Can I put collapsible hiking poles in my carry on?
TSA wont and most (US) carriers(when returning) will make you check them in when you get to the gates.
What I do instead of wasting time at baggage claim is buy cheap or used ones there then donate them when I leave.
Hope this helps!
Nope. We brought a small duffle bag (think gym bag) and checked them. The bag was light enough to squish up and put in our carry-ones. We were going to Greece and couldn't see any place to buy hiking poles once we landed.
Poles were highly recommended for my walking holiday in the Cévennes last year, so I contacted the tour leader in advance and was able to borrow a one from her (could have been a pair if I had preferred). On the next segment of solo hotel-to-hotel walking I twisted my ankle so had to spend time searching out a pole in Avignon instead of sight-seeing so that I could continue the rest of that tour. The right shop took some finding, and I didn't see any place where I might have found secondhand. I had already chosen to return via the UK by train so that was no problem, and by the time I was returning by air to Australia my bag weighed over 7kgs so I had to check it anyway. I don't mind waiting for baggage at my home airport when I don't have a connection to make.
Backing up a bit....do you need poles? I ask because I hike a great deal in the mountains and encounter many people with poles..some with bent wheels and/or balance issues. However, there's a fair number of hikers that like poles for exercise reasons and apparently require them to complete the proper look. If you need 'em take 'em...otherwise trek on without.
Bruce brings up a good point. I have been hiking for decades and have never used them. I did not even notice them until about ten years ago. Nowadays, i see people using them for streetwalking.
Here are some discussions abouts pros and cons of hiking poles:
It does make sense that if you are not used to them, they may be a hinderance. Maybe that is why i see so many people using them in the streets, for the practice or to burn extra energy. For me, hiking downhill is always tough on the knees. Perhaps, poles could help reduce the shock to the knees. But with my luck i will slip and knock out a tooth.
Edit: PS In Canada, you have to check in hiking poles: http://www.catsa.gc.ca/camping-sporting-equipment This makes sense; if you can use them to ward off wild animals, you could use them to hurt somebody.
I use poles for trekking, especially when terrain involves vertical changes. Poles help on ascents in that upper body strength can reduce the load on your legs. (I'm loading my poles on uphills for dryland training purposes). That said, the primary value of poles is reducing impact on joints and legs during steep descents.
Trekking poles are also useful when trekking across boggy moors. I use my poles to vault over water/mud spots too wide to just step over.
And of course, poles can be used as balance sticks.
However, if you trek with poles having a pack with ski straps is useful for carrying the poles on scrambling sections needing both hands.