How to Secure your Equipment Properly on a Plane

It’s usually fairly easy to pack for a trip, but airlines have become more stringent about what can be added to your luggage. Many pieces of equipment, such as hunting or digital equipment, are restricted or have specific rules that you must abide to avoid penalties. While it will largely depend on the airline’s specific rules, here are some tips that are useful for nearly any type of equipment.

Wrap Sharp Edges

Hooks, arrows and many other objects have sharp edges that can cause injury to people who handle the equipment. When you are bringing something sharp on the trip, it’s very common for the airline’s security officers to check the object to ensure that it’s permitted on the flight. Touching the sharp part by accident might injure the handler. Wrap anything sharp in some sort of material so that everyone is safe.

You don’t have to be excessive about wrapping the object. Just make sure that the sharp parts aren’t exposed.

casing for airlines

Hard Casing

Hard casing is typically a requirement for any type of equipment, but it’s also a good idea on your part. For example, guns must be carried in hard casing to minimize the risk of them going off during transportation, and to also ensure that nearby items aren’t damaged if it does go off. If you fail to use hard casing with your equipment, then you might be penalized or unable to bring it on the flight.

It’s also a good idea because most pieces of equipment are expensive. The hard casing will significantly reduce the likelihood of nearby baggage destroying or damaging your items.

Expensive Equipment

If you have very expensive equipment, then you may want to add it to your carry-on luggage. This is prohibited with many types of equipment due to size or safety concerns, but there are some small pieces of equipment that can be carried on the plane.

For example, most small electrical devices, fishing reels or fragile pieces of equipment can be carried on the plane. If you can’t carry the equipment, then consider using incredibly durable casing, or ship it separately to your destination.

Checked Luggage

There are very few instances when pieces of equipment can be carried on the plane. You might be able to if you have a small piece of equipment, like a smartphone or animal repellant, but most pieces of equipment must be checked. Be sure to tell the handlers about your equipment before they scan the case.

If they find something dangerous and you don’t tell them about it, then you might be penalized or arrested. For example, failing to tell them about a gun will result in arrest and a $10,000 penalty.

You should also pack the equipment separately because of this. The handlers will want to open the case and check the content. If there is a key or combination, then supply it to the handlers so that they can open the case. Your equipment will then be loaded with the rest of the checked baggage.

Understand Restrictions

Every airline has its own specific rules and restrictions. The TSA might be fine with you bringing a piece of equipment if it’s properly wrapped or packaged, but the airline itself may refuse to carry the cargo. It’s a good idea to call the airline beforehand and see what their specific rules are. This may not be necessary if the equipment is safe, but it’s still a good idea because you don’t want your equipment to be restricted. You might miss your flight or face penalties if you don’t abide by their rules.


Securing equipment on a plane is fairly easy, but you must be mindful of the rules and restrictions. Most pieces of equipment must be placed in the cargo compartment in a hard case, anything sharp must be wrapped and you must tell the handlers about your equipment before they scan the case. If you have something very expensive, then you might want to consider transporting it a different way that might be safer. It’s also a good idea to call the airline to ensure that your equipment is permitted on the plane.

Micheal Salty is a contributor for Sierra Cases, a company dedicated to helping consumers find the best rackmount cases from Sierra Cases for their traveling equipment.

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