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I'm heading off to Coldfoot, AK pretty soon (either a month or three) from now and I'm wondering how everyone else packs. I'm going to be flying up and was thinking of packing in my backpacks. I've got a large multiday adventure and a smaller weekend/overnight bag. BUT I'm worried about them getting checked on the flights and ending up with ripped shoulder straps etc. So how does everyone else do it? Pack in a duffle? Cross your fingers and hope for the best? Don't take the backpacks? I'm going to be right outside Gates of the Arctic and if I don't end up doing some camping I'm going to be very surprised. Also, what are your must take items that I probably wouldn't think of. I'm a serial overpacker so I'm trying really hard to be good this time - but I don't want to miss anything!



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Hi Erin,

Typically when I've traveled with a backpack, the airlines will place it into a plastic bag so the straps do not get caught when moving through the airport.  If they don't do it automatically, you should ask them to do so.


I've used one of those garment bags, the fabric kinds you zip up. Find one in a thrift store for a buck or two. It works great and protects the whole thing.

Guess my backpacks are smaller, cuz I carry mine on the plane with me. 1 has all my laptop & camera stuff and I ain't checking it through to go under the plane cuz I would worry about them losing it.

Right, Sunni, I'm not checking baggage this summer either, will have my internal frame with me. When I flew to do the PCT, I had an external frame, it couldnt be carried on. Just depends on how big the pack is, and what you're using it for.

That's all I use...a large multi-day and a smaller backpack. I usually just tighten everything down and try not to have any loose ends. I almost always have a tag when I pick them up from the inspectors...I thought they did random checks, but I think they target backpacks. I started out in '06 with two large and a small carryon, I have slowly widdled it down...still working on making my load smaller.

But, in my case, it's everything I have. Thinking about breaking down and getting a closet-size storage locker. I do mail a limited amount...trying to cut that too.


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