4 Essentials When Backpacking the Grand Canyon


The Grand Canyon receives millions of visitors each year, and a good number of them are unprepared for the trip. If you don’t want to find yourself lacking the essentials as you camp, climb, hike, trek and backpack around the cliffs, here are just four things you’ll want to include in your bag.

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1. Knife

Nothing can replace the usefulness of a knife. It can be used for virtually every task at your camp, including cutting knots, slicing bandages and opening food packages. It’s also a handy tool to have in an emergency wildlife situation. You can even purchase multipurpose Swiss Army knives that come with everything from screwdrivers to can openers. There’s no such thing as being over-prepared when you’re scaling the Grand Canyon, so make sure your knife is up to the task.

2. Navigational Tools

Where are you going? How far have you traveled? How close are you to civilization? If you don’t have some kind of navigational tool, you’re likely to get lost in the miles and miles of the Grand Canyon. It doesn’t matter if you prefer high-tech GPS instruments or old-fashioned maps and compasses; the most important thing is that you aren’t guessing about directions and distances. The elements can be genuinely life-threatening if you make a mistake out in the wild.

3. First-Aid Kit

Speaking of mistakes, anything can go wrong in the middle of nowhere. If an emergency strikes when you’re miles from civilization, you’ll want to be prepared. Make sure you have things like bandages, gauze, scissors and medical tape. Pack plenty of antibacterial ointment and antiseptic wipes. If you’re prone to burns, blisters or bruises, you might also want to include specialized creams or lotions to fight them off. The same goes for compression wraps for bad knees or ankles.

4. Power Source

Whether it’s a battery pack, power adapter or USB charger, you’re going to need some kind of juice to keep your electronics working. You can’t take digital photos of the Grand Canyon unless your digital device is working.

These are four must-haves when you’re backpacking the Grand Canyon. There are many other things you can include in your bag, and some of them are more useful than others, but these are the absolute essentials.

About the Author

Emma is a freelance writing currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. Information for this article was gathered from TYLT. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2