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Travelling with rack in hand luggage?

Original Post
Francesca Parratt · · England · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 160

So my hold luggage has a weight limit, and to try and cheat the system/ balance out the weight, I was thinking of splitting my rack between the hold luggage on the flight and my carry on bag.

Does anybody know if there are any restrictions for carrying cams, nuts, hexes, quickdraws, etc as hand luggage?

Has anybody experienced any issues doing this in the past?

Gavin W · · Surrey, BC · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 183

Plenty of threads on this. Nut tools aren't allowed, and large carabiners may be confiscated because they could be used as brass knuckles. Other than that you should be ok. Others have suggested also packing a climbing magazine so that you can show TSA officials what the gear is for. 

Robin S · · OR · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 30

Agreed about climbing mag. I've flown internationally from Portland to Amsterdam to Madrid, and Madrid to NYC carrying draws, biners, rope, but no trad gear. Didn't have a single issue at any airport, though I have heard horror stories. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I haven't attempted to fly with cams in a carry on before, but I was just looking over the TSA website for allowed items. Cams are not addressed.

You may not carry on crampons, ice axes or poles.

You may carry on adult toys (yes, it says that :) and cremains (refer to other current thread)


Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

I've flown plenty of times with a rack, including a nut tool.  It seems like individual TSA agents can choose to be dicks about it, but so far I haven't run into any issues.

Nivel Egres · · New York, NY · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 130
FrankPS wrote:

You may carry on adult toys (yes, it says that :) 


An argument can be made that rock climbing gear is a subset of the above!

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Been pulled out and padded down in the side room because they saw a nut tool and thought it was a knife than found what they thought was bomb powder when they checked the inside of the bag (assuming it was the chalk). Other times they didn't even open my bag (had a TSA person who climbed looking at my bag one time and mentioned something about climbing when they saw my bag full of climbing gear).

squiddo Marc · · Mountain View, CA · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 15

Done this domestic and international. Never had an issue with "brass knuckles" or carabiners but the nut tool is the always check item. Especially if it's a knife end

Francesca Parratt · · England · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 160

Thanks guys, I will be sure to put any sharp items in the hold but I can keep my cams with my dildos!

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Francesca Parratt · · England · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 160
Marc801 C wrote:


Carrie has sure done some awesome climbs!

Alexander Stathis · · Athens, GA · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 80

I've flown domestic in the US plenty of times with racks, ropes, etc. I've been pulled aside plenty for them to go through my bag, but I've only ever been turned back to check something once and that was for a set of 10 quickdraws while I was attempting to take a domestic flight in Mexico. The security agent was concerned that I might use them as a weapon since they were all racked together on a small loop of cord. My girlfriend, also carrying a rack of 10 or so draws in her carry on, was allowed through. We went in two different lines and the person in my line cared while the one in her line did not. This was in Mexico City flying to Oaxaca City though, so it's not the US. 

Joshua Dee · · San Diego, CA · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 30

They looked at my chalk the last time I flew.

Parker H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 0

Last time I flew I had probably 30 pounds of cams and biners, nut tool, chalkbag and the only thing TSA was concerned about was some powdered peanut butter I had in the bottom of my bag.. 

Emmett Lyman · · Somerville, MA · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 380

They're allowed by law. But there's always the possibility that a TSA rep won't listen to reason (or your climbing mag) and will turn you back. So be practical and leave yourself time to go back to the counter and check the bag if need be.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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