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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!

Thanks,

Erin

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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.

Q

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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