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Trekking poles in my carry on luggage

Buena

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
 
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Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
Sorry, reading my original reply and it looked a bit snooty!

First of all welcome to the forum and good luck on your first Camino - September is a good month to walk - grapes on the vine, almonds in the trees . . .

Here's not really the place to ask - have you tried asking your airline/checked their policy for approved items in the cabin?

I have deplaned at SdC behind a woman who not only had poles but had them extended like she was ready to march off. Personally I have been stopped twice at SdC and asked if I wanted to check my poles - I've declined both times and they have gone in the bin.

Most airlines have a "no sharp objects in the cabin" rule - unless you're flying First Class in which case they give you sharp steak knives and real glass to drink from.

Consider checking them in or buying in Spain.

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Welcome

Please search for innumerable threads on the same subject, most of which conclude ‘only if you’re feeling lucky’.

Check them in, or buy them when you arrive. Unless you’re wedded to pacerpoles a cheap pair from Decathalon, or similar, will do the job and you’ll save the stress of damaging or losing them.

Someone will be along shortly to tell you they have always flown in with a Swiss Army knife, corkscrew and poles; but that’s the internet for you.

I wish I was doing my first Camino again.,
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Please click on the tag "poles" to find a number of threads on the topic. We have had many ridiculous and energetic arguments on this topic!

The short answer is:
  1. All airlines and security agencies say something like "no trekking poles in carry-on bags"
  2. In practice, sometimes they are allowed (especially the folding carbon fibre ones) but often they are not allowed. You won't know until you get to the security scan at the airport., so be prepared for Plan B if they are rejected.
  3. They are never allowed through security for flights out of Santiago airport
Many people check a small bag with poles and any other forbidden objects, but carry their main backpack and precious contents into the cabin. Many other people choose to buy poles upon arrival in Spain.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
I have traveled with Black Diamond Z Poles in cabin luggage for past 10 years with multiple airlines, never an issue...but nervous every time. They are too expensive to go in the bin.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Please click on the tag "poles" to find a number of threads on the topic. We have had many ridiculous and energetic arguments on this topic!

The short answer is:
  1. All airlines and security agencies say something like "no trekking poles in carry-on bags"
  2. In practice, sometimes they are allowed (especially the folding carbon fibre ones) but often they are not allowed. You won't know until you get to the security scan at the airport., so be prepared for Plan B if they are rejected.
  3. They are never allowed through security for flights out of Santiago airport
Many people check a small bag with poles and any other forbidden objects, but carry their main backpack and precious contents into the cabin. Many other people choose to buy poles upon arrival in Spain.
As I have mentioned I have never checked my pack. Never will. I usually always arrive in Madrid and I buy a cheap pair of poles there. In 2019 I paid about 22E for the pair. I don't use poles all that much and I have never had a problem with lower priced poles. For me it is one less thing to think or worry about.
 

Ralph Guerrero Jr

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, 2016, Camino del Norte 2019. Next Camino will begain 29 April 2021.
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
Hola, I have done 3 Camino’s and the last two I took my trekking poles. Airline allowed me to carry them as lone as I can have them inside my backpack. They are collapsible so I was able to fit them in my pack and take them as a carry on. Buen Camino
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Portuguese Camino (Cluny, Le Puys), Hadrian's Wall, West Highland Way
Here's my YouTube video on poles you may find helpful as a first timer


And answers to questions like - can you can you "carry on" hiking poles and pocket knives? - getting food, water on the trail, accessing money on the Camino, using an App etc. Hope it helps!

 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Past OR future Camino
April-May 2019
I’ve not had any problems carrying them onboard flights. Same for busses and trains. Never even been asked. I carry them in my hands when I board and put them in the overhead bin. I sat next to a flight attendant on one flight who said it never is an issue to carry them on. I do have two things in mind just to be sure if asked. The first is that I always have the pointy ends covered so they don’t look like weapons. And if asked (unless I’m carrying a backpack!) I would say that I keep them with me for balance when walking not mentioning them as hiking equipment. My problem isn’t getting them TO the Camino but losing them ON the Camino!!
 
Last edited:
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Past OR future Camino
Have completed through Agosta
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
If you are lucky in the US and they are very small (3 piece). Forget it in Spain, especially out of Santiago.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Forget it in Spain, especially out of Santiago.

I would add “and also Madrid” to that, at least based on a couple of forum members’ experience. I still have not had any problelm carrying collapsed poles in my backpack going through TSA in the US on my way to Spain and telling them I have hiking poles (but I do always have a plan B so I can check them if need be).

For years, Santiago was the only airport that was regularly reported as denying poles as carry-ons, but I think that policy is spreading. The much smarter way to go, IMO, is to check the poles on the way home from Spain.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
The smart advice is to ask your airline, to start. If you arrive in SdC getting off the plane, there is no one that will or really can complain, as you're there already. But, TSSA is run by different rules, in different airports / countries.

In Canada, I have been asked about using my walking poles and advised them that I needed them, headed to my boarding gate. Now, the two Caminos I have tried, 50 km and 100 km out of SJPdP, stopped due to leg injuries, you may decide whether I was faking anythingn or not. Iny home.ENgland and i IReland, I was allowed to board with them, collapse them and stow them in the overhead bins.

In SdC, in 2017, when my quads blew out in my left leg, I took a Tren Hotel to SdC and two days later, went to the Airport to fly home. They saw the poles, I said I needed them, they offered me a wheelchair and I collapsed my poles and got wheeled onto the plane. That service continued to Iceland and Toronto where I was left to find the Greyhound Bus platform on my own, 2 Terminals away. So, the worst service I received was in my own country.

But my poles remained with me throughout. BTW, my poles have a rubber boot on them.
 

Jami Gray

Camino <3
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
I’ve been on 3 caminos and never had the nerve to carry on my poles in my pack. I also never had the nerve to check my pack or any bag with things I might need!! That being said, I always planned to buy inexpensive poles when I arrived and then donate them to someone when I leave. If you are starting in St Jean, the little store there has quite suitable poles for about 15 euros if I recall. When I started in Porto, I walked to a nearby Decathlon and found some as well. It is a gamble (do you feel lucky?) as to whether you can carry them on or not. If you plan to check a bag anyway, then that’s the way to go. Good luck to you and Buen Camino!!!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
If you are bringing along your favorite Swiss Army knife, you will need to check it in. I placed mine in a Ziploc along with trekking poles in a mailing tube at check-in. Don't be surprised if the tube does not come rolling down the conveyor when you arrive at your destination airport. It will likely be in the odd or oversize baggage area on arrival (think skis or golf clubs).
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
Buy them on arrival. I have walked five different Caminos over eight years and finally learned my lesson. I always carry my backpack on board. The airlines lose bags. Do want to have to replace all your gear when you arrive and your pack does not? I have twice had them confiscated, they were inside my pack. When you arrive in Santiago donate them at Pilgrim House.
 

Buena

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I’ve been on 3 caminos and never had the nerve to carry on my poles in my pack. I also never had the nerve to check my pack or any bag with things I might need!! That being said, I always planned to buy inexpensive poles when I arrived and then donate them to someone when I leave. If you are starting in St Jean, the little store there has quite suitable poles for about 15 euros if I recall. When I started in Porto, I walked to a nearby Decathlon and found some as well. It is a gamble (do you feel lucky?) as to whether you can carry them on or not. If you plan to check a bag anyway, then that’s the way to go. Good luck to you and Buen Camino!!!
That’s my plan too after reading all the comments and recommendations. I have the Black Diamond carbon Z that I’ve been using during my previous hikes. I don’t think I can afford to leave it behind anywhere. 😔
I’m settled to get a cheap one when I arrive in Spain. 👍
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
When I do my next Camino, I'll most likely pick up some poles once on or near the trail. I don't use them all that much hiking in the Cascades as I prefer to rely on my own sense of balance. That said, they are (for me) of best use going downhill. I used my poles on ten occasions, otherwise they rested strapped to my pack as I went along.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I love my Carbon Flik-Z poles and can't imagine using a cheap pair while on Camino.

So: I wrap them up, and wrap up my mochila with them in it, and I *CHECK IT*. I've done this for both Madrid and for Lisbon arrival points. Into my carry-on (an ultralight back with 24 hours worth of stuff) go my absolute essentials *just in case* my bag goes astray. My bag has not gone astray.

My next trip involves a layover in Frankfurt with a larger mochila that I will be shipping from Madrid to a colleague in Granada to hang onto for me. That bag will carry my poles and all my work stuff. My carry-on bag will have all my camino stuff.

Presumably, when I land in Madrid, I'll grab my poles from the larger pack and then ship it on to Granada. The poles will go with me on my winter camino, and my work stuff will wait for me to be reunited with it a month later.

Point being? It's pretty complex, and also not at all scary. I'll put an APPLE ONE tracker in the larger checked bag and that thing can ping me from wherever it is in the whole world.

You might try the same... with a tracker in your bag -- if you really have some beloved poles.

Avoiding a layover will also help. I can't avoid it because there are no direct flights right now from YYZ to MAD at New Year's.
 

Sherpa47

Member
Past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
I very much doubt it! Airlines, would I think consider them to be potential lethal weapons.
On my two Caminos, I fixed to the back of my rucksack, then wrapped the entire sack in a heavy duty black plastic bag and taped the entire thing. No problem with the airline.
 
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howardd5

Member
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
I have checked my trekking poles and had them not arrive when I needed them , never got them and evidently was paid retail price . My new collapse poles I have gotten thru . They are in three sections that I pulled apart and taped them together with masking tape , they looked like a small camera tripod . No questions since they were inside my pack.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
The TSA answer is no. Below is from their site. I looked into this. You can, however, buy hiking poles in SJPP if not checking w bag is important. I opted to buy them and check them using old cheap bag that was headed for the rubbish heap, which I will dispose of on arrival.

Hiking Poles​

Carry On Bags: No
Checked Bags: Yes
For more prohibited items, please go to the 'What Can I Bring?' page.
 
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The Ghost

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all,
I’m planning my first Camino in Sept. this year. This is the first time that I will travel with trekking poles in my carryon bag. I don’t plan to check in any bag.
Can I carry it with me, or do I need to check in it?
Thank you very much!
We bought our stick once we got here. Decathlon store. My pair cost 9 euro I think my buddy paid 12 euro. Yesterday as I left the Albergue in Muxia, I left my sticks behind cuz I heard they weren't allowed on the airlines.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Consider it "Paying it forward" to the next Pilgrim who finds them. The stories they could tell...
 
Good question….I have never had a problem taking poles with my carry on luggage (rucksack) on flights to Spain. However… I have never been allowed to take the same poles on the return flight from Spain. With the same airline.
I am walking Camino Frances now and have my poles with me, but know I will leave them in SDC.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Good question….I have never had a problem taking poles with my carry on luggage (rucksack) on flights to Spain. However… I have never been allowed to take the same poles on the return flight from Spain. With the same airline.
I am walking Camino Frances now and have my poles with me, but know I will leave them in SDC.

My exact scenario four times. It's become a running joke amongst my travel friends. And yet on 1 flight the lady sitting across from me had two 12 inch knitting needles and a pair of scissors in hand while she was knitting. (Comical, but I "Get it").........
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Reasonable advice can probably be summed up thusly:

TSA does not permit trekking poles in the carry-on luggage.
People who get lucky with boarding with their pole sin one location may find them confiscated at the next check point.
If you are fussy about your poles (I am), put them in checked baggage with a tracking device (I use both the Chipolo and the Apple finders — they work by pinging GPS locations on other nearby devices). If you are fussy and used checked baggage, aim for a direct flight to reduce wayward baggage.
If you are not fussy, buy cheap poles from wherever you begin. I did that on my first camino. The poles weighed *A LOT MORE* than my preferred ones, and the telescoping mechanism was *kaput* by Leon because of dust from the trail. But they sufficed.
 
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Reasonable advice can probably be summed up thusly:

TSA does not permit trekking poles in the carry-on luggage.
People who get lucky with boarding with their pole sin one location may find them confiscated at the next check point.
If you are fussy about your poles (I am), put them in checked baggage with a tracking device (I use both the Chipolo and the Apple finders — they work by pinging GPS locations on other nearby devices). If you are fussy and used checked baggage, aim for a direct flight to reduce wayward baggage.
If you are not fussy, buy cheap poles from wherever you begin. I did that on my first camino. The poles weighed *A LOT MORE* than my preferred ones, and the telescoping mechanism was *kaput* by Leon because of dust from the trail. But they sufficed.
As you pointed out, its about how fussy/important poles are to your own Camino. I always get poles to Spain. I only use one pole, mainly to ward of dogs and to pummel beggars( when no one is looking).
I buy the pole from a charity shop, good quality and checked, I leave it in Spain in the hope that someone else will get value from it.
 

Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
Someone should start a lending library system of poles so we all don’t need to worry about these issues.
I know for our CP my wife and I packed our bags so her bag was carry on, and held most of the ‘safe, airline friendly’ items, mine was checked with the ‘non-friendly ‘ items. And as my pack chose to see the world on its own for a bit, we walked for 5 days with just her pack, until mine made its way back to me.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Off course not…..I was referring to an Old Monty Python sketch.
Some things simply do not stand the test of time very well, or cannot move across contexts. Generally a fan of MP, specifically for the callousness they call out, I think some better clarity is in order on the heels of long threads about stun-gunning dogs, and general attitudes about the poor….
 
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Some things simply do not stand the test of time very well, or cannot move across contexts. Generally a fan of MP, specifically for the callousness they call out, I think some better clarity is in order on the heels of long threads about stun-gunning dogs, and general attitudes about the poor….
Point taken. Having spent a lot of time working with homeless, displaced people and refugees I have shared I type of humour, with them (on reflecton ) is best left blogs/threads.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
I just passed through TSA for a domestic flight in Colorado. I asked the TSA rep about trekking poles. He said they just received new guidance giving more discretion to the on-site guys. He stated that as long as they were collapsible and did not have a sharp point, they could be carried on.
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Past OR future Camino
2021
To avoid the hassle, I usually throw my poles in a cardboard mailing tube along with my teeny multi tool and my pocket knife and put em thru checked baggage. Our TSA is just too darn random to rely on...

M
 

rlm

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
If you are bringing along your favorite Swiss Army knife, you will need to check it in. I placed mine in a Ziploc along with trekking poles in a mailing tube at check-in. Don't be surprised if the tube does not come rolling down the conveyor when you arrive at your destination airport. It will likely be in the odd or oversize baggage area on arrival (think skis or golf clubs).
I arrived at CDG and that is exactly what I did. I had them in a mailing tube and I was watching the luggage go around and around and just starting to get a little bit nervous when they paged me over to pick it up behind the desk. I was glad for the care they took and very glad that my poles arrived OK. I was willing to lose them and go on without them purchasing some when I get to Spain, but they arrived just fine.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I just passed through TSA for a domestic flight in Colorado. I asked the TSA rep about trekking poles. He said they just received new guidance giving more discretion to the on-site guys. He stated that as long as they were collapsible and did not have a sharp point, they could be carried on.
Interesting, but on the TSA site they are still showing as being barred from carry on. I'd like to to have something official in writing before I took the chance, rather than leaving it to the discretion of the TSA agent when I go through.

Screenshot_20210923-082044_Firefox.jpg
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Interesting, but on the TSA site they are still showing as being barred from carry on. I'd like to to have something official in writing before I took the chance, rather than leaving it to the discretion of the TSA agent when I go through.
But you are always leaving it to their discretion, anyway. The rules tend to be stricter than practice, because it is easier to enforce their decisions. Same as the 2 sellos requirement. :) Or the speed limit!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
But you are always leaving it to their discretion, anyway. The rules tend to be stricter than practice, because it is easier to enforce their decisions. Same as the 2 sellos requirement. :) Or the speed limit!
Right👍
I just didn't want people to read these posts and think that taking poles on board is A-OK now without first checking the TSA site.
 

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