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Can I take my trekking poles as carry-on baggage?

Cbflores

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018)
#1
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
 

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skydog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
7 days on the camino 160 km
#3
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
Short answer is "no"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#5
The answer is actually "maybe", though I would plan on "no".
 

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MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#6
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
If you are routing through the UK there is a similar prohibition by the UK Government. You should also check your airline's conditions on luggage. Europe's largest low cost carrier, Ryanair, which many of us use to reach the Camino has a similar prohibition about poles as carry on luggage.
 

MatteJa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Camino Francés (from Ponferrada to Finisterre)

06/2016: planning to finish the Camino Francés (from SJPDP to Ponferrada)
#8
Hey @Cbflores It depends on the Flight Company. I will fly with RyanAir and I asked them just to be sure, they told me if they can fit in the carry-on luggage, they are allowed. I am using a 40L and they can fit inside.

To be sure try to contact the Customer Service of the Company you will fly with.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#9
Please be aware that that that is 'permitted' by airline staff that don't work on the gate-line is frequently different to that that is permitted by airport security. And guess who you get to play with first.

This topic has been rehearsed so often on the forum that it has become like an old family friend that you would try not to invite to your wedding.

A simple search will provide ALL the answers you could possibly need and very few conclusions.
 
#10
Just to provide a recent update to this endless debate, of which we never seem to tire, on April 11 I carried my poles through US security (not trying to get away with anything) and on April 12 carried them through Spanish security to get my connection to Almeria. The Spanish security agent asked me what was in my pack, I said hiking poles, and he waved me through without opening the pack. Two days later another forum member did the same thing from Canada through Madrid to Almeria.

I may be the luckiest woman in the world but I have now carried on my poles on more than 40 or 50 national and international flights. I always have a Plan B in case my luck runs out.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
#11

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#12
I would definitely not assume or count on being able to have them as carry-on luggage all the way to Spain and back. Very good chance you would have to discard them enroute.
Maybe carry-on your pack separately and check-in the poles in a cardboard tube or cheap duffel. Either of which can be discarded upon reaching your starting point and if by some unlikely chance the tube or duffel is lost in transit by the airlines, not as big deal as you have your backpacks and main gear. I highly recommend carry-on backpacks when possible.
Also you have the option of buying trekking poles in Spain or Saint Jean. I have before. The poles were aluminium and about 20-24 euro a pair. They worked just fine for me and got me to Santiago and beyond.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct '16
#14
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
I flew Ryan Air 2 years ago. I checked my backpack with the poles securely attached, but the desk agent insisted they would fall off and told me to carry them on. Going thru security, the staff refused to allow the poles to be carried on. I then spent 20minutes trying to convince the desk agent not to charge me for a second checked item, since he had insisted they could be carried on. A nightmare!
 

Anna Sar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Central x 3, Portuguese Litoral, Finisterra, Primitivo, San Salvador, Cammino di Assisi
#15
It depends more on the given airport rules as you only need to pass security check. And you shouldn't have them outside of your rucksack of course. My patent in Italy (Rome) was to fold them and wrap them tightly with wrapping foil or stretch film, whatever you call it, and keep them inside my rucksack. They are about rucksack back length. Not even one question asked at the security :) So good luck.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2018)
#16
I’m sitting in Paris airport typing this waiting for my flight to Biarritz, I left Vancouver this morning with packed poles, no problem, stop over in Iceland, no problem, just went through security here, they took my water but the poles sailed through. I did notice in Vancouver my bag was pulled aside and rescanned but given right back. Just take them, give yourself extra time in case you have to exit line and check them as baggage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#17
I was going to say that it's better to copy-paste the moderators' standard reply because then there's a greater - though still small - chance that posters will actually read it before they reply than when it's a link and they have to click on it. :cool:

But, OTOH, this thread has produced new facets of "this endless debate, of which we never seem to tire". Julie Benyo's account of her experience with Ryanair of two years ago is priceless and Diane Booth's account of what's happening right now and right here defies some of the common wisdom - or confirms it, depending on which side of the fence (or planet Earth) you are sitting. :cool:
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#18
I was going to say that it's better to copy-paste the moderators' standard reply because then there's a greater - though still small - chance that posters will actually read it before they reply than when it's a link and they have to click on it. :cool:
/QUOTE]
Good idea anyway, Kathar1na! :)
 
#19
At Santiago Airport you are forbidden to take walking poles in carry on luggage,you must check the poles in.A few years ago after finishing the camino I decided to take a little holiday in Gran Canaria.I flew with Ryanair. I took my poles apart,taped them
together and checked them in but carried on my rucksack .At the airport in Gran Canaria
the poles didn' t turn up on the carousel.Two Spanish pilgrims were also missing their poles..We had to report our loss at the airport.
2 weeks later I was at home in Ireland when I received a call from Ryanair Customer Care to inform me they had found the poles and would send them to Stansted airport for onward transmission to Dublin.Dublin is 100 miles from where I live but I was quite happy to collect them from there.A few days later another phone call from Ryanair to say the poles wouldn' t be sent to Dublin but to Derry airport which is some distance from where I live.Then another phone call to say the poles would be sent by taxi from Derry to Belfast. The poles duly arrived at my home by taxi .The taxi driver told me the fare was 60 pounds sterling.Ryanair picked up the tab.By the way this was the New Look Ryanair and I am not
complaining.
Now I buy cheap poles wherever I am starting my camino and when I arrive at the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago I leave them there for others to make use of them.






.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#20
Now I buy cheap poles wherever I am starting my camino and when I arrive at the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago I leave them there for others to make use of them.
.
That really is probably the wisest and hassle free thing to do for those traveling by air to the Camino.
Why spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to fly to Spain or France, not to mention loads of money on other equipment and such and have something like a set of telescoping/collapsible aluminium or carbon fibre rods get in the way of traveling hassle free and enjoying the journey.
I have owned and used the expensive variety of trekking poles and the inexpensive variety. Honestly I saw no real difference, especially for the non-technical walk the Camino is.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#21
Agree with that. We now use Z type poles bought on Taobao from China at a fraction of the cost of the big brands.
 

Oddyspapa

My soul is staying on the way, always.
Camino(s) past & future
Full CF (May/Jun of 2014, 2018 )
Full CF+Finisterre (2016 May/Jun)
Will go again 2020
#22
Yes, this issue is never ending. One reason of it is there are too many kind of walking stick.
I got Black diamond ultra distance Z type pole(collapsed length is 15.7inch). It was well fit in my backpack. I never had any problem so far in US and Europe to carry it on except Santiago. Because I checked in my backpack because of other issue at Santiago Airport.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#23
I haven't read through these threads, but all I can say is "cross your fingers" if you choose to try and bring them in the cabin. I've experienced both scenarios...getting them through and having them taken away from me. I now buy cheapie poles after I arrive.
 
#25
Yes / no / yes / no. You can see that there are many circumstances that will affect the proper answer for you.

My story:

I live in Canada and have travelled to Ireland, England, France and Spain. Each time I flew, I took my collapsible poles through TSA each time. But, there were two reasons why, I believe, this was allowed;

1) I was asked, "Do you need these poles to walk?" My response was always yes. Why would I bring poles if I did not need them?

2) My poles have a rubber foot with a tread, no point of any kind.

Length of poles and their collapsibility is one issue but I believe that the pointy metal end is another one.

Not sure if a ski bag is available but two sets of poles will fit in one of those.

Hope this helps.
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Camino Sanabres
Camino(s) past & future
April 6th 2013
#26
Just to provide a recent update to this endless debate, of which we never seem to tire, on April 11 I carried my poles through US security (not trying to get away with anything) and on April 12 carried them through Spanish security to get my connection to Almeria. The Spanish security agent asked me what was in my pack, I said hiking poles, and he waved me through without opening the pack. Two days later another forum member did the same thing from Canada through Madrid to Almeria.

I may be the luckiest woman in the world but I have now carried on my poles on more than 40 or 50 national and international flights. I always have a Plan B in case my luck runs out.
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
Seems like all the answers are already provided. The real issue here is that the sharp spikes beneath the rubbers pose as a security risk, like a knife would be confiscated.
Also, you can afford to take a risk on your way home, but not on your way out - you don't want your walking disrupted.
I struggle with that decision. I don't mind checking the bag, but if it doesn't arrive, my camino is ended before it starts. I am going at end of May. I might get through security early, give myself enough time to go back and check the bag. But if you are going through a number of airports, best not to try.
Burn Camino, Dave.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#27
Just to provide a recent update to this endless debate, of which we never seem to tire, on April 11 I carried my poles through US security (not trying to get away with anything) and on April 12 carried them through Spanish security to get my connection to Almeria. The Spanish security agent asked me what was in my pack, I said hiking poles, and he waved me through without opening the pack. Two days later another forum member did the same thing from Canada through Madrid to Almeria.

I may be the luckiest woman in the world but I have now carried on my poles on more than 40 or 50 national and international flights. I always have a Plan B in case my luck runs out.
Perhaps you just intimidate security staff ;)
 

JohnJocys

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#28
Last week I flew via Ryanair, Manchester to Madrid. No problem on the outbound trip but on the return trip my (very cheap!) poles were confiscated by security at Madrid, saying they were illegal on flights from Spain.
On both flights the poles were INSIDE my carry on rucksack.
 
#29
Hi there! My dad and I are doing El Camino mid May and I just realized I have an unanswered question: Can I take my Trekking poles as carry-on items or will I need to check them?
Im planning on taking my pack as a carry-on and I just realized that some people have mentioned the poles may be an issue at TSA, anyone have advice for me?
I walked last September, no problem with poles in carry on flying from Ireland, they were confiscated in Madrid airport on the return journey though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Shvil Israel (2015/16)
Camino del Norte (2017)
Caminho Português (2018)
#30
Being aware this was discussed before, I still would like to tell you that mailing stuff like poles ahead is an option. I don't know where your origin is or if you have the time to consider this option. But this year I sent my poles, Swiss army knife and a pair of nail scissors to an albergue in Porto, where I started my camino. 18€ insured delivery. After arriving in Santiago I brought the same items to Correos and payed like 12€ for the insured parcel. In the main mail office close to the cathedral they are well aware of pilgrims needs and even have sort of pole-shaped parcels for the likes of us :D Look at the pic!

I was very satisfied with this option for it was 1/4 of the cost of checking in my otherwise hand luggage sized backpack for the connecting flights and it provided a safe solution with nobody taking away my poles ;)

IMG_0214.jpg
 
#31
In many cases, transfers to another flight do not require going through security again. When I fly Santiago-Madrid-US, I go through security only in Santiago (where hiking poles are categorically prohibited). But going US-Madrid-Almería (or to any other in-Spain destination), I do have to go through security in Madrid.

I have now heard of a number of people who have not been allowed to carry poles through security in Madrid, but so far I have been lucky. I think it’s essential to have enough time and a Plan B so that you can check them at the last minute if need be.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - June 2018
#32
When I asked TSA was told they were only permitted if they were required for mobility - maybe faking a limp and wrapping an ankle may work??? I'm leaving from Canada
 

Cbflores

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June (2018)
#33
Being aware this was discussed before, I still would like to tell you that mailing stuff like poles ahead is an option. I don't know where your origin is or if you have the time to consider this option. But this year I sent my poles, Swiss army knife and a pair of nail scissors to an albergue in Porto, where I started my camino. 18€ insured delivery. After arriving in Santiago I brought the same items to Correos and payed like 12€ for the insured parcel. In the main mail office close to the cathedral they are well aware of pilgrims needs and even have sort of pole-shaped parcels for the likes of us :D Look at the pic!

I was very satisfied with this option for it was 1/4 of the cost of checking in my otherwise hand luggage sized backpack for the connecting flights and it provided a safe solution with nobody taking away my poles ;)

View attachment 42031
Beautiful! Thanks so much for the information!!!! Great option :)
 

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