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Can A Hiking Pack Be Used As A Carry-On?

Can you bring your hiking backpack as a carry-on? Yes, you can.

We like it when things are easy. I immediately went online to find out how much weight a hiking backpack for a carry-on could weigh for my airline so that I could replace my luggage with a lighter hiking backpack!

But if you want to bring your hiking gear on a plane, you must plan. Just like any other carry-on luggage, backpacks have weight and size limits. But most airlines have weight limits of between 25 and 50 pounds. But the weight limit for some low-cost airlines is even lower.

The real trick is to measure and weigh the backpack at home before going to the airport. Above all, you must follow each airline’s rules before you leave. Read this guide about how to pack a hiking backpack.

can a hiking backpack be a carry on


Is your bag too big to fit in a carry-on bag? If that’s the case, you’ll have to check your bag. Because of this, you might have to check your giant backpacks. If you have to check your bag, the most important thing is to secure your gear’s belts, harnesses, and straps.

If your backpack straps are too loose, they could get caught in the baggage conveyor belts and damage your bag. Get a pack cover for the airport.

Most importantly, it keeps your bag from getting damaged by airport equipment and gives you more security and peace of mind when you arrive. You’re sure that your pack is safe.


Traveling with a hiking backpack as your carry-on bag, you don’t have to worry about losing your luggage. You’ll always have the gear you need on you.

A fellow traveler gave me the great idea of putting my expensive or irreplaceable gear in my backpack and carrying it as a carry-on. Other things that are optional or don’t follow the rules of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can be put in a cheap duffle bag and checked as luggage.

After you get there, you can put its contents in your backpack and throw away the cheap, ugly bag.

Be careful as you rush through the international airport with your backpack on. With many zippers and pockets on the outside to make hiking easier, thieves can easily open your bag and dig out your things. So, secure the zippers with zip ties, which are also called cable tie wraps.

It’s better to check your backpack or bring it as a carry-on. It depends.

For example, are you traveling in your own country or abroad? First, how big is your bag, and how much do you have in it? Second, do you have any items the TSA says you must check? Third, what will your trip be like?

We want to bring a carry-on when he can. After that, I choose to check a carry-on bag at the gate. In the same way, some travelers do the same thing with strollers and wheelchairs.


The right amount of space in a backpack is based on its size and is measured in liters. Many airlines let you bring on board a bag up to 45 liters in size.

But make sure to weigh your bag and follow the rules for how much it can consider. For example, low-cost airlines often limit the weight of carry-on bags to even less than the standard limit of 10 kg (22 lbs).

For example, they might ask for extra fees and make you pay extra for your bags.

Most carry-on bags can be less significant than 22 x 14 x 9 inches, which includes side pockets, handles, and wheels. But it varies from airline to airline. Some allow carry-ons and backpacks that are slightly smaller or larger than others.

Checking with the airline a few days before a flight is always a good idea. So, to make things easier, here is a size chart of carry-on backpacks for all airlines worldwide.

If you’re like this old guy and like to travel light, be smart about how you pack and use every inch of your backpack. It would be best if you made the most of the fact that you can use your hiking pack as a carry-on.

So, because of their small size, daypacks are the best hiking backpack carry-on.

backpack carry on


I know. You can take liquids in bottles of 3.4 ounces or less on an airplane. Roll-ons and containers for bug spray can’t hold more than 100 milliliters.

Pack dry, non-liquid versions of things like toothpaste, deodorant, sunblock, and soap to make more room in your backpack. I know this sounds crazy coming from an old guy like me, especially one who has been bald for decades but check out shampoo bars.

Also, be sure to use a bar with no extra scents added. I often hike through bear habitats, and using scented soaps is not a good idea.

The TSA says you can only bring knives, hatchets, and guns in your luggage. You can only put them in your bag if they are in a sheath or hard case approved by the TSA. But I don’t trust the TSA agents because they seem to search people for no reason.

Can I carry bear spray repellent in my backpack?

If you don’t follow the rules set by the TSA, your gear will be taken away, and you might even be charged with a crime. Suppose you want to carry trekking poles, arrows, pickaxes, potty trowels, or anything else with a pointy end. In that case, you should use a checked backpack.

If your hiking plans include going through the bear territory, you should leave your bear spray and bear bangers (which sound like firecrackers when they explode) at home. You could buy some when you get where you’re going.

Pepper spray aerosols for personal use with 2% capsaicin are also prohibited.

Send Your Camping Equipment

Please send the items that aren’t allowed to where they’re going.

Need your favorite hiking gear, a multitool, or food items right away? How much does a new one cost? Send them with FedEx, UPS, or DHL to the city where they will be delivered, and have the package held there. You can get it by using your passport as a picture ID.

The most important thing is to ship early and give the shipper enough time to get it where it needs to go. You want it to get there faster than you do.

carry a backpack


Most airlines have luggage sizers right by the door where you check your bags or by the door where you get on the plane. If the check-in person thinks your load is too big or too heavy, you might not be allowed to board with it.

But pack only a little. The trick is to make it look like it needs to be completed so you don’t get too much attention at the checkpoints. When compared to travel bags, hiking packs always look lighter.

But this old guy thinks you should wait to test the limits that the airlines set. They can ask you to measure your backpack; if it doesn’t fit, you might have to pay extra or check it.

In practice, airlines have been relaxed about how big and heavy your carry-on bags can be. But if you want to be sure ahead of time, you can get a daypack for hiking between 30 and 45 liters with overall dimensions that fit airline rules.

A daypack needs to be more significant for a long hike, though. Check out my post about the sizes of day packs. You should check your bag with an airport backpack cover or ship your giant suitcase to your destination.


Trekking poles that fold up and come apart

Hiking poles that collapse and fold up

Are they going to the Rocky Mountains or one of the state parks? Most hikers can only get to the top of a mountain with hiking or trekking poles to help them keep their balance and stay steady.

Even if you don’t think you need them as you get older, it never hurts to use them. But first, you’ll want to know if you can bring your cane, walking stick, trekking poles, or hiking staff on the plane.

TSA only lets people bring walking sticks or canes on board if needed as an aid. Trekking poles, on the other hand, are not allowed at all.

You can put folding hiking poles or hiking staffs that need to be more sharp or pointy in your carry-on. To keep the backpack from getting damaged, it’s best to put it in a bag or cover it.

If the airline’s rules don’t let you bring your hiking poles in your carry-on, you can put them in your checked luggage to be safe.

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