Here is an interesting thread on the TSA and canisters. The consensus seems to be to check the canister:
One other option is to ship it ahead to Yosemite Valley along with food for the segment to Tuolumne. Who to trust more? The TSA or the USPS?!
--- In email@example.com, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "ravi_jmt2013" <ravi@> wrote:
> > The only question I have right now is what to do with the
> > Bearikade (which I didn't need on my recent trip). I am afraid
> > that the xray profile of the canister will almost guarantee
> > inspection of the checked luggage. So I am considering carrying
> > the Bearikade onto the plane so I can explain what it is to the
> > TSA agents at the security checkpoint since they will no doubt
> > want to look at it.
> Since carbon fiber isn't opaque to x-rays, this puzzled me at first.
> I googled around, and learned that a big hollow-looking space (since the food inside is pretty much transparent to x-rays could trigger an inspection. I also read that at least once a TSA inspector couldn't figure out how to open a bearikade and pried the lid off, which of course ruined that very expensive hunk of equipment.
> So this is my suggestion:
> 1) Leave it open. Pack it with stuff (not your food) that is easy to take out and put back in, such as clothes. Make it very, very easy to inspect. Put the food in something else for the flight.
> 2) Just in case you forget to leave the lid open, use a permanent marker and write instructions on the lid (Eg.: "turn with coin to open" and a counter-clockwise arrow near one or more of the screws).
> 3) Don't carry on. Checked luggage is optimized for quick searches; if you get pulled out of line for a carry-on search it can be a long process. If you do decide to carry it, I'd still do the same thing: leave it open and pack it with stuff that makes it easy to inspect.