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How To Ship Camping Gear

Posted in Blog on Jun 08, 2016, tagged with how to, sports and exercise equipment

Campers are often experienced with carrying and quickly setting up their equipment, but can be unaware of the different options available for transporting and shipping their gear. Rather than hauling it all with you on a flight or trying to cram it into your vehicle, consider shipping it ahead and find it ready and waiting when you arrive.

Shipping Options for Camping Gear

Camping enthusiasts love to camp away from home. When they travel long distances across the U.S. for a camping excursion, the big question is: What is the best way to get gear to the campsite? Here is a quick rundown of the options.

  • Airline shipping. Airlines may be able to ship your camping gear on your flight, or separately. Rates can be high for this type of service, but also certain items will be excluded — such as combustible materials and hazardous chemicals. In addition, sharp objects such as knives, axes, etc., may draw special scrutiny or be prohibited.

  • Parcel shipping. Parcel shipping is generally efficient and economical for packages of standard size weighing 100 pounds or less. Depending on how much gear you have and how big it is, parcel shipping may be a good option. If you have large tents, stoves, etc., you may exceed parcel shipping size limitations. Also, because of size restrictions, you may be forced to pack your supplies in several small shipping boxes, increasing the odds of something being lost or delivered late.

  • LTL shipping. LTL freight shippers (like our company) are often the best option. The key is to find the right LTL shipper, as we all have different areas of focus and strengths. The things you are looking for in particular from an LTL shipper include:

    • Efficiency in your pickup and delivery areas. Transit Systems has a nationwide network, but some LTLs are focused on a particular area of the country; using them will add cost and probably add to the delivery time.
       
    • Expertise in odd-shaped, odd-size items. Some LTLs are efficient at handling neat pallets of boxes and other regularly shaped, unitized loads. These shippers may not have the ability to handle and stow a mixed load of camping supplies efficiently, which will raise the odds of incurring damage.
       
    • As touched on earlier, certain camping gear items may be problematic or prohibited for certain LTL carriers. Things such as fuel, knives, guns and ammunition require special licensing or are universally prohibited. Make a complete inventory of all items you’d like to ship, and have possible LTL carriers review it. This will prevent the awkward and inconvenient situation of having a carrier refuse certain items when it arrives for pickup.
       
    • Make sure your LTL carrier is properly licensed, insured and reliable. Besides reviewing the carrier’s website, look for online reviews of the company’s service. Online reviews have become an excellent way for potential customers to get past a company’s marketing content and see exactly what customers have experienced. Good LTL carriers, by the way, often post reviews on their websites and are happy to give you referrals to contact.

7 Tips for Getting Your Camping Gear Ready for Shipping

When you start consolidating your camping gear and packaging it for shipment, keep in mind the goals are to make the packaged gear as easy to handle as possible, and to prevent anything from getting broken or damaged. With that in mind:

  1. Put smaller items such as canteens, pots, pans and utensils together in shipping boxes, but don’t make them too heavy — 20 to 30 pounds per shipping box is a reasonable target.

  2. Wrap small items in bubble packaging or unprinted paper to protect their surfaces and prevent dings and dents.

  3. Fill any void in the shipping boxes with bubble packaging or paper, and then seal the boxes with a heavy-duty box sealing tape (one rated for holding boxes containing more than 30-50 pounds). The shipping boxes should be heavy-duty; flimsy corrugated cardboard is not worth the small savings. Your camping gear is too expensive to take chances.

  4. Mark shipping boxes clearly with the street address of the destination. Your LTL or parcel shipper will have its processes for tracking shipping location, but it helps to add redundancy. Cover the labels entirely with box sealing tape — to prevent the address from being scuffed or the label from falling off the box.

  5. For the packaging and preparation of any restricted items such as fuels, check with the carrier for instructions. If the LTL carrier can accept the item, it will know how it must be prepped for shipment.

  6. Large items such as tents, tent poles, backpacks, shovels, etc., should be wrapped (if necessary) and boxed as well. To determine how much bubble packaging to use, apply common sense. Backpacks are generally not fragile and require little, if any, wrapping. A shovel may need a bit of wrapping to protect it from scratches, and protect other items in the box. If you have the original packaging for sleeping bags, tents, tent poles and other gear, by all means use it in lieu of a shipping box.

  7. If you have a large amount of camping gear, it may be more efficient to put all of the smaller shipping boxes in a bulk corrugated container or crate. Again, check with your carrier for suggestions. For example, a Gaylord container is a very large box with a pallet stapled or glued to the bottom. If the carrier has fork lifts or pallet jacks, it can move and stow all of your camping gear in one, smooth motion if it is consolidated in a Gaylord. Some shippers can even supply these bulk containers, making the job even easier.

Pitch Camp with TSI

If you are looking at how to ship camping gear, we’ve been helping customers get their camping equipment to and from campsites since 1989. We can provide basic LTL shipping service — or concierge service, where we do everything for you from start to finish — so you can enjoy your camping trip worry-free! To learn more about our services and how to ship household items and gear via freight, contact us for advice, answers to your questions, or a free quote.