plan to just check everything, pack, poles, and all, since I won't be so concerned about its arriving when I do.
Thanks,
Frank
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Frank,

I've got a crazy system, but it has worked beautifully for the last few years. I collapse a strong cardboard box that fits in my backpack and wrap a lot of packing tape around one of my poles. When I arrive in my Spanish destination (this year I started in Valencia), I take out the box and remake it with the tape. Then, into the box go my duffel bag and my airplane pillow. (you could of course just buy a box in Spain, but I find this saves me a fair amount of precious time on the arrival day, when I have other things to do like buying a card for my Spanish cell phone, etc). I send the box to my hotel in Santiago, where it will sit till I arrive in Santiago. I think the charge this year was around 6 or 8 euros to mail it.

The advantage for me is that I then have a duffel bag that will carry my hiking poles as checked luggage, and I can fill it with olive oil, cheese, etc to bring home.

Another option would be to buy a cheap duffel at the Goodwill or someplace like that and then toss it on arrival in Spain.

Hope this helps! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
Not so crazy! Sounds like an idea worth thinking about. A friend of mine fashioned a cardboard box or tube for her hiking poles and knife, then checked them but carried on her mochila. The only disadvantage to that system is that one has to wait in baggage claim for the poles to appear on the carousel. I have 55 days until departure, so I'll continue to ponder . . .

Best,

Frank
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
fortview said:
Was thinking about this topic in the middle of the night... Like you do... Thought about risking it, and putting the poles inside the rucksack, but don't want to have to face paying to check them in if its not acceptable.
So, I know where I'm going to be staying the first night in Pamplona, so why not POST the poles to them, and hopefully the poles will be waiting for me ?? :D
It's got to be cheaper than checking them in, if you live in Europe?

Any thoughts ?

Helen


In one of the other threads I posted the UK airport guidelines. Poles are banned. From the little exposure I've had to security at places like Gatwick my guess is they are more likely to stop you then not. Even if they don't the eight million people behind you in the slow moving line won't appreciate the delay.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, Frances 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
Was really concerned about this and decided to check backpack and poles in a canvass bag (Osprey Airporter canvass bag). All arrived safe and sound in Rorschach Switzerland after connections in Toronto and Montreal. Air Canada and Swiss air came through.

Guy

http://caminolongwalk.blogspot.ch/
 
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fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Reading these posts, especially NicoZ , I have decided to post mine to the Aloha Hostel in Pamplona, where I've booked for the first night. ( it looks fab , by the way,) I emailed the hostel first, to see if they were ok with accepting a parcel for me , and they were :D
Hopefully this will work ! Will let you know!
Helen
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I used to check my poles in a cardbord tube (you can buy one at fedex or UPS). I also stuck my Swiss Army knife in the tube. Worked fine till the year it didn't arrive in Madrid. I had to make a dash to an outdoor store before my train down to Sevilla, which was doable but not fun. Had to find out about a store, figure out how to get there on the metro, etc.

On the theory that lightening doesnt strike twice in the same place, maybe I could go back to my cardboard tube system, but the carry-on option has worked perfectly for the last 3 or 4 years.

But just a note for those who check poles in a cardboard tube -- in Madrid at least, and maybe other airports, a big cardboard tube won't come out in the regular baggage carousel, so look around for the place where oversized or unusually sized packages are delivered.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
I used to check my poles in a cardbord tube (you can buy one at fedex or UPS). I also stuck my Swiss Army knife in the tube. Worked fine till the year it didn't arrive in Madrid. I had to make a dash to an outdoor store before my train down to Sevilla, which was doable but not fun. Had to find out about a store, figure out how to get there on the metro, etc.

On the theory that lightening doesnt strike twice in the same place, maybe I could go back to my cardboard tube system, but the carry-on option has worked perfectly for the last 3 or 4 years.

But just a note for those who check poles in a cardboard tube -- in Madrid at least, and maybe other airports, a big cardboard tube won't come out in the regular baggage carousel, so look around for the place where oversized or unusually sized packages are delivered.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)

Here is a bit of additional intelligence. Yesterday I drove to our airport and took my dismantled trekking poles inside to ask the TSA agent on duty whether I could pack them in my pack as a carry-on. Without hesitation, she said yes. So now that's my plan. I also showed her my plastic tweezers and metal bandage scissors (components of my first aid kit -- I'm a former EMT), and she said those could come, too. But my small multi-tool failed her inspection because of its blade, although she said if I wanted to break off the blade, the multi-tool would be fine. I pass this along for what it's worth; it's possible it will depend on the TSA agent on duty.
 

La Barre

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances, Roncesvalles to SdC 2010
C. Frances, SJPDP to Sdc 2012
C.Frances,SJPDP to Finisterre 2014
C.Portuguese, Lisbon to SdC(hopscotch) Sept. 2015
C. Frances SJPDP to Muxia 2017
As a side note, I went the checked cardboard tube route and used a rather large triangular tube from UPS. When I went to mail the tube from Barcelona to Santiago with post camino shoes,etc., a rather gruff looking man at the post office near Plaza Catalunya looked at the box with" UPS" splattered all over it and shook his head, then without a word went and got brown paper and tape and wrapped it up addressed it and charged just the 12E postage. Very cool.
 
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nichollsb

New Member
We ended up packing our poles in a heavy duty mailing tube and checking them. They arrived just fine.

I did find it upsetting at one alburgue when they INSISTED that I leave my expensive Pacer Poles in a drum barrel by an open alley door. I offered to put them in my pack, but no way would they let me. So I passed on staying there, and went to another place.

I used those poles in particular because of wrist surgery and weakness. An otherwise wooden stick would have been fine there, but I wasn't comfortable leaving my Pacers.

I do understand that the REASON for not allowing those poles in the sleeping room (as explained to me by another hospitalero) is because they have been know to be used as weapons! No kidding! So I can understand the reason...

HOWEVER, I wish they'd take into consideration the expense invested and provide at least a more secure place away from an open door. It's not like there is no theft in Spain. I heard of at least 3 sets of poles being stolen while there last summer.

Hi, there. What did you do with the heavy duty mailing tube once you arrived in Spain? Did you have to buy another one for the return trip? I have trekking poles, but they're the telescoping kind, not the kind that you can apart. They won't fit in my pack, so I guess I'll have to check them. I just want to make sure they arrive safely.
 

nichollsb

New Member
Hi, Dick,
I think you will find mailing tubes at the dispatch office any private shipping company -- FedEx, UPS, DHL, I'm not sure what you have in Canada. And I remember that I was able to buy a tube for the return trip at an art supply store in Santiago.

Another thing I have done is to keep the tube and use it for the return home. Upon arrival at my starting point, I took out the sticks and stuffed some "post Camino" clothes, even a pair of shoes, into the tube. I sent my tube on to a hotel in Santiago, but with Ivar's operation now, it would be simpler to just send it there and not worry about it. Then the tube is there for re-checking on the return trip. In fact, I used one tube for three Caminos! Laurie
Smart idea! I'm starting in Oviedo. I suppose I could mail the tube from there and have fresh clothes waiting for me in Santiago.
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
Well, so far so good. I got my Lekis (disassembled and inside my pack) through security at my home airport with no problem, and now I'm at the Atlanta airport, where I won't have to re-enter security, waiting on my flight to Madrid. I thought I'd report that success to the forum.
Buen camino to all.
Frank
 

Orafo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Francés, SJPP to Santiago and Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2013); Planned: Camino del Salvador-Camino Primitivo-Camino Francés-Camino Finisterre (Sept.-Oct. 2014)
Thanks, Laurie. Yes, now I think I can make the 10:45 bus to Pamplona, then the one at 5:30 to St. Jean. I'm grateful for your suggestion to carry on the poles.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi I have just got back to New Zealand having flown with Singapore air, Swiss Air, Lufthansa and Thai. I had my Deuter Groeden 30 ltr pack which weighed 6 kg and contained Black Diamond Z Poles as carry on luggage. I went through all security checks without a single question. It was wonderful to arrive in Europe after the long flight, put on my pack and walk straight through passport control without having to wait around. I hopped on a train within 30 mins of touchdown! Here is to lightweight simple travel!
 
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MendiWalker

Guest
The problem may not be coming into Spain with your poles in your backpack as carry on luggage but leaving Spain where the problem arises.
Security at Spanish airports won´t let you even if the poles are in your backpack carry them on the plane.

Buen Camino!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, MendiWalker,
I know this is true in some airports but last May (and in prior years) I brought my hiking poles through airport security in Madrid in a small, carry-on duffel bag. I had to make a connection to a domestic flight to Valencia and so I had to go through security upon arrival in Spain. I had them in the duffel so I could run and check them if they weren't allowed through, but I had no problem.
 
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MendiWalker

Guest
Hi, MendiWalker,
I know this is true in some airports but last May (and in prior years) I brought my hiking poles through airport security in Madrid in a small, carry-on duffel bag. I had to make a connection to a domestic flight to Valencia and so I had to go through security upon arrival in Spain. I had them in the duffel so I could run and check them if they weren't allowed through, but I had no problem.

You were blessed, most of the times you get sent back to check them in. I don´t understand why there isn´t an international system to what you can & what you can´t carry on board.

Buen Camino!
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
... Security at Spanish airports won´t let you even if the poles are in your backpack carry them on the plane.
Security at San Jose (Costa Rica) airport did not let the poles in the backpack through (September 2013).
Same situation at Santiago de Compostela airport (October 2013).
In both instances we had them wrapped up and "facturado" (no charge) and they arrived in time, without damage, at destination.
 
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NJoisygirl

Please enlighten me!
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino (2013)
My husband & I did the Camino in Sept.2013, we were worried about checking & having our our luggage lost. We were worried about our backpacks fitting in the overhead $ security nabbing our expensive & beloved Leki poles. One of my fears about checking our bag was the backpack straps & clips/clasps becoming damaged. My friend made us duffle bags (like a military sea bag) out of light-weight, tear-resistant, ugly-colored nylon fabric... It turned out to be the exact fabric used by Altus in our Atmospheric ponchos! The bags weighed nothing, scrunched down to a size smaller than your fist & we ended up using them throughout our trip! Our packs & poles arrived safely on all legs of our journey! Our choice was also validated when a fellow pilgrim on the return trip was given grief about his poles at the Madrid airport & the last time we saw him was going through security at Heathrow later on that day, it looked like they were taking them.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
There are commerical backpack covers for those of us too lazy to make something. OTOH you can just wrap the things in plastic wrap. Many airports offer this but the price seems to have gone up.
 

Cejanus

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJDP - Santiago April "2013"; European Peace Walk"2015"; VIa de la Plata "2016"
A simple solution is to buy an XXXXlarge t-shirt for a dollar or two, sew across the neck and arm holes and put a draw string across the bottom. Simple, light and keeps the straps out of the way. Also turn the waist strap backwards and around the pack and clip it. Turn shoulder straps backwards so that they are all turned in towards the backpack. Slip the pack into it and it protects your pack and straps. I check my poles as I could not do without them and having them confiscated would break my heart and I don't have to deal with the whims are the security staff at the airports.
 

fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
It does seem to be quite random. One of us flew from Bristol, and one from Stansted. No problem with taking the poles , in the back pack packs,collapsed down, as hand luggage.
Leaving from Santiago,different story.They did say we could put them in the hold free of charge though....
 
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MendiWalker

Guest
A simple solution is to buy an XXXXlarge t-shirt for a dollar or two, sew across the neck and arm holes and put a draw string across the bottom. Simple, light and keeps the straps out of the way. Also turn the waist strap backwards and around the pack and clip it. Turn shoulder straps backwards so that they are all turned in towards the backpack. Slip the pack into it and it protects your pack and straps. I check my poles as I could not do without them and having them confiscated would break my heart and I don't have to deal with the whims are the security staff at the airports.


Doesn´t work…….. them machines have Superman eyes………. they see right thru them T shirts.:(

Buen Camino!
 

unadara

Active Member
A simple solution is to buy an XXXXlarge t-shirt for a dollar or two, sew across the neck and arm holes and put a draw string across the bottom. Simple, light and keeps the straps out of the way. Also turn the waist strap backwards and around the pack and clip it. Turn shoulder straps backwards so that they are all turned in towards the backpack. Slip the pack into it and it protects your pack and straps. I check my poles as I could not do without them and having them confiscated would break my heart and I don't have to deal with the whims are the security staff at the airports.

I like this idea, I have just the t-shirt in my wardrobe, i also will check in in future (VdeP-April-Maybe!) as I don't want to lose my poles again or worry about weight going home with a few gifts, leaves you free to carry a hand (bag) with a food, book, travel essentials for flight.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
We simply wrapped our Leki's in the towels we brought in our 55liter Ospreys .
No problem at all during our flight from Amsterdam to Lisbon and back from Porto to Amsterdam wrapped in the fleece vests.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
This thread is going round and round a bit because of the different situations in and outside Europe and because people aren't always making it clear whether they are checking in their bags to go in the hold or carrying them into the cabin.
Albertnho, were your 55l Ospreys in the hold or in the cabin please?
FWIW over the last few years I have nearly always travelled back and forwards to Spain from England on Ryanair. My bag is fractionally too large to carry onto the plane, so I've always checked it in and it has always contained one walking pole (and nail scissors and a swiss army knife). This has worked perfectly every time. I reckon the extra cost of checking in a bag on Ryanair is approximately the same as buying trekking poles, knife etc at the other end, which you then leave behind when you leave Santiago. But if all these items go in the hold, you don't have the hassle of having to find a shop to buy these things before you start and you can sit in the airport lounge relaxing, while others join a queue to board and stand there for up to an hour in order to get a good space for their bags above the cabin seats. On the other hand you do have to wait about ten minutes for your bag to appear on the carousel at the other end (in my experience).
 
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MendiWalker

Guest
This thread is going round and round a bit because of the different situations in and outside Europe and because people aren't always making it clear whether they are checking in their bags to go in the hold or carrying them into the cabin.
Albertnho, were your 55l Ospreys in the hold or in the cabin please?
FWIW over the last few years I have nearly always travelled back and forwards to Spain from England on Ryanair. My bag is fractionally too large to carry onto the plane, so I've always checked it in and it has always contained one walking pole (and nail scissors and a swiss army knife). This has worked perfectly every time. I reckon the extra cost of checking in a bag on Ryanair is approximately the same as buying trekking poles, knife etc at the other end, which you then leave behind when you leave Santiago. But if all these items go in the hold, you don't have the hassle of having to find a shop to buy these things before you start and you can sit in the airport lounge relaxing, while others join a queue to board and stand there for up to an hour in order to get a good space for their bags above the cabin seats. On the other hand you do have to wait about ten minutes for your bag to appear on the carousel at the other end (in my experience).

So true. If you check-in your backpack , you won´t have any problem what so ever regarding hiking poles. All you have to do is have your poles inside an not sticking out.
The problem comes when you want to carry on your backpack. Depending the country you are coming from into Spain you may or may not have any problems. But when leaving Spain security checks using scanners will detect your poles inside your backpack and they will be removed. There might be the one case where someone will have no problems but that´s the exception to the rule. In Spain it´s not allowed. Most airlines flying out of Spain have it on their web page as well. NO HIKING POLES as hand baggage.

Buen Camino!
 
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NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
It's an EU rule. While I think the countries can have tougher rules then the EU standard I doubt anybody does.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I still think the Black Diamond z poles are a different cattle of fish. They fold up into very short lengths and I was not even questioned, they were clearly visible inside the pack on the X-ray machine and I went through New Zealand, Singapore, Frankfurt, Bangkok security...
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
The fact you got away with something just proves you got away something. You'll find plenty of people that have forgotten forbidden items in thier carryons.
 
M

MendiWalker

Guest
The fact you got away with something just proves you got away something. You'll find plenty of people that have forgotten forbidden items in thier carryons.

Yep

But as I said earlier , the problem is when you try to leave Spain with them as carry ons.

Buen Camino!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
So true. If you check-in your backpack , you won´t have any problem what so ever regarding hiking poles. All you have to do is have your poles inside an not sticking out.
The problem comes when you want to carry on your backpack. Depending the country you are coming from into Spain you may or may not have any problems. But when leaving Spain security checks using scanners will detect your poles inside your backpack and they will be removed. There might be the one case where someone will have no problems but that´s the exception to the rule. In Spain it´s not allowed. Most airlines flying out of Spain have it on their web page as well. NO HIKING POLES as hand baggage.

Buen Camino!

Sorry MendiWalker but this is just not the case. I have left Amsterdam on 4 occasions with my Black Diamond poles IN my 35L backpack and have taken the pack as CARRY-ON into the plane. I have also left from Vigo airport (2010) and Madrid airport (2011,2012, 2013) doing the same without a problem. I can't imagine that I was just "lucky" 4 separate times and years.

As we can see from the date of the OP (2009) this is a still current topic. In order to avoid confusion maybe posters can specify point of departure and entry as well as whether the poles where IN your pack as carry-on or stowed away and dates?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
Sorry MendiWalker but this is just not the case. I have left Amsterdam on 4 occasions with my Black Diamond poles IN my 35L backpack and have taken the pack ON the plane. I have also left from Vigo airport (2010) and Madrid airport (2011,2012, 2013) doing the same without a problem. I can't imagine that I was just "lucky" 4 separate times and years.

As we can see from the date of the OP (2009) this is a still current topic. In order to avoid confusion maybe posters can specify point of departure and entry as well as whether the poles where IN your pack as carry-on or stowed away and dates?
Hola,
I wonder how small/short your poles gets when collapsed?
I checked in my Leki micro sticks which gets only 39 cm.
But that's because I was afraid someone might take them. Maybe that's not necessary. :)


...and I'm also thinking of how the tips are, if they look sharp. If not, then they should be ok. It's ok to bring an umbrella in the cabin, and trekking poles aren't so different from a big umbrella.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi Susanna,
My poles are much longer so they just barely fit into my Osprey Atmos 35L pack. They fold up to 65 cm or 25.5 inches.
I always put on the rubber tips before packing so as not to damage my pack.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
Sorry MendiWalker but this is just not the case. I have left Amsterdam on 4 occasions with my Black Diamond poles IN my 35L backpack and have taken the pack as CARRY-ON into the plane. I have also left from Vigo airport (2010) and Madrid airport (2011,2012, 2013) doing the same without a problem. I can't imagine that I was just "lucky" 4 separate times and years.

As we can see from the date of the OP (2009) this is a still current topic. In order to avoid confusion maybe posters can specify point of departure and entry as well as whether the poles where IN your pack as carry-on or stowed away and dates?

Next time at the airport ask if they're okay .
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
Hi Susanna,
My poles are much longer so they just barely fit into my Osprey Atmos 35L pack. They fold up to 65 cm or 25.5 inches.
I always put on the rubber tips before packing so as not to damage my pack.

Ok, then I wonder if the rubber tips might be the secret to get the poles, or not get them, through security control.
Because you can't take sharp things which can be used as a weapon in the cabin. And rubber tips aren't dangerous.
It would be interesting to hear how the others have done. :)
 

fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
We had rubber tips on, and they didn't go through security at Santiago airport. I'm wondering if security are much more alert to poles at Santiago, because of the vast quantities of pilgrims passing through. It seems like people have had no problem taking them as hand luggage from Madrid airport. ( and as I said before, we were fine with them leaving the uk) .
It seems a bit unfair that it's one rule at one airport and another elsewhere, in the same country! :(
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The fact you got away with something just proves you got away something. You'll find plenty of people that have forgotten forbidden items in thier carryons.

Not to quibble about words, but I think that "getting away with something" is not fair to the people who carry on hiking poles time after time and never trip security, since it suggests some sort of intentional deception.

I have had experiences similar to LTfit. I use Leki Makalu poles, which are frustratingly long even when collapsed. So I have to pull them apart, into three pieces, to get them in my duffel bag. I also put rubber tips on the end of the poles. I put them in a duffel bag so that I can easily check them if I can't get them through security. But to date, in many US airports and in the Madrid airport, I have had no problems.

I can't imagine that rubber tips make a difference to the x-ray machines, Susanna, but I don't know what explains it. I don't think I have always put rubber tips on anyway.

The airlines once lost my poles on my way to the Camino, which required a somewhat stressful quick trip to the Barrabes store in Madrid to buy new poles before getting on the train to Sevilla. Since then I have carried them on every year. My backpack is my "carry-on" and my poles in the duffel are my "personal item" and in the US, on American Airlines and Iberia to be specific, I've never had a problem.

I always check the duffel for my return from Santiago since I am not worried about loss at that point.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013
I'm not sure how else to put it. I've seen people that have forgotten litre bottles of shampoo etc and security either ignores it or doesn't notice.

OTOH I've seen people almost in tears being ordered to dump things.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
This thread is going round and round a bit because of the different situations in and outside Europe and because people aren't always making it clear whether they are checking in their bags to go in the hold or carrying them into the cabin.
Albertnho, were your 55l Ospreys in the hold or in the cabin please?
FWIW over the last few years I have nearly always travelled back and forwards to Spain from England on Ryanair. My bag is fractionally too large to carry onto the plane, so I've always checked it in and it has always contained one walking pole (and nail scissors and a swiss army knife). This has worked perfectly every time. I reckon the extra cost of checking in a bag on Ryanair is approximately the same as buying trekking poles, knife etc at the other end, which you then leave behind when you leave Santiago. But if all these items go in the hold, you don't have the hassle of having to find a shop to buy these things before you start and you can sit in the airport lounge relaxing, while others join a queue to board and stand there for up to an hour in order to get a good space for their bags above the cabin seats. On the other hand you do have to wait about ten minutes for your bag to appear on the carousel at the other end (in my experience).
Our backpacks were in the hold. Our backpacks are too big to store in the cabin.
But what I meant is that the security control makes the problem, taking the poles into the cabin (like f.ex.golfclubs are not allowed to be taken into the cabin aswell)
For that reason we dropped off our backpacks in hold , we wrapped the poles into towels and the fleecevests just to protect against rough handling by the groundstaff.
 
Last edited:

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Actually NicoZ I did not like your attitude, I was not trying to get away with bringing forbidden items on board, as you put it, I emailed a Number of airlines including Air Berlin and checked with NZ security as to whether I could take the Black Diamond Z Poles as carry on. They are quite expensive and I did not want to risk them ending up in the rubbish, before I had even used them. I was told by officials that they were permissible.
I cannot comment on the problems getting out of Santiago with poles as carry on, but with the airlines I mentioned and the airports I mentioned I did not have any problems at all and the poles were clearly visible.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It seems quite clear to me that those of us who have packed our walking poles in our backpacks and have taken them into the plane as carry-0n do it for obvious reasons. No one is trying to to 'cheat' the system, they are clear for all to see when passing through the scan!
 
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NJoisygirl

Please enlighten me!
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Camino (2013)
I almost hate answering, for a forum that includes religious pilgrims I am amazed at how easily offended people get. I have travelled quite a bit in my time and the last decade's trips involved a lot of hiking. Due to depth perception problems, I depend a lot on my hiking poles. In MY own personal experience, I have had airport staff react to my poles (taken as carry-on) in many ways... From a friendly mini conversation regarding my trip plans, to ignoring them, to harassing me about them, to almost taking my poles away (two years ago at Heathrow- my 4th airport during my trip... All other airport staff before & after ignored them) a supervisor finally let them pass. On my last flight, I was afraid & did not want to lose my poles, so I checked my backpack & poles without issue. I don't think there are specific rules about hiking poles... But as I stated before, I DID witness a fellow pilgrim have a major issue with his poles on his trip home just a month ago - Just saying...
I, personally, think it is a crap-shoot & we are all subject to the whim of the airport staff & how they feel that day. The same goes with liquids... I forgot some muscle salve in my mini rucksack I used for carrying on board my valuables, this got through Madrid , but good old Heathrow had me dump everything out and then confiscated it (it was used - less than 3 oz... But in a 5 oz tube) - live and learn ... LOL!
I think the other poster meant that when you are in a realm where things are subjective, if you get through unscathed you are lucky. That has nothing to do with cheating a system. ;-)
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Year of past OR future Camino
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I almost hate answering, for a forum that includes religious pilgrims I am amazed at how easily offended people get. I have travelled quite a bit in my time and the last decade's trips involved a lot of hiking. Due to depth perception problems, I depend a lot on my hiking poles. In MY own personal experience, I have had airport staff react to my poles (taken as carry-on) in many ways... From a friendly mini conversation regarding my trip plans, to ignoring them, to harassing me about them, to almost taking my poles away (two years ago at Heathrow- my 4th airport during my trip... All other airport staff before & after ignored them) a supervisor finally let them pass. On my last flight, I was afraid & did not want to lose my poles, so I checked my backpack & poles without issue. I don't think there are specific rules about hiking poles... But as I stated before, I DID witness a fellow pilgrim have a major issue with his poles on his trip home just a month ago - Just saying...
I, personally, think it is a crap-shoot & we are all subject to the whim of the airport staff & how they feel that day. The same goes with liquids... I forgot some muscle salve in my mini rucksack I used for carrying on board my valuables, this got through Madrid , but good old Heathrow had me dump everything out and then confiscated it (it was used - less than 3 oz... But in a 5 oz tube) - live and learn ... LOL!
I think the other poster meant that when you are in a realm where things are subjective, if you get through unscathed you are lucky. That has nothing to do with cheating a system. ;-)

It is a crapshoot, if you're flying long haul from the US, you're allowed at least one checked bag, so check your bag with poles and be done with it!
 

aliwalks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
In the past few years, we have come up against various "rules" regarding luggage which seem to make no sense. For instance, last week I traveled from California to Oregon via air. I called the airlines ahead of time to be sure my luggage was of the size & weight to carry on, only to have them tell me at check-in that the luggage must be checked, which cost me a whopping $40 instead of the $15 I was prepared to pay for the one extra bag.

Sooo.. we'd like to be prepared when it comes to our backpack and hiking poles.

Does anyone have any recent experience flying on British Air from the USA to Spain/Europe?

Do we need to send our poles ahead to Ivar?
Can we strap them to our packs?
Can we carry our packs on or must they be checked? (scary, in case they don't arrive)

Comments, advice, stories?
Thanks.
 

aliwalks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
I am planning on checking my backpack not carry on, any recommendations as to whether to have one of the covers that locks or just check is secured properly?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Who would you be locking it against? I would not put any "valuables" in it, would tighten up and secure all loose straps (some people enclose them in a big cheap duffel bag but I never have), and send it on its way.
 
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