In this guide, I will show you exactly how to fly with camping gear.

You’re going to learn:

  • How to fly with camping gear,
  • How to protect your backpack when flying with camping gear,
  • What not to pack when flying with camping gear,
  • And many more.

So if you have plans to travel by air for a camping expenditure, then this guide is for you

Let’s get started!

How to Fly with Camping Gear?

How to fly with camping gear

When preparing to go on a camping adventure that requires you flying, it’s important that you learn how to pack and protect your camping gear for the trip

Here’s precisely how to prepare yourself when flying with camping gear

1. Pack Luggages Light and Smart

Stocking up your travelling backpack will incur more substantial fees.

You can choose to purchase a luggage scale to weigh your backpacks before getting to the airport, to avoid exceeding travelling weight limit requirements.

It’s also important to know the basic TSA  rules and regulations and check to know your travel airline’s maximum luggage requirement.

2. Pack Only Camping Gears You will Need for the Vacation

This will also help you in reducing the weight of your travelling luggage.

When packing for your camping flight, ask yourself questions like:

  • Will it be possible to make use of a smaller tent size and leave some gadgets back home?
  • Do you really need that extra luggage? Won’t it be possible to share with other campers going on the trip with you?

Also, if this is your first camping adventure – when shopping for camping gears, go for camping gears that are light in weight that you know you can afford.

Most often, tents and sleeping bags constitute the most weight of all camping gears. You can also make use of compression sacks to lessen the weight of your camping bags.

A quick hack would be to use the pocket of your clothes to stuff small items.

Here are some quick hacks on packing camping gears when flying:

How To Pack Camping Gears While Flying

1. A Duffel Bag

This kind of camping travelling bag is excellent for packing camping gears for up to 2 campers and meets most travel luggage size requirements. It is very light in weight and folds up good for easy storage.

2. A Laundry Bag

A quick hack could be to use a laundry bag. They are inexpensive, of lightweight and are easy to fold up when not in use.

3. A Saran Wrap

This sounds a bit crazy, but a Saran wrap goes a long way to secure your pack. You can even get one of these clings wraps in some airports for about $9.00 to $15.00 per bag.

4. A Heavy Duty Trash Bag

To make use of this, simply tape the excess of the large, heavy-duty trash bag securely.

You can also choose to get one of those large bags found in some airports which are often used to hold car seats, strollers, and others, but don’t rely solely on them.

5. A Suitcase

Not just any ordinary suitcase, but a hard-sided bag. You can find this kind of suitcase in thrift stores and yard sales.

6. A Cardboard Box

When using a cardboard box, make sure that it doesn’t exceed the required size and dimensions.

How to Protect Your Backpack when Flying with Camping Gear

This is also very important to note when flying with camping gear.

One of the most common mistakes campers make is trying to tuck their straps and hip belt in as best as they can; Doing this will make you run at a risk of getting those straps hung and broken either on the luggage carousel or while in flight.

Here are some useful tips to help you out with this:

  • Tie and tighten the straps just a little bit so that the backpack handler doesn’t grab a strap.
  • Then buckle the hip belt from the back around the luggage itself.
  • Finally, to prevent the straps from getting caught up, tape them down.

What Not to Pack When Flying with Camping Gear

Here’s a list of things you will not be allowed to carry along when flying with camping gear:

1. Bear Spray

You are required to buy your bear spray when you arrive at your destination, and to leave them behind on your return flight.

2. Stove

As you can see, any item that is termed flammable or combustible is prohibited when flying with camping gear.

Instead of just disposing them when you are done camping, and letting it go to waste, you can leave it at a ranger station or sell it or even give it out to another camper.

You can also find campers that will be interested in getting some of these items from you on Facebook groups and various social media platforms.

But if you wish to carry a camping stove along with you on your journey, make sure that it is clean, with no fuel vapours or residue inside.

Safety matches are also allowed when flying with camping gear, but you will only be allowed a book of them, and you’d be required to carry them on you on the plane and not in your checked luggage.

Flashlights are not prohibited either when flying.

Trekking poles though maybe a bit confusing whether or not to carry along.

Most campers brag how they walk with their trekking pole with them pass TSA agents to the aeroplane, but this is not recommended.

Some TSA agents will stop you to make some checks.

Instead, put your trekking poles in your carry on bag. And if you are scared of them breaking, you can slide then into a PVC pipe and tape it at each end.

Knives are also allowed as a carry-on when flying, but make sure that they are properly sheathed or wrapped so as not to harm baggage handlers.

For the other camping gears that don’t violate the above listed, you can take them along with you while flying, but note that all carry-ons must be in your checked luggage.


When flying with camping gear, the key is to keep all your carry-ons as light as possible and avoid carrying extra luggage.

Instead of stocking up on your luggage, you can choose to rent camping gears from an outfitter located in your destination.

Now I’d Love to Hear from You;

What is your worst experience flying with camping gear?

Have you tried renting camping gears before? What was your experience like?

Or maybe you have some packing tips you’d like to share.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below!