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fullquiver

transporting gear

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Our troop is planning a trip to the Grand Tetons next summer. We are trying to calculate costs as close as possible. One issue we keep running into is transporting gear from Alabama to Wyoming. Shipping it is really expensive. Some are afraid of trying to check it on the plane.

 

Any thoughts on how would be the best way to handle this?

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As far as I know you cannot carry camp stoves, and certainly not fuel, in any baggage going on an airplane. UPS ground is not too expensive, and you could probably ship some heavier crew gear that way. Plan on buying fuel locally at your destination.

 

You may prefer to buy some of your food locally upon arrival. While you will not be able to dehydrate anything, there are some more or less standard items you can get in local grocery stores.

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Yah, fullquiver, can I ask why folks are afraid of checkin' stuff on the plane?

 

Scouts check backpacks and duffles on planes by the droves every summer. If you're worried about the baggage busters, throw your backpacks in a cheap outer duffle to keep the straps and things from catching in the equipment.

 

Yeh can transport stoves and empty fuel bottles that have no residual gas in checked luggage just fine. See http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/editorial_1187.shtm. Problem is just that you don't want to set off the vapor detectors, so the stuff should be well cleaned and aired out. If it smells like gas, it won't go. Yeh can also use new fuel bottles, pick 'em up at the destination, or ship yours in advance. Pretty cheap via UPS.

 

Fuel you'll have to get at the destination, of course.

 

B

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Have you considered renting/borrowing/hauling a small trailer? When we went to Yellowstone/Grand Teton National Parks in 2004, we hauled our troop trailer which gives you a lot of flexibility along the way.

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Thanks for the thoughts...

 

The reason some are afraid to check our backpacks is the danger of the airlines "misplacing" our luggage. One of our adults has had the worst luck in that regard. He has even had his luggage lost on direct flights.

 

That is a good idea about the cheap duffle bags.

 

We have priced shipping and it looks to be about $120 per person to ship round trip.

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Bah, you're folks are bein' overly paranoid. Unless yeh have a really tight connection or get to the airport late, odds are yeh won't have any problem with lost luggage.

 

Arrive as a group. Arrive early. Remove all old airline stickers from luggage (if yeh leave old ones on they might get scanned instead of the new destination stickers). Put on good nametags.

 

You'll be fine. And if somethin' odd happens, it's just part of the adventure. Kids don't mind bein' in dirty clothes for a day. Let 'em deal with it.

 

Seems less than Thrifty to spend all that extra money guardin' against something that's unlikely to be an issue, and not that big a problem if it is. Shipping companies lose stuff too, eh? ;)

 

Beavah

 

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instead of a cheap outer duffel, we use a freebie sturdy cardboard box. Put the pack inside the box, add some wadded newspaper, tape or glue the box shut, lash a handling rope around it & off it goes. Forgot to mention we cover any & all printing with brown spray paint before writing our destination address on it. The rope "handle" holds the tags.

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Thanks for all the input. I think we have a couple of Dads that are thinking about driving out with the Troop trailer and carrying all the gear. Their thought is that they will tour Yellowstone after our backpacking trip. So if that is the case...problem solved.

 

Thanks again...

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Did it last year from the East Coast. Flew to Denver, drove down to Pikes Peak / Royal Gorge, up to the Tetons / Yellowstone, over to Cody, on to Custer and the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Badlands, Wounded Knee, back to Rocky Mountain NP and on to Denver for the return trip. Rented Toyota Sienna vans for the driving part, lots of room for people and gear inside and great mileage besides (22 - 24 mpg in the mountains with a full load).

 

Airlines were generally allowing two checked bags per person so each person had one canvas duffle containing their packs and other gear and one of troop gear. Daypacks were carry-on of course. Took propane stoves and bought disposable bottles out there (gave away the extras before returning). Bought styrofoam ice chests and gave them away as well. Bought all of our food out there, look up Super Walmart's on-line ahead of time for the best prices.

 

Do thorough planning and you can have a great trip. Enjoy yourself and watch out for the bears!!

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Sounds like you have a great trip planned! If the trailer falls through and gear needs to be checked on the plane, remember to budget for the checked baggage fees. They've gotten downright onerous. Northwest, for example, charges $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second bag if the fee is prepayed - add $5 to each if not. Ugh!! Negotiation is everything though. Maybe give a Scout a challenge - see if he can get the fee waived for the trip (with confirmation on the airlines letterhead to take to check-in).

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Way back when, for our trip way out West, we took the train so we could slowly acclimatize to altitude. We got tickets for one compartment. Everyone else rode the sleeper coach. We carried everything on board, and piled-secured-everything into the comparment -- leaving room for one bed. It worked fine. Haven't been on a train in quite a while, so don't know about nowadays.

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boomer,

 

AMTRAK still works today pretty much the same way as you remember it. We took the train to Philmont from Indianapolis in June of 2007. It was a great experience with great group rate price discounts, too. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. We loaded all our backpacks into the baggage car and transferred everything in Chicago to the Southwest Chief. Other than a minor derailment, a six-hour bus ride from Fort Madison to Kansas City, being put up for free in $300/night rooms with free breakfasts the following morning, we encountered no problems whatsoever, plus we had a geat experience/ride out to God's Country and plenty of material for our trip journals. Probably the first and last time most of our Scouts ever rode/will ride on a railroad train, and I dare say they'll remember it forever.

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Try U-haul trailers they arent to bad on pricing and as someone mentioned have a few people drive out early makes life easy.

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