As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, it's not surprising that the Grand Canyon attracts 5 million visitors every year. If you're the adventurous type and are planning a camping trip to the Grand Canyon, there are several essential items that you simply must-have if you want to make the most of your vacation. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions on what type of gear you should pack:
Clothing You Can Layer
Because of its desert climate, the Grand Canyon is noted for temperature extremes that vary from hot days to cold nights. For this reason, you should bring a variety of appropriate clothing options.
Depending on the length of your trip and which top attractions you want to see at the Grand Canyon, you'll need to take enough undergarments, pants, and shirts to dress comfortably from day to day. If you plan to start hiking in the cool morning and continue throughout the warm afternoon, dress in layers. Lightweight, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts are actually best to protect you from direct sunlight.
Waterproof and Protective Materials
Be sure to remember to bring waterproof outerwear in case you get caught in the rain, as canyon weather can be unpredictable. If you're camping in the winter or cold fall nights, you'll certainly need a warm hat and gloves or mittens.
Even if rain is not predicted or you’re planning your trip in the warmer months, having waterproof and protective clothing is still a good idea. It could always come in handy in the case of an emergency.
Sturdy Footwear and Comfortable Shoes
When packing footwear, make sure you bring sturdy, comfortable shoes. Lightweight, low-top hiking shoes are preferable to heavy, high-top shoes, as you obviously won't tire so quickly. However, as comfortable as low-top hiking shoes are, you probably won’t want to wear them when you’re just relaxing.
Be sure to pack a pair of comfy sandals or slippers for when you’re winding down after a long day of hiking. You should also pack multiple pairs of either wool or synthetic socks. Hikers know that socks have a tendency to wear out with miles of trekking.
For those sunny days when you need UV protection, you’ll be thankful to have a baseball cap or wide-brimmed sun hat and sunglasses for extra eye protection. If you are particularly sensitive to the sun, make sure you bring long-sleeved shirts and long pants that will give you as much coverage as possible.
Even if you don’t expect the weather to be warm, you should always wear a strong SPF sunblock if you plan to be outdoors for an extended amount of time. Try to avoid scented sunscreen because it could potentially cause irritation or attract insects. Opt for a lotion that is easy to absorb and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
A Tent and Sleep Gear
You want a durable shelter that protects you from the elements and pesky animals when you’re camping at the Grand Canyon. A lightweight tent with guylines makes for a great temporary home.
Your sleeping bag should be appropriate for the season, and a sleeping pad is a "luxury" your bones and joints will appreciate. A lightweight inflatable pillow will also make for a more comfortable night.
The size of a backpack varies with each individual hiker and depends on the weather, the length of the trip, and your own personal needs. Don't forget a backpack cover, as a wet backpack is not only frustrating but will weigh you down as well.
Now think about what you absolutely should put in your backpack. Here are some essential items to include:
- A compass
- A swiss army knife or another multi-use tool
- A good map of the area
- A flashlight
- Plastic zip-lock bags for storage or to keep things dry
- Matches or a lighter
- A portable first aid kit
And no matter what the temperature may be, always carry water! Salty snacks will also help you to stay hydrated, as they keep your electrolytes balanced and encourage you to drink more fluids.
Cooking Gear for Your Camp Kitchen
You can't take your kitchen stove with you when you’re camping, but a lightweight woodburning backpacking stove will definitely get the job done. Backpacking bowls and mugs and sporks make great utensils. Also, don't forget a small dish scrubber to wash your cooking gear.
Personal Gear and Toiletries
Because there are some everyday items we often take for granted, we may actually forget to bring them along when camping. These could include a toothbrush and toothpaste, biodegradable soap, lip balm, bath tissue, hand sanitizer, and a hairbrush or comb.
However, keep in mind that certain smells can attract insects and wild animals, so try to avoid lotions, shampoos, and soaps with heavy scents. Keep things simple and always strive to use everything you bring, so there is no trash left behind that could disrupt the natural balance of the area.
Camping Not for You? Tour the Grand Canyon With Us
Maybe you don't have the time to spend on an extended camping vacation, or maybe you'd prefer not to rough it in the wilderness. The good thing is you can still experience the wonders of the Grand Canyon on one of our adventurous tours. Gray Line offers several tours, whether you prefer our one-day Grand Canyon South Rim Tour or go all out for our Grand Canyon Helicopter, Boat and Skywalk tour combo that includes plenty of leisure time to explore.
If you’d like to learn more about our Grand Canyon tour options, contact Gray Line Las Vegas today! We’ll help you choose the best vacation for you and even pick you up from your Las Vegas hotel.