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What size bag do I need to take kit on a plane

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
What size bag do I need to take caving kit (including SRT kit) on a plane? Can I fit it all into a 22kg bag?

Excluding tackle sack and rope etc - so personal kit only. Oversuit, undersuit (I suppose I could wear that), etches, SRT kit, helmet, wetsocks, gloves, etc sort of thing. I've never considered taking kit on a plane before so no idea how best to go about it!
 

marsrat

Member
If it fits 2 6l drums, it'll fit your kit. You'll probably need to wear the helmet and wellies though.
 

me

Active member
Roll your cloths up & stuff them inside your wellies, wear your walking boots and I never let my helmet (& attached light) out of my sight. It makes a good handbag :D
 

IanWalker

Active member
Should fit in a normal holdall or large rucksack

22 kg is ample

Presumably you considered doing a trial pack and weighing it?
 

snebbit

Active member
Having just had the nightmare of packing this evening, I've just about managed to get caving gear for two people in a 24kg case, along with above-ground clothing and a box of bran flakes. Even our wellies and a 40m rope in there.

Would've been a hell of a lot easier being able to pack SRT kit and metalwork in hand luggage to save hold weight, but I've panic-read too many forum threads today with tales of ropes and descenders not being let through security.

Helmet hung from the rucksack. Any questions: it's the traditional headwear of your people.
 

caving_fox

Active member
Large rucksack should be fine (you'll want a secure cover to keep the straps snug). If it's clean it could go in a suitcase! Without SRT it will be much less than 20kg. You may even be able to pack a few ordinary clothes.

The biggest issue is batteries. These should be in hand luggage and scanned - but there is a limit on total capacity you can carry.
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
The biggest issue is batteries
Yes, batteries and anything electronic must be in hand luggage. Check the airline rules as they do vary, but most allow you up to four spare lithium batteries, total capacity not more than 100Ah. Batteries for caving lights won't be anywhere near that capacity, you would need drill batteries to get close. Batteries that are in the device don't usually count for the limit.
 

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
Presumably you considered doing a trial pack and weighing it?
I don't have a weighing machine thing so it's not easy but I'll borrow someone else's to check before I fly. Was mostly concerned about size of pack too, I have a 60l bag (I do have an 80l rucksack which I fit in (like my whole body fits in it) but the zips fall open and everything falls out onto the conveyor belt, I'm never taking it on a plane again)
 

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
Yes, batteries and anything electronic must be in hand luggage. Check the airline rules as they do vary, but most allow you up to four spare lithium batteries, total capacity not more than 100Ah. Batteries for caving lights won't be anywhere near that capacity, you would need drill batteries to get close. Batteries that are in the device don't usually count for the limit.
this is super helpful, I hadn't thought of that. Thank you!
 

Ane

Member
I regularly pack for caving weekends with my 42L backpack. It just about too small when adding in sleeping bag, toiletries, change of clothes, etc, but for just caving gear you should be fine. And given that I don't struggle carrying it, I doubt it's over 15 kg. Agree with the comments about brining helmet, lights & batteries in hand luggage - I've done it a few times, and never had an issue.
 

Loki

Active member
Also I tend to find that if I can’t pick it up and swing it onto my shoulders without assistance, it’s over the baggage allowance. A good rule of thumb unless you’re a weightlifter! It’s surprising what you can pare things down to. I flew back from Lima with my mountain bike and all the cycle touring gear I’d used for several weeks, all within the baggage allowance (might have been 30kg I can’t remember) . Only one bag made it to Manchester though. The others were scattered across Europe but all made it in the end!
It’s a while back now but to avoid paying extra to take bikes we dismantled them to components as they didn’t count as a bike!
 

Minion

Member
I recently went on exped to Thailand and all my caving kit including SRT kit and multiple tackle bags fitted in an ex British Army ‘deployment bag’. They’re about £30 online, and pretty robust.

They also have shoulder straps, so can be worn as a rucksack which helps with lugging kit around airport and from airport to accommodation.
 

badger

Active member
You also need to check not only size of carry on bag allowed, but some airlines are now getting hot on carry on weight. Each airline will have its own regulations, but check before you get to the airport.
 
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