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Travel: If you need to take your gear on a flight, read this USPA and TSA travel advisory. It is written for skydiving rigs, but applies to BASE rigs as well.

The TSA advices you to take your rig as a carry-on instead of checking it in. The main reasoning is that the TSA requires the owner of the rig to be there if they decide to open the container. If your rig is checked in, it’s going to be a lot more hassle to find you.

Skydiving rigs can be a bigger problem than BASE rigs because of the AAD which can show up as a black box on their X-ray machines.

Another good reason to have your rig as carry-on is that checked-in luggage can end up missing more easily. Usually it arrives later that day or the next day, but sometimes it just disappears completely. The most important thing to have at your destination is your rig. You can always buy a pair of clean undies and borrow a helmet from somebody. Finding gear to jump in on such short notice is a lot harder.

It is highly recommended to have your rig in the stash bag with nothing else in it. Be sure to take the hook knife off and put that with your checked luggage. While there are reports of people having taken hook knives as carry-on, there is no need to raise suspicion.

Quote Originally Posted by Nick Di Giovanni
One problem with checked rigs is how much they get jostled around. You know how gently you treat a packed BASE rig before jumping. Throwing it around can mingle the lines in the tail pocket, and so on. If you repack before jumping, or are just field packed on your way to an object, this isn't too big a deal.
Another thing is having a hard shell case to put it in. Checking a soft sided gear bag with your rig risks having it on the bottom of the baggage hold with 2000 pounds of other people’s luggage bearing down on top of it.
Also in inclement weather checked baggage can sometimes get soaked while sitting on the ramp getting loaded or unloaded.
I’ve checked rigs the way Moe does it. He shrink wraps the rig in a medium weight plastic bag by sucking the air out with a vacuum cleaner before sealing it. It then goes into something hard sided with a big sticker that says, “Life Support Equipment, Please Handle Gently!” You can get stickers like that at most medical supply stores.
BASE rigs tend to be small and are easy to carry-on; it’s the helmet, pads, clamps and all the other claptrap that bulks things up.
Besides, being a licensed aircraft mechanic, if I’m ever called on to crawl into the nose gear well to straighten an Airbus front wheel, I want to be wearing a rig…
Quote Originally Posted by Jaap Suter
I have checked in rigs with my other luggage and I’ve taken them with me as carry-ons; neither has ever posed a problem. BASE-rigs are really no big deal, they’re just a backpack with some fabric in them. I think that taking a backpack with some rope and some bedsheets would raise the same suspicion: none.
I’ve passed airport security with carry-on skydiving and base rigs at least eighteen times and never even had anybody ask me about it.

Categories: Category:Gear

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