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Author Topic: Transportation of Natron  (Read 3128 times)
Bastemhet
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« Topic Start: August 19, 2010, 10:08:41 pm »

So, I've never had to provide for international travel with natron before.  I know there are rules about how many ounces of liquid you can have, but is there any such prohibition on powder soaps like natron?  I currently house it in an airtight glass jar, but I don't know if this is something I can put in my check-in luggage, my carry on, or just put it in a plastic container.  Does anyone have some recommendations for me?
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« Reply #1: August 19, 2010, 10:15:42 pm »


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was illegal to take natron out of Egypt?
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Bastemhet
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« Reply #2: August 19, 2010, 10:29:37 pm »

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was illegal to take natron out of Egypt?

You're not wrong, but it's not Egyptian natron.  This is stuff that was made in the US that is (almost) chemically the same as what you'd find in Egypt, sans whatever specific additional compounds you might find from the Wadi el Natrun.
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« Reply #3: August 19, 2010, 10:35:44 pm »


I totally misread your first post! Sorry about that.

Honestly, I would put it in your checked baggage if it were me. I don't think there are any prohibitions, but a weird substance in an unmarked jar will likely draw attention from security, and then you have to explain that it's soap, and why you have it, and why it doesn't have any labels... I think putting it in your checked luggage would save you a lot of hassle.
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« Reply #4: August 19, 2010, 10:47:17 pm »

Honestly, I would put it in your checked baggage if it were me. I don't think there are any prohibitions, but a weird substance in an unmarked jar will likely draw attention from security, and then you have to explain that it's soap, and why you have it, and why it doesn't have any labels... I think putting it in your checked luggage would save you a lot of hassle.

That's probably what I was going to go with.  I wasn't sure, though, if air pressure might mess with the glass jar.  I might have to go back to the container store.
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« Reply #5: August 20, 2010, 01:08:57 am »

That's probably what I was going to go with.  I wasn't sure, though, if air pressure might mess with the glass jar.  I might have to go back to the container store.

I took a small jar of natron to PantheaCon.  I checked it in baggage with no problems.  I'd say unless you have to somehow do ritual on the plane there's no reason to bring it in a carry-on. 

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« Reply #6: August 23, 2010, 03:01:38 am »

So, I've never had to provide for international travel with natron before.  I know there are rules about how many ounces of liquid you can have, but is there any such prohibition on powder soaps like natron?  I currently house it in an airtight glass jar, but I don't know if this is something I can put in my check-in luggage, my carry on, or just put it in a plastic container.  Does anyone have some recommendations for me?

There's no particular legislation against it, although travelling with a bag of unlabeled white powdery stuff is bound to raise a few eyebrows if your luggage is inspected.  That being said, I often take a small satchel of natron with me on planes for purifications while I'm away from home.  I also usually carry it in my carry on- along with my travel shrine- because the airline lost my checked bag once and ever since then I have insisted on carrying any religious images or important items with me.  One time my bag was searched, and they did find my small traveling naos and bag of natron.  They opened my naos and inspected it, which was awful but it wasn't like I could really stop them.  They questioned me about the natron and I explained that it was a blend of baking soda and salt and that it was for personal hygiene.  I've heard that some Jewish families use a similar mix of baking soda and salt as a kind of toothpaste and all-purpose house cleaner.  Maybe this agent had heard of that, I don't know, but he accepted that as a perfectly logical explanation.  He called someone to bring out a dog and let the dog sniff it, the dog didn't identify it as contraband, and he let it pass.  It was an odd experience, but I got to keep my natron.

That being said, you're going to be overseas for a while.  I suspect they will have salt and baking soda over there, and you could probably whip up a batch once you're settled in.  But if you have a large supply now which you'd like to use up, you should be able to transport it without a problem.  If the jar is small enough, consider putting it inside a plastic ziplock bag just in case it cracks during the flight- that way you won't have salty clothes. Smiley
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