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

Babyhagrid

Well-known 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.
If you can wear it , it doesn't count. Bum bags are good for this as long as they don't see it at the gate.
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
Plan to wear your walking boots and pack your wellies. Then, if you have a last minute extra thing that won't fit in the bag, wear the wellies and pack the boots.
 

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
Well I figure I can wear: undersuit, harness (excluding metalwork), helmet. And probably get away with packing the rest. But if not I can follow hagrids advice and put the metalwork in a bum bag, underneath a baggy jumper.
 

Andrew N

Active member
Well I figure I can wear: undersuit, harness (excluding metalwork), helmet. And probably get away with packing the rest. But if not I can follow hagrids advice and put the metalwork in a bum bag, underneath a baggy jumper.
I packed everything into a “medium” sized suitcase without having to wear anything. SRT kit, wellies, oversuit, undersuit, helmet, etc… I had a rather large carry on though which I shoved a lot of my clothes into.
 

IanWalker

Active member
I would be doubtful of attempting to take the metalwork (knuckle-dusters and coshes) through security. Only takes one security guard to say no and your holiday stops before it started 😞 plus i really don't see the need unless there are other requirements you've not included

can you wash the undersuit before the return flight? :unsure:

can we have a real time update as you pack, with photos? and a travel blog along the way? I am way too invested in this now
 
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ChrisB

Well-known member
metalwork in a bum bag, underneath a baggy jumper.
Trying to hide it would be the worst option. You'll have to take it off to go through the metal detector and they will be suspicious about why you were carrying something in an unusual way.

Bum bag would be good for things you might plausibly need on the flight. As well as hand baggage, you're usually allowed a coat, a camera and a 'personal item' such as a handbag.

First you have to pass security, and the scanner operators don't know who each tray belongs to so don't know or care how much stuff you have and are only interested in checking it's not dangerous. Then you have the gate staff who don't care what it is, only whether the bag is too big or heavy for the overhead locker.

This is how I do it: My last flight was to South America with gear to sail to Antarctica, then go kayak camping. So I had a ski jacket with pockets. Then a cheap kids 5 litre packpack as a personal item, with stuff I might need on the plane, which went under the seat in front. Then a 30 litre Alpkit lightweight backpack as hand baggage, with anything that was valuable, prohibited in hold baggage or hard to replace at the destination. Finally an 80 litre backpack weighing a fraction under 23kg. (It's 20kg on some flights). As Loki says, 23kg is an effort to pick up, and even taxi drivers commented on it. The bags themselves are all minimalist, packed with soft stuff on the outside. You can easily use up 10% of your baggage weight in the bags if you're not careful.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Dig through here or go on UKClimbing and you will read many stories of people trying to take rope, carabiners, SRT kit etc. in hand luggage and having it confiscated. Some people will swear blind it's fine 'I've done it loads of time, it's fine' - until it happens to them (little sympathy is given when you've told people it's a bad idea, they do it anyway and then their luck runs out...).
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Portable bag weighing scales are an essential.

Carry-on weight can be a problem and if you are bringing a laptop, power bank, multiple headlight batteries etc. you can end up in trouble (I had issues leaving Vietnam when the domestic carrier weighed the carry-on bag and I got rushed to the check-in desk. Problem is you can't move batteries into the checked baggage... Use your pockets to carry the heavy items (e.g. batteries) any time they might weigh the check-in bag (i.e. check-in, at the gate). I don't think you will ever have a bag weighed when passing through security (although it might happen immediately after security if they are doing security at the gate). I've never had a problem having batteries etc. in jacket pockets passing through security (putting the jacket through the scanner, not wearing it); it's easier for them to see on the scanner than if it's stuffed into a bag.

One more way you can get screwed... Sometimes at transfer airports you will go through security at the gate (having already gone through security at your departure airport. I think this is likely to happen where you are 'upgrading' your level of security e.g. going domestic to international or when returning to the UK/EU. This often doesn't happen until just before your flight, and once you are trapped in the gate you can't get out to shop etc. So if you buy anything in the airport like duty-free booze or a drink, make sure you are either prepared to drink it before you get on the plane or get them to seal it up in the proper sealed bags. On returning from Mulu some people bought stuff in Kuala Lumpur airport, having already gone through security at an earlier airport, but then had to dump them just before the flight back to the UK.
 

thehungrytroglobite

Well-known member
One of the cavers coming to Mulu via dubai, had all his scurion batteries confiscated, left him with only 1cwhich was in his helmet in checked in luggage.
do you know why they were confiscated? And why the checked in one was alright? I've always thought batteries had to go in hand luggage
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
do you know why they were confiscated
I'm guessing they were suspicious of a number of batteries but not the device they power. Since all electronic devices must go in hand luggage, if it's in the checked bag (and I guess the scanner missed it there) they won't know about it. Also, without the light, it's not possible to put the batteries in to prove that they are real batteries.

But it's an interesting question about what to do if your light is permanently fixed to your helmet and you don't have enough space for the helmet in hand luggage. People suggest wearing a helmet, and I know it's done, but that was at one time banned, as if a passenger plans to attack the cabin staff it could protect them.
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
I've got away with batteries in checked luggage…
I wouldn't take the risk. They are paranoid about lithium batteries and the penalties are high. I know of someone who took a small tin of flammable glue in checked baggage, which is against the rules. They spotted it on the scanner, cancelled his flight, fined him 12000 euros and banned him from the airline for 10 years. Sounds extreme but I trust the source.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
do you know why they were confiscated? And why the checked in one was alright? I've always thought batteries had to go in hand luggage
I thought the same but I was either wrong or the rules have changed.


So the guidance in that is that 'personal electronic devices' (PEDs) should go in cabin baggage, but they are allowed in checked baggage (you just have to ensure they are protected from damage and guarded against accidental activation). An important note is that anything primarily intended to provide power e.g. powerbanks counts as 'spare batteries' (which must go in cabin baggage) and not PEDs.

You are then allowed to put PEDs in your checked baggage even if they have a lithium battery inside (subject to limits), so you can put your helmet and an 'inside' battery in checked baggage e.g. if you have a Fenix or a Scurion with a battery box. This wouldn't work for me as I use Roy Fellows battery packs where the battery pack is a whole separate unit that I have to leave disconnected from the light, so would presumably count as a powerbank or a spare battery.

Note that 'batteries must be of a type that meets the requirements of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3'. I know Roy Fellows writes the type and Wh of the batteries on his battery packs to try and help get them through airports; I suspect a home-made Scurion battery pack might fail to meet whatever tests and criteria these are (or potentially fail to meet them in the eyes of an over-zealous security checker).
 

badger

Active member
Firstly with batteries I think it was only a dubai security and not the airline.
My understanding is any batteries in checked in luggage must be in the equipment, ie the battery box for the helmet.
Loose batteries must be taken has hand luggage.
Gavin Newman when he travels, and I believe Chris Howell, always carry a copy of the guidelines about, what, how and quantity of batteries carried on as hand luggage. And what can and how can be checked in as hold luggage.
 

Cantclimbtom

Well-known member
Dig through here or go on UKClimbing and you will read many stories of people trying to take rope, carabiners, SRT kit etc. in hand luggage and having it confiscated. Some people will swear blind it's fine 'I've done it loads of time, it's fine' - until it happens to them (little sympathy is given when you've told people it's a bad idea, they do it anyway and then their luck runs out...).
Beat me too it.

Go over to the UKC forums and check yourself, climbers have similar issues.
Taking "dangerous" items like carabiners you are at the mercy of the random opinion of a LOT of people between public departures area and your seat. It only takes one officious nutjob to decide it's not suitable (confiscate) and you are stuffed. Many airlines have weird rules about "sports equipment" also.
There is a very high risk that srt kit of any kind as carry on will be confiscated or you are refused your flight
 

ChrisB

Well-known member
the guidance in that is that 'personal electronic devices' (PEDs) should go in cabin baggage, but they are allowed in checked baggage
I didn't know that. I think, however, that not all airlines, or airports/national aviation regulators, follow IATA guidance. I've taken six flights this year, and on most of those, when checking in my hold baggage, I was asked to confirm there were no electronic devices in it. I did inadvertently leave a hand held digital weigh scale (like the one I linked in a post above) in my baggage, and when I collected the bag I could see it had been opened and the scale was at the top of the bag. The airlines I flew with also only allowed 4 spare batteries, not 20.

I would certainly check the rules of the airline.
 

Handsome88

New member
For flying with caving gear, a medium suitcase or large backpack should work, but check airline rules for weight and battery restrictions.
 
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