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Carry-on Trekking Poles?

I have seen past posts that state trekking poles are not usually allowed on board planes. However, most of these posts were at least 5 years old. I have also checked United's website but they don't specifically mention trekking poles. Can anyone direct me to a definitive source for carrying on trekking poles? I would also be curious how you packed them in checked baggage to prevent damage. Thank you!

Posted by
10801 posts

Friends I travel with bought collapsible hiking poles on Amazon that easily fit in their checked baggage.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you for your reply, Suki. I wasn't very clear in my post. I wondered if my poles do not fit into my checked luggage, could I carry them on in a backpack? Thank you!

Posted by
167 posts

Do not think it matters if the poles will fit in your carry on or not...the TSA is quite specific that they cannot be in carry on, only checked baggage.
As far as packing with no damage in checked baggage and document mailing tube works well as protection.

Posted by
9088 posts

From the TSA website (

Hiking Poles
Carry On Bags:
Checked Bags:

In terms of packing, I simply took apart the segments and put them inside the bag. Metal poles are very strong and can handle the typical jarring around bags get in transport.

Posted by
5835 posts

Another TSA citation:

TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014

TSA Travel Tips - Travel Tips for Backpackers, Campers and Fishers

Here’s a list of common camping and fishing related items that you can
and can’t bring on a plane:

Trekking & Hiking Poles – These can only be packed in checked baggage.

My three section Black Diamond trekking poles collapse down to a length that fits diagonally in my checked luggage bag. That said, checked luggage comes in all sizes. My poles are basic aluminum flick-locks that are pretty robust. As long as an airport luggage tug doesn't run over your bag your trekking poles should be able to withstand normal handling without special protection.

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks Edger! As we have some avid fly fishermen in the family too, it's good to know about the TSA restrictions not just the airlines!

Posted by
172 posts

We needed poles for our walk on the Camino. I collapsed them down and duct taped them to the handles on my bag. The poles are sturdy and had no problem in the checked bag category and no problems at check in. Hank, Novato,CA

Posted by
1018 posts

I have had collapsible Black Diamond Z poles in my carryon the last two trips to Europe and have not been questioned either time. My mother also carried them on two other trips to Europe. They do not have sharp carbide tips though - just round rubber tips. So fwiw, there are four data points. I admit I worried, as I really needed them for hiking, but I was never stopped or even asked about them.