I was in Cabella's the other day & I picked up a Inflatable PFD suspenders. It's one of those that you can inflate by pulling on a lanyard, blowing in a tube or set up for automatic inflation. Most of the streams I fish are not deep enough to use it so I never had much use for one while wading, but I'm heading out to the Bighorn this month & was wondering if I should bring it along. I understand that you can't take them on an airplane so I was thinking of shipping it out there. Has anyone had any experiences with one of these. & is it worth the trouble of shipping out there???
I posted this on another site & I was wondering what you guys think...
I have an old Sterns vest that uses the CO2 or tube technology for emergency inflation. I use it while traveling the rivers here. If you are going to be fishing big rivers either from a boat or wading having it will not be a bad thing.
I used to send all my gear via USPS or Fed X to my destinations when I lived in the North East and fished the West.
There's an old saying in sailing: If you're wondering if it's time to reduce the amount of sail because of heavy wind, you should have done it already. I'm a big fan of safety precautions, and would say that if you're thinking it would be wise, it would be wise. My wife were canoeing/fishing a very large lake between 4:30-8:30pm today, and about 1 in 15 boat passengers was wearing a PFD. This lake is very deep, with sheer drops along the shoreline, making it almost impossible to climb ashore in many areas. Stuff happens on land, and a minor incident on dry land can become a catastrophe on the water: heart attack, drop in blood sugar, slipping, pulled muscle that would prevent you from safely wading to shore, six bee stings (happened to me while riding my motorcycle!), etc. Don't worry that someone will think you're being a wimp. I view using safety gear as a sign of wisdom. Note that I wrote "using". Too many people own safety gear, but it's stowed away in a way that's it's almost hidden.
The primary concern about shipping (carrying on to an airliner), is the co2 cartridge. Cargo areas are not (generally), pressurized. they don't like them discharging and attempting to inflate the PFD while in your luggage . Can be quite disruptive.
Okay, listen to me on this because I have a lot of experience on carrying CO2-chargeable PFDs on airlines (note my moniker - I have to fly for all my fly-fishing). First off, by both TSA and FAA Regulations and all airline rules I am aware of, PFDs with CO2 cartridges are allowed in both checked luggage and in carry-on luggage (up to two contained CO2 cartridges per PFD allowed, plus up to two spare CO2 cartridges). HOWEVER, in my experience more than half of TSA inspectors are not aware that their (& FAA) Regulations allow PFD CO2 cartridges to be carried on or checked. Therefore, it is ESSENTIAL that you carry with you a copy of the TSA Regulations allowing CO2 cartridges to be carried on the airplane TSA: Prohibited Items - scroll down to the sub-heading "Disabling Chemicals & Other Dangerous Items" - or otherwise without showing these TSA Regulations to the TSA inspectors they will more than likely be denied as carry-on and seized/trashed (obviously, if you'd checked them in baggage, you wouldn't be there to provide the TSA inspectors with their Regulations allowing them to be checked, so they'd also be trashed - which tells you to always carry them onboard).