Traveling by airplane with your crampons and ice axe can be a bit concerning! How do you pack these sharp, weapon-like objects without tearing your gear or luggage to shreds? Here is the process I used when trying this for my first time, and some tips to prevent any damage.
1. Wrap up your crampons with the bottom (sharp) sides facing inwards. This is the most compact way that they conform and leaves the least amount of sharp edges facing outward.
2. Buy a crampon case with durable nylon and a mesh opening that helps them dry after use. This will help keep the crampons separate and protected when packing your gear.
3. Use an axe protector to prevent wholes in neighboring items. Remember that even the butt of the axe can be sharp.
4. For one last reassuring measure, I use an old ski sock to slip over my axe, and an old neck gator to wrap around my crampon case.
5. Make sure you pack these in a CHECKED BAG or else TSA might think you’re crazy. I suggest packing them in your ski bag. There will be less damage to soft goods and airport security will be less confused by this weapon-like equipment when they see your ski gear.