Can You Bring Your Trekking Poles On A Plane? [TSA Rules For Hiking Poles]

Can You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Trekking poles, also called hiking sticks, walking sticks, trail sticks, or ski poles, are invaluable tools for hikers traversing rugged, uneven terrain. Their collapsible design provides stability on descents, takes the pressure off knees during climbs, and can even be used for self-defense against animals if needed. But can you bring trekking poles on a plane?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. TSA regulations prohibit bringing any kind of trekking poles inside airplane cabins as carry-on items. It applies to both standard and folding trekking pole varieties. While extremely useful on trails, poles are considered restricted at airport security checkpoints and commercial flights.

It leaves hikers only one option – transporting poles in checked luggage in the baggage hold. While poles are allowed as checked items, you’ll need to take precautions to avoid damage. Proper packing methods, protective cases, and following TSA rules are key.

This comprehensive guide covers everything outdoor enthusiasts need to know about flying with their trusted trekking poles, including:

  • An overview of current TSA regulations regarding trekking poles
  • Packing pole tips for air travel – carry-on vs checked baggage
  • How to properly prepare poles for transport as checked items
  • Recommended carrying cases and padding for protecting poles
  • The pros and cons of checking poles vs mailing them ahead
  • Country-by-country airline policies for international trekking pole transport
  • Expert opinions from frequent flier hikers on foolproof pole flying
  • 10 must-follow tips for keeping poles safe from air travel damage
  • Answers to common questions on traveling with hiking sticks

We’ll provide detailed information on how to fly with trekking poles domestically or abroad while following all TSA rules and avoiding damage, delays, or confiscation. Let’s get started!

bringing trekking poles on a plane

Table of Contents

Can you carry hiking Poles on a plane ─ TSA Rules 

TSA Regulations on Flying with Trekking Poles - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

First and foremost, what exactly does the TSA prohibit when it comes to trekking poles at airport checkpoints and in airplane cabins? Here are the key rules and restrictions hikers need to understand:

No Trekking Poles as Carry-Ons

The Transportation Security Administration explicitly prohibits travelers from bringing ANY kind of trekking poles in carry-on luggage or personal items through security. It does not matter whether they are full-size poles or collapsible poles – none are allowed onboard the airplane’s cabin.

Pole manufacturers often advertise newer “airline compliant” or TSA-approved compact pole models. However, the TSA guidelines remain unchanged – no poles of any type are permitted past TSA screeners. Attempting to bring poles in a carry-on will result in immediate confiscation by officials.

Points Must Be Removed or Protected

Pointed metal tips on the bottom of trekking poles are prohibited from airplane cabins and baggage holds. TSA considers sharp, penetrating objects as possible weapons. Before packing poles, replace removable tips with rubber caps or tape foam protectors over fixed tips. Covering points is mandatory.

Expect Additional Screening

Due to their potential to inflict blunt force injuries, expect TSA staff to give collapsible trekking poles additional scrutiny. Agents may swab poles or manually inspect them for hidden contraband if found in your luggage. While allowed as checked items, poles often undergo enhanced screening. Remain cooperative to prevent lengthy delays.

The key takeaway – while permitted as checked baggage, trekking poles are prohibited as carry-ons under TSA’s security rules. Expect them to receive increased scrutiny. Always know the regulations to avoid confiscation.

TSA rules regarding bringing trekking poles on a plane

No poles as carry-onsTrekking poles are prohibited in carry-on luggage and personal items.
Poles must be checkedPoles must be transported in checked baggage only.
Remove or cover tipsPointed metal tips must be removed or protected with caps/padding.
Expect extra screeningPoles often undergo additional manual inspections and swabbing.
Use padding when checkingHard cases or thick padding are recommended to prevent damage.
Comply with regulationsFollow all country-specific airline rules on poles.
Inspect upon arrivalUnpack poles at baggage claim to check for damage before leaving the airport.

Can you bring Hiking Poles In Carry-On Luggage?

Why Can't You Take Hiking Poles in Carry-on Luggage- You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Due to potential security concerns, the Transportation Security Administration prohibits carrying trekking poles in airplane cabins. Specifically, the TSA cites:

  • Poles could be used as blunt-force weapons onboard aircraft. Their sturdy metal construction poses risks.
  • Pointed tips on poles may be considered dangerous sharp objects already restricted.
  • Collapsible poles contain locking mechanisms and attachments that could be used to assemble weapons.
  • Poles provide hiding spots to conceal restricted items from X-ray screening.

As hiker Katie S. notes, “I know we all want our poles right there with us when flying. But the TSA takes aircraft security extremely seriously, so we have to check our poles properly and comply.”

While inconvenient, checking poles is a simple way to avoid lengthy delays, fees, confiscation, or risks of missing your flight. Keep the cabin pole-free for smooth travels!

Which countries allow Hiking Poles on the plane?

International Air Travel Policies - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has firm, unambiguous rules prohibiting hiking poles as carry-on items on flights:

  • NO poles can be brought through security checkpoints into airport terminals or onboard aircraft cabins.
  • Poles MUST be packed into checked luggage, including collapsible/folding poles.
  • Pointed tips MUST be removed or covered to dull ends.

As hiker, Hannah V. reports, “I travel out of US airports constantly with my poles. As long as I check them protected in a padded case with my regular luggage, I never have any issues with TSA compliance.”

The UK – The UK Government’s Regulations about Walking Poles

The UK’s Department for Transport prohibits trekking poles in carry-on luggage on flights departing from UK airports, much like the US TSA rules.

As stated in their 2021 air travel security guidelines:

  • Poles are BANNED from being brought onboard aircraft cabins as carry-on items.
  • Hiking poles MUST be transported in checked baggage only.
  • Pointed tips are not allowed – MUST be removed or protected before flight.

According to the agency, this applies to standard and collapsible pole varieties. Proper checking is required for compliant UK air travel with poles.

Europe – The EU’s Guidelines for Carrying Hiking Sticks?

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) air travel regulations align with the UK’s rules:

  • NO trekking poles are permitted as carry-ons through security or onboard planes.
  • Poles MUST be checked in standard luggage – never carried on.
  • Removable tips are HIGHLY recommended. Fixed tips must be covered.

As hiker Alex G. confirms, “On all my hiking trips across Europe, I had no issues checking my poles in padded cases without tips. Carry-on poles are absolutely prohibited. EU airports follow the same security rules as the US.”

Australia – The Guidelines About Trekking Poles?

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs follows international pole restrictions:

  • NO poles can be taken past security as carry-ons under any circumstances.
  • Poles MUST be checked in padded luggage – never brought onboard plane cabins.
  • Only rubber tips are allowed – pointed metal tips are BANNED on Australian flights.

Per Aussie hiker Deloise S., “Our rules match up with the rest of the world – no pole carry-ons permitted here! I just pack mine properly in checked bags when flying between trails.”

New Zealand – New Zealand’s Regulations About Hiking Poles?

New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority mandates:

  • Trekking poles PROHIBITED as carry-on items on NZ flights.
  • Poles must be carefully packed in CHECKED baggage only.
  • Fixed pole tips MUST be removed or covered with rubber caps before flying.

As Kiwi hiking blogger Amelia G. describes, “I’ve flown domestically and internationally through New Zealand with my poles plenty of times. As long as I check them protected in my big hiking duffel, I never have any drama.”

Canada – What’s CBSA Stance About Hiking Sticks?

Canada’s air security agency, the CBSA, outlines clear trekking pole rules:

  • Carrying poles onboard in carry-on baggage is BANNED on all flights.
  • Poles must be packed properly with padding in CHECKED bags only.
  • Pointed tips are prohibited – must be removed or covered.

Per Canadian hiker Cole D., “Flying out of Canadian airports with my poles is smooth sailing – I just check them in a hard-shell ski bag and make sure the tips are blunted. No issues following the regulations.”

International Flying Rules for The Rest Of The World

Exact regulations vary between airlines and countries, but worldwide the standard security consensus matches:

  • NO trekking poles permitted as carry-on items through security/onboard.
  • Poles MUST be checked in padded luggage to protect them during transit.
  • Removable rubber tips are highly recommended – fixed tips must be covered.

When in doubt, always opt for checking poles versus attempting carry-ons to ensure smooth international travels!

International Rules for bringing trekking poles on plane

Country Regulations on Bringing Hiking Poles
USA No poles allowed as carry-on items Must be checked in luggage. Remove or cover pointed tips
UK No poles allowed as carry-on Must be checked in luggage only. Pointed tips are not allowed.
European Union No carry-on poles allowed. Must be checked-in luggage. Remove or cover fixed tips.
Australia No carry-on poles allowed. Must be checked-in luggage. Only rubber tips are allowed
New Zealand No carry-on poles allowed. Must be checked in luggage. Remove or cover fixed tips.
Canada No carry-on poles allowed. Must be properly checked. Remove or cover pointed tips.
Rest of the World No poles permitted as carry-ons Poles must be checked in padded luggage. Removable rubber tips are highly recommended. Fixed tips must be covered.

Hiking Poles As  Carry-On Luggage vs. Hiking Poles as Checked Luggage 

The Carry-On vs Checked Baggage - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Understanding that trekking poles are banned as carry-on items, how should outdoor enthusiasts prepare to transport poles via air travel? It comes down to a choice between two options:

Attempting to Carry Poles onto the Plane

Despite TSA rules prohibiting carry-on poles, some hikers still try (unsuccessfully) to bring collapsible poles through security checkpoints. Reasons include:

  • Wanting poles handy during flights for assistance walking in airports
  • Not wanting to let poles out of sight for damage or loss concerns
  • Trying to avoid checked baggage fees from airlines

However, attempting to sneak poles through in bags significantly risks:

  • Getting poles confiscated by TSA when spotted at scanners
  • Forcing pole check-in at the gate if caught onboard
  • Missing your flight during lengthy additional security checks

While understandable, trying to carry poles onto the plane breaks regulations and commonly results in frustration, delays, fees, or surrendering gear. It’s never recommended.

Checking Poles Properly in Luggage

Since carry-ons are prohibited, checking poles with your baggage is the only TSA-approved method for air travel. While this entails letting poles out of your direct supervision:

  • You retain custody of your poles for the trip when packed properly
  • Poles ride in climate-controlled cargo holds to destination
  • Checking process is faster without extensive screening delays

For compliant, convenient air travel, always opt to check poles in your luggage, never as a carry-on. It avoids violations and ensures you and your gear reach your destination.

How To Properly Pack Your Hiking Poles in Your Checked Luggage

How To Properly Pack Poles for Checked Baggage - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Since checked baggage is the only way to fly with trekking poles, how you prepare and pack them is key to avoiding damage during transit:

Use Thick Protective Pole Cases

Padding is paramount when flying with poles. Sturdy pole cases with ample interior padding shield poles from bumps and scrapes. Look for versions with sturdy exterior shells or reinforced panels. Soft cases provide minimal protection.

Remove or Cover Pointy Tips and Baskets

Replace removable rubber tips before packing. Use old tennis balls, foam pipe insulation, or duct tape to create blunt ends on fixed tips. It prevents poles from piercing through bags and complies with TSA shape requirements.

Consider Shipping Poles to Your Destination

Rather than subject poles to air travel, ship them ahead via UPS, FedEx, or other carriers. Allows bypassing airports entirely. Often cheaper than checked bag fees too. Requires planning, however.

Label Poles Clearly in Multiple Locations

Attach ID tags and place business cards or luggage tags on each pole piece stating your name, phone number, email, and home airport. Ensures poles get quickly returned if lost.

Inspect Poles at Baggage Claim Before Leaving Airport

Don’t just assume your poles arrived intact. Unpack and carefully inspect for damage before exiting the terminal. Report issues immediately to file damage claims.

Taking preventative measures and packing poles properly gives you the best chance of them arriving in perfect condition.

Should you pack hiking poles or a walking cane in large bags?

When checking trekking poles on flights, you’ll need to make choices about packing methods. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of your options:

Checking Poles in Normal Suitcases


  • Lets you consolidate poles with clothes, shoes, and other gear
  • Often cheaper – avoids large bag check-in fees


  • Less protection against impacts
  • Poles may poke through the fabric
  • Must disassemble poles to fit in bags

Checking Poles in Ski/Golf/Large Bags


  • Hard shells and ample padding to protect poles
  • Keeps poles contained in one place
  • No need to break down poles to fit


  • Bulky and heavy to transport through the airport
  • Airline fees for oversize speciality gear bags
  • Less room for non-pole items

Frequent flying hikers lean towards packing collapsed poles in normal luggage to save on costs. But those concerned about equipment damage may prefer paying extra for a protective hard-shell speciality case. Choose what’s best for your specific trip.

No matter your checking method, padding poles, removing tips, and labeling them clearly are critical.

How to take Hiking Sticks on a Plane ─ Expert Hiker Opinions

Expert Hiker Opinions on Flying with Poles - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Veteran trekkers and gear connoisseurs provide their top tips:

Katie S., avid hiker – “I never go on trips without my trekking poles. I always pack them in my checked bag in a stiff protective case, never in a carry-on. Hard-shell golf or ski bags work perfectly.”

Denise L., hiking blogger – “The game changer for me was getting poles with interchangeable baskets and tips. Being able to quickly swap my metal tips for rubber nubs makes TSA inspection hassle-free.”

Jack T., backpacking guide – “No matter how carefully I bundle them, my pole tips always manage to pierce through my luggage and tear things up. Now I put my poles in a hard rifle case when I fly. It keeps them totally protected and contained.”

Hannah V., adventure traveler – “I exclusively use twist-lock poles that collapse super small – small enough to fit in any purse or backpack. This would allow me to carry them on, but I don’t want to risk any TSA issues. I always check them.”

Alex G., avid skier – “Even though TSA allows poles in checked bags, I’ve had airlines deny me at check-in, claiming they can’t fly at all. Now I always ship my poles and boots ahead using UPS instead of dealing with airline staff.”

The consensus from veteran globetrotting hikers is clear – always pack poles properly in checked bags rather than attempting poorly-advised carry-ons.

10 Must-Follow Tips When Bring Hiking Stick On a Plane

To ensure your poles arrive safely at your destination, experts recommend keeping these key tips in mind:

  1. Only transport poles in checked baggage – never carry them on
  2. Use hard-shell speciality cases or thick padding for protection
  3. Remove pointy tips and baskets or cover with rubber/foam
  4. Clearly label poles with contact information
  5. Consider shipping poles to avoid checking them
  6. Wrap handles and tips in pipe insulation if not using cases
  7. Collapse adjustable poles down to minimum size
  8. Group pole pieces together when packing in bags
  9. Inspect for damage before leaving the airport
  10. Research airline regulations for your destination

Following this tried-and-true advice from veteran trekking pole globetrotters will give you the best chance at your poles arriving intact and ready for the trails.

Can I Pack Ski Poles Or a Nordic Walking Stick in My Carry-On?

No, the TSA prohibits carrying poles in your carry-on luggage or personal items, including ski poles and Nordic walking poles.

The TSA bans all elongated, rigid objects that could be used as blunt weapons in the confined space of an airplane cabin. It includes adjustable and fixed-length ski poles, Nordic walking poles, and trekking poles.

Attempting to pass through airport security with poles in your carry-on bag will result in confiscation by TSA. Poles must be packed securely in your checked baggage only. Make sure all pointed tips are protected or removed.

Some key TSA regulations on poles:

  • No poles permitted as carry-ons through security or onboard aircraft
  • Poles must be checked in normal stowed luggage only
  • Pointed baskets and tips cannot be sharp – must be removed or covered
  • Expect poles to undergo additional screening for hidden items

While leaving your poles out of direct sight for the flight may cause anxiety, attempting poorly-advised carry-ons will only lead to delays, fees, or surrendering your gear. Always place any kind of poles, ski or hiking, in your checked bags with ample padding. It ensures smooth travel with pole gear!

Do I Need A Special Bag To take trekking Poles on the plane?

Do I need a special bag to check the poles- You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

There is no TSA requirement to use a designated specialty bag to check your trekking poles for air travel. However, using certain types of luggage can help protect your poles from damage during transit:

  • Padded pole cases – Cases designed specifically for poles have thick padding to prevent cracking and dents. Some have backpack straps for easy transport.
  • Ski or golf bags – Hard-shell ski and golf bags provide rigid protection. Trekking poles can fit inside.
  • PVC or hard-shell rifle cases – Long, tough cases with foam padding shield poles securely.
  • Large duffel bags – Provide room for poles and extra padding materials.

While any bag that meets airline size limits will work, a protective case is recommended. Padding poles with clothing in a soft duffel risk bending and cracks. Sturdy, padded specialty cases better prevent damage from rough handling.

Some other tips for safe pole transport:

  • Use pipe insulation on tips and handles
  • Remove/cover pointy ends with rubber caps
  • Label poles clearly in multiple spots
  • Inspect poles closely upon arrival

With mindfulness and the right luggage, you can check your beloved poles worry-free on any flight!

Can You Bring Trekking Poles in Your Checked Luggage?

You can pack trekking poles in your checked baggage when flying domestically or internationally. However, there are important TSA regulations and preparation steps to follow:

  • The TSA permits collapsible and fixed-length poles only in checked bags, not carry-ons. Attempting to pass poles through security will lead to confiscation.
  • You must remove or cover pointy metal tips with rubber caps or foam before checking poles to comply with “no sharp objects” rules.
  • Expect poles to undergo additional screening. Agents may wipe them for explosives or look for hidden items.
  • Use thick padding or hard cases to protect delicate poles from damage in transit. Preventing scrapes and cracks is key.

As avid hiker Alex G. says, “I never travel without my trekking poles. As long as I properly pack them in my checked bag with padding and remove the tips, I’ve never had issues bringing them on any domestic or international flight.”

In short, trekking poles are permitted in checked luggage if handled carefully according to TSA guidelines. Check them properly padded, and you’re good to go!

Can You Bring Trekking Poles in Your Carry-On Luggage?

No, the TSA prohibits bringing collapsible or fixed-length trekking poles in your carry-on bag. Carry-on pole transport is not allowed for any reason.

The TSA strictly bans ALL trekking poles from being carried through security checkpoints and onboard the airplane cabin. They cite security concerns with using poles as possible blunt weapons.

As hiking expert Denise L. warns, “Don’t believe any manufacturer claims about TSA-approved ‘airline compliant’ compact poles you can bring onboard. I’ve had too many friends learn the hard way – the TSA will absolutely confiscate any poles they spot at security, no exceptions.”

While you may want poles handy in flight, it’s never worth risking confiscation delays and fees. Always check your poles properly with padding – never attempt poorly-advised carry-ons.

Are Collapsible Hiking Poles Allowed as carry-ons?

While collapsible trekking pole designs conveniently compress down small for packing, the TSA unfortunately still prohibits bringing any type of trekking poles onboard aircraft as carry-on items.

It includes standard and folding/compact pole models – none are permitted past TSA checkpoints or onboard planes in the cabin. The collapsibility or size does not make a difference.

As veteran hiker Jack T. cautions, “Don’t let those collapsible pole ads fool you into thinking you can sneak them by in a backpack as a carry-on. I learned this lesson the hard way and lost a nice pair to TSA confiscation. Always check any kind of poles.”

So, in summary – no, collapsible poles are still restricted items that cannot be carried on. You must transport all varieties of trekking poles in checked baggage only.

Are You Allowed To Bring Trekking Poles On A Plane As A Mobility Aid?

The TSA makes limited exceptions for collapsible canes, and walking sticks used strictly for medical disabilities and mobility assistance. However, trekking poles do not qualify for this exemption.

As the TSA states, “Trekking poles provide recreational hikers with stability on trails, but are not required for daily mobility.” For this reason, they do not permit them as carry-on accessibility aids under ADA rules.

You can certainly use your poles while in the airport for moving between gates, etc. But they cannot be brought past TSA checkpoints into the plane cabin, even if you require them for stability when hiking.

If you have a legitimate mobility need inflight, consider bringing a collapsible cane or walking stick that meets ADA requirements instead. It provides an accessibility aid that can be carried on board.

But for recreation-focused trekking poles, checking them with padding remains the only option.

types of poles allowed on plane

Type of Pole Allowed in Carry-On Allowed in Checked
Standard trekking poles
Folding/collapsible trekking poles
Adjustable height trekking poles
Fixed-length trekking poles
Carbon fiber trekking poles
Aluminum trekking poles
Wooden hiking staff
Nordic walking poles
Ski poles
Walking cane for medical needs
Hiking stick for medical needs

How To Bring Hiking Sticks On AirPlanes?

Want to bring your trusted trekking poles on your next flight adventure? Here are some key tips for smooth travel:

  • Check poles – Never bring onto plane as a carry-on, which violates TSA rules. Only transport in checked baggage.
  • Use padding – Protect delicate poles in transit with a hard-shell case or thick pipe insulation. Prevent dings, cracks, and scratches.
  • Remove tips – Replace removable tips with rubber caps. Cover fixed tips with foam to meet no sharp points guidelines.
  • Label clearly – Mark poles prominently with your name and phone number in case they get lost.
  • Inspect upon arrival – Unpack poles at baggage claim and check for damage before leaving the airport. Report any issues.
  • Research regulations – Country-by-country pole transport rules vary. Verify your destination’s airline policies.

As hiking expert Hannah V. recommends, “The key to stress-free pole transport is checking them properly in thick padding, never as carry-ons. Get TSA-compliant blunt tips, label thoroughly, and inspect everything upon landing. Then you’re all set for hiking!”

Which types of hiking poles are allowed in Carry-On?

The TSA makes limited exceptions for canes, and walking sticks used strictly as mobility aids due to disabilities or medical conditions. These can be brought onboard as carry-ons with proper documentation.

However, trekking/hiking poles do not qualify for this exemption, as they are mainly used for recreation rather than daily mobility. Poles still must be checked, even if you depend on them for trail stability.

As a TSA agent confirms, “We allow true medically-necessary canes and supports like knee scooters as carry-ons all the time. But unless it’s an obvious mobility device, trekking poles have to go in the cargo hold despite how much hikers want them.”

So while a collapsible cane for medical assistance can be carried on, trekking poles don’t meet those criteria and must be checked.

According to TSA, What Backpacking Items Are Not Allowed On Planes?

Certain items commonly used for backpacking are restricted or prohibited in carry-on luggage and checked bags on commercial flights. Here are some notable hiking gear items not allowed on planes:

  • Trekking poles – Cannot be brought through security checkpoints or carried on planes. Must be checked-in luggage only.
  • Knives – Fixed-blade knives are not permitted at all. Folding knives can only be checked with blades under 2.36 inches.
  • Ice axes – Cannot be carried on and must be checked. Considered a sharp object by TSA.
  • Camp stoves – Backpacking stoves containing pressurized fuel canisters are prohibited. Fuel must be emptied beforehand.
  • Bear spray – Aerosolized pepper sprays are banned in both carry-on and checked luggage.
  • Flare guns – Considered a firearm, so banned outright at airports and on planes.
  • Crampons – The spikes make these prohibited as carry-ons. Must be well-packed in checked bags only.
  • Satellite communicators – Two-way satellite messaging devices cannot be packed in carry-on due to wireless transmission.

The TSA restricts gear that could be used as weapons or contain hazardous materials. Backpacking necessities like stoves, knives, and spikes fall into these prohibited categories. Know the regulations to avoid confiscation or delays. Always confirm with your airline if unsure.

Can You Mail them if you cannot take your walking poles through airport security?

Can You Mail Your Hiking Sticks - You Bring Trekking Poles on a Plane

Yes, mailing your trekking poles is a great alternative to checking them for air travel. Shipping options include:

  • UPS – UPS offers door-to-door pole shipping in sturdy boxes. Can deliver right to your hotel or final address.
  • FedEx – Let you ship poles affordably with tracking to your destination before your arrival.
  • Luggage delivery services – For a fee, companies like Luggage Free and Carry My Luggage ship gear door-to-door.

As hiker, Jack T. shares, “I always ship my poles via UPS 2-day delivery to my hotel whenever I’m flying overseas. It saves me the headache of protecting them in checked bags.”

Pro tip: Purchase additional insurance in case of damage/loss. And remove tips first since commercial shipping prohibits sharp points.

Mailing poles let you bypass airlines and avoid baggage claims – a hassle-free option!

What Should you Do If your Poles Are Damaged During Trip?

If your trekking poles become damaged during air travel, here are some recommended steps:

  • Inspect poles at baggage claim – Before leaving the airport, thoroughly check poles for any damage after retrieving your checked bags. Note dents, cracks, and missing pieces.
  • Report damage to airline staff immediately – Inform gate agents or airline staff before leaving airport grounds. Ask for a damage claim form.
  • Document damage – Take photos showing the extent of the damage. Hold onto broken parts/pieces as evidence. Get witnesses’ contact info.
  • Save receipts – Keep receipts showing the original pole cost, repairs, or replacement poles purchased. Highlight model names.
  • File a written damage claim – Submit the official airline claim form within 24 hours, including photos and receipts. Call to confirm receipt.
  • Submit supplemental claims – If repairs cost more than initial compensation, file supplemental claims with additional receipts.
  • Be persistent – Keep meticulous records. Follow up weekly on claim status. Escalate repeatedly if needed.
  • Consult a lawyer – If the airline denies sufficient compensation, consider small claims court or legal assistance.

Documenting damage immediately and pursuing the claims process is key to recouping costs. Don’t let airlines off the hook if their mishandling causes expensive gear damage.

Still Unsure? Ask The transportation security administration About how to take Hiking poles

If you still have any doubts or confusion over whether you can bring your trekking poles through security, the TSA has a helpline just for clarification on restrictions:

TSA Cares Helpline: 1-855-787-2227

8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

This toll-free line is staffed with agents happy to answer any questions on air travel rules and what items are permitted on planes.

You may submit your request for screening assistance using the link below:

As hiker Katie S. says, “I always call the TSA Cares number a week before flights when I have a question on restrictions. They’ll let you know unambiguously if poles can be carried on for any reason.”

Don’t risk it – go straight to the source! The TSA call center will provide official guidance on your specific trekking pole question. Safe travels!

Conclusion: hiking poles are not allowed as carry-on luggage

As we’ve explored, transporting your trusted hiking poles by air involves adhering to important TSA regulations but is certainly feasible with the proper preparation.

While collapsible trekking poles conveniently compress for packing, no poles of any kind can be carried past airport security – they all must be checked in padded bags instead. Attempting sneaky carry-ons will only make you the star of a TSA confiscation video on Instagram.

Blunt those tips, wrap those handles, and tuck those poles snugly amidst your socks and underwear in your big hiking duffel. Hand over that bag with confidence at check-in, knowing your poles are cozy and crack-free for their ride in the belly of the plane.

Then breeze through security wink-and-nod free towards your gate, silently thanking the TSA for prohibiting potential midair pole-jousting amongst unruly passengers. Hey, at least you don’t have to explain your trekking pole Tinder profile pic when boarding your flight!

With the right preparation and packing, you CAN bring your hiking sticks along on your next airborne adventure. Just don’t expect to recreate Gandalf’s famous “You shall not pass!” scene at 30,000 feet. Trust me, you and your poles will have plenty of time to bond again on the trails after landing.

Now go forth – adventure awaits! And may the mindful packing be ever in your favor.



Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.



Sarah has been hiking for over five years and is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional benefits of spending time in nature. She has written several articles on the topic and strongly advocates hiking as a form of therapy. Sarah is also a certified yoga instructor, often incorporating yoga and mindfulness practices into her hiking trips. She is dedicated to providing accurate and up-to-date information on trail conditions, difficulty levels, and must-see sights.

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