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Walking Poles

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lynskieinFenwick

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Apr/May 2023
Hola,
I am planning to use 2 walking sticks/hiking poles on my Camino Primitivo walk. I am flying to Madrid from Toronto, Canada via Newark, USA and I'm not planning to check any luggage. Has anyone flown recently with their poles as carry-on? If I can't carry them on should I buy poles in Spain? Or bite the bullet and check a bag?

There's no wrong answer, lol.
 
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I thought I read on one of discussions (not remembering which) that you can’t carry on, but have no experience recent or otherwise trying to do so.
 
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I carried collapsible poles in my carry-on pack last summer. Same in 2016 and 2018. Last year I took the poles to the airport to specifically ask whether collapsed poles in my pack were ok. The supervisor (on this particular day) said that as long as the sharp carbide tip is covered, he was ok with it. But, as many on this forum will attest, it seems to be up to the individual TSA personnel's judgment. Or mood.
 
@lynskieinFenwick

I regularly fly out of YYZ.
You must check your poles.
If you really love your poles from at home, check them, and stick an AirTag (or similar product) in with them. Because you are doing a layover in Newark, I recommend that unless you areabsolutely devoted to your poles, you pick up a set in Oviedo at Decathlon.
In fact, I will be doing that in early May as I simply was not able to find a flight without a layover and my travel time is not flexible this year. Wish me luck on getting the Decathlon poles home from Paris to YYZ via YUL (I'll be checking them through and hoping that even if things go astray they will eventually make their way home).

Buen Camino
 
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Getting them in Spain is easy and not that expensive, around $16-40 depending what you want to spend. You can take the Metro from the Madrid airport to the last stop “Nuevos Ministerios” and exit the subway briefly at Nuevos Ministerios as there is a Corte Ingles directly above the subway station and the sporting good store Decathalon right next door which both sell walking poles. I buy my walking poles and snacks/sandwiches there and then go back downstairs on the subway to get to the bus/train station. I’ve done this 3x times now and my friends are doing now, as it’s less hassle then bringing poles.
 
By "collapsible" do you mean folding carbon fibre poles or those where one section slides (collapses) into the other?

This might be an important distinction.
In 2016 and 2018 I had the telescoping ones, and last year the collapsible ones with the wire connectors. But my small town departure airport is particularly friendly and helpful. I've always heard that you have a better chance of getting them through U.S. TSA than getting them through European airports on the return home.
 
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I'm sorry, but I'm still don't understand. Do they fold like these, or just slide one section into the other lmore like this? I have carried the folding poles in my hand luggage out of Toronto, but it was probably 2017.
I have taken both on board. 2016 and 18 were the telescoping ones--the type shown in your "like this". Last summer the collapsible ones as shown in "like these'.

The collapsible ones are small enough to fit inside my 24L pack where as the telescoping ones were attached to the outside of the pack. But again, my departure airport is used to see all manner of outdoor equipment (I'm in Colorado), and at least the three times I flew it wasn't an issue. But I think that is likely related to this specific airport. The safest approach of course is to simply buy them in Spain.
 
If you travel only with a carry-on bag like myself, then the only reasonable option you can have is to buy new poles at your starting location. Airlines will allow poles only in drop-off luggage. Paying for extra luggage to Spain and back will cost you probably more than buying brand new poles.

As much I have checked, there is a sports store that sells hiking sticks in every major Camino starting point. The same goes for Oviedo. I noticed on Google Maps a bunch of them next to each other. From pictures I saw poles in this one:
Forum Sport Oviedo
 
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Hola,
I am planning to use 2 walking sticks/hiking poles on my Camino Primitivo walk. I am flying to Madrid from Toronto, Canada via Newark, USA and I'm not planning to check any luggage. Has anyone flown recently with their poles as carry-on? If I can't carry them on should I buy poles in Spain? Or bite the bullet and check a bag?

There's no wrong answer, lol.
I carried my backpack with my triple-fold poles from US into Spain, no problem flying out of Orlando through Atlanta to Madrid. On the way home the security dug them out of my pack & took them from me. I was heartbroken because I borrowed them in the first place (and they were expensive pole). Then when I boarded my flight in Madrid a gentleman was carrying his poles in his hands and said there were no issues at all going through security (the same security I went through). FYI
 
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