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Trekking Poles (collapsing) thru Atlanta/Paris/St. Jean Pied de Port to walk Camino Francis

Airport TSA and Airline Carry-On Regulations --- both often seem at discretion of security and gate-checker people making decisions on what to pass on thru.
Carrying backpack only, carry-on only ...... important not to deal with checked baggage.
Does anyone have recent experience or observations on making it all the way to St, Jean unbothered (poles neither confiscated or placed by airline in checked baggage?
My poles DO NOT have that sharp point tip some do, and I'll have then wrapped up.
Airports/airlines involved are Atlanta: American to Paris CDG ...... Paris CDG: EasyJet to Biarritz, France.

Thoughts please ....... Jim.

Posted by
16178 posts

TSA regulations specifically state that hiking poles are not allowed in carryon bags, so that leaves little room for discretion at the security check. I would not want to count on that, even with poles that are nor sharp at the tip.

https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/sporting-and-camping

However, Inwillmsay that my sister has successfully carried her Black Diamond z-poles, which are not metal and do not have a sharp point, through security on several trips. She wraps them in a bundle with her umbrella. I have the exact same poles (they fold up instead of collapsing) and am unwilling to risk losing them, so I check my bag.

Posted by
1443 posts

You could leave the trekking poles at home and buy or rent a set while in Europe. It's an added expense but it side-steps the entire issue.

Posted by
6503 posts

Plenty of places to buy poles over there and for the relatively short time you need them, you wouldn’t need to buy the best ones. Every airport security checkpoint is different, and one will let you through while another won’t. It would be a shame to get them confiscated at CDG. Buen camino peregrino.

Posted by
8340 posts

Even if you don't want to check baggage, you could check your poles wrapped in bubble wrap and inside a box. Throw away the box and bubble wrap when you get there.

TSA has stopped me and not allowed poles before. I learned the hard way......

Posted by
380 posts

I agree with the others -- I wouldn't risk having them confiscated. Will you be spending your first night in Biarritz? I also never check a bag; I went hiking last summer in Cornwall and the Cotswolds and ordered a pair of quite good poles (about $30) from Amazon U.K. and they were delivered to my first B&B about a week before I arrived. Worked out great, and I "bequeathed" them to another hiker my last day. Perhaps you could do same if you'll be in Biarritz for even a night?

Posted by
3391 posts

I'm also walking the Camino in June/July - on many of the online forums several experienced walkers suggest wrapping your poles in many layers of shrink wrap/cellophane if you plan to carry them on. That said there are a number of shops in SJPP that sell high quality hiking gear where you can pick up a pair of poles for 20-30 euros. I have a much-loved pair of hiking poles here at home that I'm not going to risk having taken away...buying poles once I get to St. Jean.