Although you cannot take climbing hardware or a rope in your cabin baggage, you can take all your soft gear, such as your harness, chalk bag (sans chalk) slings, lanyards, boots, helmet etc. You can also bring some heavier lockers and krabs by clipping then into bags like accessory krabs (they look less suspicious on the outside), plus they can do double duty in allowing small bags to be clipped off to bigger bags or trollies (helps to stop them being stolen). Also always carry a carry on bag and laptop bag (even if you don’t have a laptop), but don’t take the piss. Don’t forget you can also put stuff in jacket pockets, layers multiple Jackets into one jacket, and wear mountaineering boots onto the plane (carry flip flops in your pockets for once onboard). In terms of hold luggage, always carry a good quality mechanical spring balance (avoid electric ones), something like the Travelon Stop & Lock (about $12), as this will save you a lot of money and stress, as you can pack your bags and dump or move stuff around before you get to the airport. If you don’t have a spring balance, then look for an empty counter, and always try and pack the day before, and give yourself plenty of time to check-in. If you’re faced with a $400 excess baggage charge you need time to go away and repack or come up with a plan, something you can’t do if the gate closes in 9 minutes! Also, check the weight of your duffel bags as some can weigh more than the contents!
Note: #365ClimbTips is a daily tip, the aim to publish one a day for a year and a bit (365 sounds better than 364). Some will be long, some will be short, some good, some crap, but all with be something. If you don’t want to miss any of these then please follow my Instagram account for daily updates.
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram