In the old days, we used bricks as challenge weight. In fact the weight was never specified, just 4 or 6 bricks. Traveling was easier, because bricks are cheap and duct tape is cheaper. Have a local grab some for you, wrap ahead of time, and enjoy your event.
Now, of course, bricks are no longer cool and plates are all the rage. They’re durable, take up less space, and just look cooler. They’re also expensive and this means Joe Local won’t be buying you a plate to pick up after you land.
Almost every week somebody on the Goruck Tough facebook page asks “What is the best way to fly with my plate?”
You have some options, and these are listed below in order of my preference and convenience.
By the way, if you don’t yet have a GORUCK plate, you can order your GORUCK ruck plate here
Beg, steal, borrow
Okay, don’t steal, but if you can borrow a plate from a reliable source at your destination it saves you lots of hassle. I have 5 plates of different weights at home for anyone doing an event in Boston or NH to borrow. Go to your event page, and you may get lucky.
That said, you’ll probably want to use the plate you bought and trained with – especially if you’ve festooned it with motivational stickers or photos in memory of someone. This leaves the next best choice of
Check your plate
You can try and bring your plate in your on-board baggage, and sometimes you’ll have luck. However, TSA have regularly refused plates in carry-ons for a number of reasons, for example a heavy carry-on is a risk if in the overhead compartment (to avoid this, don’t put it in your wheelie) or that it can be used as a “bludgeoning device”
If you’ve already sent checked bags through, and now you have a loose plate, you won’t be happy and you’ll be delayed further during the flight.
Therefore the safest thing to do is place your plate inside your checked baggage. Make sure its well away from things it can crush and/or break, maybe even inside your ruck, which is inside your case.
Its important to note that GORUCK have already had the conversation with TSA, and they too advise you check your plate : https://twitter.com/asktsa/status/764132360245870592
This is the least welcomed approach for all the reasons above. If you DO want to risk it, then make sure you at least take the following precautions
- Make the plate easily accessible, or better yet take it out of your carry on ruck and place in a tray to speed things up for you and everyone behind you
- Make a print-out that explains GORUCK and perhaps use a picture of the plate inside a ruck as part of the printout
- If you add an “in memorial” photo, or otherwise personalize the plate, it looks less aggressive and opens up the conversation more with TSA
Good luck and enjoy your ruck