Commando XXL Tote

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Commando XXL Tote

Postby ethetedave » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:43 pm

Hello to all,

Have a basic question but it has been difficult for me to get a response. Is a big 27 gallon tote considered check in baggage if kept under the Alaska Airlines 50 lb. and 63 linear ft. dimensions. Please let me know asap, as I am prepping for a trip to the bush this weekend, and want to maximize my load.

Thanks to all
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby marymatt718 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:20 pm

Hey,
You should be fine. My first year, I bought a bunch of stuff at Walmart to be shipped by Walmart, only to find that they were behind with their bush orders, so my groceries would arrive a month after I did. I bought three of these totes and bought more stuff to take on the plane with me. You can take them as checked luggage, but you will have to pay a fee for each one. If you then have to take a bush service to get to your village, you will pay by the pound...probably 95 cents a pound at least.
Good luck.
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby Johncn » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:54 am

Hi,

Although it's never a guarantee, nobody at Alaska Airlines is likely to whip out a ruler and do the linear inches thing - at least not compared to other airlines in our experience. I have travelled with all sort of bizarre and oddly shaped items both to and from Alaska from the Lower 48 in recent years, and have never been questions with anything that was CLOSE to the right size. Weight is a different story.

This post I did last year has some pictures of these 27 gallon ones we used from Home Depot for $12-$13. Not sure how this compares to what you are considering Commando XXL. :D

http://alaskateacher.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1006&p=1083#p1083

However, in checking for a Home Depot link, it appears they no longer carry these online. :o I literally saw them in a Florida Home Depot two weeks ago, so if they have been discontinued, there are still SOME available at their stores.

Lowes does still carry them, and charges $13.98:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_44066-61896-44066_0__?productId=3551290

If you either can't find them locally, or want to shop online, try this link for a four pack of the same Tough Box for $70 and free shipping...or $17.50 each:

http://www.amazon.com/HOMZ-Tough-Storage-Tote-27-Gallon/dp/B009O81P5I

Tote preference is a very specific thing in rural Alaska, and you will likely find many other opinions about the best type of totes on this forum...which is a good thing. Diverse opinions are what forums are about.

Two other tips:

1) Anyone moving to Alaska should invest in a hand scale and do all the careful checking you can to avoid going over 50 pounds (jet flights) or the weight limits for your regional carrier to your village (which vary greatly per person)...they will charge for excess weight, and they do weigh everything.

2) Remember, though, that if you are flying Alaska Airlines AND have signed up for both the Alaska Airlines Frequent Flyer program AND Club 49 prior to your departure using your shiny new rural Alaska address (even if it's General Delivery or the school's PO Box to start), you get two free 50 pound bags to and from Alaska.

http://www.alaskaair.com/content/deals/club49.aspx

3) Alaska Airlines flights within Alaska usually give you three (3) bags for free, not two (2). Make sure you confirm this, but it allows you at least move things from Anchorage to your regional hub in many cases. It's sometimes a losing proposition, though, if the regional carrier is going to charge you a proverbial arm and a leg per pound for the hop to the village. Make sure you check your bag and weight limit and per pound excess fee from the regional hub to your village. I'd recommend using the third bag on intra-Alaska flights only if doing it for perishables (meats, produce) and things you don't want to (or can't) mail.

Hope this helps,

John
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby Planetwalker » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:28 am

Thanx for the info John ;)
Changes come from the Power of Many, but only when the many come together to form that which is invincible. The Power of One. - Bryce Courtenay
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby CoreyShep » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:01 am

Just a friendly warning. Be VERY careful Googling "Commando XXL." You get all kinds of results. :shock:
Last edited by CoreyShep on Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby marymatt718 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:49 am

:lol: I am in tears!
I would guess especially since the new Magic Mike XXL is about to be released!
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby lpetersen1 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:33 am

I am in shock after showing my Commando XXL tote to the local post master and asking IF I put 70 pounds of stuff in one, how much would it cost from Pinehurst, ID to Selawik, AK.... :o .....$110. Of course, he assured me that I wouldn't likely put that much in, but I'm skeptical.
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby marymatt718 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:57 pm

It is VERY EASY to end up with 70 pounds in a tote! I am sorry to break it to you, but $110 is pretty normal for a big full tote. I spent well over $1000 shipping stuff up my first year. I spent another $800 this year. All were shipped at basic cheap postal rates (some were even Media Mail, which is even cheaper, but with strict allowances on content) with no expedited shipping or Priority Mail. However, I sent 8 totes from Anchorsge for about $240. See the difference? It's all about the shipping ziones.

This is why those of us who have been through the "freshman move" to Alaska tell you to ship your personal stuff, your "things that make you smile" from the lower 48 and get everything else in Anchorage, shipping it from Anchorsge at a fraction of the cost of the lower 48, or on Amazon, having a Prime Membership so the shipping is free.

Welcome to Alaska...the edge of the world! ;)
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby ethetedave » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:22 am

Thank you John! As always your thoughts are very insightful and helpful. I would add a few points. Yes, it is very easy to overload and exceed the 70lb limit from the lower 48 with the XXL. After visiting my village recently, I found from seasoned bush travelers that the Rubbermaid Roughneck totes are easier to handle-(for everyone), less expensive, lighter and just plain more manageable than the xxl. Just punch holes with a Philips screwdriver for zip ties and your ready to go.
Hope this is found useful for newbie's.

Dave
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby lpetersen1 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:03 pm

Has anyone found it necessary to DOUBLE the zip ties? Once I attached 6 to a tote, it just did not look sufficient.
Thanks!
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby marymatt718 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:06 pm

I have done that, but it isn't really necessary if you put them around at enough stress points. I put one on each corner, one in the center of the shorter sides and two spaced out evenly on the longer sides. DO NOT CUT THE ZIP TIES OFF!!!! Leave the long ends, they don't catch on anything, but the cut ends are just sharp enough to slice some cargo handler's fingers BADLY, and the cut ends tuck up underneath right where they can easily come in contact with vulnerable hands.
Let me say this again so you know this is important

:o DO NOT CUT OR SHORTEN THE ZIP TIES IN ANY WAY!!! :o
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby lpetersen1 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:53 am

Thanks for this advice. I had left the tails long, but taped them down. I wondered then if that would cause snagging problems, but my local post master did not think so. I just won't be able to send any out until 7/22 and I leave for culture camp on the 23rd....I've sent a couple smaller packages ahead with a change of clothes in each, and I'll pack an extra change in my camp bag, but things will be tight until those tubs arrive.
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Re: Commando XXL Tote

Postby Bushteachers » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:32 am

I drill two holes next to each other about 1-2" apart. I use one zip tie for the two holes. It's a little more secure that way. I mailed 13 totes from GA that way this summer (9 media or library) and not one single tote was busted open. All zip ties were fine.

Only time I've ever had a zip tie break is in winter.
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