Be ready for a camping trip at the Grand Canyon
Every trip that we take at the Grand Canyon, we end up rebuilding a packing list, and inevitably forgetting something. So, we decided that it would be helpful for everyone if the packing lists were available on our site. We tell you which item to bring and in most case why it is useful, and how to use it. For some items we’ve referred you to our Gear Guide to help you choose the right product for your needs.
This is just the beginning, we intend to have packing lists for specialized activities. So tell us what packing list you would like to find here and share with others your list of items that you never leave without.
A Tent appropriate for the season and the number of campers. To help you decide which tent to consider buying, see our Gear Guide on Tents.
Sleeping bag appropriate for for the season of your trip.
Sleeping bag pad is essential to sleep on wet grounds. We recommend Thermarest.
Tarp to create shelter outside your tent where you can eat and cook.
15 feet of cord to tie all sorts of things together, like a tarp between trees for shelter.
Small lantern to help remove moisture inside the tent at night.
Backpack to carry all your gear.
Daypack for your day hikes.
Nylon net bags to keep things organized inside your pack.
During the day
Whistle – For finding separated members of your group or sounding an alarm.
Binoculars for spotting wildlife.
GPS device is a back up in case you get lost. See our Gear Guide on GPS to help you understand the various features of GPS.
Book on local birds, wildlife, and nature.
Compass – Point yourself in the right direction and track your progress. Many people got lost at the Grand Canyon.
Stove and repair kit. To help you decide which stove to consider buying, see our Gear Guide on Stoves.
Fuel for your stove. Determine how much you will need based on how quickly your stove burns fuel and how much cooking you will do. If you will only be using freeze dried food, then cooking time is only the time it takes to boil water.
Waterproof matches and/or lighter – It is best to have both, just in case.
2-liter saucepan with lid – Large enough to be versatile.
Large spoon and spatula for cooking.
Utensils (knife, fork and spoon).
Plate and/or bowls in unbreakable material that supports heat and cold.
2 1-liter Nalgene bottles. The Nalgene bottles can hold hot water, milk, juice and won’t absorb the smell. To keep you warm at night, you can fill them with hot water and put them in your sleeping bag. Nights at the the bottom of Grand Canyon get quite cold.
Zip lock bags to keep left overs and make sandwiches.
Garbage bags to take back out what you bring in.
Food and Water
Water purifier appropriate for the conditions where you will camp.
Iodine tablets – For purifying water in case your purifier breaks or clogs.
Powdered drink mix (such as Gatorade) if the water tastes too bad or if you need energy.
Breakfast food such as oatmeal and coffee.
Snack food, such as dehydrated fruit or nuts, that you could easily carry in a small Nalgene bottle.
Dinner and lunch meals. We recommend to bring at least one freeze-dried food packet in case you are hit by a heavy rain.
Remember that you don’t need something new for each day of your camping trip. We found ourselves always wearing the same thing.
1 pair of pants with zip off legs for shorts. Mornings and evenings are generally chilly, but during the day you may want shorts. Pick a dark colour and a material that is quick to dry and doesn’t seem to wringle too much.
Change of pants. In case your other pair is all wet or dirty, always have something to change into.
3 Quick drying pairs of underwear, which would require you to wash every 2 days. You may want to bring more, but then you’ll have to carry them.
Long underwear (top and bottom). Preferrably in silk. These items are key to warm you up at night or on rainy days, and they don’t take much place.
3 Short sleeve shirts, preferably in coolmax material that stays dry. Patagonia has some great models.
1 Long sleeve shirt for cold mornings.
Fleece liner that fits your jacket. It dries faster than a sweatshirt. Pick a dark colour so the dirt doesn’t show.
Gore-Tex shell for rainy and windy days.
Rain pants, again you don’t want to be stopped by the rain.
3 pairs of wool or synthetic socks.
1 pair of Polyproplene sock liners, to avoid blisters in your hiking boots.
Broken-in hiking boots.
Sandals or canoe shoes – For around camp, crossing small streams, and taking showers in public bathrooms.
Crushable hat with a large brim – Keeps the sun and rain off your head. You could also take a baseball cap.
Lightweight gloves – Light enough to allow for some dexterity when you wear them.
Bandana can serve as a hot pad, sweat cloth, mouth cover, or towel. The bandana has many uses. You need to keep it in a reachable section of your bag.
Flashlight or headlamp to find the trail at night, or reading in the tent.
Duct tape has so many uses from first aid to equipment repair.
Small spade to dig holes.