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How to take trekking poles to Spain despite airline regulations...

Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
Or 3) If you are in Europe and you are particular about your poles, say if you love your oddly shaped Pacerpoles*, you can send them by registered post to your first night's accommodation. That way you keep your trusty favourites, and it works out cheaper than paying to put a bag or cardboard cylinder in the hold. Plus you don't buy things and then throw them away. And you can bundle your little knife with them and still go through with hand luggage only.

*You can't get Pacerpoles from anywhere else but the lovely Heather in the UK. Worth my weight in gold.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Depends on where you are travelling from.
  • theres the option on taking them on the plane (if allowed)
  • of mailing them to the post office (poste restante)
  • of mailing them to someone, be it a person from the forum or first albergue (yes, you need to talk to them first)
  • or get a pair from a european/spanish shop/amazon delivered to the place of your chosing
  • you could always just buy ones at your start if you are not picky
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Wrap them up neatly in plastic, paper, or cardboard, along with any knife or liquids that you can't carry on, label them and check them on your flight. You don't need to purchase a special piece of luggage.
The crazy thing is that sometimes those cardboard pieces are actually MORE expensive than a cheapo Amazon bag. At least where I live.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Other than the afincados of pacer poles, who will accept no substitutes, the rest of us should bear in mind that, in use, one pole is resting on the ground and thus it’s weight is irrelevant to the user. (The family who designed and sell Pacers are just 10 minutes north of me. A superb product, but not for me)

There is thus no significant practical difference between a €20 pair of no-name poles and a €200 pair of ultra lite carbon fibre poles. I have a couple of pairs of both.

The difference is that the cheap pair are easily sourced in SJdPP and every decent sized town on the CF.

Personally, I check my pack in, complete with poles. In, literally 1000+ flights in my personal and (former) professional life my checked in bag has briefly gone astray twice.

First when I couldn’t believe that any nation on earth had an integrated transport system so sophisticated that it could unload my luggage from the aircraft and forward it by by scheduled train to my intended destination. Only by my wasting time complaining unnecessarily were my bag and I separated. The bag arrived on time, I missed the train. Take a bow, Switzerland.

The second was a BA flight LHR to O’Hare (with which I’ve had a hate-hate relationship ever since I tripped on an escalator and fell on the drug-dog, sparking an armed confrontation which I would not care to repeat)

On those odds, I just check the bag and poles and keep tight hold of a credit card.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

Oh wait, for anyone who is going to SJPDP through Pamplona I think sorta near the bus station in Pamplona is a Corte Ingles. Its like a big box store with all kinds of stuff. They have them.

More knowledgeable people please confirm or deny.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
In Pamplona there’s a big Decathalon 5 mins walk north east from the train station and a branch of El Corte Inglés (actually a good-standard department store, in UK terms) close to the ‘bus station.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
The second was a BA flight LHR to O’Hare (with which I’ve had a hate-hate relationship ever since I tripped on an escalator and fell on the drug-dog, sparking an armed confrontation which I would not care to repeat)
Definitely don't derail this thread - because a discussion on poles on planes is just what we all need (good mental health work @Damien Reynolds) - but this story about the drug dog, does really need to be told. Tell your owner we need to new thread please Henry.

On the poles (have to get in my two cents worth) I used to pack them inside my pack and check it into the luggage hold, and I've never had a problem with it arriving at the right place at the right time. I'm on long haul flights so check in luggage is always included in the ticket. But for the last few caminos I've gone with a carry-on size pack, and I do like the freedom of being able to waltz off the plane and not wait for the luggage carousel to turn endlessly. Each time I've carried my pack on I've folded up my poles and put them inside my pack, and I've told security they were inside as I go through. I've never been asked to take them out. Two things though - my poles are carbon fibre (so not metal), and I remove the metal tips and keep them separately inside my toilet kit bag. The poles are now pretty old, so if the worst came to the worst and I had to abandon them, I would.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I've never been asked to take them out. Two things though - my poles are carbon fibre (so not metal), and I remove the metal tips and keep them separately inside my toilet kit bag.
No way! I've never had the guts to do that - even with Carbon Fibre poles!
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
Other than the afincados of pacer poles, who will accept no substitutes, the rest of us should bear in mind that, in use, one pole is resting on the ground and thus it’s weight is irrelevant to the user. (The family who designed and sell Pacers are just 10 minutes north of me. A superb product, but not for me)

There is thus no significant practical difference between a €20 pair of no-name poles and a €200 pair of ultra lite carbon fibre poles. I have a couple of pairs of both.

The difference is that the cheap pair are easily sourced in SJdPP and every decent sized town on the CF.

Personally, I check my pack in, complete with poles. In, literally 1000+ flights in my personal and (former) professional life my checked in bag has briefly gone astray twice.

First when I couldn’t believe that any nation on earth had an integrated transport system so sophisticated that it could unload my luggage from the aircraft and forward it by by scheduled train to my intended destination. Only by my wasting time complaining unnecessarily were my bag and I separated. The bag arrived on time, I missed the train. Take a bow, Switzerland.

The second was a BA flight LHR to O’Hare (with which I’ve had a hate-hate relationship ever since I tripped on an escalator and fell on the drug-dog, sparking an armed confrontation which I would not care to repeat)

On those odds, I just check the bag and poles and keep tight hold of a credit card.
I really really want to know the drug dog story!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I usually fly from Chicago to Madrid for the Caminos. I have checked my poles a couple of times, but also have taken them in my backpack folded up and gotten them through security scanners with "rubber boot" style tips. Other times they have been confiscated either "coming or going". In my situation there has been no rhyme nor reason I can figure out no matter the airline policy. I think much depends on the employee working the scanner and their mood on that particular day. I now choose to buy cheapie poles after I arrive at my destination.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Definitely don't derail this thread - because a discussion on poles on planes is just what we all need (good mental health work @Damien Reynolds) - but this story about the drug dog, does really need to be told. Tell your owner we need to new thread please Henry.

On the poles (have to get in my two cents worth) I used to pack them inside my pack and check it into the luggage hold, and I've never had a problem with it arriving at the right place at the right time. I'm on long haul flights so check in luggage is always included in the ticket. But for the last few caminos I've gone with a carry-on size pack, and I do like the freedom of being able to waltz off the plane and not wait for the luggage carousel to turn endlessly. Each time I've carried my pack on I've folded up my poles and put them inside my pack, and I've told security they were inside as I go through. I've never been asked to take them out. Two things though - my poles are carbon fibre (so not metal), and I remove the metal tips and keep them separately inside my toilet kit bag. The poles are now pretty old, so if the worst came to the worst and I had to abandon them, I would.
Yep, absolutely. Why make life difficult when it can be that simple.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I have been fortunate enough to "buy" my tickets to Spain with airline miles, and one checked bag has always been included in the fare, so I check a suitcase with my pre and post Camino traveling clothes and my Pacer Poles. I then send the suitcase on to Santiago before I start my Camino. The only time that I didn't really travel before and after the Camino and therefore did not bring a suitcase was when I walked from Porto to Santiago. I went with a friend, so we packed both of our sets of poles in an old duffel bag that I donated at our first night's accommodation. I checked my backpack with poles inside on my way home.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
BTW - I have an idea for the next mind numbing thread: "Carbon Fibre vs. Aluminum" Trekking Poles... : )
I detect an anti-wood bias.

Do check if there's an existing discussion that's worth extending, before starting a new thread. It's sometimes hard to judge if an old thread should be left dormant, but if the information in it is still current, then it's a valuable repository of shared knowledge,

As for transporting stuff on planes when I don't want to haul a suitcase, I have gotten into the habit of using cardboard boxes. People are always getting rid of them after house moves or parcel deliveries. For a pair of hiking poles, I fashion a tube from an amazon box and duct tape. Like a previous poster, I typically use an airline award flight for my one-way trips at each end of a Camino. Award tickets include an item of check-in luggage, which is handy for hiking poles and a pen-knife.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
The only problem I have with checking a bag (I usually have one included in my ticket price) is the additional time it takes to pick it up from the baggage carrousel(way over yonder) and get myself to the ground transportation in time to not miss my bus or train.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Do check if there's an existing discussion that's worth extending,
You tired of me already?

I wonder how many people actually "search" vs. browse.

Truth is I am excited about heading out again... I guess the unknown with the "current situation" adds to the anticipation. I bring these old topics up again because these are the questions I know about, and I like to talk to my friends again,
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Other than the afincados of pacer poles, who will accept no substitutes, the rest of us should bear in mind that, in use, one pole is resting on the ground and thus it’s weight is irrelevant to the user. (The family who designed and sell Pacers are just 10 minutes north of me. A superb product, but not for me)

There is thus no significant practical difference between a €20 pair of no-name poles and a €200 pair of ultra lite carbon fibre poles. I have a couple of pairs of both.

The difference is that the cheap pair are easily sourced in SJdPP and every decent sized town on the CF.

Personally, I check my pack in, complete with poles. In, literally 1000+ flights in my personal and (former) professional life my checked in bag has briefly gone astray twice.

First when I couldn’t believe that any nation on earth had an integrated transport system so sophisticated that it could unload my luggage from the aircraft and forward it by by scheduled train to my intended destination. Only by my wasting time complaining unnecessarily were my bag and I separated. The bag arrived on time, I missed the train. Take a bow, Switzerland.

The second was a BA flight LHR to O’Hare (with which I’ve had a hate-hate relationship ever since I tripped on an escalator and fell on the drug-dog, sparking an armed confrontation which I would not care to repeat)

On those odds, I just check the bag and poles and keep tight hold of a credit card.
The Swiss make it so easy... check in at airport in USA and pick up luggage in your destination town or, in some cases, delivered to to your lodgings in a small swiss hiking town..
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Well, I was not suggesting that you go buy new materials for it! 😆 The pandemic is not over yet. You have plenty of time to work on this!
And if they are anything like me lots of boxes from deliveries since most of my shopping has been online.
 
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Kimtom

Wannawalk
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
Other than the afincados of pacer poles, who will accept no substitutes, the rest of us should bear in mind that, in use, one pole is resting on the ground and thus it’s weight is irrelevant to the user. (The family who designed and sell Pacers are just 10 minutes north of me. A superb product, but not for me)

There is thus no significant practical difference between a €20 pair of no-name poles and a €200 pair of ultra lite carbon fibre poles. I have a couple of pairs of both.

The difference is that the cheap pair are easily sourced in SJdPP and every decent sized town on the CF.

Personally, I check my pack in, complete with poles. In, literally 1000+ flights in my personal and (former) professional life my checked in bag has briefly gone astray twice.

First when I couldn’t believe that any nation on earth had an integrated transport system so sophisticated that it could unload my luggage from the aircraft and forward it by by scheduled train to my intended destination. Only by my wasting time complaining unnecessarily were my bag and I separated. The bag arrived on time, I missed the train. Take a bow, Switzerland.

The second was a BA flight LHR to O’Hare (with which I’ve had a hate-hate relationship ever since I tripped on an escalator and fell on the drug-dog, sparking an armed confrontation which I would not care to repeat)

On those odds, I just check the bag and poles and keep tight hold of a credit card.
I’ve always had a fear of being sucked down into the floor by an escalator. Falling onto a drug dog would definately be my preference especially if it were a fluffy type. Perhaps though there is an argument here for letting those of us who have trouble staying upright when confronted with escalators, to use our poles in the airport and onto the plane: fewer flattened drug dogs, less drama with firearms, and generally a more peaceful travel experience for everyone in the vicinity 🙂
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I carried my pack on plane, but checked a 24” cardboard mailing tube (about $3) into which I put my poles and a few extra liquids—contact lens solution, mini shampoos, a small set of scissors. I figured if the airline lost that, not so bad...
The main drag in SJPdP has a good store on opposite side of street and down a bit from the Pilgrim Office where they sell good quality poles. In the bottom of my pack I had a 60L stuff sack that weighed nothing and folded up into something the size of a flat pair of socks. It stayed there my whole Camino til my flight home, at which time it came out and my whole pack along with poles went in it, as a checked bag.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Wrong. Since you have to put the pole in motion before putting it in its next position, weight of the pole is directly proportional to the amount of energy used (for moving the pole).
Please don’t confuse the discussion with facts, science and so on.
😁
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Yep, waking poles are essential never without them. So I got myself a backpack bag. My backpack goes inside with poles strapped on, no dangling straps, everything zipped up nice n' neat. When I get off the plane I fold up my backpack bag and strap it to my backpack. Simple....
 

koknesis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
Yep, she said "I now choose to buy cheapie poles after I arrive at my destination.", again, the uncomplicated way of life.

the most uncomplicated way was to make a nice staff from bamboo found on ramblas walking Mozarabes :)
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
April / May (2016) CF
I used a mailing tube for my poles, small knife and toiletries. The shape required it to be special luggage, but I don't believe there was a charge for it. On the way back I purchased a small, inexpensive bag to check as I had picked up some other things as well while in Santiago.
 
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countycork

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
26th May 2013
Why not look along the hedgerows as you walk along on your first mornings walk, you will find a plentiful supply of strong sticks to use...........that’s what we always do & we find they are just as good as our walking poles left back at home!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.
I carry poles and when I get to my destination, usually Madrid, next time Sevilla I go buy some poles there. I have never paid more than about 25 Euros for 2 poles. They may not be fancy but for my purposes they work just fine. I always can find someone to give them away to at the end of the camino. It is much easier for me that way.
 

Plataman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.
Good information. I put my pack, poles and some extra clothes for the days before and end of the Camino in a large bag, and check the whole thing in. The poles are collapsed and inserted in cardboard rolls...to prevent bending or damage while in transit. I leave the bag, the extra clothes at the hotel or bnb that I stay in at the beginning, ( Bayonne or Seville) depending on Camino, basically the city I am flying to/from. Its great to have some different clothes waiting for the return trip, and poles have always arrived in good shape ( pack too). I have used this approach the last four caminos and it works for me.
 

elizason

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Lisbon- Santiago Sept-Oct 2015
You tired of me already?

I wonder how many people actually "search" vs. browse.

Truth is I am excited about heading out again... I guess the unknown with the "current situation" adds to the anticipation. I bring these old topics up again because these are the questions I know about, and I like to talk to my friends again,
Hello
I did as another pilgrim had done.
I removed the tips, criss crossed them flat on the back in my pack and on xray it looks like part of the frame. I used to work for TSA on xray and as long as there are no sharp tips and the poles are able to be folded in half it will not be considered a threat. Now a baseball bat will never go even a plastic one.
But I had no problems coming or going.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I used to work for TSA on xray and as long as there are no sharp tips and the poles are able to be folded in half it will not be considered a threat.
Not true for me. I have experienced both positive and negative results doing this with my poles, so I no longer bring them with me from home.
 

Simon B

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.
Use the postal system and send them......
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Use the postal system and send them......
It is extremely expensive to send packages to Europe from the USA.
Cheapie poles purchased once in Spain at Decathlon would most likely be cheaper than sending poles from home.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm oldish and have poles with a cane handle. My lovely wife has a brand that fold and fit in her pack (carry-on) . No problems five Caminos. I have donated a couple of minute Swiss Army knives.
I am now worried about your reference to donating 'small swiss army knives' as this is what I found on the Canadian Airport Security's (CATSA's) site: https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/search/site/swiss army knife?f[0]=type:what_to_pack
( friend just bought me a 65th Bday Swiss Army Knife with 6 cm knife.
If there is a chance I will have to f(donate give it up, I will post to the UK ... where I am headed first. Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

sunwanderer

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
I have not had a problem with my carbon poles inside my pack onboard Delta to Madrid several times.

the trick is to go through security a couple of hours before your flight, then you have time to check your bag if needed.
Yes!

Our poles fold up, so I bought a 4" mailing tube that holds them both. I put an addressed mailing label on the tube and then attached it to the bottom of a pack like a bed roll. So far, it has gone through security with no problem. If there would be an issue, I would just go back to a mailing station and send the poles off to meet us at our destination.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I don't understand what the potential issue is with security and trekking poles?
My new poles collapse to approx. 10 inches long. Why would they be an issue? Am I thick?
 

LaFlorida

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF May-June 2018
I was very lucky that the airline check-in clerk in Miami took pity on me and let me check my backpack with poles inside for free. A last-minute checked pack would have cost $200, (so check your carrier's rules for your ticket) and the nearby airport security guard said I probably would have had to surrender my poles.
As for ultra-cheap, light bag to contain the backpack and secure the straps, an old pillowcase fit perfectly, taped shut around the pack's top handle, and then it served as a laundry bag.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
I don't understand what the potential issue is with security and trekking poles?
The issue isn't with the poles. The issue is with security - usually 5ft 9, 160lbs, difficult supervisor ;)

Airport Security is responsible for aircraft security (used to be the Pilot's job but they're not paid enough). The general intention is to prevent a passenger with bad intent taking into an aircraft cabin anything that might be used to pierce or bludgeon, or threaten to pierce or bludgeon, another and thereby threaten the security of that aircraft, passengers and crew. The limits on liquid volumes are intended to prevent the compilation of plastique, Nitroglycerin or any other explosive compound in sufficient quantity to cause damage to the aircraft structure. I could bang on (pardon) but you'll get the general picture.

It's all a bit arbitrary, impulsive and strange but it is what it is. Before anyone dismisses it all as pure nonsense they might want to consider quite how comfortable they would feel mid-Atlantic, at 38,000 ft in an aircraft cabin with a person or persons in possession of a variety of bludgeons and nasty sharp pointy things.

I usually cut a staff from a hedgerow with the saw blade on my Swiss-army knife. How I get that Swiss-army knife on the 'plane is between me and my proctologist :eek:
 
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koknesis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
I don't understand what the potential issue is with security and trekking poles?
My new poles collapse to approx. 10 inches long. Why would they be an issue? Am I thick?

So, then you can hide approx. 10 inches long stiletto in them. At least this is how the airport security looks at them. In case you are trained in jogo do pau, then even hiding that knife is not necessary :) Better stay on safe side ...
 
Last edited:

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I don't understand what the potential issue is with security and trekking poles?
The airlines and airport security agencies generally say "no trekking/walking poles" are allowed in the cabin. The wording is no more detailed with respect to what is a walking pole, but of course the agents can interpret however they want, based on what they consider could potentially be used as a weapon. People are allowed canes if they need them for mobility.

One very strict rule was that you could not carry any type of walking stick on board a flight out of Santiago airport.

This brings us to the question of whether folding carbon fiber things should be considered thus. Different agents may make different decisions at the airport. So, you should take them to security with enough time to implement Plan B, which would be to take them back and check them in as checked luggage. I have personally carried them on numerous flights, but I now usually check a small bag, while carrying my backpack and the rest of my important equipment on board.

In the good old days (which we are hoping to resume) we regularly had big fights here on the forum about the ethics, motives, honesty, etc., of forum members who tried or succeeded in carrying poles of various types on board. It was one of our most popular emotional topics, and threads regularly had to be closed on the topic. During the pandemic we have all joked that we'd like to get back to the days of discussing poles on airplanes.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The airlines and airport security agencies generally say "no trekking/walking poles" are allowed in the cabin. The wording is no more detailed with respect to what is a walking pole, but of course the agents can interpret however they want, based on what they consider could potentially be used as a weapon. People are allowed canes if they need them for mobility.

One very strict rule was that you could not carry any type of walking stick on board a flight out of Santiago airport.

This brings us to the question of whether folding carbon fiber things should be considered thus. Different agents may make different decisions at the airport. So, you should take them to security with enough time to implement Plan B, which would be to take them back and check them in as checked luggage. I have personally carried them on numerous flights, but I now usually check a small bag, while carrying my backpack and the rest of my important equipment on board.

In the good old days (which we are hoping to resume) we regularly had big fights here on the forum about the ethics, motives, honesty, etc., of forum members who tried or succeeded in carrying poles of various types on board. It was one of our most popular emotional topics, and threads regularly had to be closed on the topic. During the pandemic we have all joked that we'd like to get back to the days of discussing poles on airplanes.
Thanks very much. This is pretty clear. 'Wing it' or else .... the Canadian Airline Security (CATSA) just told me an unequivocal 'no' to any trekking pole (over the phone) but my airline (BA) might take them for me as not checking any other other baggage (?) ...

Thanks especially for Santiago rules - another reason to take lower carbon imprint mode of travel - bus or trains :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
my airline (BA) might take them for me as not checking any other other baggage (?)
It is the airport security officer at baggage inspection that makes the decision - not the airline, which will always give the strictest advice in advance. Just don't automatically think in terms of checking your backpack if you need to check your poles. Keep your backpack with you because it has all of your detailed, carefully chosen items that would be a real headache to replace quickly. Just check the poles and your Swiss army knife (because security agents have been known to disallow even items that are not forbidden in the rules, and it is not advisable to argue with them). I sometimes add my sleeping bag to the checked package, simply to keep my carryon backpack less bulky.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
my airline (BA) might take them for me as not checking any other other baggage (?) ...
The airlines flying out of Santiago have a good reputation of allowing free checking of pole parcels. That may be an exception to airlines general rule - that they'll sell you a cheap flight and charge you fortunes for choosing your seat, luggage, snacks, taking a pee (pace Ryanair).

I'd check with BA, in writing, that they'll let you slip a little tube in the hold without charge.
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Oh wait, for anyone who is going to SJPDP through Pamplona I think sorta near the bus station in Pamplona is a Corte Ingles. Its like a big box store with all kinds of stuff. They have them.
El Corte Ingles like a big box store????!! Shame on you! Bit your tongue! It's a very high-class Iberian department store with loads of designer clothes. Plus lots of other stuff...good to know this includes poles.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have not had a problem with my carbon poles inside my pack onboard Delta to Madrid several times.

the trick is to go through security a couple of hours before your flight, then you have time to check your bag if needed.
ok will definitely factor that in and take your advice. I will also see what BA's 'party line' is re assisting me :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The airlines flying out of Santiago have a good reputation of allowing free checking of pole parcels. That may be an exception to airlines general rule - that they'll sell you a cheap flight and charge you fortunes for choosing your seat, luggage, snacks, taking a pee (pace Ryanair).

I'd check with BA, in writing, that they'll let you slip a little tube in the hold without charge.
perfect idea! Gracias!
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.


I've done 3 Caminos and I always brought my 2 trekking poles with me on my carry-on with no prob from U.S.. the prob was on the way out in Santiago Airport. Dont know if anything has chnaged
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have had a McDonald's plastic knife confiscated and another time a pair of short rounded pre-school children's scissors were removed and looked at. Once I am at the scanners, I do not want my poles rejected. I absolutely do not want to go back to the usually busy check-in area, wrap the poles in plastic wrap first, and wait my turn in line. It's an option I am not interested in.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I've done 3 Caminos and I always brought my 2 trekking poles with me on my carry-on with no prob from U.S.. the prob was on the way out in Santiago Airport. Dont know if anything has chnaged
All airlines flying OUT of Santiago will let you put in your walking poles for free in the hold ..this is a special concession from Santiago only
If you try and get them through the customs, they will take them off of you...as we found to our cost on our first camino
just go to the check in desk and voila, no problem, they will check them in for free.
Not sure if things might have changed in the last year though
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
All airlines flying OUT of Santiago will let you put in your walking poles for free in the hold ..this is a special concession from Santiago only
If you try and get them through the customs, they will take them off of you...as we found to our cost on our first camino
just go to the check in desk and voila, no problem, they will check them in for free.
Not sure if things might have changed in the last year though
Yes, but once I get back to Madrid it becomes another "story" when changing planes back to the US as mine are not connecting flights.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
The airlines flying out of Santiago have a good reputation of allowing free checking of pole parcels. That may be an exception to airlines general rule - that they'll sell you a cheap flight and charge you fortunes for choosing your seat, luggage, snacks, taking a pee (pace Ryanair).

I'd check with BA, in writing, that they'll let you slip a little tube in the hold without charge.
Now now Tincatinker,
leave Ryanair alone!!,
We have, so far, never had a problem with them and they still, despite the add- ons are the cheapest
yes they are!
at check in at Santiago they just put the poles in the hold for free, no questions asked
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Yes, but once I get back to Madrid it becomes another "story" when changing planes back to the US as mine are not connecting flights.
Yes that is true, from another airport ....not Santiago
From Santiago they will be free
A connecting flight will be from somewhere else ..eg Madrid
at least you will be getting one free “go”
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes that is true, from another airport ....not Santiago
From Santiago they will be free
A connecting flight will be from somewhere else ..eg Madrid
at least you will be getting one free “go”
Yes, I get one free go...then "in the bin they go". I now prefer to just leave them behind.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Yes, I get one free go...then "in the bin they go". I now prefer to just leave them behind.
Hi Chrissy
do you not put anything in the hold at all?
if so, then you can put them into the rucksack or attach them to the outside
we don’t generally bring poles now as it’s cheaper and less hassle just to buy a cheap pair when we get there ....
that’s why we’ve accumulated so many when getting back from Santiago as there’s no cost in bringing them home!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Chrissy
do you not put anything in the hold at all?
if so, then you can put them into the rucksack or attach them to the outside
we don’t generally bring poles now as it’s cheaper and less hassle just to buy a cheap pair when we get there ....
that’s why we’ve accumulated so many when getting back from Santiago as there’s no cost in bringing them home!
I buy cheap pairs now at the start of any Camino.
I prefer to send nothing in the holds any more when traveling for Caminos as often I need any extra minutes getting to the bus or train to my final destination.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
El Corte Ingles like a big box store????!! Shame on you! Bit your tongue! It's a very high-class Iberian department store with loads of designer clothes. Plus lots of other stuff...good to know this includes poles.
Haha this is too funny. See I struggled with how to describe El Corte Ingles from a US perspective (given all the dept. stores here are dying)... I worked on that sentence for a bit and was curious if I was going to catch grief... In fact, I actually forgot the term "department store".

I love that store so no disrespect...

So here is what I was also going to say...

"Think like Macy's + Target". But neither of those would have trekking poles.

So then like "Macy's + Target + something like Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods thrown in"...

So if anyone has the wrong impression, Corte Ingles is really cool, especially when you've been walking the Spanish countryside for a week and you need something you lost or forgot but couldn't find it from the mom & pops.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
the Canadian Airline Security (CATSA) just told me an unequivocal 'no' to any trekking pole (over the phone) but my airline (BA) might take them for me as not checking any other other baggage (?) ...
BA doesn't run the security check.
I will also see what BA's 'party line' is re assisting me :)
Perhaps they will assist you in checking them in?
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Haha this is too funny...I love that store so no disrespect...

So then like "Macy's + Target + something like Sports Authority or Dick's Sporting Goods thrown in"...

So if anyone has the wrong impression, Corte Ingles is really cool, especially when you've been walking the Spanish countryside for a week and you need something you lost or forgot but couldn't find it from the mom & pops.
Most branches that I've seen (so far, Lisboa, Porto, Vigo) also have great food floors, where you can get a lot of the odd, international foods that are typically hard to find.

OK...enough of the distraction from the big question of "poles on planes"...
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I always plan for enough time to make the connections, so that I am not feeling anxious about time collect luggage. Once I get to the boarding gate for departure, I am in Camino mode and relaxed.
I also make enough time for my connections, but I do not like the hassle of collecting extra baggage, nor the possibility of taking a later bus or train to get to my final destination...to each our own preference.
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Year of past OR future Camino
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
I've seen so many posts about the use of trekking poles. There is no doubt in my mind that they help any long distance walker enjoy their walk further by reducing wear on their joints and providing points for pivot and thrust when crossing whatever might be found. 4 legs are better than 2 when walking. They come in handy.

If you are a trekking pole hater... well, please don't respond.

But, they can't be carried on, on an airplane....

So, how to get them there?

So the only time this is ever really a concern is if you plan to carry-on your pack. I've have been paranoid in the past that I might check in my pack, after long months of planning, only to have it not appear at that baggage carousel in T4 (Madrid). That would be a bummer.

If you have trust in the airlines completely, then just pack your poles in your bag and check it in.

If you would prefer to carry your goods... understanding that some can't be carried legally, here are two obvious solutions:

1) Get a second bag - a cheap one - measure your sticks and make sure they can fit. In the past I have bought cheap children's backpacks on Amazon for like $5. If it fits, put it in. Check it in. If it doesn't show up, well, at least you still have all your other stuff. When it does show up, well, just throw the bag away or donate it to a child you see. If it doesn't show up, proceed to step 2. Also note that a cardboard cylinder can also serve this purpose.

2) Buy sticks in country: Numerous retailers offer them. Some not found in your ultimate destination tho.

On my way back I always check in all my stuff because by that point I'll take the risk that i never see it again.

Anyhoo, I believe the pain to get sticks for your walk is very worth it.
I use a very simple solution. I pack my poles as normal on the outside if my backpack. Then I wrap my backpack (very well) in cellophane before flying. Never a problem in many years of flying. Protects my backpack also. A double benefit.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I use a very simple solution. I pack my poles as normal on the outside if my backpack. Then I wrap my backpack (very well) in cellophane before flying. Never a problem in many years of flying. Protects my backpack also. A double benefit.
Yah this thread was mainly meant for people who don't want to check in their stuff. No doubt you can check a bag and choose to include your poles...
 
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jo_nz

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Frances (2015), Finistere/M (2015), Portugeuse (2015) Mozarable (2017) Norte (2018)
Thread brings back memories - Cheers !! Our Mozarabe Camino I checked the poles separately (from NZ), no problems, took the train from Madrid to Malaga, left poles in luggage rack on train, sent hubby back to collect, he couldnt get through security..... Long story short had to buy an el cheapo pair of poles in Malaga.
Next Camino, checked both Back Packs in hold, arrived in Paris, my pack missing, luckily I had my poles in Hubby's pack, so at least had poles but nothing else. Pack didn't catch up with me for 8 days!!!
When we can get back to our beloved camino (we plan to start in Le Puy hopefully next year)We'll take carry on and just buy some poles there me thinks!
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
All airlines flying OUT of Santiago will let you put in your walking poles for free in the hold ..this is a special concession from Santiago only
If you try and get them through the customs, they will take them off of you...as we found to our cost on our first camino
just go to the check in desk and voila, no problem, they will check them in for free.
Not sure if things might have changed in the last year though
yeah but the wife figures that its a lot easier to ship them along with our boots and other stuff to the states. thanks for the tip though
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I have both purchased inexpensive trekking poles and put them in a box and checked them as baggage, and have also purchased trekking poles upon arrival in Spain or France. Both worked well for me and I am an advocate of trekking pole use, just took me a couple of Camino's without them to appreciate them lol.
In both methods I left them behind at an albergue in hopes someone can use them further as was just not cost sensible to bring them back as I only carry on luggage going home, budget airlines. Also save for the rubber tips, very little wear and tear on trekking poles after just one Camino. I'll say again to the budget conscious prospective pilgrims, you do not need expensive stuff to walk the Camino. I hate the idea of anyone thinking they do and that as an obstacle to walking it.
 
I am now worried about your reference to donating 'small swiss army knives' as this is what I found on the Canadian Airport Security's (CATSA's) site: https://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/en/search/site/swiss army knife?f[0]=type:what_to_pack
( friend just bought me a 65th Bday Swiss Army Knife with 6 cm knife.
If there is a chance I will have to f(donate give it up, I will post to the UK ... where I am headed first. Thoughts?
My little knife had a blade about 40mm / 1 1/2". Also my wife poles are carbon fibre. People were helpful when I needed a knife, I wouldn't even try again to bring one. they have small knives throughout the world.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
BA doesn't run the security check.

Perhaps they will assist you in checking them in?
I've been on airplanes where they offered something like a cabin check. In other words, small luggage is taken from you upon entry into the plane or at the gate and stored somewhere else other than the overhead bins or under the seat. This can come into play when the overhead bins are full or for small strollers. Perhaps this might be a way that they can help?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
After considering that I have four items that could (depending on the security folks' discretion) be confiscated, I am now checking in a bag.
This will now include:
1. Poo trowel - which (among other features) has a knife incorporated into one of the edges that is beyond 6 cm
2. Trekking poles - which BA told me over the phone are definitely not allowed in their overhead cabins
3. Swiss army knife - including a 6cm knife. (*Although technically, knives up to this length are supposed to be allowed; not taking the chance)
4. Manicure scissors - which I have had confiscated twice.
Just really don't want the hassle.
Mainly, I wanted to avoid lengthy waits at the carousels - which can be really bad at Heathrow and Gatwick.
Oh well.
Resigned now.
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
After considering that I have four items that could (depending on the security folks' discretion) be confiscated, I am now checking in a bag.
This will now include:
1. Poo trowel - which (among other features) has a knife incorporated into one of the edges that is beyond 6 cm
2. Trekking poles - which BA told me over the phone are definitely not allowed in their overhead cabins
3. Swiss army knife - including a 6cm knife. (*Although technically, knives up to this length are supposed to be allowed; not taking the chance)
4. Manicure scissors - which I have had confiscated twice.
Just really don't want the hassle.
Mainly, I wanted to avoid lengthy waits at the carousels - which can be really bad at Heathrow and Gatwick.
Oh well.
Resigned now.
It is, apparently, illegal for Camino pilgrims to carry "poo trowels" in Spain. This accounts for the numerous deposits of toilet paper inside every field gate from Roncesvalles to Lavacola.
Presumably though, after a year of decomposition and fewer additions, things along the trail might be cleaner nowadays?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Maybe nice to have if you were camping, but really not necessary for the Camino.
I was thinking the same thing about the poo trowel, but was hoping she wasn't going to use its attached knife to cut food such as cheese, meat, and bread.😅 I was relieved to read her #3...bringing a separate knife as well.🙂
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
It is, apparently, illegal for Camino pilgrims to carry "poo trowels" in Spain. This accounts for the numerous deposits of toilet paper inside every field gate from Roncesvalles to Lavacola.
Presumably though, after a year of decomposition and fewer additions, things along the trail might be cleaner nowadays?

Surely the whole point of a poo trowel is that you don’t leave signs behind!
 
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Question:
Thinking about taking ferry to Europe from UK.
Do ferry security folks conduct arduous checks with strict limitations?
Because of Brexit, they are also developing more ferry routes from Ireland straight into the EU. You might want to check that out, as well!

 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Because of Brexit, they are also developing more ferry routes from Ireland straight into the EU. You might want to check that out, as well!

That's a great idea! Thanks.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
3. Swiss army knife - including a 6cm knife. (*Although technically, knives up to this length are supposed to be allowed; not taking the chance)

Unsurprisingly this has come up before. Along with the charlatans selling RFID protected credit card cases it’s a personal bug-bear.

The precise wording in the UK government guidance is important and changes what many assume to be the meaning. It’s the ‘and/or which is important.

Feel free to check at:


What is NOT allowed in handbaggage is:

‘Knife with a sharp or pointed blade and/or blade longer than 6cm’

That is: any knife, of any length, with a sharp or pointed blade and any knife without a sharp or pointed blade of 6cm or more.

That pretty much rules out what I would define as a ‘knife’ of any practical use.




I can’t seem to delete the graphic below.

 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
After considering that I have four items that could (depending on the security folks' discretion) be confiscated, I am now checking in a bag.
This will now include:
1. Poo trowel - which (among other features) has a knife incorporated into one of the edges that is beyond 6 cm
2. Trekking poles - which BA told me over the phone are definitely not allowed in their overhead cabins
3. Swiss army knife - including a 6cm knife. (*Although technically, knives up to this length are supposed to be allowed; not taking the chance)
4. Manicure scissors - which I have had confiscated twice.
Just really don't want the hassle.
Mainly, I wanted to avoid lengthy waits at the carousels - which can be really bad at Heathrow and Gatwick.
Oh well.
Resigned now.

Hi Gayeh --

Can you replace the manicure scissors with rounded end bandage scissors?

I've seen loads of Swiss type knives abandoned in the "free to take" bins in albergues. There's just not much you'll be eating that you can't tear with hands, or get pre-cut. Groceries often have lovely little snack counters in the bakery area with mouthful sized breads filled with things like tuna, chorizo, or cheese.

I always check my poles, so yeah, good idea -- next time I go I'll be attaching a blue-tooth tracker to my checked bag as well -- just in case, but I've always had my pack arrive without trouble.

And folks have already advised against the trowel as unneeded and not permitted so...

Honestly: there are "aseos" (2 piece bathrooms) every 5-7 km.

I do have and will take a porta-bidet bottle for next time so that I don't have to carry TP for getting rid of all that coffee, OJ, milk that I drink every day. There are many brands available. Check Amazon and Tushy company. You could make do with a squeeze water bottle *BUT* the porte-bidets collapse as you empty them and they have specially angled spouts so you won't douse your clothes.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I have actually kept the plastic cutlery from my in-flight meals and carried them on the Camino. The plastic serrated knife works pretty good on fruit, chorizo and bread. The spoon for yogurt etc. They're easy to wash up. I also like the spirit of recycling the cutlery in a way by using them. Mind you, not all airlines have the thick sturdy plastic ones, a bit hit and miss.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Gayeh --

Can you replace the manicure scissors with rounded end bandage scissors?

I've seen loads of Swiss type knives abandoned in the "free to take" bins in albergues. There's just not much you'll be eating that you can't tear with hands, or get pre-cut. Groceries often have lovely little snack counters in the bakery area with mouthful sized breads filled with things like tuna, chorizo, or cheese.

I always check my poles, so yeah, good idea -- next time I go I'll be attaching a blue-tooth tracker to my checked bag as well -- just in case, but I've always had my pack arrive without trouble.

And folks have already advised against the trowel as unneeded and not permitted so...

Honestly: there are "aseos" (2 piece bathrooms) every 5-7 km.

I do have and will take a porta-bidet bottle for next time so that I don't have to carry TP for getting rid of all that coffee, OJ, milk that I drink every day. There are many brands available. Check Amazon and Tushy company. You could make do with a squeeze water bottle *BUT* the porte-bidets collapse as you empty them and they have specially angled spouts so you won't douse your clothes.
Thanks Faye. This time around I don't have to worry as will check all deemed dangerous items. Unfortunately, I prefer regular manicure scissors but may (likely) need to factor in other options in future so this is good idea re rounded end type.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
next time I go I'll be attaching a blue-tooth tracker to my checked bag as well
Well, my bluetooth connection just about stretches 30ft, so you are unlikely to know whether that plane lifting off on Runway 2 actually has your kit stowed aboard... and I guess if you did know you couldn't very well run after it...
FWIW I have sometimes dreamed of inserting a satellite tracker into a walking pole, having it confiscated at Santiago airport and seeing where it ended up - possibly in a downtown A Coruna flea-market... or in a loaded-down van being seen heading east along our old combatant the N-120, against a tide of weary trudgers, to a lock-up in Saint Jean, to be re-sold those of us who left our poles at home to avoid all this carry-on.

In terms of pen-knives. I checked that the blade length of my Victorinix Officier Suisse was within the 6cm, but lost it to Security because of its tiny facsimile of a corkscrew
 
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