Packing tricks for Trek

TURKEY TOWN, Fla. —Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of turkey hunting in faraway places, besides hung-up gobblers, is the act of getting to said hunting grounds.

Yep, airlines have made it pretty tough on those of us who tote guns and enough camo to outfit a small battalion of Panamanian pirates. Not only do we get foul looks from the airline attendants as we set our gun cases on the counter, but most airlines gouge us for extra baggage fees and nail us with overweight charges.

Jesse Simpkins, VP of Marketing for Plano Molding, has developed a solution.

"I can get everything I need for a week-long turkey hunt in two pieces of luggage without either one going over 50 pounds ... one of those being my gun case," he says.

And when he means "everything" for his hunt, that includes fully packed turkey vest, two decoys, two pair of boots, rain gear, firearm, calls, Thermocell, three sets of camo and his normal assortment of civilian clothes and sundries. In other words, he doesn't pack light.

"I use an 1819 Sportsman's Trunk instead of a standard suitcase. It is spacious, rigid and is lockable … and it has wheels for easy toting through airports. The fact that it is hard is important, because I know everything is protected. I'd hate to have my favorite box call flattened, or my Thermocell shattered during transport!"

And using all available space is also important. Simpkins has some tricks up his sleeve for HOW to pack the trunk.

"I was able to fit everything but my gun in the Trunk! I stuff one boot with ammo, the other with the Thermocell. Just remember to place small items inside bigger items whenever possible. Once it was all said and done, the trunk weighed in at 46 pounds. So, no over-weight charge!"

Although he didn't have to utilize his gun case for anything other than his turkey shotgun on the trek, he oftentimes will utilize the extra space of his Plano All Weather Case on either side of his firearm to tote binos, clothes, and additional gear that didn't fit in his Trunk.

"Just remember to maximize the weight capacity of your luggage whenever possible. It's easy to get in a hurry while packing because you are excited about an upcoming hunt. If you just take a little extra time and select the right piece of luggage, you could save yourself a lot of money in the long run!"