Sunday, July 4, 2010

Grand Canyon rim-to-rim backpacking trip ~ What to Bring, Grand Canyon, Arizona

So this was a pretty big hike for us, and we definitely used some tried-and-true techniques to keep us safe an healthy. If you’re interested in doing a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim hike, here are some things to be sure to bring:

Hiking/Trekking poles – We’ve never used these before and it was highly suggested we get some for this hike, due to the elevation loss/gain. We rented some from REI ($20 for the week) and LOVED them! The made the hike much easier over rough terrain, took some of the weight off our knees as we descended, and helped with the big steps we encountered on our ascent. We are huge believers in hiking poles and will watch for some great ones to go on sale.

Boots – We both already had great, tough boots with ankle support – a definite in this environment.

Tent and sheet – It was way too hot to use a sleeping bag, so we brought a tent, our thermarests, and a sheet – it was more than enough to sleep and, in fact, we rarely used the sheet it was so hot at night (70’s-80’s).

Water bladders – We normally use just water bottles to carry our water, but decided to invest in water bladders that could go into our packs and the tube could be easily accessibly to drink, as it was recommended to drink every few minutes (more on food/drink tomorrow). This made staying hydrated much easier and more accessible by not having to stop along the way.

Headlamp flashlights – We purchases these for about $10 each – they clip onto anything – hat, shirt, backpack – and provided enough light to hike in the dark on our way out of the canyon, as well as a hands-free light source whenever the need arose. We still brought a handheld flashlight as back-up, but it wasn’t needed.
Moleskin – You need to treat those hot spots immediately – Brad needed to use some on his big toes after the first few miles down, and Suzanne used some on her one blister. Great stuff!

We’ll talk about food, water and electrolytes tomorrow.

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