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#30677 - 04/01/13 05:06 AM Gear on a Plane
Anon
Unregistered


Hey All,

I am not too familiar with the policy for airlines but what is the best way to get our gear from one side of the country to the other? Can we just throw our tents, spikes, ice axes, stoves, knives, etc into a huge duffel and check it at the airport? Any suggested travel tips would be great.

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#30679 - 04/01/13 05:21 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1547
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Done this a lot recently. Check with your specific airline, but generally there is 50 lb per bag limit. Extra charge for overwheight or the second bag. I usually pack my pack for the hike, then put it and any loose gear in an oversize duffel bag, up to 49 pounds. YOu can transport just about anything you will be hiking with, except fuel and matches. Pack your bottles empty and buy gas and matches at the destination. If you have nowhere to stow gear at the other end, you will have to cache the duffel and any extras somewhere. There are no lockers in most airports or bus terminals any more, so you will have to be creative about that.

If you have a base of some kind in your destination city, and you have somewhere to stash extra gear, here is a little tip that works for me. If you happen to be carrying extra gear, or a change of clothes, or a few pounds of essentials over the 50 lb limit in a smaller backpack, and if it happens to be a hair oversize for carry-on, and if you are boarding near the end of the line, gee, you just might not be able to actually carry it on and be asked to check it at the gate. Free.
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#30683 - 04/01/13 07:40 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: MattD
Hey All,

I am not too familiar with the policy for airlines but what is the best way to get our gear from one side of the country to the other? Can we just throw our tents, spikes, ice axes, stoves, knives, etc into a huge duffel and check it at the airport? Any suggested travel tips would be great.


Here's a link to Kayak's page which lists airline fees. Keep an eye on the weight - sometimes they weigh the bags, sometimes they don't. And check out SouthWest as the first 2 bags fly free. They have flights from Boston and Manchester (which I use regularly).
http://www.kayak.com/airline-fees

If you're headed for Whitney, consider flying into Ontario rather than Reno or Las Vegas. Not only is it a bit closer driving time, but vehicle rentals are nearly always cheaper. And, it's an easy airport to get in/out of. Am using it myself again in June for a trip to Whitney, Langeley and some DV peaks.

The quick answer to the question above is mostly yes - just throw it into a duffle, being mindful of weight. You can't ship fuel for a stove, though, so buy that upon arrival at your destination.

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#30697 - 04/02/13 12:24 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
Last time I flew, there were lots of people with carry-on luggage that wouldn't fit in the overhead spots. In fact most small planes have that trouble.

Since it costs extra to check your luggage the conventional way, lots of people now carry on their luggage and drop it at the gate. The bag gets stowed like "checked" luggage, but gets unloaded first and handed over to disembarking passengers at the gate.

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#30700 - 04/02/13 05:01 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: KevinR]
MattD
Unregistered


Thanks for the advice! I purchased a guide on Mt. Whitney, it suggests to fly into Bob Hope Airport. Do you still recommend Ontario over this? I will be leaving from Boston. Also, I think it's impossible to find a direct flight in.

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#30701 - 04/02/13 08:11 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Ontario is great.

If you're looking for a direct flight, you might look at Long Beach. Jet Blue flies direct from Boston to LGB. When my wife and I make trips back east (NH), this is our preferred airline and our 2nd choice (after ONT), airport wise.

If I were flying into SoCal, I'd look at these airports, in this order:
ONT
LGB
PSP
SNA
LAX

For car rentals, we've had good luck price-wise with http://www.foxrentacar.com/
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#30704 - 04/02/13 08:40 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Ontario is the closest. I would have said Pasaden/Burbank next. Doesn't Long Beach add a lot of driving and traffic?

If it were me coming from the east coast, I'd fly Southwest direct into Vegas and drive. Nice drive.


Edited by Akichow (04/02/13 08:54 AM)
Edit Reason: Confused my airports

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#30705 - 04/02/13 08:42 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: MattD
Thanks for the advice! I purchased a guide on Mt. Whitney, it suggests to fly into Bob Hope Airport. Do you still recommend Ontario over this? I will be leaving from Boston. Also, I think it's impossible to find a direct flight in.


I have no idea why a guide would suggest the Burbank airport. I think you'll find flights more $$ as well as the rentals. In terms of access to the Eastern Sierra - it's about the same as Ontario in terms of drive time. Am a big fan of SouthWest.

I doubt you'll find a direct flight unless you do a BOS/LAX, and then you have to deal with LAX and the longer drive across downtown LA. If I were saving a substantial amount of $$, I might consider it but otherwise - it's among my least favorite airports.

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#30709 - 04/02/13 10:14 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Akichow]
John Sims Offline


Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 524
Loc: Sunnyvale, California
Originally Posted By: Akichow

If it were me coming from the east coast, I'd fly Southwest direct into Vegas and drive. Nice drive.


Agree 100%. Ticket prices either less or the same. Shorter flight(s) saves air time, and off sets drive time. Much more pleasant experience.

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#30710 - 04/02/13 10:32 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Akichow]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 670
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Doesn't Long Beach add a lot of driving and traffic?


I suggested it since he mentioned he was looking for a direct flight.
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#30711 - 04/02/13 10:57 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Anon
Unregistered


Thank you to each and everyone of you. Each bit of advice from everyone has been extremely helpful. I have alot of options and decsions to make. I am not sure about landing in Vegas...that is just asking for extra trouble!! :)

But honestly, thank you. This is a wonderful site and a great community to learn from. I hope I have the opportunity to bump into some of you on the mountain. My entry date is June 18th. I will arrive 2 days earlier and hang out and the Whitney Portal campsites. Planning on coming off the trail on June 20th. If you are around I will buy you a beer!... But we are not going to Vegas!

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#30712 - 04/02/13 11:08 AM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7225
Loc: Fresno, CA
MattD, seriously, consider Las Vegas! It is not the foul place people might make it to be. Just stay away from "The Strip" at night, unless you walk it, since it is a zoo.

The fun of flying into Vegas is that you can then drive through Death Valley on your way to Lone Pine. It is definitely a unique experience -- you get to see that environment, along with hiking Mt Whitney. Drive it during daylight at least one direction, and mornings are best to avoid the high temps. But rental cars should be able to handle even the worst temps.

You could even alter the route to see more of Death Valley if you had time.

Google maps shows a 4 hour drive from Las Vegas: (link) It's only 45 minutes longer drive than Ontario, and you avoid all city driving (except escaping Vegas wink  ).


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#30715 - 04/02/13 02:11 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 578
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: MattD
... But we are not going to Vegas!


Stick to your guns. The last thing you want after traveling for 8-10 hours & 3,000 miles is a 4-5 hour drive thru a desert, where if you miss getting something to eat/drink shortly after leaving Vegas it's unlikely you'll find anything until Lone Pine, and by the time you get to Lone Pine little will be open. If you have time after your hike, then see DV - it's a fascinating place for sure.


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#30716 - 04/02/13 03:37 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: KevinR]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1547
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
Originally Posted By: KevinR
Originally Posted By: MattD
... But we are not going to Vegas!


Stick to your guns. The last thing you want after traveling for 8-10 hours & 3,000 miles is a 4-5 hour drive thru a desert, where if you miss getting something to eat/drink shortly after leaving Vegas it's unlikely you'll find anything until Lone Pine, and by the time you get to Lone Pine little will be open. If you have time after your hike, then see DV - it's a fascinating place for sure.


Wait, seriously, from Ontario, you don't drive through desert to Lone Pine? Oh, right: you get to drive through Cucamonga, Fontana, THEN desert.

3,000 miles? 8-10 hours? I fly out of Boston all the time, and its never been more than 6 hrs to Vegas. More like 5 Air miles = 2375 to Vegas, 2566 to Ontario, knocking that 40 minute/23 mile/ drive difference down to less than nothing, considering traffic
_________________________
Wherever you go, there you are.
SPOTMe!

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#30717 - 04/02/13 06:24 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: ]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Best to hang out at Horseshoe Meadows rather than the portal! Higher sleeping altitude (by 2000')! Some great hikes up there, too. Just hang a left off the Portal Road a few miles from town, and keep driving up! Developed campsites, bear boxes, pit toilets, picnic tables, and you can drive to town in half an hour if you want a nice sit down dinner....

You can probably get a direct flight to Vegas. Overall, door to door, probably save you time. And the drive through Death Valley is hella awesome. (Did I just say " hella awesome"? Don't recognize myself anymore.)

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#30720 - 04/02/13 07:29 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
I've made the trip from Atlanta to the Sierra a half dozen times in the past few years, and another half dozen to Death Valley. I definitely prefer going through Vegas (cheap rental cars generally), versus L.A. It's about the same distance overall driving to Lone Pine from either Vegas or L.A., but I find it's quicker and easier going through Vegas.

There's also a shortcut from Vegas to DV that can knock off 45 minutes or so from the traditional route. Take Hwy 160 west (known as Blue Diamond Rd in Vegas) to Pahrump. Eat, drink, buy supplies in Pahrump (Super Wal-Mart recommended for supplies). Continue almost to the end of the business district on 160 and turn left on Bell Vista Rd. This will take you into Cali, where it re-names to State Line Rd, and dead ends right in front of the Old Opera House. A quick right, then a quick left on Hwy 190 has you headed to Furnace Freek, and ultimately Lone Pine.

The beauty of this route is that there is almost no traffic most of the drive. You also have eating/drinking options in DV at Furnace Creek, Stovepipe Wells and Panamint Springs. Do not buy gas in the park, as it runs about $1.00 more than Cali prices outside the park. Top off in Pahrump. You're going to drive through desert to get to LP no matter what - you might as well go through the meanest, baddest one in the world and enjoy it.


Gary

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#30721 - 04/02/13 07:41 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Bulldog34]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I love those roads! Brings back wonderful memories. Somewhere out there is a pretty cool date farm (random thought).

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#30722 - 04/02/13 07:57 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Akichow]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Karin, I've always loved the desert - especially the high desert. I guess that's one of the reasons I go to DV in the winter most years. Some folks see it as just ugly wasteland, but to me it's beautiful. A different kind of beautiful than the Sierra, Rockies, Cascades, etc., but enthralling all the same. I'd hike in the desert any day versus the green tunnel of the Appalachian Trail.

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#30723 - 04/02/13 08:25 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Bulldog34]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
Like!

Anyway, Original Poster, please don't rule out Las Vegas too quickly. But whatever you do, you'll have a blast! And please consider Horseshoe Meadows for acclimatization per earlier post. And share pictures of your adventure!

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#30724 - 04/02/13 08:34 PM Re: Gear on a Plane [Re: Akichow]
Whitney Fan Offline


Registered: 12/02/09
Posts: 213
Loc: Las Vegas
I recommend, and this is, of course, a TOTALLY and COMPLETELY and HONESTLY UNBIASED opinion (snark snark) . . . fabulous Las Vegas!

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