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Poles & Backpack - to check or not to check...

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I would never check my backpack with all of my carefully chosen gear, but I always check a bag that contains my poles and my pre and post Camino clothes. I then send this bag to Santiago (sans poles).

If you have no use for extra clothing before or after you can put your poles in a mailing tube, box, or cheap duffel bag that you can donate somewhere before you start your Camino.

Whether or not your poles could be taken from you in Paris depends on if you will have to go through security there.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I would never check my backpack with all of my carefully chosen gear, but I always check a bag that contains my poles and my pre and post Camino clothes. I then send this bag to Santiago (sans poles).

If you have no use for extra clothing before or after you can put your poles in a mailing tube, box, or cheap duffel bag that you can donate somewhere before you start your Camino.

Whether or not your poles could be taken from you in Paris depends on if you will have to go through security there.
Thank you for suggesting the packing tube. That’s a great idea.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
You will probably read many responses from people who say that they always carry their poles on with no problems at all, and a few who had to give up their poles at airport X, Y or Z.

For a comprehensive thread on the subject click here.
It’s a great thread, and I did read it before posting my question. I guess what I should of asked… if you having A connecting flight out of Paris are you required to go through security in Paris? I need to choose my words more carefully🙂
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I guess what I should of asked… if you having A connecting flight out of Paris are you required to go through security in Paris? I need to choose my words more carefully🙂
If you are flying from Canada, it sounds like Paris will be you arrival airport into the Schengen zone, and I would expect that you will do any immigration, customs and quarantine procedures there. That will take you outside the secure zone, and you need to do a further security check to board your connecting flight.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I too flew from Canada to Paris, and on to Biarritz. I carried on my backpack. I put my poles in a packing tube (along with a tiny pair of scissors and a few extra liquids) and checked that. One thing that had not occurred to me, was that in Paris I was told the fare I had purchased for the Biarritz leg did not allow for any checked luggage. I think I looked so pathetic after flying from western Canada, they put it through. I ditched the packing tube on arrival in Biarritz, and put contents in my backpack. On the way home I put everything including pack and poles into a big stuff sack that weighed nothing, folded down totally flat, and which had lived in the bottom of my pack the entire time. Checked it on the way home. This worked perfectly.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Could you post them to SJPdP? I am thinking of doing this for our next camino - have not looked into the cost. We previously checked our backpacks and poles, next time we want to carry our bags with us but do not want to get new poles.

Sounds like your poles were a very special gift.
 

Jotown

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Lourdes (11th September 2014) via Piedmont to SJPP,
then Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela

Via Francigena, Ramsgate,Canterbury ,England to Rome,
via France,Switzerland and Italy. April to July 2016
It’s a great thread, and I did read it before posting my question. I guess what I should of asked… if you having A connecting flight out of Paris are you required to go through security in Paris? I need to choose my words more carefully🙂
I recently transited through Paris ( UK to Mexico) and , even though at all times I remained in the ‘secure’ zone , still had to go through security again …
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
If you are flying from Canada, it sounds like Paris will be you arrival airport into the Schengen zone, and I would expect that you will do any immigration, customs and quarantine procedures there. That will take you outside the secure zone, and you need to do a further security check to board your connecting flight.
Thank-you for confirming that I’ll need to go thru security twice. For peace of mind, Ill be checking those pole and a few other small items so they don’t get lonely in that packing tube all on their own
 
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Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Could you post them to SJPdP? I am thinking of doing this for our next camino - have not looked into the cost. We previously checked our backpacks and poles, next time we want to carry our bags with us but do not want to get new poles.

Sounds like your poles were a very special gift.
They were a special gift. They were given to me by my brother who was undergoing cancer treatment at the time He just finished the treatment last week, and it looks like he’ll be ok . He’ll be doing a “Camino” of his own later this autumn if he gets the ok. Not the Camino Frances, but a solo cross Canada road trip. He and I both have much to be thankful for…
 

TMcA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
If the service is available at your departure airport, you can consider having your backpack with poles inside or attached wrapped in plastic (emballage is the French word for this), and then check the wrapped totality of your possessions. I have done this multiple times at the Montreal airport and it is available in Europe for the return trip (at least at the airports I have used for my return). The wrapping makes it less likely that your pack will be pilfered enroute and it also serves as protection for all the straps and buckles that are exposed.

Downsides:
  • Your pack might be lost or delayed
  • Lot of wasted plastic tape to be discarded after a single use
  • Cost - less than $15 Cdn for each "wrap"
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
If the service is available at your departure airport, you can consider having your backpack with poles inside or attached wrapped in plastic (emballage is the French word for this), and then check the wrapped totality of your possessions. I have done this multiple times at the Montreal airport and it is available in Europe for the return trip (at least at the airports I have used for my return). The wrapping makes it less likely that your pack will be pilfered enroute and it also serves as protection for all the straps and buckles that are exposed.

Downsides:
  • Your pack might be lost or delayed
  • Lot of wasted plastic tape to be discarded after a single use
  • Cost - less than $15 Cdn for each "wrap"
I’ve thought about sending my entire pack as an option as well. A delay in the arrival of my pack would not be the end of the world as I’ve scheduled a day for sleep and time change adjustment when I arrive. If my entire pack were to get really lost, we’ll, there would be a lot of tears!
 

A Kerryman

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018,2019, 2021
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
Ours got through Dublin to Biarritz in our backpacks as hand luggage but were confiscated in Madrid security check heading home . Despite a female security person telling her colleague that we were pilgrims who had walked and that they were no threat .
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Could you post them to SJPdP? I am thinking of doing this for our next camino - have not looked into the cost.
This isn't a good idea from outside the EU, as they could get stuck in Customs.
A delay in the arrival of my pack would not be the end of the world as I’ve scheduled a day for sleep and time change adjustment when I arrive. If my entire pack were to get really lost, we’ll, there would be a lot of tears!
This is why I would never check my pack in!
 
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JMac TO

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017)
I would never check my backpack with all of my carefully chosen gear, but I always check a bag that contains my poles and my pre and post Camino clothes. I then send this bag to Santiago (sans poles).

If you have no use for extra clothing before or after you can put your poles in a mailing tube, box, or cheap duffel bag that you can donate somewhere before you start your Camino.

Whether or not your poles could be taken from you in Paris depends on if you will have to go through security there.
On a side note can you tell me who you use to get your other bag to Santiago? And how much does it usually cost?
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
I'm on the opposite side. I always check bags. I don't want to have a ton of stuff I have to watch in transit. Especially on a trip where I arrive jet-lagged, I'm far more likely to lose something in the airport if I have it with me.

I've flown hundreds of times and only had disaster strike once (as defined by not receiving my bag by the end of the day following my flight). Even then, the bag wasn't lost, only misplaced in the Stockholm airport, and made its way back to me four days later.

I'm willing to trade the (small) chance that my bags will be delayed against the comfort of being able to bring what I need without worrying about security or overhead bin space. Of course, I don't check valuables, medications or critical documents. But I do check just about everything else so that I'm traveling light through security, passport control, etc.

For our Camino backpacks, we bought pack duffel bags to protect them during transit. We bought them from REI - cost maybe US$35 and folded into their own pocket when not in use. Then we sent them ahead to Santiago, where they were waiting for us upon our return.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
On a side note can you tell me who you use to get your other bag to Santiago? And how much does it usually cost?
From SJPDP I use Express Bourricot. Their service is very convenient, and you pick up your bag from a hotel in Santiago that has 24/7 reception so you can pick it up any time you wish.


From other locations in Spain I use the Spanish post office Correos - you can mail to @ivar or to the main office in Santiago.

From Lisbon I used a service called Luggage Driver this year which worked very well for me
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2016 fall
I'm on the opposite side. I always check bags. I don't want to have a ton of stuff I have to watch in transit. Especially on a trip where I arrive jet-lagged, I'm far more likely to lose something in the airport if I have it with me.

I've flown hundreds of times and only had disaster strike once (as defined by not receiving my bag by the end of the day following my flight). Even then, the bag wasn't lost, only misplaced in the Stockholm airport, and made its way back to me four days later.

I'm willing to trade the (small) chance that my bags will be delayed against the comfort of being able to bring what I need without worrying about security or overhead bin space. Of course, I don't check valuables, medications or critical documents. But I do check just about everything else so that I'm traveling light through security, passport control, etc.

For our Camino backpacks, we bought pack duffel bags to protect them during transit. We bought them from REI - cost maybe US$35 and folded into their own pocket when not in use. Then we sent them ahead to Santiago, where they were waiting for us upon our return.
Can you please link the bags for me? Sounds like a great idea. Thanks
 

Jay_Walker

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese July 2022
We bought cheap poles at Decathlon for 10 euros. Strapped them to the outside of our packs on the way home and carried onto the plane with no issues (Lisbon to Toronto).
 
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canyonhiker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016
We flew Boston-CDG- Biarritz yesterday. Put our poles in a packing tube and checked them all the way through. Got them upon arrival in Biarritz then on the Bourricot shuttle and start Camino tomorrow with our poles.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
We bought cheap poles at Decathlon for 10 euros. Strapped them to the outside of our packs on the way home and carried onto the plane with no issues (Lisbon to Toronto).
That's a good suggestion for most people, but the OP has a sentimental/emotional attachment to their poles, and wants to bring them from home.
 

K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I flew Air France last September, Toronto-Paris-Biarritz and checked my pack with my poles. It was not a crisis and my pack was waiting for me when I arrived in Biarritz. I'm one of those weirdos that checks their luggage unless it's a small case. I hate having to lug my pack through crowded airports and hoping there is enough room above or near my seat in the overhead bin.

Good luck! Buen Camino!
*pay attention to your boarding gate at CDG, they tend to change on a whim and does not get announced. Also, if you have less than 90 minutes between flights you will miss your flight. :D I saw so many people crying in line at customs.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Camino Portuguese and Primitivo
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I have flown for years with multiple airlines including in snd out of Madrid, with zpoles in my carry on 30 ltr hiking pack. Never an issue until I flew out of Santiago. They took the poles off me so I had to check them in....
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Have completed through Agosta
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I would not check my pack. If poles get lost worst case is buy new ones..but a pack....I carry a cardboard tube case and if I don't make it through check my poles in that. Mine are small enough that poles and carrier fit in bag. If they get through I toss the carrier. I mail them home from Santiago..kind of expensive I must admit...no chance of carrying on poles there.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2023 Norte - Del Mar , Invierno
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I board my planes Calgary -Toronto- Spain in a matter of hours. I intend to check poles only to Toronto and then repack them into my pack for the ongoing leg. This has worked for me in the past. I would never ever check my bag.
 

NewYorker

New Member
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I’ve stored my custom carbon very very expensive poles in my pack and carried them on since 2012. AND NOW THEY’RE GONE. Thanks to airport security at Santiago de Compostela on 07/272022 upon completing the Frances. With well over 3k km and still in prestige condition; I was heart broken.
Either check them or buy poles when you get to your starting point.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I’ve stored my custom carbon very very expensive poles in my pack and carried them on since 2012. AND NOW THEY’RE GONE. Thanks to airport security at Santiago de Compostela on 07/272022 upon completing the Frances. With well over 3k km and still in prestige condition; I was heart broken.
Either check them or buy poles when you get to your starting point.
I'm sorry that you didn't know that all the airlines at the Santiago airport will check them in for free.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I break down my poles put them inside my backpack. In my last 3 caminos i have checked in my backpack with my poles. Never had a problem besides my 5 hour wait in Paris waiting for my flight.
 

Leaderene

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I always check in my poles as I have known too many people have them disallowed in hand baggage. I wear my walking boots/shoes as those are the one thing I do not have to replace. All my other gear is checked in and no problems to date.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I flew Air France last September, Toronto-Paris-Biarritz and checked my pack with my poles. It was not a crisis and my pack was waiting for me when I arrived in Biarritz. I'm one of those weirdos that checks their luggage unless it's a small case. I hate having to lug my pack through crowded airports and hoping there is enough room above or near my seat in the overhead bin.

Good luck! Buen Camino!
*pay attention to your boarding gate at CDG, they tend to change on a whim and does not get announced. Also, if you have less than 90 minutes between flights you will miss your flight. :D I saw so many people crying in line at customs.
Thanks for the heads up on CDG- I’ll keep my eyes open and make sure to hustle to my gate! Still on the fence about checking everything at Pearson…. Think I’ll make the call the day of. Nothing like a little procrastination😊
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I would never check my backpack with all of my carefully chosen gear, but I always check a bag that contains my poles and my pre and post Camino clothes.
I bought poles ahead of time once and checked them and my pocket knife in a small bo. Had to wait an hour for them in the Barcelona airport. Now I just buy poles. You have a strong attachment to your poles. I would say why take a chance? You do not know if you will get them through security in Canada. You for sure have no idea what will happen in Paris as you have to be rescreened after you go through customs. Check the poles for sure.
NEVER, NEVER, I MEAN NEVER check your backpack. If the airline loses your backpack you are screwed. You will be able to fit your pack in the overhead.
Buen Camino
 

Greg Elphick

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, starting SJPDP 24/8/22
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
EasyJet regard poles as suitable only for hold luggage. Air France website should have clear guidance?
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
I flew Air France last September, Toronto-Paris-Biarritz and checked my pack with my poles. It was not a crisis and my pack was waiting for me when I arrived in Biarritz. I'm one of those weirdos that checks their luggage unless it's a small case. I hate having to lug my pack through crowded airports and hoping there is enough room above or near my seat in the overhead bin.

Good luck! Buen Camino!
*pay attention to your boarding gate at CDG, they tend to change on a whim and does not get announced. Also, if you have less than 90 minutes between flights you will miss your flight. :D I saw so many people crying in line at customs.

And if you check your bags, they go all the way through to your final destination in Europe. It's not like the States where you pick them up, go through customs and then re-check them.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Camino Portuguese and Primitivo
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I recently saw an article about record nos of lost luggage items sitting at Frankfurt Airport. I would never ever check in my hiking pack. The Camino would be over, before I even started it.
It's taken me years to get the bits and pieces together, that I love to take.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
And if you check your bags, they go all the way through to your final destination in Europe. It's not like the States where you pick them up, go through customs and then re-check them.
Whenever I have been flying to a Schengen country, I've always been required to go through immigration and customs at the first Schengen airport, after which I have to recheck my luggage. When I have flown with a transit through a Schengen airport to on onward destination outside of Schengen, my luggage was trans-shipped and there was a transit area within the international side of the airport.
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
If you do decide to check your bag with the poles in it (as we always do), fix luggage tags with your name, contact details, destination and flight number on the outside and inside of your pack. If, as sometimes happens, your luggage missed the plane this will ensure it catches up with you nice and quickly.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
If you do decide to check your bag with the poles in it (as we always do), fix luggage tags with your name, contact details, destination and flight number on the outside and inside of your pack. If, as sometimes happens, your luggage missed the plane this will ensure it catches up with you nice and quickly.
Thank you Dick - makes a lot of sense. If I decide to check my full bag, I’ll make sure that it’s well labelled inside and out. I’m still on the fence about checking the bag. A few horror stories that involve lost luggage have me seriously thinking about just shipping my poles and a few small non essentials.
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
Whenever I have been flying to a Schengen country, I've always been required to go through immigration and customs at the first Schengen airport, after which I have to recheck my luggage. When I have flown with a transit through a Schengen airport to on onward destination outside of Schengen, my luggage was trans-shipped and there was a transit area within the international side of the airport.

Hmmm . . . I fly to airports in the Schengen zone at least a half dozen times per year from the United States, often transiting through Frankfurt as I fly United, sometimes so often that I've gotten to know the regular flight attendants on my route.

I've never had to do this. It's always been checked through to my final airport.

It's possible that's not true if you're coming from somewhere else.

Edited to add: (knock on wood) I've never experienced lost or delayed luggage in Frankfurt or other hubs either. The only issue I've had is with SAS where it's happened in both Copenhagen and Stockholm. But again, we're talking about <5% of the time given how often I've flown to those destinations. And 0% everywhere else.
 
Last edited:

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Hmmm . . . I fly to airports in the Schengen zone at least a half dozen times per year from the United States, often transiting through Frankfurt as I fly United, sometimes so often that I've gotten to know the regular flight attendants on my route.

I've never had to do this. It's always been checked through to my final airport.

It's possible that's not true if you're coming from somewhere else.

Edited to add: (knock on wood) I've never experienced lost or delayed luggage in Frankfurt or other hubs either. The only issue I've had is with SAS where it's happened in both Copenhagen and Stockholm. But again, we're talking about <5% of the time given how often I've flown to those destinations. And 0% everywhere else.
@Katherine Radeka, are you still on an international flight after the transit, or a domestic flight? I can see how that might be managed if you are booked through to the final destination on an international flight that then arrives at another international airport. I have seen that arrangement coming into Australia where international flights to the east coast transit through international airports at Perth or Darwin. Some people will leave the flight at that point, but I make the transition to the domestic network closer to home at Sydney or Melbourne. Boarding passes and baggage are all for my final destination, which means re-checking bags after completing immigration, customs and quarantine procedures.

I am more familiar with transiting to a domestic service, and having the Schengen arrival procedures done at that first arrival airport. It's interesting to know that there are other arrivals patterns.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
Just a thought, if you fly with Air France and the poles go with you on board, that seems to be a very strong case for them to continue to a second destination, in France.

I do know that coming from Canada, as well, my next trip will have my break down poles stuffed deep inside my pack. But that is me.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Just a thought, if you fly with Air France and the poles go with you on board, that seems to be a very strong case for them to continue to a second destination, in France.

I do know that coming from Canada, as well, my next trip will have my break down poles stuffed deep inside my pack. But that is me.
Will ask at Pearson what the protocol is at CDG. If there is any chance they could take my poles at CDG, I’ll be checking them all the way through from Toronto to Biarritz. For Canadians who are interested, I’ll post again once I’m in Biarritz to let you know how the “saga of the sentimental poles” ends!
 

ilbestro12

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I was going to check my hiking pack. I don't think my osprey atmos 65 will fit as a carry on, plus i have my poles, my pocket knife, and maybe some powdered detergent for washing clothes (do they have Tide Free in spain?)

I think I have to fly thru Charles de Gaulle airport so i hope they dont lose a lot of luggage. Im flying from the US. And in July there was a huge baggage handler strike:

> Contacted by BFMTV, Air France ensures that reinforcements have been mobilized to return their suitcases to injured owners as quickly as possible. But faced with the mass of lost property, the CGT ensures that some owners should not see their luggage again for several months. A delay rejected by Air France, which ensures that all baggage is in transit. However, the French company must face a new challenge. Another strike by baggage handlers is announced for this weekend, potentially increasing the number of undelivered bags.

So I'm a bit paranoid now. I didnt want to buy another smaller pack just for the camino, since these things are expensive, but now I might have to and just send a small package with poles and knife. Oy.
 
Last edited:

mvanert

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2016, 2018, 2023
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
I've carried collapsible poles in my backpack as carry-on traveling from Vancouver to both London and Paris without incidence or problems in 2016 and 2018.
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
So I'm a bit paranoid now. I didnt want to buy another smaller pack just for the camino, since these things are expensive, but now I might have to and just send a small package with poles and knife.
There are risk control measures you can take.

If you need to check your big backpack, you can empty most of the contents into another bag that you CAN carry onto the plane. it can even be a simple shopping bag and whatever day bag you might have. In other words, keep the most important stuff with you on the plane - these would include walking shoes, rain wear, most of your clothes, and most of your grooming/hygiene/medical items. In fact, it would be almost everything except your poles and sharps. Maybe put your sleeping bag into the checked bag as it is a bulky nuisance in the carry-on bag and could be replaced fairly easily.

If your backpack goes astray, then you would have to buy a new one after all, but that is better than having to buy the pack AND all the contents!

I generally carry my backpack in the cabin, since it is small enough, and I send a bundle with poles, sharps and maybe a clothing item or two that are easy to replace. I put the pack in the overhead bin, and I keep a small bag at my feet with whatever I am likely to want during the flight.
 

Cleenjones

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I was going to check my hiking pack. I don't think my osprey atmos 65 will fit as a carry on, plus i have my poles, my pocket knife, and maybe some powdered detergent for washing clothes (do they have Tide Free in spain?)

I think I have to fly thru Charles de Gaulle airport so i hope they dont lose a lot of luggage. Im flying from the US. And in July there was a huge baggage handler strike:

> Contacted by BFMTV, Air France ensures that reinforcements have been mobilized to return their suitcases to injured owners as quickly as possible. But faced with the mass of lost property, the CGT ensures that some owners should not see their luggage again for several months. A delay rejected by Air France, which ensures that all baggage is in transit. However, the French company must face a new challenge. Another strike by baggage handlers is announced for this weekend, potentially increasing the number of undelivered bags.

So I'm a bit paranoid now. I didnt want to buy another smaller pack just for the camino, since these things are expensive, but now I might have to and just send a small package with poles and knife. Oy.
Or you could use some cardboard and tape and box the poles and knife…. Might be a less expensive option?
 

ilbestro12

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
There are risk control measures you can take.

If you need to check your big backpack, you can empty most of the contents into another bag that you CAN carry onto the plane. it can even be a simple shopping bag and whatever day bag you might have. In other words, keep the most important stuff with you on the plane - these would include walking shoes, rain wear, most of your clothes, and most of your grooming/hygiene/medical items. In fact, it would be almost everything except your poles and sharps. Maybe put your sleeping bag into the checked bag as it is a bulky nuisance in the carry-on bag and could be replaced fairly easily.

If your backpack goes astray, then you would have to buy a new one after all, but that is better than having to buy the pack AND all the contents!

I generally carry my backpack in the cabin, since it is small enough, and I send a bundle with poles, sharps and maybe a clothing item or two that are easy to replace. I put the pack in the overhead bin, and I keep a small bag at my feet with whatever I am likely to want during the flight.
Thats a solid idea, i could just detatch the head off the atmos 65 and attach it to my little REI flash 22. Then send the poles and swiss army knife in a duffel with the atmos 65. Then if it doesn't arrive, I'll either hike the camino with the flash 22l or buy a new pack.

The atmos 65's suspension is so comfortable for 20-40lb loads, plus i dont want to buy another pack. May I ask what pack you use though? Maybe smaller packs have advanced in comfort since i got the atmos 8 years ago
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just a thought, if you fly with Air France and the poles go with you on board, that seems to be a very strong case for them to continue to a second destination, in France.
That may seem like a logical inference, but the rules are made by the home country’s airport security, not by the airlines. Being allowed to carry on poles from Canada to Paris has no bearing on whether you will be allowed to carry them on a flight leaving from Paris.

I do know that coming from Canada, as well, my next trip will have my break down poles stuffed deep inside my pack. But that is me.

Stuffing the poles deep in your pack will not hide them from the x-ray machines. The question will be whether the security agent allows folded up poles as carry-ons.
Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris?

Yes, this is a very real possibility. I know nothing about French airport security, but I know that in Madrid, the agents conduct a new search and will apply their own rules. Poles have been confiscated.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
We flew SFO-LIS-BIL via TAP Airlines last week. Carried our backpacks with hiking poles broken down inside, which each were rubber banded up and placed along the spines of the backpack. No issues.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of 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 check my backpack with all of my carefully chosen gear, but I always check a bag that contains my poles and my pre and post Camino clothes. I then send this bag to Santiago (sans poles).

If you have no use for extra clothing before or after you can put your poles in a mailing tube, box, or cheap duffel bag that you can donate somewhere before you start your Camino.

Whether or not your poles could be taken from you in Paris depends on if you will have to go through security there.
Although, I too prefer to bring my own poles with me, and have to check them, this year,
there have been many reports with luggage not arriving on time this year, especially when one is transferring flights. fortunately In have a direct flight to Madrid. Nevertheless, all clothing and gear are in a carry on. I am checking my Leki poles in a box, inside a large duffel bag with rolls of paper towels surrounding the box to protect/cushion the box from the weight of any bags that maybe piled top of it.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
That may seem like a logical inference, but the rules are made by the home country’s airport security, not by the airlines. Being allowed to carry on poles from Canada to Paris has no bearing on whether you will be allowed to carry them on a flight leaving from Paris.



Stuffing the poles deep in your pack will not hide them from the x-ray machines. The question will be whether the security agent allows folded up poles as carry-ons.


Yes, this is a very real possibility. I know nothing about French airport security, but I know that in Madrid, the agents conduct a new search and will apply their own rules. Poles have been confiscated.
There is always the argument that you need the poles to walk. Use them to get through TSA as they, for you, are a medical device. Do they refuse canes as well?
 
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
There is always the argument that you need the poles to walk. Use them to get through TSA as they, for you, are a medical device. Do they refuse canes as well?
No, they don't refuse canes, but I couldn't in good conscience say that my hiking poles are medical devices for me.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Thats a solid idea, i could just detatch the head off the atmos 65 and attach it to my little REI flash 22. Then send the poles and swiss army knife in a duffel with the atmos 65. Then if it doesn't arrive, I'll either hike the camino with the flash 22l or buy a new pack.

The atmos 65's suspension is so comfortable for 20-40lb loads, plus i dont want to buy another pack. May I ask what pack you use though? Maybe smaller packs have advanced in comfort since i got the atmos 8 years ago
I have used an Osprey Kestrel 40L till now but will be going forward with a Gobi Gear;

30L Free Spirit Travel Backpack

WIth the size of this pack, it reduces not only what can be carried but weighs next to nothing itself, and still provides most of the features of bigger packs, but not the price, and is also packable itself. And, if it is not sufficient on its own, I have a photographer's (Lowes) fanny pack that can either be worn on the waist or hung in front at the level of the backpack chest strap, which also can help to balance the load.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
September 26 Santiago airport. All poles even those packed into carry on were refused. You must check them.
Poles are never allowed as carry on at the Santiago airport. However, all of the airlines at SCQ will check them into the hold for free. The do have to be appropriately packaged.
 
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dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Looking for some advice about checking my backpack and poles...
After having received some lovely foldable carbon fiber hiking poles as a gift for walking the Camino, I read that it can be hit or miss when it comes to including the poles in your carry on luggage. (mostly miss)

I'll be flying Air France from Canada to Paris with a connector to Biarritz on Sept 4th 2022.
My plan was to get to the airport early in Canada and see if they'll let the poles through security. If they do, great. If not, I was going to go back out and then check my pack and poles.

Then I got to thinking..... is it possible that the poles could make it through security in Canada only to be confiscated in Paris? Does anyone have experience with having their poles almost making it to the Camino?
If that's the case, I should probably just check the pack and poles to begin with, right? What do you think.?

Also - please don't suggest I leave the the poles at home and purchase a cheap pair when I arrive in SJPP. These poles have strong sentimental value because of the who gave them to me and why they were gifted.

Many thanks
They will not let those poles through security so do not even think about it. If you want to take them you will have to check them, either by putting them in your backpack (assuming you check that) or in a big cardboard tube or a bag and checking that. Sorry to be direct but that is the situation. You simply cannot take poles onto a plane as carry-ons and if you try they will take them away and confiscate them.
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
There are risk control measures you can take.

If you need to check your big backpack, you can empty most of the contents into another bag that you CAN carry onto the plane. it can even be a simple shopping bag and whatever day bag you might have. In other words, keep the most important stuff with you on the plane - these would include walking shoes, rain wear, most of your clothes, and most of your grooming/hygiene/medical items. In fact, it would be almost everything except your poles and sharps. Maybe put your sleeping bag into the checked bag as it is a bulky nuisance in the carry-on bag and could be replaced fairly easily.

If your backpack goes astray, then you would have to buy a new one after all, but that is better than having to buy the pack AND all the contents!

I generally carry my backpack in the cabin, since it is small enough, and I send a bundle with poles, sharps and maybe a clothing item or two that are easy to replace. I put the pack in the overhead bin, and I keep a small bag at my feet with whatever I am likely to want during the flight.
And attach a label to your checked luggage stating flight number, date and your name (but not your address). If it goes astray this will help it arrive in the right place (i.e. your eager hands) much more quickly.
 

DDH

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014, 2023
I'm on the opposite side. I always check bags. I don't want to have a ton of stuff I have to watch in transit. Especially on a trip where I arrive jet-lagged, I'm far more likely to lose something in the airport if I have it with me.

I've flown hundreds of times and only had disaster strike once (as defined by not receiving my bag by the end of the day following my flight). Even then, the bag wasn't lost, only misplaced in the Stockholm airport, and made its way back to me four days later.

I'm willing to trade the (small) chance that my bags will be delayed against the comfort of being able to bring what I need without worrying about security or overhead bin space. Of course, I don't check valuables, medications or critical documents. But I do check just about everything else so that I'm traveling light through security, passport control, etc.

For our Camino backpacks, we bought pack duffel bags to protect them during transit. We bought them from REI - cost maybe US$35 and folded into their own pocket when not in use. Then we sent them ahead to Santiago, where they were waiting for us upon our return
This is what I did on my most recent Camino, and what my wife and I will do for our Camino this spring. One significant difference may be that they're direct flights so there's a bit less concern about "lost" or delayed bags. On trips that involve flying to destinations where we won't be hiking and, so, don't need larger packs or related gear, we almost always use carry-ons.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I’ve thought about sending my entire pack as an option as well. A delay in the arrival of my pack would not be the end of the world as I’ve scheduled a day for sleep and time change adjustment when I arrive. If my entire pack were to get really lost, we’ll, there would be a lot of tears!
Always take as much of your necessary gear as possible as carry on!! Send the poles as planned!
 

Jamieb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
The detergent is usually supplied for washing machines in albergues. They usually do not want you to use your own.
and maybe some powdered detergent for washing clothes (do they have Tide Free in spain?)
Most of the washing machines in albergues had their own detergent to use or the machines were prefilled with detergent so you didn't need to add anything.

I brought a 3oz bottle of liquid Tide from home to handwash my clothing. Once that ran out I used my soap or whatever was available at the albergues - sometimes people would leave soap/detergent for others to use at the handwashing sinks.

I mostly handwashed my clothing but tried to use a washing machine/dryer every 4-5 days. I felt the handwashing just wasn't as effective as using a a washer/dryer.
 
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