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Taking a Plane to an Outdoor Adventure? Check Out These 8 Tips on How to Fly with Camping Gear

How to Fly with Camping Gear With Family
Written by Chris Osburn
When was the last time you went camping? Outdoorsy or not, camping out in the great outdoors can be the perfect opportunity to bond with your friends and family, and taking a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic world we live in. Some of the most beautiful campgrounds require a flight to reach but are worth the wonderful views and atmosphere. Not really any sort of logistical challenge, flying to go camping means a little extra planning ahead. So, read up on our tips for how to fly with camping gear and you’ll be on your way!

End on a Clean Note

If you’re really planning on roughing it and found cheap flights to return from your trip, you might want to book a room or a spot at a campground with facilities for your last night before your flight. That way you can clean up with a proper shower — for your and your fellow passengers’ benefit. Packing and organizing your gear might prove easier to do in a room or somewhere. Other options might include looking into shower facilities at the airport – whether public or in an airline’s lounge.

Plan Out Your Meals

How to Fly with Camping Gear and Food
Is the food you’re planning to take cheaper or better where you live or planning to camp? Are you hoping to have some perishable items stashed away in your backpack? These are just some of the important things to figure out when deciding how to fly with camping gear. Think about which makes more sense: buying food before you go or once you’ve landed at your destination. Rural and non-big city areas probably have lower-cost items (if not too touristy) but less selection. Are you traveling somewhere famous for a particular type of food?
If, for example, you were to go hiking in the Italian Alps, you might want to stock up on local sausages, cheeses, bread, and more once on the ground there because they’ll probably be delicious, fresh, and of the area. It may also be even cheaper than the food you would find near home. Similarly, you’re going to want to pack a good water bottle for your wilderness experience. Just make sure it’s empty before going through security.

Lighten Up Your Wardrobe

How to Fly with Camping Gear and Clothes

It’s easy to over-pack for a camping trip. You want to be comfortable and prepared for anything Mother Nature might throw your way, so sticking to one outfit and dressing in layers is a great way to ensure you’re never dressed too hot or too cold without overpacking. Lightweight layers like T-shirts and tank tops are perfect for staying cool during the day and double as comfortable sleepwear at night. Sweatshirts and thermal shirts make great top layers that keep you insulated while you sleep and can easily be removed if the sun gets too hot, but you’ll only need to bring one.

Check Your Sharp Gear

Sure, it might be called a pocketknife – and it’s definitely key for your time in the great outdoors – but while you’re at the airport and in the air make sure it’s a checked-in baggage knife. The same goes for any item that has a point or an edge. When in doubt about whether you can carry it on, it’s probably best to leave it out or check it in. You don’t want to delay going through security or have any of that expensive gear confiscated.

Protect Your Backpack While You Fly

How to Fly with Camping Gear Such as Backpack

Losing or damaging your backpack ends your camping trip before it even starts, so campers should take great care to protect their bags. The easiest way to keep your backpack safe on an airplane is to simply take it with you as a carry-on, but some camping backpacks are just too large for that. If you’re forced to check your backpack, protect it by tying the straps together and buckling any buckles to keep them away from conveyor belts that would eat up those dangling straps. You should also consider wrapping your backpack. Plastic wrap works well enough, but some companies make backpack covers that could prove to be a worthy investment.

Bring Travel-Sized Versions of Anything and Everything

How to Fly with Camping Gear and Travel-Sized Items

You’re going on a camping trip, not moving into the wilderness. You don’t need your usual full-sized toothpaste or hair products. Pass on the large, bulky containers and opt for smaller, travel-sized options when you can. Most retail stores offer travel-sized versions of necessary personal products, and if they don’t, well, you probably won’t need it. Even camping essentials like sleeping bags and coolers come in slimmed-down or more travel-ready sizes. Remember that you’ll be carrying most of what you bring in your backpack, so bulky products just take up unnecessary room in your bag and make it harder to carry.

Don’t Double-Up on Items Already at the Campsite

How to Fly with Camping Gear and Not Double Up

Research your campsite and determine what amenities the campground already offers. For example, you might not need to lug around a collapsible table if your campground already features accessible picnic tables. Many campsites also offer grills for campers, so you may not even need to lug around that heavy camping stove. Or, maybe you and your group are planning on sleeping in a yurt, so you won’t need to bring a tent. Whatever the case may be, doubling up on items is something that’s easily avoided, so you can lighten your load considerably if you take a little bit of time to plan.

Look Up One-Pot Recipes

How to Fly with Camping Gear and One-Pot Meals

One-pot meals are a favorite of campers everywhere. Not only are they delicious and filling, cooking everything together in one pot (as the name suggests) reduces the amount of cooking gear you need to bring and the amount of time you have to spend cooking. As a bonus, they’re also a great way to reduce waste and can be prepared mostly from canned items. You’ll also only have to clean one dish! There are plenty of one-pot meal recipes on the internet, so you should be able to find a few recipes suitable for your tastes and dietary needs.

What else have you learned when flying with camping gear? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Chris Osburn

Chris Osburn is a freelance writer, photographer, consultant, and curator and the driving force behind the long running and award winning blog, Originally from the American Deep South, Chris has lived and worked all over the world and has called London home since 2001.

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