In two days I will be going to Maine/Vermont area to shoot fall color. The maze of regulations has me a bit confused. I would like to take as carry-on luggage my Gitzo 1325 with ballhead and my Arca Swiss kit. The AS is definitely small enough, but I am concerned that the screener may decide it could be used as a "weapon". The Gitzo is a little long, but not by much with ballhead removed. It could also be construed as being able to be used as a weapon. On the other hand, if I check these items and they are damaged or stolen, my understanding is that "camera equipment" isn't covered by the airline. To top it off, if I check my luggage then proceed to the security checkpoint and they say I can't bring the camera or the tripod on board, how will I get it into my checked luggage?
Has anyone taken metal monorail or a good size tripod as a carry-on? How would you suggest handling this problem (or is it one)?