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packing trekking poles

Our travel luggage is rather small and we have just acquired trekking poles (senior issues). What is the best way to pack these. Too big to fit in checked bag. Suggestions, solutions appreciated cuz I am sure we will be travelling again soon. Everyone be well.


Posted by
9477 posts

Hi Mike.
We have the foldable ones that even fit in our day packs but TSA rules do not allow them no matter the size due to their points. There are some who have managed to get poles through TSA checkpoints but if you read the rules, they are not allowed.

Have you looked into the folding type of sticks?

Posted by
4898 posts

First, you seem to be aware of it, but worth stating for others, you have to check them, no carry-on.

I think I would find a duffel type soft bag, long enough for the poles, then pack in that with some "soft" items (jackets, clothes, etc) and check. When you get there, you can use the duffel to transport them, or roll it up and put in your other luggage. Heck, you could even use it for dirty clothes as you go.

Posted by
20833 posts

A ski bag for poles would be over kill by a wide margin. Folding poles in checked luggage is the only way to go or can go.

Posted by
1801 posts

I wasn't originally aware of this (so maybe you aren't either) but know that the trekking pole sections do come apart to facilitate packing in checked baggage... shortens them to a more manageable size versus trying to telescope them down. You basically unscrew the adjustable sections until they're loose and then simply "pop" them apart. Can find videos on YouTube to demonstrate how it's done.
Saved me a lot of aggravation once I figured it out.

Posted by
5010 posts

I wasn't originally aware of this (so maybe you aren't either) but know that the trekking pole sections do come apart to facilitate packing in checked baggage


We have some nice, lightweight-but-strong, carbon-fiber trekking poles we purchased at Costco. Not expensive - check them out. They're as good as poles I had previously purchased from REI at 3X the cost. The poles from Costco "telescope" but are still a tiny bit too long for my carry-on convertible backpack. I too discovered that it's fairly straightforward to simply pull the pole sections apart. Once disassembled, they break down into sections no more than 21" long, which is just short enough to fit in our packs easily.

A couple suggestions...I've learned from packing these several times in the past year:

You will want to "practice" both taking them apart, and re-assembling them well before your departure day just to be 100% sure you can do it - some small parts may be a little tricky, if you shove things together carelessly you can actually break small pieces where they join.

Also, you may want to find something to wrap over the ends of the poles, as some of the end pieces can be semi-sharp. This isn't an issue of you are the only one who (carefully) handles your bag, but the bag they're in is going to be checked, and possibly tossed around. If your bag is really full (it probably will be) the sharp edges of the pole ends could actually slice through a soft-sided bag when under stress. I found some small (but hard) plastic "caps" that I tape over the ends to prevent the poles from puncturing my canvas backpack; you may need to get creative and scrounge something.

Finally, you will want to wrap the poles in some thick plastic just to keep any filth that they have acquired (while hiking) from contaminating the rest of your bag's contents. Last summer we spent a week in the Faroe Islands, and did a lot of hiking. The trekking poles we brought were a life-saver. There are more sheep than people in the Faroes, and pretty much everywhere we went there was an awful lot of sheep poop around. Try as we might to avoid stepping in a big fresh pile of it, the stuff was unavoidable, and the ends of our hiking poles were covered in it. Yes, we did our best to clean it off before flying home but there were still a lot of Klingons. To avoid mixing anything you walk through with your clothes, bring a good plastic bag to isolate the poles in your bag. This probably would be less of as issue for "urban hiking" but is still worth some forethought.

Have fun.

Posted by
1075 posts

Go to the UPS store and buy 1 or 2 shipping tubes to put them in. We did this when we walked the Camino in 2017.