Can I Take Ice AXE Or Ice Picks On Plane 2023?

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If you are an avid mountaineer your Ice Axe or ice pick is an essential tool for your mountain equipment.

And wherever you fly you want your gear to travel with you, in this post we will cover everything you need to know about traveling with Ice Axes / Ice Picks in both carry-on and checked luggage.

Here is the short answer.

Ice Axes or Ice Picks are not permitted in carry-on luggage on most airlines within or outside the United States, because they have sharp points or sharp edges that can be used as a weapon, however you can transport them in checked luggage on most airlines without any problem.

Let’s dive in more on what the TSA says about traveling with Ice Picks and how to protect your Ice Pick in checked luggage.

Let’s dive right in.

a person holding an ice axe
Photo by Adi Perets on

Take Ice Axe through the security checkpoint?

In the TSA website they stated that you can’t bring any type of Ice Axes or Ice Picks through the security checkpoint as they are considered sharp and dangerous items.

Ice Axes can be used to knock someone in the head, meaning they can be used as a weapon.

In fact if you did show up to the airport with your mountain climbing gear and want to go through the security checkpoint there is more chance that you will need to recheck your gear.

If you still want to take some of your climbing gear with you onboard the airplane, only items that have sharp heads less than 4 inches in length are allowed.

Screws, pitons, and draws are considered sharp objects so all of these items need to be transported with your Ice Axe in checked baggage.

Here is what the TSA has to say about taking ice picks and Axes through the security checkpoint.

Credit the TSA

Take ice Axes in checked luggage

Since Ice Axes are not allowed in carry-on luggage, there is only one option left is to transport them as checked luggage.

You will not have any problem traveling with your mountain gear as checked luggage on most airlines, either within the US or on any other international flight.

Make sure that your hiking backpack or any type of bag you take is within your airline checked luggage weight to avoid overweight baggage charge, especially if you are planing to bring more than one Ice Axe.

How To Pack Your Ice Axe For Checked Luggage?

When packing sharp items it is advised to do some added protection, ensure that they are wrapped neatly to prevent any injuries for the airport officers or luggage handlers.

You can use an ice Axe head protector to cover the tip, a piece of clothe or any other type of protection to secure your ice pick.

Other small tools that are not sharp or have a weapon shape can be transported in carry-on luggage without any problem, or you can just place them in the middle of the backpack.

If you are traveling with an expensive or an irreplaceable item it is better to avoid sending it in checked baggage, checked bags are more prone to be opened and searched, and sometimes even stolen items.

Can You Fly With Crampons?

Credit The TSA

Crampons crampons are allowed in carry-on luggage, but the final decision will always be for the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.

Lizzie wonder if she can bring both crampons and her Ice Axe in checked luggage, and the AskTSA replied that Crampons and an ice axe are allowed in checked bags without any issues.

Twitter Credit

Dabnali asked the TSA if he can take an ice Axe climbing tool in carry-on baggage if the tip is protected.

But unfortunately the AskTSA replied that even if the tip is protected the Ice Axe still not allowed in carry-on luggage.

Twitter Credit

Final thoughts

You can take Ice Axe on plane only as checked luggage; ensure that Ice Pick is sheathed and protected to avoid any injuries for people handling your bags.

If the aviation authorities allow sharp items in carry-on luggage like Ice Axes or trekking poles can be used with some bad guys and threat the safety of passengers and the aircraft, or just a passenger that has a bad temper.

So to avoid any possibilities of this happening the TSA and airlines do not allow any large sharp items in carry on luggage.