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Author Topic: ? on packing gear for South Africa for those who have been
shortstroke 91
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On advice of some I bought a hard sided / ata aproved travel case for golf clubs to pack my gear in. I'm curious if I should expect any issues if the case is full of clothes and archery gear instead of golf equip.

Just trying to avoid any problems that might come up.

I've seen different weight restrictions on golf cases and am wondering if anyone who has used one,what was your experience?

Thanks,

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shortstroke 91
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Gerardo
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I am also interested in this, someone will sure bring in some knowledge

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Gerardo Rodriguez

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calgarychef
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It's looked at as sporting gear if it's archery related. There might be a charge for oversized luggage but it's not much....compared to the price of a hunt.
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Bill Turner
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I read somewhere that hard side golf equipment bags are great for packing archery gear to Africa. They are not treated nearly as badly as gun cases, bow cases, etc. The chance of a safe, on time arrival are enhanced. I'd definitely check into it.
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Brent Hill
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Anything that does not look like a gun or gun case will help. I used an old duffle bag and wrapped my bow in clothes and wrote bow and arrows in big letters on the bag and had no issues on both trips. My buddy took his wheelie bow in a bowcase that resembles a guncase and found himself in the gun line. For some crazy reason, I have heard that golfers are treated better by the airlines and have seen short recommendation by someone, possibly in TBM, to use a hard side golf bag for the same reason. I'm not sure about weight restrictions, but you shouldn't have any other problems. Bhill
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amar911
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I have a NalPak TuffPak http://www.nalpak.com/TuffpakSportCases that was originally designed for hauling around tripods for camera crews. Now they are commonly used for guns, bows, and all sorts of other equipment. When you are traveling to Africa you will see several people with them on your flight. The cases now are fairly recognizable as "gun cases", but so are most cases that size that are going to Africa. Typically, your plane will be filled with hunters and mission groups, not golfers, so anyone who is half way knowledgeable will assume there is hunting equipment of some sort in large, hard-sided baggage. I have transported bows (and rifles too) in my TuffPak on a number of occasions without any trouble. I always stuff some of my extra gear (clothes, boots, jackets, knives, arrows, etc.) into the TuffPak until it is either full or at the maximum weight for the airlines because the TuffPak is very protective and also has wheels that will roll. The golf club case will be similar, although it does not have the same level of protection or security as the TuffPak. With guns those are important factors, but with bows the golf club case will be more than adequate.

I would recommend a good take down bow case for your bow with even a little added padding inside the bow case to keep the pieces of the bow from knocking against each other and damaging the finish. The best bow case I have used for traveling to Africa is the Safari Tuff Gazelle case http://www.safarituff.com/predator_bowcase.html. I also have a couple of the Rhino bow cases that Rod makes, which are great cases for most uses, but they are not as protective in my opinion as the Gazelles. Another hint: take along a strung bow case with you so your bow doesn't get banged up while you are riding around Africa in the vehicle over rough terrain. You and everyone around you will be happy you brought the strung bow case, because otherwise you will be trying to hold the bow in your hands, or people will be diverting their time and attention to protecting it, or it will be getting damaged. The strung bow case will keep the bow protected and will allow everyone to keep their attention on hunting. I have tried all the cases, and the best I have found for a strung bow with a bow quiver is the one from 3Rivers http://www.3riversarchery.com/Cases+Bow++Strung+Recurve+Longbow+with+Quiver+Case_c43_s193_p0_i1154_product.html. Even if you use a back or side quiver (and I often use a Safari Tuff Arrowmaster or Duiker side quiver), the 3Rivers case I mention will work fine for bows without the quiver and will give you the option of later using it with a bow that sports a bow quiver. In that regard, I often take along my Arrowmaster or Duiker quiver as well as my bow quiver and use the side quiver as my arrow case. It is an easy matter to add a little extra padding around parts of the side quiver to provide full length protection for the arrows, and then you have an arrow case that you can actually use as a side quiver when you get to Africa.

Make sure if you have screw-on points or broadheads that you remove them from your arrows for travel. Use proper protection from you broadheads for the safety of everyone concerned, including baggage handlers and security staff. Depending on the type of broadhead you choose, there are various ways to pack them. I would be happy to discuss that with you if you want some additional information. You can PM me. Make sure and bring some light duty webbing straps with delrin buckles. The straps work well in some packing applications, for rigging up bow cases in the vehicle, etc. They are cheap, small, and light and have many uses. Just don't get them too short. You can always cut them down, but you can't add length.

There is significant red tape to deal with if you are bringing firearms into South Africa, and it is worthwhile to hire one of the local groups to help smooth out that process. But bringing in bows and arrows is no problem whatsoever, especially trad bows. I assume you will be taking a take down bow(s). They don't even want to look at those or any of your associated archery equipment like arrows or broadheads.

Because you will be on international flights, you normally will get 2 checked items and you carry-ons. Most of the airlines allow 50 pounds for each checked bag, so you should not have any problem with your golf bag. Having your other bags on wheels is nice for airports, but the wheel systems add weight and bulk and prevent you from collapsing your other bags when you need to, so I tend to take non-rolling soft-side bags for everything else besides the hard case that will transport the bows, arrows or firearms. Lots of other people use wheeled bags, so figure out what works best for you. Make sure to check with the airlines you will travel on for weight restrictions on your baggage and then weigh your bags at home so they are not overweight when you arrive at the airport. You will not be happy if you get charged a bunch extra for a few additional pounds that you could have eliminated by using non-wheeled luggage or leaving some unnecessary items at home. I don' know what your airline arrangements are, but you might think about flying to Washington, DC, Dulles airport and then taking South African Airlines to Johannesburg. I have made those flights many times from Oklahoma (I notice you are just south of me in Texas), and they work well.

Whatever else you do, make sure to pack all your optics in your carry-on bags. Those are expensive items that can be broken and are also prime targets for theft by baggage handlers. Also, take a change of clothes and a substantial jacket in your carry-on just in case your luggage is misplaced for awhile. Wear your hunting boots on the plane for the same reason. Even if most of your gear gets to you late, you can still get out and scout the hunting area if you have minimal gear with you. Nothing will be more important to you than your hunting boots, because they are irreplaceable. In that regard, make sure your boots are well broken in and very comfortable, and make sure you have worn them extensively just before the hunt in the most demanding conditions so that your feet are broken into the boots too. More hunting trips have been ruined by foot/boot problems than by any other cause. You should take a big supply of the best adhesive bandages made in case there is any problem with blisters and sores on your feet. If you need more specifics, feel free to PM me.

A trip to Africa requires good planning because you can't just go to the local store and get what you need when you get there. But with the right equipment and preparation, your hunt will be one of the highlights of your life.

Allan

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calgarychef
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Allan has pretty much nailed it!! Another thing is beware of bringing too much stuff and gizmos. I brought a fletcher and arrow making components to fix broken arrows. It would be far better just to take enough hunting ready arrows and not worry about the rest.

I'd vote for the idea of two take down bows each shooting identical arrows. Pack each bow seperately with the arrows, arm guard, tab, 2x spare strings etc. in case one suitcase is lost. My back up bow was just an el-cheapo PSE recurve but it would have been better than nothing.

Aything of high value definately belongs in the carry on.

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amar911
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It's never a bad idea to take a backup weapon if you have the space. Ditto on the proposal to take what you will really need and maybe some spares, but leave all the things you don't need at home. It is just too hard to haul stuff you don't use all the way to and from Africa. I have a list of every single item I am taking that includes which bag I pack each item in. That keeps me from forgetting anything or taking extra items that I really don't need. Packing takes forethought and discipline. You also need to make final decisions well ahead of time to make sure you have time to get everything in place and be sure each item is functioning as it should. Equipment surprises are rarely a good thing.

Allan

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calgarychef
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Also don't forget that you don't need many clothes, your laundry will be done a lot. I couldn't leave any piece of clothing anywhere but in the suitcase else it would dissapear and get washed.

The best cammo you can use is probably ASAT it goes over any clothing and you can even just wear undewear under it. If you're in a blind (ug) you'll need some dark clothes and dark gloves to complete the effect of an assasin. Sorry I couldn't resist that little jab!

Don't forget a journal and start writing in it now! Not when you get back from the trip. Write in it every opportunity you can.

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hybridbow hunter
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that's my gear, quite light indeed: 2 bows 20 arows and a little more including surgery set [biglaugh]

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La critique est aisée mais l'art est difficile.

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J-dog
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You can check into shipping your bow and arrows to the outfitter before you leave - I did not do this on my trip but learned of people doing this while there. The benefit is that you are sure your bow is on scene before you ever leave the country negating the fact of equipment being lost enroute, i.e.. showing up in Africa and bow showing up in Australia. [knothead]

An option to consider is all.

my bow was in a gun looking case and had to go to the lockup place at the RSA airport to retrieve it. They never opened it though when I told them it was a bow and not a fire arm.

J

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Always be stubborn.

Captain hindsight to the rescue!

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J-dog
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DHL is a good shipping company and VERY quick - I have used them to ship stuff to Russia and they are (my opinion) better than UPS. I was deep into Russian interior and they had stuff to me from the States super fast!

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Always be stubborn.

Captain hindsight to the rescue!

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amar911
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quote:
Originally posted by calgarychef:
Also don't forget that you don't need many clothes, your laundry will be done a lot. I couldn't leave any piece of clothing anywhere but in the suitcase else it would dissapear and get washed.

The best cammo you can use is probably ASAT it goes over any clothing and you can even just wear undewear under it. If you're in a blind (ug) you'll need some dark clothes and dark gloves to complete the effect of an assasin. Sorry I couldn't resist that little jab!

Don't forget a journal and start writing in it now! Not when you get back from the trip. Write in it every opportunity you can.

Tracy (CalgaryChef) is correct in everything he writes (except some of his spelling [Big Grin] ).

Laurent (Hybridbow Hunter) is unbelievably disciplined in his packing. I could never go to Africa with so few clothes and other "necessities". I only aspire to such a light and compact kit. What Laurent packed is probably all most people would need, but most of us can't stand the idea of being without more extras. I don't take a surgery set, except a knife, because the only ones who would not complain about me performing surgery are the animals I just killed. We had a surgeon in our camp in June/July and were glad he was there, even though none of us ended up requiring his special skills. I don't know if Laurent took along a spare pair of well-worn hunting boots, but that is something that is more important to have than a spare bow. I have never needed my second bow on a hunting trip (although it is still a good idea to have along), but I often have needed a second pair of boots. With my size 13 US boots, it is really hard to find someone to loan me a pair of his boots if something goes wrong with mine. [help]

This thread all started with a question about the use of a hard case made for golf clubs, but Laurent uses what I also commonly do to pack my bows and arrows. The green case in his picture looks like the 3Rivers takedown recurve case. The orange tube is, of course, drain pipe. I love the 3Rivers case and often take both a 2 piece Shrew longbow and a dozen and a half arrows all packed together in that one case. Like Laurent, I put the bow case into a large duffel bag. When I take multiple bows, I also use a length of drain pipe (I prefer HDPE pipe with PVC which is light, fairly strong, and fairly stiff) for my arrows, but I find that the foam separators are unnecessary. If you wrap some rubber bands around a bunch (like 6 to 10) of the arrow shafts near the front end, it will cause the feather ends to flair slightly and keep from getting crushed to any appreciable extent. Divide the arrows into two batches and turn them opposite directions in the tube to maximize space. Usually I don't even bother using the rubber bands, and I never seem to have any problems. There is no need for the rubber bands at all when I pack just one Shrew and 18 arrows in the 3Rivers case. Here is the thread where I posted pictures of one of my Shrews next to the 3Rivers case with arrows in it. http://tradgang.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=082921;p=10#000138 Although the bow is not in the case in the pictures, it easily fits inside with all the arrows.

Allan

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TGMM Family of the Bow

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Exit Felix
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I'm headed back to SA in July, first time with a trad bow however. Will packing a t/d and arrows in my carry-on be ok as long as my BHs are in my checked baggage? I packed a t/d (no arrows or BHs) in my carry-on to NZ, and it worked great...figured to SA should be ok, too. Thanks for your input.
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Jerry Russell
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Great information here by everyone but if the most important item was listed, I did not see it. If you will be sitting waterholes for several days take a 2" closed cell foam pad. Trust me on this one. On day #8 it will be more important than your bow.

Check to make sure that your PH has the ability to recharge your video camera battery and consider a back up plan in case the adaptors he has do not work (no 110 volt there). I like high capacity batteries for my cameras in the 2800-2950 mha range. They cut WAY down on recharging with there 5-7 hour run times.
A light weight tripod is a must for waterhole hunting and an ultralight camera arm for tree stands is a good idea. A cheap back up pocket video camera such as a playsport is a good idea. These things are great because you have it in your pocket and will have it ready to capture things that you may not be ready for with your main camera.

This is a great thread but a solid plan for any trip over should include contacting a bowhunter that has hunted with your PH recently to ask what they would or would not pack if they had it to do over again. This way you will take nothing that you do not need. They will also tell you laundry schedules, if archery tackle repair equipment is available and lots of other little things that will keep you from packing a ton of things that you will not need.

Good luck to all that are going over. Just a few more weeks for us to wait!

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Guided hunts for Canada Bear and Georgia Bear,Turkey, Hogs, Alligator, Deer and African Plains Game. We specialize in traditional archery hunts.
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