Grand Canyon Hiking – Essentials Packing List and Gear Guide

Posted by on June 27, 2014 in Hiking Equipment | 0 comments

Grand Canyon Hiking – Essentials Packing List and Gear Guide

Prepare well with essentials checklist & some specific suggestions to face changeling & adventurous hiking trip in grand canyon, Arizona.

Going on a hike is wonderful way to experience some of the canyon’s rich natural beauty and immense size.  Hiking the Grand Canyon is an adventure that shouldn’t be taken lightly. At nearly a mile deep, the hiking down into – and then out of – the canyon challenges even the fittest hikers. Hiking and Backpacking in the Grand Canyon is a scenic, strenuous endeavor. Each trip involves at least one descent down the steep canyon walls and a return trip up, combined with one or more days on the canyon floor. Backpacking the backcountry in Grand Canyon enjoyably and safely for longer than day or overnight hikes requires significant amounts of planning and preparation in addition to equipment, food and water. When packing, bring items that will prepare you for the heat, terrain, and physical exertion. Check out following tips and guide to prepare well with essentials packing list with some specific suggestions for adventurous hiking in grand canyon – arizona, are mentioned below:

General Essentials During Grand Canyon Hiking

  • Water – plain and some with electrolyte replacement.
  • Food – especially salty foods. Eat twice as much as normal.
  • First Aid Kit – Band-Aids, ace wrap, antiseptic, moleskin, etc.
  • Map – while many trails are well marked, maps are helpful tools.
  • Pack – to carry the essentials.
  • Flashlight/Spare Batteries – allows you to hike out during the cool of the evening.
  • Spray Bottle – fill with water for your own personal air-conditioning system.
  • Hat/Sunscreen – to keep the sun off you and protect your skin.
  • Whistle and/or Signal Mirror – for emergency use.
  • Waterproof Clothing – poncho or jacket; especially useful during monsoon season.

Navigation Items

One of the most important things for a Grand Canyon backpacking trip is a map that shows the area of your hike. According to the Outdoor Places website, this can be of great help on hikes, where, “Unexpected trail closures, an injury requiring a shorter route, bad weather, or animal encounter can all result in a sudden change of plans.” Bring a compass for direction-finding and a whistle to attract attention.

Camping Tent

For some the ease of putting a tent together and taking it apart is important and weight and space is a major concern of any backpacker. Keep this in mind when looking for a tent. A tent might seem light in the store, but those pounds add up when backpacking. Keep in mind the seasons you will be using your tent and make sure it has adequate ventilation and waterproofing. A double top will help with condensation.


On many nights in the Grand Canyon, you will not need a tent because of warm weather and lack of precipitation. Regardless, it is wise to be prepared for summer showers by packing a small, light tent or bivy sack with a rain fly. Bring a small, summer-weight sleeping bag for comfort.

Water Treatment

During your Hiking, Backpacking or Camping outing, water may be scarce, therefore requiring you to carry enough water for the entire outing. If you know that there will be a reliable source of water during your trek or at your destination, then it is normally accepted that the water source should be treated to remove or kill any harmful bacteria, protozoa, cysts or virus that may be present. Water can be treated in a number of ways; Purification is normally done chemically or with heat, and filtration is normally done using pumps with a filter medium of glass fibre, activated carbon or ceramic or a combination of these.

Food Treatment

Food is essential. The body functions on fuel, very much like an automobile. Food and water provide the fuel. Fuel translates into energy. If you run low on food and water, you’ll run low on fuel—therefore, little or no energy. The result? Suffering. Three of my favorite food items in the Canyon are raisins, crackers, and sardines. Raisins provide quick energy, crackers help to replace the salt the body loses during perspiration, and sardines supply the extra “push” because of their high potassium and protein content—if you don’t mind halitosis.

Sun Protection

The sun in the Grand Canyon can be brutal, even in the winter months. To avoid leaving your trip with a severe sunburn, pack a high SPF sunscreen that is designed for sports or activities. For additional sun protection and to guard against burns when sunscreen wears off, pack a hat. According to the Backpack Light website, “A wide-brimmed hat protects the face and neck from desert sun.”

Camp Shoes

When you get into camp each night, your hiking boots are likely to be dusty and sweaty. To allow them to dry and to give your feet a break, bring a comfortable pair of camp shoes. According to the Grand Canyon Gear Planner, “A pair of camp shoes provide welcome relief to feet in camp at the end of the day. Sport sandals, like Tevas, are an excellent lightweight choice.”

Physical Preparations

If you smoke or are appreciably overweight, forget about hiking the Canyon. Your chances of making it are slim. Smoking diminishes your lung power, and those fatty pounds will slow you down to a drag.

First Aid

Your backpack should include a small first aid kit to deal with the various aches and pains that come along with hiking in the Grand Canyon. Bring bandages for blisters caused by sweat and friction, a general painkiller, and an antibacterial cream to treat any cuts from the canyon’s rocks. Include a snakebite kit in case you have a run-in with one of the poisonous snakes that live in the canyon.


Although the days in the Grand Canyon are hot and sunny, the desert nights can be quite cool. Even if you are backpacking in the height of summer, bring a medium-weight fleece jacket for cold evenings and mornings. In addition, The Grand Canyon Gear Planner advises, “Add a waterproof windproof breathable shell when hiking the Canyon in the fall through early spring.”

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