Anyone had any experience getting climbing chalk though customs?

I'm off to Guernsey and I don't think I'll be able to buy chalk there so I'm putting it in my hold luggage. Are customs likely to open it up thinking its something illicit?

  • 1
    Put my chalk bag in my checked baggage flew Canada to US, No issues. I'll bet if it's in your carry on you will 100% get stopped and questioned as well as a test being performed. They have swabs that test for chemicals, not sure if they work on drugs... I would definitely not bring it in my carry on in case they hold you while they test it and you miss your flight!
    – AM_Hawk
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 2:31
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    I suggest you ask this (also) on the travel site - they might have better tips concerning customs etc. over there. Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 5:52
  • It appears that the subject of taking another innocuous powder on a plane has been discussed numerous times on numerous websites: savedwebhistory.org/k/whey-protein-on-plane I don't plan to read all that and summarize it, but I expect everything you could hope to find can be found by searching on those keywords.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 16:16
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    @Liam Sorry if I wrote that in a negative way! I voted for your question but I have no personal experience or inside knowledge so I won't attempt an answer. However with brief searching I quickly discovered the protein powder thing and I thought it would help if you have to to read it all. In the end I fear the answer to whether or not you are detained or delayed will be down to the specific security personnel you encounter.
    – Mr.Wizard
    Commented Jun 20, 2014 at 19:23
  • Hey @Mr.Wizard, Yeah, I was feeling a bit grouchy and wasn't sure how to take your comment. Anyway a weeks holiday has cheered me up :D
    – user2766
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


Customs may complain, but not likely. I'd make sure to pack it with your climbing gear, along with the chalk packaging. If customs suspect drugs, a simple test will confirm it for them.

However, there's always the chance you'll get someone trying to make a name for himself, and give you a hard time. I had a friend who was stopped by police when he was marking a trail with flour. The cop accused him of throwing handfuls of cocaine on the ground. Nothing ended up coming of it, but it could have.

One other option is to ship it to yourself over there. Just make sure to use a reliable carrier so that it conforms to your travel schedule.

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    Agreed; I have flown with chalk in both carry-on and checked luggage. Don't carry on a nut tool, however!
    – Felix
    Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 20:19
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    So I got into and out of the country and back in without a body cavity search so (thumbs up)
    – user2766
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 8:08
  • Which method did you use? Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 14:00
  • I put the chalk in my hold luggage. I put it on the top so that if they did want to test it they could. @TomCollins
    – user2766
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 13:00

I've carried all my climbing gear when travelling as carry on with no problems in NZ, Australia, UK, and Europe - chalk and full trad rack included. For travel in Canada, I had it all in checked luggage with no issues. Cannot comment on other areas.

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