If you use Fed Ex you will get surcharges added if the items are not "boxed". They add charges if you ship in the case. They say its because the stuff packs better in the planes. I just shipped a lens to Boston in a pelican case and the up charge was $8.00 on top of the $48.00 they charged for shipping. By the time you figure the shipping costs each way for the lights and sticks it might be a better move to simply rent when you get there. Its worth examining. But if you must take your own stuff: Remove the bulbs from the fixtures. Pack the bulbs in tupperware with plenty of bubble wrap or foam. Try to find a hard case for the sticks. If you cant find one then take them to a shipping store and have them bubble wrap and then box them. Be sure to set all drags to the loosest. It might be wise to remove the pan handle as well.
I would recommend that you carry your camera and enough batteries and cards to shoot for 1 day. If there is a shipping meltdown you will be able to find some sticks and lights and still be able to get some shooting done. Plus no matter how well you pack it there is always the chance of damage. I ALWAYS carry my camera. But if there are requirements that you ship then a padded soft case inside of a well padded shipping case and a few minutes on the prayer rug before.
Dale West Video
North Miami, FL