Are you going to fly in the near future and is wondering if you should bring your archery equipment? This article is going to explain everything you need to know on how to fly with archery equipment. I have been traveling a lot to competitions in the past year and I have gained a lot of knowledge around the topic that I would like to share with you.
Flying with archery equipment is done very regularly at the airport so there are measurements and systems in place making it really simple and safe to travel with your bow and arrow. Keeping the bow in a secure case and having your arrowheads in containers is the most important part you should do.
Shipping The Bow Instead of flying the archery equipment
In my past trips, I have shipped the bow the week before my plane ride. This saves me the hassle on the airport and the cost is not much higher than bringing it along on the airplane. I just put it in my bow case (this one) it gives you insurance up to 1500 USD which comes in handy if something breaks. If you use any other case you can add insurance at the post office as well.
Shipping the bow costs me about 40 USD depending on how much of my other equipment I bring along, but it’s usually not that expensive. Bringing it with you on the plain is usually cheaper, but by shipping it I don’t have to carry it around on the airport. The less I have to do on the day of travel the happier I am.
This is something to consider if you have the time to do it before the trip. If not taking it on the airplane is not so much harder either. I will explain to you what you need and what you should include in your bow case.
TSA Rules when it comes to flying archery equipment
“Bow and Arrows. Bows and arrows are prohibited from carry-on luggage, but may be packed in checked luggage. Sharp objects packed in checked luggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and security screeners. “
Just wanted to point out that having your arrow heads laying around is not a good idea, make sure to have them in a hard container. I will tell you my methode in the end of this article, but just dont let them lay around and not take them as carry on either. Its sharp so they will take it from you.
Cost Of Bringing Archery Equipment OnThe Plain
The cost is very different from each country and the weight you are brining along. Often it can be taken along with no extra cost and sometimes they will charge you 25 USD for checking in extra luggage. This is something you have to figure out by yourself, but make sure to be prepared to pay extra.
A quick tip, bring 10 USD and keep it in your hand visible for the employee so he sees you will tip him. I am not so sure how ethical this is, but it has worked wonders for me. The employee at the aiport rarly charges me for over weight and even skips the weighing part sometimes.
Choosing A Bow Case For Flying
The single most important thing to keep your equipment safe during your flight is a good and sturdy case for your equipment. Here is a post that shows you the best bow cases.
There are mainly two types of bow cases, There soft bow cases, and hard bow cases. When we are talking about flying with the equipment a hard case is the only one I recommend for this.
The reason for this is that you cant bring your equipment as carry-on luggage. So your equipment will be placed with the other hundred bags that can pressure or damage the equipment.
The Soft-case can be really practical when you want to travel by buss, train or your car. Because there you have a litle more control over the damage that can be caused on your equipment.
The soft Case comes with a lot of inner pockets and strong material. They are pretty simple to shop for because the only things you really needs is a bag big enough to hold your equipment and find a bag that has a pocket big enough for your arrows, besides thats its pretty straight forward.
The soft case is usually a lot lighter than the hard case and can be very practical to have when you want to just shoot at the range and have somthing to carry your archery equipment aroudn with.
The Hard Case on the other side has a few more variables you need to remember and think about in order to get it right. We are going to help you with this, to find the bow case that fits right for you. This is the one I found that is perfect at a good cost (Link To Amazon) It’s an SKB case which comes with approved TSA locks, really hard and solid case with a lot of room in it making it possible to take all your equipment along with you.
The difference between the hard case and the soft case is the difference in the amount of pressure and fighting they can take. Both soft and hard case is great, but for different activities. The reason I bought a hard case is that I fly often and I don’t want the pressure of the other luggage to damage my archery equipment.
The first thing you need to find out is what kind of material you want on your bag and how much protection you need. There are several types of bow cases and the protection they provide. The protection ranges from hard plastic to waterproof and to waterproof and heat protected cases.
For a regular airplane ride having a heatprotected bag wouldnt be nesaccairy, but I recommend you to have a waterproof case if you find one, it can be really nice when you are at the range to have a place to put your equipment somewhere where it can stay dry.
Most airplane companies need you to have a TSA lock on your cases. The TSA lock makes it possible for the employes at the airport to check your luggage if they have any suspicion. If you don’t have a TSA lock and they suspect something with your luggage it will be broken up and can possible damage your case and your equipment.
So make sure the case you have has it orelse replace the lock with it. Its a lot better to do it now than on the airport.
Having wheels can be great when you are traveling with the gear. They are not very useful for moving around on the range, but very nice to have at the airport. It can be a lifesaver when you are bringing along all of your other luggage for the trip having to carry the case with you can be a pain, so make sure the case you are looking into has wheels!
Tips For Keeping Your Equipment Oragnized and Safe
For the arrows I like to have them loose instead of having them in a quiver or a bag. That way they can move more so if there are any pressure or movement that can make them damaged they can move around in stead.
Use the Extra gear
You should pack all your archery equipment inside the archery case, this way you all your equipment in one place and if you have some soft hunting clothes it will serve as extra protection for your gear.
I learned this the hard way when I brought my reticle single pin bow sight with me on a flight and didn’t cover it up when I got it back after the flight it was all scratched up.
My case already has a lot of sponge that prevents any damage, but it can still be a lot of space in the case so instead of everything jumping around in there I use the extra equipment as I mentioned.
Medisin Container for Arrow Heads
Something I like to do is to use a Medising Container or any container that works for you really and put the arrow heads in it. This way they are not floating everywhere and it looks more organized. I wrapped around some camo around it just to give it the look I wanted.
Tips For Your Flight With Archery Equipment
Make sure to go early to the airport to have more time to check in all of your equipment. This is important to do when it’s your first time traveling with the equipment and your case. Finding the counter where to check in the special luggage and getting all of your luggage approved by size and weight. After you have done it a few times you will know what to do and what it will cost etc.
Dont be surprised
Sometimes your checked in luggage may not come at the luggage carousel. Sometimes it will be brought to you by a gate agent. When I checked in my archery equipment in Norway it was checked in as special luggage and you would have to pick it up at the special luggage room at the airport. It can be similar for several other European countries so look out for that.
I hope you learned something new on the topic of flying with archery equipment.
Andy Ryan is an archery enthusiast who has been practising hunting and target shooting as long as he can remember. He is known for his accurate groupings and humming laughter. His texts are packed with experiences and knowledge about the archery sport that few obtain.