FlyING With a Backpacking STOVE

Flying with your backpacking stove is trickier than with other equipment. You might be able to bring your stove along for the flight, but it heavily depends on your airlines’ policies.

Rules For Flying With A Camp Stove

Rule number one – clean your stove. Even if camping and backpacking stoves are allowed on the plane by your airline, they all have a condition that the stove must be clear of any fuel residue. Make sure that your stove is as clean as a whistle so it would pass the smell test.

TSA guidelines allow camp stoves in carry-on or checked bags, only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that no fuel vapors or residue remains. Airline policies vary across companies:

Ensure you consult your airline for the latest regulations, the last thing you want is to throw away your trusty stove due to unforeseen airport rules and missteps.

Fuel is Forbidden On Planes

All airlines, including the TSA and The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) prohibit fuel as a hazardous, flammable material. Also, containers and equipment that contain residual fuel or fuel vapors are forbidden in carry-on and checked baggage. New and empty liquid fuel bottles are okay, but used containers must be completely cleaned out. Plan ahead, and be prepared to buy fuel at your destination. If you’re short on time, do some research and find suppliers beforehand.

Enforcement Quirks

After many flights with backpacking equipment, we’ve had mixed results. We have experienced that it is entirely up to the person at the counter and security to make the decision and if they’re in a bad mood, your stove will be gone. On the other hand, we’ve also been lucky that no one looked at the individual items since we forgot a half-filled canister with the stove and no one said a thing.

The main problem is enforcement of the rules can vary wildly. TSA and airline agents may not be familiar with the specific rules or know the difference between fuel bottles and canisters, and it’s easier and safer for them to confiscate something they’re not sure about than to allow something bad to slip through.

Renting A Backpacking Stove

What if bringing your stove on the flight isn’t an option? Instead of purchasing a new one, consider the convenience of renting. Seek out a local backpacking equipment rental shop at your destination, where you can easily snag a stove and all the essentials. Major retailers like REI offer gear rental service at their stores. Alternatively, explore options like Outdoors Geek, a gear rental company that ships equipment to your destination. Pick it up at a UPS store, motel, campground, or similar locations, just like shipping your own gear. It’s a budget-friendly alternative to buying a brand-new stove, leaving your trusty old one patiently waiting back home.

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