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How do you secure your backpack from theft as checked luggage.

Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018) Portuguese (2017) Via Francigena (2019). Del Norte (2020)
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
 
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Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
These are the sort of packs you use together with a strong padlock. You'll find something similar locally.

Depending on the quality they can last for only a few trips as the airport handling can be unforgiving. They are particularly good for multiple packs as you can combine and save on the airline cost.

 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 SJPP to Logroño
2021 Logroño - SDC
Another option - Most people use a roll top bag to line their rucksack to keep clothes dry. For my trips I put the rucksack inside the bag and then use a wire loop with padlock through the plastic clips.

It’s a lot lighter than a dedicated security rucksack cover, but maybe not as durable.
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
You have travelled to Europe, and to Caminos, before. You have one option as posted above by @Corned Beef . Another is to use a secure but either disposable or send-able (forgive the makey uppy word) suitcase to contain both packs. You can dispose of, or send on to Ivar's storage facility, the suitcase for the return trip. I know which I would choose, to use the stereotype of my nationality (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿) but also in today's climate, not to waste a perfectly good resource. Buen camino.

edit: the immediate post above mine also makes a useful suggestion.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Ingles (after Covid)
Kirkie's suggestion of putting the packs inside a traditional suitcase and checking is brilliant. That also gives you the option of checking poles, a pocket knife, clean clothes for the trip home, etc. Send the suitcases to Ivar for the small fee he charges to hold it. The cost will be less to do so and you can have clean undies waiting for you when you get done.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Cardboard boxes. Dispose of upon arrival. Mind you, you will need to get more boxes for the return home or you could donate or throw away enough gear to make the backpack easily carried on.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I would NEVER go TO a Camino with a checked pack. You need everything in it to arrive. I have checked a $2 mailing tube containing my poles, extra liquids such as sunscreen, contact lens solution, small nail scissors, etc.—all the easily replaceable. If you want to check it on the way home where loss does not matter, have at it. But going over to start I recommend keeping everything close!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Whatever method you choose never rely upon a TSA padlock for security. The 007 one is especially vulnerable and is estimated to be the highest seller yet you can buy a "replacement" key online for a couple of dollars.
Plastic coil zips are even worse - split one open with a ballpoint pen and then use the slider to seal it up again.
Don't check in anything you aren't prepared to lose!
 

palmah

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2010
In our 3 previous and current Camino we have always checked our packs in the way suggested by @kirkie and @BookGirl305 describe. We put both packs in a large wheelable duffel with poles. Put a TSA approved lock on it and wrap the whole thing Saran Wrap. Once we get to our destination we put the duffel in a box at the post office and mail it forward. In our case we send it forward to Burgos where we will be Hospitaleros when we finish our Camino. We do however fly direct from JFK to Madrid.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I carry an Osprey 34L on board.
I only check-in a mailing tube with poles, sharps, liquids etc,
Having said that, looking back on hundreds of flight with Australia and Internationally, I have never lost a checked-in bag.
But for a Camino I do carry it on as cabin luggage. :)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I would NEVER go TO a Camino with a checked pack. You need everything in it to arrive. I have checked a $2 mailing tube containing my poles, extra liquids such as sunscreen, contact lens solution, small nail scissors, etc.—all the easily replaceable. If you want to check it on the way home where loss does not matter, have at it. But going over to start I recommend keeping everything close!
Prioritize! Only check what you can replace easily.

Wear your first hiking outfit….including your jacket and vest. They can easily be put in the overhead area. Reduce the size of the pack by whatever means necessary to get in through! If it’s only half filled you should make it easily on the plane. Check a tube or nylons bag with your poles, I usually wrap them with a good amount of bubble wrap.
Wear your vest and valor jacket. Those are easy to put on and take off as needed. Put extra socks in your Jacket pockets. Wear your buff, or hat. Double up on what you are wearing when you board the plane (but be reasonable). After you get on the long flight take off whatever you can and store it in a plastic bag. Don’t keep all the clothing on during the flights. Remember that too much clothing can restrict blood flow and lead to thrombosis-so be judicious. Before you get on the second flight put them back on right before you get to the gate then take them off again…and repeat the process for the 3rd leg. Remember when you get off the plane no one cares how many bags you are carrying.
 
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Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
Í have done this trip now on three occasions. I have an "over pack" that holds my backpack (up to 55 ltrs). I can lock it with one or two padlocks and have not had it "opened" by any outsider. The cover can be rolled up and carried externally or used as an additional "rain coat" for the pack.
The locks I use are the USA TSA approved versions - key locked rather than combination. Osprey make one that should fit your packs. Best of luck
 
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tomnorth

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
Just out of curiosity, why have you given up on putting it in the overhead? My 36l Osprey bag was fine as a carry-on bag in the overhead on my flight from Minneapolis to Paris. I put my sharp objects (poles, knife, etc.) in a shipping tube and checked that. Those I could easily replace if they didn’t make it.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
In our 3 previous and current Camino we have always checked our packs in the way suggested by @kirkie and @BookGirl305 describe. We put both packs in a large wheelable duffel with poles. Put a TSA approved lock on it and wrap the whole thing Saran Wrap. Once we get to our destination we put the duffel in a box at the post office and mail it forward. In our case we send it forward to Burgos where we will be Hospitaleros when we finish our Camino. We do however fly direct from JFK to Madrid.
Spain no doubt thanks you to the ever increasing burden of plastic film in its landfill sites.

A stated before TSA approved locks offer no security whatsoever.

TSA keys for sale
 

PeconicBill

New Member
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
Because of potential restrictions on hiking poles, I get from Walmart or Ikea a cheap duffle bag big enough to accommodate poles, backpack, and any other clothes I plan to wear for a day or two at my starting location. I have never been concernedabout the backpack being stolen, but if it’s insidea duffle bag it’s less likely thethe straps etc. will get caught and damaged in baggage handling machines——plus it takes care of my sticks,

in all my caminos I have also brought a small lightweight foldup daypack which allows me to carry my valuables after I’ve left my backpack at the albergue/gite; I also use it to carry valuables and medical prescriptions with me on the plane. (Usual cost at REI about $25.) Finally, if you make use of day transport services like those on the CF, the little daypack works as you walk between the places you spend the nights.
 
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camino5

New Member
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
I
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
I have done around 15 Caminos travelling from Canada. Because my backpack is an Osprey Atmos 50, l realize that the pack to be will be in unacceptable as a Carry On. I simply use my Rain cover to tightly cover the pack and ensure all strings and straps are stored inside the cover. I use Duct tape to provide additional security for the bag. It also makes a handi dandi carrying handle before I Check the pack as luggage. Also easy to transport your broken down poles. I wear my boots on the plane and bring my valuables in the pockets of my rain jacket that I also wear on the flight. This process has worked well for me over the years and I always welcomed seeing my yellow covered backpack waiting for me on the baggage carousel!
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I check my bag in, as I have on 1000+ flights through my working and retired life. Once, only, my bag was delayed into O’Hare. I’m wearing my walking boots, I carry my few valuables and a toothbrush. I’m insured and I’m pretty much always flying into a big city with shops.

Loss, misdirection and theft do occur. I know that.

My experience as well. On numerous flights all over the world, I have never had a piece of luggage gone missing or even just delayed. Sheer luck? Perhaps.

If you have your wallet, etc. with you, what in the world would be in your pack that would be of interest to a thief?

You are right. A thief would hardly be interested in a (more or less) shabby backpack but would probably go for the expensive looking suitcase.

I always check my backpack just wrapped in a lightweight nylon bag to keep the straps from getting caught in the luggage conveyer belt– but each to their own.
 

JimH67

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I am doing what kirkie said to do. I am flying over from the US with my backpack and trekking poles in a large hard case piece of luggage that I will check. My carryon will be a small office style backpack that will contain my return clothes and anything else I may need for my flight. When I get to SJPDP, I will take out my hiking gear, pack away my regular clothes and ship to Ivar in Santiago. I was worried about just placing my trekking poles in a piece of soft luggage for the flight and being damaged, but this solves that problem.
 

neverlost4good

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April 2015
Prioritize! Only check what you can replace easily.

Wear your first hiking outfit….including your jacket and vest. They can easily be put in the overhead area. Reduce the size of the pack by whatever means necessary to get in through! If it’s only half filled you should make it easily on the plane. Check a tube or nylons bag with your poles, I usually wrap them with a good amount of bubble wrap.
Wear your vest and valor jacket. Those are easy to put on and take off as needed. Put extra socks in your Jacket pockets. Wear your buff, or hat. Double up on what you are wearing when you board the plane (but be reasonable). After you get on the long flight take off whatever you can and store it in a plastic bag. Don’t keep all the clothing on during the flights. Remember that too much clothing can restrict blood flow and lead to thrombosis-so be judicious. Before you get on the second flight put them back on right before you get to the gate then take them off again…and repeat the process for the 3rd leg. Remember when you get off the plane no one cares how many bags you are carrying.
The small packable grocery bag works great for this! Good advice!!
 

SuziK

New Member
Past OR future Camino
First Camino! Plan for Spring 2022
Í have done this trip now on three occasions. I have an "over pack" that holds my backpack (up to 55 ltrs). I can lock it with one or two padlocks and have not had it "opened" by any outsider. The cover can be rolled up and carried externally or used as an additional "rain coat" for the pack.
The locks I use are the USA TSA approved versions - key locked rather than combination. Osprey make one that should fit your packs. Best of luck
This is what I do. I have never had luggage lost or stolen. Is it a concern and happens more often in Spain? I fly from JFK to Madrid for the first time. I have a small suitcase with pole, pocket knife, stuff that cannot be carry on. You are all scaring me. I do not travel often, so am I naive?
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Granted, no experience with this once-so-ever and the upcoming CF will be my 1st Camino but this is what I purchased for the task: Foldable Duffel Bag 30" / 75L Lightweight with Water Resistant for Travel
I sincerely hope it works and although I am somewhat "apprehensive" (shall we say) about theft I also know that nothing will deter a thief if he\she is set on the task. Heck I had my locks (TSA-approved or not) clipped off with wire cutters and combo-locks simply ripped out and mangled through my years of travel....

For the record I got Gregory 35L.... not sure if it would pass the muster as a carry-on.....
 

JimH67

New Member
Past OR future Camino
July 2022
I have traveled to Europe many times, and the only time I had a problem with my luggage was in Amsterdam. I truly believe that the problem was not with the airport. I had planned a short layover in Amsterdam(less than an hour). The airlines did not have sufficient time to get my luggage to my connecting flight. I received my luggage on the next flight to Bucharest from Amsterdam which was less than a 12 hour wait. Now, all my flights have a longer layover to solve this problem.

This trip, I am flying to Paris, then catching a train to Bayonne. I will plan my train ride to give myself ample time to get my luggage.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have now taken my 36L Osprey into the cabin on every Camino. My international flights from the States have to be similar to what you’ll be taking. As said above I don’t check a backpack for fear that it won’t arrive at my destination when I do. In the large commercial jets, the 36L pack fits easily into an overhead compartment and is, in fact, smaller than many roller bags people bring into the cabin. I’d certainly do a bit more research on your options and hopefully you’ll be able to keep your pack with you. Check a pole, knife, etc. type of bag if necessary, or simply but those things in SJPP. Unfortunately, I’ve met pilgrims who did not have their pack arrive with them. It’s can be a real mess getting reoutfitted and getting started as planned.
 

howardd5

Active Member
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
I have found that rolling your pack in a Saran wrap(kitchen plastic wrap) tight keeps my pack clean , stops straps from catching and discourages airline handlers from temptation . It costs $1 at Walmart . Rip it off , throw it away . Then buy another roll in Spain and roll it again for the return flight.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
Nothing beyond what you have done! I have my key documents and difficult to replace items like my phone, medications and camera in carry on, and everything else gets checked. I doubt there are thieves operating in aircraft holds, but I expect you are really thinking of when the bag is being loaded, trans-shipped and unloaded :).

I have taken a variety of approaches to ensuring that the bag has no loose straps that might get caught in airport luggage handling machinery, including some of the measures already described. I doubt they are robust enough to completely eliminate theft, but they might offer some additional security. For a start, they protect the bag from visual inspection that might identify it as a target. And then there is then another physical layer that would impede anyone trying to open the bag itself, although where a baggage handler is going to find the time to do that surreptitiously is a bit of a puzzle to me.

I think there is a greater risk that a bag is delayed, or gets lost for some reason. Not impossible, but in now just over 40 years of international travel, I have been fortunate enough to have a bag delayed just the once, and it arrived the following day. Domestic travel is another matter, but I think that most major international carriers have baggage handling systems that are now well up to the task of keeping passengers and their luggage together, whether domestic or international, and have been so for a long time. Perhaps there are carriers and airports that aren't as good, but I don't think you will face that problem flying from Australia.

Having been delayed once, the other close call was not on the camino but when my wife and I were returning from overseas. My wife had brought a pretty distinctive bag so it would be easy to see. We saw one like it drop onto the luggage carousel and as we waited for it to get to us, someone stepped forward, took it and was headed to the customs/quarantine checkpoint. It took me few moments before thinking that I ought to check that the woman who had collected it had checked that it was actually hers. I'm not up to much dashing after a long overnight flight, but I did then, and fortunately caught up with her and, much to her embarrassment, recovered my wife's bag. Her thinking had been much the same as ours that there wouldn't be anyone else with the same colourful butterfly print pattern, and hadn't bothered to check the baggage label.

So yes, there are still risks, and it would be wise to be prepared for the loss of your bag even if it is a remote prospect. First, have insurance to cover this. Talk to the baggage service staff if your bag doesn't arrive and report it. If you are lucky, they may already know where it is and when it will arrive. Contact your insurer if you need to spend money getting new gear, etc. Reshape you plans. None of this is painless, I know, but none of it is impossible either.

Finally, I also wonder why you don't think you will get a 36 li pack onboard as carry-on luggage.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
My husband has a much larger and older Osprey Kestrel 48L pack, but since there is not that much in it always fits in the luggage measurement box. (He has been asked to stuff it in there a few times on our various flights and carries it on the plane.) We use a small nylon inexpensive folding suitcase to ship knives and poles and anything else we don't feel like carrying on the plane in our pack. (The last one we had did finally get a hole it in, but we bought it in Madrid several years ago at some teen shop that had cow logos on everything.) We do have the packable Z-poles that won't usually poke a hole in the nylon fabric. We never put anything we feel we couldn't replace in that bag so CPAP, medication, any documents, electronics, and money stay with us and our packs. (It is harder to find a pack that fits than a new t-shirt or some underwear.) Last fall he was bumped off a flight in Denver due to mechanical issues and then missed a connecting flight in Munich and eventually got rescheduled and his bag still made it with him. In the past we have just bought a knife in country for our lunches and/or gotten poles from Pilgrim House's donation box rather than shippped things. Just kind of depends on where we are going first once we get to Spain.
 

Ivan Shannon

Member
Past OR future Camino
"2016"
You have travelled to Europe, and to Caminos, before. You have one option as posted above by @Corned Beef . Another is to use a secure but either disposable or send-able (forgive the makey uppy word) suitcase to contain both packs. You can dispose of, or send on to Ivar's storage facility, the suitcase for the return trip. I know which I would choose, to use the stereotype of my nationality (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿) but also in today's climate, not to waste a perfectly good resource. Buen camino.

edit: the immediate post above mine also makes a useful suggestion.
That is a great idea, I am flying to Biarrirz next month with Ryanair and have taken the option of a check-in bag. I have a travel bag for my pack which doubles as a rain cover but my concern was my hiking poles, would they survive the journey but a normal suitcase would provide the protection. Do you know how much is the cost of sending the case to Ivar from St Jean?
 

Rmarkob

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 21 Sep/22 Oct 2021
I have an Osprey Exos 38L pack (previous generation) and saw several people on flights to, from, and within Spain with similarly sized packs as carry-on. I put mine in an Ikea Fraktal duffle (~$13USD for a 2-pack in 2019) since I had a pen knife and trekking poles. I also didn't need to worry about liquid restrictions in my carry-on. I carried my valuables in my jacket pockets and a waist pack. The duffle has a couple of straps on the bottom so it can be carried on your back, though nowhere near as comfortably as a true backpack. I wore one set of hiking clothing and my trail runners, and had two other sets of clothing in the pack. I saw at least two other people arriving in SJPP with the same Ikea duffle.

I used a TSA 007 padlock on the zippers of the duffle, knowing full well that they would only stop an opportunistic thief and could be easily breached with hand-tools. However, they are the only kind of lock allowed, at least in the US.

I had originally planned to leave the Ikea duffle behind in SJPP, but it is fairly light and I ended up keeping it folded up in my pack for the duration of my CF. If/when I do the CF again, I will probably leave the poles and knife behind and buy new ones in SJPP, which will allow me to carry the pack onboard the flights.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
That is a great idea, I am flying to Biarrirz next month with Ryanair and have taken the option of a check-in bag. I have a travel bag for my pack which doubles as a rain cover but my concern was my hiking poles, would they survive the journey but a normal suitcase would provide the protection. Do you know how much is the cost of sending the case to Ivar from St Jean?
You may want to watch Ivar's video about shipping to Santiago. Since you are starting in France it will be a bit trickier I think.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
This is what I do. I have never had luggage lost or stolen. Is it a concern and happens more often in Spain? I fly from JFK to Madrid for the first time. I have a small suitcase with pole, pocket knife, stuff that cannot be carry on. You are all scaring me. I do not travel often, so am I naive?
I think you are taking the right approach. I personally don't get over-excited, but do take reasonable precautions. I always check my pack, and carry-on a small bag, somewhat the reverse of what you are doing, but the principles are the same in my view. I don't have expensive baggage, and on most occasions cover my pack with a cheap poly bag. I use tamper evident seals where I can and record the numbers rather than use locks. Neither will deter a determined thief, but it will be clear that your checked bag has been interfered with if that does happen. I have put some other suggestions in an earlier response at post #30.
 
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Bumpa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Another person willing to contribute to the world's waste plastic problem

View attachment 121150

Please consider using a reusable suitcase skin instead.
Two points in reply to Jeff Crawley and Dougfitz. I would never use all of that plastic and throw it away. As well, I don't believe that the small TSA locks stop much in the way of determined theft. I have always checked my backpack and carried on a smaller bag with the things I cannot live without. I wear, on the plane. what I would hike in the first day. Anything else, I can replace.

I use the storage bag, listed here, to ensure that none of the straps get caught in equipment when loading or off loading. It is light but has made three trips to Spain with me without incidence. It then folds up quite small and is carried in the pack.



 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Don't pack valuables in any checked bag. I doubt that thieves are targeting backpacks unless they can see electronics or other interesting items on the x-rays.

In many years and miles of travel, I have had delayed bags several times, and once an MP3 player was taken from the pocket of my daughter's backpack.

I do not worry about theft from my checked luggage, and I don't want to carry an extra bag for my bag.
 
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Tim-the-fat-Canadian

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPP (2010); Leon (2012); Leon (2013);SJPP Sept 2018
I have flown from Canada 4 times, twice directly into Madrid, and twice via Heathrow in London and then from London to Biarritz. I was very nervous about my backpack but a veteran hiker said not to worry about it, and if I was worried, just to put it into a large clear plastic bag. So I used the plastic bag the first time, no issues. The next three times I used handed my pack over with nothing else (other than some tape to keep the straps from dangling) and I have never had a problem. I would think that you are looking for trouble by putting a lock on it. A lock makes one wonder what is so valuable in the bag? Lastly, as others have mentioned, anything valuable should be taken on board with you, such as money, ID, passport, medicine, etc. Everything else can be easily replaced.
 

Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
For what it’s worth, I carry my Osprey 36L on the plane from the USA and never check it, I couldn’t imagine getting to Madrid airport and finding my bag missing for any reason. What a nightmare! Btw- I also have no patience so I’d rather just carry it, and it totally fits.

I buy cheap poles and sharp objects in Spain.
 

Dennis Pack

Member since 2017
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago Norte 2018
I put everything except passports, a pair of underwear, toothbrush, and other essentials into a duffel bag, add a lock, and check it in. If I don't have poles I would buy them and any other items locally upon arrival ... Spain makes great trekking gear that sells for reasonable prices ... and I'd rather support their economy because they do so much to make the Camino possible for all of us.
I haven't had any problems with my checked luggage since the 70s ... So happy to discover the world isn't a scary place full of theives just waiting to beat up and rob amerikans ... or anyone that looks like them. 😉
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
I simply try my best not to check my luggage - especially on the way TOO any destination. I am less worried about stolen items in checked luggage and more concerned with luggage being lost in transit. If I do have to check luggage (or use luggage transport) - I remove all valuables and keep them with me. That would include any cash, id, credit cards, medications, medical equipment at a minimum. Everything else in my bag is more easily replicable.

The thing is - with checked luggage - they have a right to search your bag if needed. This means they will remove any outer wrapping and any sort of locks you may have used to protect your belongings. So really, you can't keep your checked bag safe from employees who are up to no good. As far as other people at the airport - if they want your stuff - they can easily just take your bag and then search it elsewhere.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I don't worry about theft from checked bags because I never pack anything valuable in them. When I check bags (never my backpack on the way to Europe) I secure the zip with a zip-tie. If it has been cut, then I know that someone has gotten into my bag. So far, the only times that my bag has been opened has been by TSA in the US - and they leave a note.
 
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Past OR future Camino
San Salvador+Primitivo (May 2022)
Get two of these bags, put your pack in one, zip, and put that in the second bag with the zipper at the bottom of the second bag. You can find them at Chinese shops. The cost of two bag are usually cheaper than having your pack wrapped at the airport. No one want to unzip two bags just to get to your pack. Some can use the bags at your destination when you dispose of them.

 

Scott Fraser

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019
Shrink wrap rolls are available on Amazon that are very similar to what commercial bag wrapping services use in European and Asian airports.

https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-W...qid=1648146569&sprefix=shrink,aps,132&sr=8-12

Wrap the bag, straps, etc securely in several layers of the wrap leaving something protruding for the baggage handlers to grab. There is enough material on one roll to wrap 15 packs.

The wrap will not prevent tampering or theft but if you put on 3-4 layers of wrap it will definitely discourage anyone from taking anything. It will also prevent the pack harness and straps from getting fouled in any conveyors used to liad/unload aircraft.

You can do the same thing on the way home (wrapping service may be available at the Santiago or Madrid airports) for Eu 10-15.
 

Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Shrink wrap rolls are available on Amazon that are very similar to what commercial bag wrapping services use in European and Asian airports.

https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Wrap-Durable-Self-Adhering-Packaging-PACK/dp/B08RHJ9MZW/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?crid=TTUULZAM9P9W&keywords=shrink+wrap+roll&qid=1648146569&sprefix=shrink,aps,132&sr=8-12

Wrap the bag, straps, etc securely in several layers of the wrap leaving something protruding for the baggage handlers to grab. There is enough material on one roll to wrap 15 packs.

The wrap will not prevent tampering or theft but if you put on 3-4 layers of wrap it will definitely discourage anyone from taking anything. It will also prevent the pack harness and straps from getting fouled in any conveyors used to liad/unload aircraft.

You can do the same thing on the way home (wrapping service may be available at the Santiago or Madrid airports) for Eu 10-15.
Ok friend. So not necessary.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
I use the storage bag, listed here, to ensure that none of the straps get caught in equipment when loading or off loading. It is light but has made three trips to Spain with me without incidence. It then folds up quite small and is carried in the pack.




Along these same lines, I bought a 60L stuff sack at REI that fits my REI Trail 40 pack with room to spare, is durable/lightweight/reusable, and packs down to practically nothing (it fits nicely in the rain cover compartment of my pack along with the rain cover). I plan on having it handy if I have to check my bag during my travels for whatever reason (securing the drawcords will be the only problem, but one easily solved with a bit of duct tape) - and it will also come in useful for bedbug-proofing my pack in accommodations along the way.


(I'm also curious why OP is so worried about baggage theft in general, but we all have our particular concerns about things so I'm in no position to criticize or question.)
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Have it wrapped in clingfilm at the airport.
Unwrapping these things is time consuming
I have found that rolling your pack in a Saran wrap(kitchen plastic wrap) tight keeps my pack clean , stops straps from catching and discourages airline handlers from temptation . It costs $1 at Walmart . Rip it off , throw it away . Then buy another roll in Spain and roll it again for the return flight.
My security hack is to bring a roll of kitchen wrap or cling wrap, as we call it, to the airport and I wrap the sack
The wrap will not prevent tampering or theft but if you put on 3-4 layers of wrap

No wonder Europe has a plastic waste problem 😭 :eek:
 

CreationRamblers

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Awaiting our first Camino!
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
My husband and I are going to wrap our packs in a packable wrap like this one below for baby strollers, that way the packs are out of sight, but safely inside the pack and it's a small packable bag once we get to France. We're coming from San Diego California, USA. Buen Camino~ R&M Downing
1648151959198.png
 

Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
My husband and I are going to wrap our packs in a packable wrap like this one below for baby strollers, that way the packs are out of sight, but safely inside the pack and it's a small packable bag once we get to France. We're coming from San Diego California, USA. Buen Camino~ R&M Downing
View attachment 121170
Just say no.
 
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy route 2014; Le Puy route continuation 2016; Le Puy route 2017; Le Puy route 2019 [incl. Célé]
a simple lightweight duffle bag with strong zip, such as that available at Backpacking Light in Melbourne ... inexpensive, environmentally-friendly, super lightweight and folds up to a tiny size so that you can stash it at the bottom of your backpack while you walk the beautiful Via Podiensis ... bon chemin 👣👣👣
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
In the US, screeners have to be able to get into your checked luggage and I have often found the paper "notice" from the screeners in my luggage after I arrive saying that they have opened it and looked inside. It seems that may not be the case in other countries?
We have had baggage checks done coming back from the US, but not elsewhere. I have wondered whether it still happens and why it would still need to with the sophistication of more modern scanning equipment.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
So... in re: the bag I alluded to in my post above

am i to understand that I need to secure the strap handles somehow else they will get caught in some machinery?

thanks
I would tie or tape them together, but these handle straps appear to be attached at both ends. They don't appear to present the same problem as back pack straps that have a loose end. Those I roll up and tape so that the roll cannot come loose while being tossed around by handlers or the luggage transfer machinery.
 
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Damien Reynolds

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See signature. Too many to list here.
Have you ever flown with Ryanair? 😊
Heck yah. It’s such a blast. I love how it reminds me of my earlier days riding on a bus from Culver City to Santa Monica 25. A very few people will understand this reference.

By the time I’m on a Ryanair flight I have ditched my poles and sharp implements. Bag fits in the overhead.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I love the resonse. But at the same time. Seriously, you don’t need to wrap your bags with anything. Just bring it on board. And if your bag is too big to carry on an airplane, then well it’s too big to carry anyway.
I have always checked my bag, and will continue to do so. It is outside the carry-on dimensions for most airlines, and I carry things that are not permitted as carry-on. Sure if it is too big to carry as luggage, ie over 32 kg, I would agree with you that probably is a bit heavy!! Other than the issue of linear dimensions, I face a 7kg carry-on weight limit for most flights getting out of my home town. I haven't been down to that weight for any of my pilgrimage walks, nor am I tempted to try by doing any more weight reduction than I already do.

This comment puts you in the same category as all those of average size or under who loudly proclaim that no-one needs to carry anything larger than a 35 li pack. They clearly don't understand the relationship between body size and clothing dimensions that make this impossible for those of us who are taller and heavier. This is aside from age and some associated medical conditions requiring additional equipment and medications. Although I guess I could leave my CPAP at home and return to being the loudest snorer in a dormitory.
 

Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have always checked my bag, and will continue to do so. It is outside the carry-on dimensions for most airlines, and I carry things that are not permitted as carry-on. Sure if it is too big to carry as luggage, ie over 32 kg, I would agree with you that probably is a bit heavy!! Other than the issue of linear dimensions, I face a 7kg limit for most flights getting out of my home town, and I haven't been down to that weight for any of my pilgrimage walks, nor am I tempted to try by doing any more weight reduction than I already do.

This comment puts you in the same category as all those of average size or under who loudly proclaim that no-one needs to carry anything larger than a 35 li pack. They clearly don't understand the relationship between body size and clothing dimensions that make this impossible for those of us who are taller and heavier. This is aside from age and some associated medical conditions requiring additional equipment and medications. Although I guess I could leave my CPAP at home and return to being the loudest snorer in a dormitory.
I am a large male. 200lbs plus on occasion. Though one of the reasons I always come back is to get my walk on, and lose some of that weight.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Another tip which helps identify luggage which has gone AWOL is to take a photo of the suitcase/backpack just before you leave the house or just before Check-In prior to your outgoing flight. You can then show the photo to the airport staff at your destination in the unfortunate instance of your luggage not turning up. The old tip of adding colourful ribbon to luggage also helps, which further identifies the luggage as being yours.

Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I have been doing the ribbon for years but never the photo. That is a good idea. I will start doing that this year.
I took a couple this year, but after my bag arrived. Ouch!

20220309_183058.jpg
20220309_183115.jpg
Ps this was at the end of a horror day on domestic flights travelling from Canberra to Perth via Sydney and Melbourne.
 
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LesR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
My accumulated experience of three Caminos - take all valuables with you as carry-on luggage, lock the two zip handles for the major backpak compartment together with a small cheap padlock, tie all extenal straps together, and relax...

First time, I was concerned about security and bought a large duffel bag that I put the backpack in and locked, and forwarded the duffel bag (and some clean clothes) to Ivar from SJPP. Second and third time, I did as described above and had no problem... I also scheduled a 'rest day' on arrival in SJPP , giving me time to recover from any theft.

I worked on the theory that nothing will stop a determined thief, so best I can do is make the backpack as uninviting and time-consuming to open as i can, working on the assumption that a thief will go for the easy targets first...

I appreciate that having stuff stolen from their backapck while it is checked luggage and having to repalce it on arrival can be a very bad start to one's Camino, but after my first Camino, I learnt to relax a little and trust the airlines security systems.
 
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018) Portuguese (2017) Via Francigena (2019). Del Norte (2020)
These are the sort of packs you use together with a strong padlock. You'll find something similar locally.

Depending on the quality they can last for only a few trips as the airport handling can be unforgiving. They are particularly good for multiple packs as you can combine and save on the airline cost.

That looks ideal, thanks for the tip off, I'll see if there's something similar available here for us. Cheers.
 
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018) Portuguese (2017) Via Francigena (2019). Del Norte (2020)
Wondering why you have given up on carrying them on board?
A couple of reasons, mainly the Singapore air baggage regulations, which states
  • Up to 7kg each
  • Sum of length, width and height of each piece should not exceed 115cm. We aim at carrying around 8 or so kg in our packs, so they're overweight to start with, also we have poles, which we could check in or purchase new ones in Europe when we arrive but without going into too much detail, after the Via Podiensis and the Del Norte we fly to Scotland for a walk, then Croatia for a walk then Turkey for a walk, we'd have to either check them in or throw them away, so we were hoping to get some system in place to use over and over.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018) Portuguese (2017) Via Francigena (2019). Del Norte (2020)
My experience as well. On numerous flights all over the world, I have never had a piece of luggage gone missing or even just delayed. Sheer luck? Perhaps.



You are right. A thief would hardly be interested in a (more or less) shabby backpack but would probably go for the expensive looking suitcase.

I always check my backpack just wrapped in a lightweight nylon bag to keep the straps from getting caught in the luggage conveyer belt– but each to their own.
Yes, I think some kind of lightweight bag to cover the backpack and can be locked will be the best idea, there will be nothing of value in them, however, that will not stop them from being rifled through if the opportunity arises.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
I secure it by not checking it in. three reasons:

1. It is always with me.
2. My pack is small enough to not being filled with stuff i really do not need.
3. I am fast in transit: Not waiting for my pack: It is with me all the time.

I buy a cheap knife, corkscrew, etc. in Spain. It is cheaper than at home. Everything is cheaper in Span than at home.
 
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Bumpa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Chill Jeff, people using a little cling wrap to secure their luggage isn't going to make or break the planet.
Anyway we are going way off what the op asked.
I guess that Jeff should chill if one person uses "a little cling wrap on their pack". How chill worthy is many people using cling wrap in an ongoing basis.
 
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
Personally, I never check my bag. I carry it on. I've seen too many pilgrims end up in Madrid minus their packs and have to re-stock everything before walking. One fellow in my group didn't get his pack until 2 weeks after returning home.
 
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Skiwhizz

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago August 2018 - completed
Sarria to Santiago with family - planned April 2019
Travelling in two weeks and will be definitely wrapping the pack in cling film. Simple and effective. Would prefer to take it on board myself but the airline has made new rules with added costs…short single flight from Dublin, what can go wrong 😥
 

brian560

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, VdlP 2016, Port. Central, Norte , Port. Coastal (2018).San Salvador and Primitivo (2019)
We've given up the on idea that we will be able to take our Osprey 36 packs onboard as hand luggage on a long haul flight from Australia. That leaves us with having to check them in and hoping they arrive in Lyon at the same time as us, some 30 odd hours and three changes later. (Via Podiensis).
We'll be taking anything of value out of the packs and in hand luggage, but any suggestions on how to secure against any theft from the packs that will be in the hold would be appreciated.
Stainless steel wire looped each end and a padlock. Also a bag liner. I've never had any theft problems. After all what is a dishonest baggage handler going to go for...expensive looking luggage or some backpackers pack?
 
Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
Stainless steel wire looped each end and a padlock. Also a bag liner. I've never had any theft problems. After all what is a dishonest baggage handler going to go for...expensive looking luggage or some backpackers pack?

A good point! I realize that some people have to check their bags for whatever reason, including personal preference (which is why “don’t check your backpack!“ isn’t exactly a helpful response) - but the question remains: what makes you so fearful that someone will go through your backpack and steal something?

Aside from finding a TSA notice a few times in my bag when I retrieved it from baggage claim (once because of a bottle of perfume I was taking to my mom in New York for a Christmas gift), nothing has ever been taken from any of my suitcases or checked backpacks (it does happen) in many years of traveling all over the world. *Insert “knock wood” emoji here 🤜🪵*

A simple outer bag or sack to prevent damage to your backpack during the baggage handling process should suffice. No lock is going to be completely resistant to opening anyway.
 

JMac56

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF(2015)
CF+Fis(2016)
CP:Porto-SdC-Mux-Fis(2017)
CF:Leon-SdC(2017)
CF+Mux+Fis(2018)
I stow my Osprey backpack and Lekis in a $6 Frakta "trunk" from IKEA. The bag then folds virtually flat and goes inside my backpack for re-use on the trip home. This also gives me some extra room for the odd purchase whilst O/S. You could put a small lock on the two zip pulls for a little added security, but I never bother. Haven't lost anything yet. Buen Camino. 🚶‍♂️
 

puttster

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona, Jun 2022
You could try a tracking device. https://www.amazon.com/Tile-Bluetooth-Battery-Water-Resistant-Compatible/dp/B09998MBFM/ref=sr_1_3?crid=MOS3Z4JDNB6G&keywords=tile+key+finder&qid=1648171024&sprefix=tile,aps,132&sr=8-3&th=1

As for the security of carrying on... If you fly a leg in a small regional jet you may be required to gate check your bag. They are returned in the jetway. I was at the gate once and as the passengers were disembarking one passenger stole someone's bag - he apparently just picked it up as he walked past. It would be a low-risk snatch, if caught he would just claim it looked like his.
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF Spring 2022
As for the security of carrying on... If you fly a leg in a small regional jet you may be required to gate check your bag. They are returned in the jetway. I was at the gate once and as the passengers were disembarking one passenger stole someone's bag - he apparently just picked it up as he walked past. It would be a low-risk snatch, if caught he would just claim it looked like his.

Lots of things "could" happen during any journey: theft, lost or misdirected baggage, thermonuclear war, zombie outbreak. That doesn't mean any of them are probable. 🧟‍♂️

One of the most oft-mentioned piece of Camino advice on these forums is "don't pack your fears".
It seems particularly apt for this discussion too.
 
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Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I have always checked my bag, and will continue to do so. It is outside the carry-on dimensions for most airlines, and I carry things that are not permitted as carry-on. Sure if it is too big to carry as luggage, ie over 32 kg, I would agree with you that probably is a bit heavy!! Other than the issue of linear dimensions, I face a 7kg carry-on weight limit for most flights getting out of my home town. I haven't been down to that weight for any of my pilgrimage walks, nor am I tempted to try by doing any more weight reduction than I already do.

This comment puts you in the same category as all those of average size or under who loudly proclaim that no-one needs to carry anything larger than a 35 li pack. They clearly don't understand the relationship between body size and clothing dimensions that make this impossible for those of us who are taller
I have always checked my bag, and will continue to do so. It is outside the carry-on dimensions for most airlines, and I carry things that are not permitted as carry-on. Sure if it is too big to carry as luggage, ie over 32 kg, I would agree with you that probably is a bit heavy!! Other than the issue of linear dimensions, I face a 7kg carry-on weight limit for most flights getting out of my home town. I haven't been down to that weight for any of my pilgrimage walks, nor am I tempted to try by doing any more weight reduction than I already do.

This comment puts you in the same category as all those of average size or under who loudly proclaim that no-one needs to carry anything larger than a 35 li pack. They clearly don't understand the relationship between body size and clothing dimensions that make this impossible for those of us who are taller and heavier. This is aside from age and some associated medical conditions requiring additional equipment and medications. Although I guess I could leave my CPAP at home and return to being the loudest snorer in a dormitory.
So I read it again. Agree, sometimes people need to check stuff in.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Personally, I never check my bag. I carry it on. I've seen too many pilgrims end up in Madrid minus their packs and have to re-stock everything before walking. One fellow in my group didn't get his pack until 2 weeks after returning home.
I think one thing I have learned from this thread is that not all carry ons are equal. Some are allowed much larger ones than others so I should rethink whether it is possible to carry on a backpack no matter what size.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
And if your bag is too big to carry on an airplane, then well it’s too big to carry anyway.
Statements like these are really annoying.
BS, and absolutely not true, so please everyone saying this get off your high horses stop the snarky comments. Just answer the question and hold off on the editorial comments.

My pack is too big to check, but not too big to carry. I pack minimally but have circumstances (that don't need explanation) preventing ultra-light or compact packing. Not all of us have the latest ultra light clothes and equipment. And if so it's no one else's business to pass judgement.
 
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Bob Howard

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016 2018 2022
In our 3 previous and current Camino we have always checked our packs in the way suggested by @kirkie and @BookGirl305 describe. We put both packs in a large wheelable duffel with poles. Put a TSA approved lock on it and wrap the whole thing Saran Wrap. Once we get to our destination we put the duffel in a box at the post office and mail it forward. In our case we send it forward to Burgos where we will be Hospitaleros when we finish our Camino. We do however fly direct from JFK to Madrid.
Palma, did you send your packs ahead from the Airport Correo? And was it as hassle-free as the Pamplona Correo? I have a tight connection in MAD and wondering if I should just wait until I get to Pamplona.
 

Damien Reynolds

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Statements like these are really annoying.
BS, and absolutely not true, so please everyone saying this get off your high horses stop the snarky comments. Just answer the question and hold off on the editorial comments.

My pack is too big to check, but not too big to carry. I pack minimally but have circumstances (that don't need explanation) preventing ultra-light or compact packing. Not all of us have the latest ultra light clothes and equipment. And if so it's no one else's business to pass judgement.
Ouch.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Although I guess I could leave my CPAP at home and return to being the loudest snorer in a dormitory.
You'd be welcome in my dorm, Doug, it would make me feel at home. Almost 50 years with a partner whose glorious tones could rock the walls of Jericho. Not always, but combine a good meal and a bottle of red wine ....

I find that electronics weight more than I'd like, and wet weather gear takes up more volume than I'd like. But I can't do without either. When medications outweigh my clothes - then it is time to call in the transport carriers. Assuming I can still walk.

I've just invested in a new pack that is marginally bigger than my old 30 litre pack, simply because I got sick of trying to cram everything into a tiny space. The new pack has clever straps to cinch it in, so I'm hoping it will be OK to take onboard.

The way to get around the 7 kilos, is to wear everything. My pack will be under 7 kilos. Although my pockets might be rather full. And a heavy jacket a little hot in Dubai.
 
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