Keep cool and hydrated in the summer heat, (especially if going down to the canyon floor)
1. Buy several BPA-free water bottles with insulating sleeves, (I like the Camelback better bottle and sleeve, which you can attach to your belt). Instead of filling with water, fill it with ice before you start your hike, as it melts it helps keep you cool. You will need much more water than you think.
2. Take a small hand-held fan, (the type that operates on a AA battery). Take a small travel (1-2) ounce spray bottle and fill with 1 oz. of water. Spray your face with the water, then turn on the fan....it really helps.
3. For extreme heat - take a first aid ice pack, (the kind that you have to squeeze to activate). Great for rapid cool-down.
4. Forget the cotton clothes!!! Wear short sleeve, light colored, moisture wicking apparel, like the kind used by runners and bikers. You will stay much more dry and comfortable.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Due to it's elevation, it can be chilly so bring a light sweater or jacket. When we went, it was really cold so my sis & I end up buying a sweater at the gift shop. Not much to choose from so we bought the same sweater, and were called "the twins" for the rest of our tour.
I would suggest packing an extra sweatshirt or two! Since it was so windy and cold during April when we visited, I had to buy a sweatshirt at our hotel gift shop.
Don't worry, there were many other shops at which I could have purchased something warmer, but be prepared for cold weather and you won't regret it!
The canyon was windy and cold at times when we were seeing the sights there. Dress for these conditions in the Spring and you'll be glad you did.
Hiking boots are always suggested when doing any kind of walking or hiking in rugged terrain. Find a comfortable pair and you'll have a better footing on the trails.
Luggage and bags:
Being a February trip, it was much cooler than when most folks visit the Canyon... but the idea of dressing in layers was still a good one :)
The temps changed as our altitude along the rim changed, so my layers changed accordingly. Hat, scarf, gloves, coat ... these all saw use for parts of my day. Summers are not much different, it's just different clothing :)
You'll enjoy your day if you are prepared, so just take the time to prepare!
Of course it goes without saying that you NEED good shoes to have fun while wandering the rim trail. You wouldn't want blisters and sore feet to mar your visit, now would you?
Camera, film, batteries and the rest .... what kind of VTer would you be without these things? By now this should be second nature :)
Everything else you can buy in the park, and higher than off park rates, so no worries!
Luggage and bags:
Take what you need obviously.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Depending on the time of year - summer definitely have some cool clothing that can breath and reflect the sun. Bring along some sun screen too. If you want to hike throw in an extra pair of shoes - the shoes will get dirty and be covered with the reddish dirt found in the Southwest.
If you are going to hike in the winter time beware of changing weather conditions. It can be 70 degrees at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and a blizzard could be taking place at the rim level. You might need crimpons for traction too.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Hva all your medications with you. Watch out for any medicine that says exposure to sdirect sunlight can be harmful. There will be plenty of sunlight during the summer months.
Bring some bandaids etc. for the hikers when you are sore from your hiking activities.
Photo Equipment: I took a 8mm camcorder and a digital camera with me when my son and I hiked last year to the bottom of the Canyon. I didn't see anyone else taking the time and effort to take pictures below the rim like I did. Wow I sure appreciate the pictures and the memories now.
Like my son said it's amazing how much detail a person forgets over time. Just now I notice details in my pictures that I have on my computer that took me over a year to see.
Capture those special moments in the Canyon with your family, freinds or by yourself!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: I took a couple of backpacks - nothing fancy. I could carry my cameras, water, snacks and whatever I wanted. It was quite handy without any hasstle.
Luggage and bags:
The lighter the better. If you plan to do a day hike then a day pack will be fine. For an overnight try first to get reservations at Phantom so that you will not need to have a backpack. If you plan an overnight stay, then pack as light as possible.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Try to do without any heavy clothing as the canyon is warm. Maybe a sweatshirt for near the top, though once one gets down a bit all that's needed are shorts and a t-shirt.
If you plan to stay at Phantom Ranch, then maybe bring a pair of mocassins or sandals so as to take a break from wearing hiking shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Moleskin helps for the feet.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you do plan to camp, then bring a light sleeping bag or perhaps just a light blanket. I brought my old sleeping bag which was much more than needed as it is pretty fluffy as its rated for zero degrees. All this did was make the hike harder having these extra pounds. Also, I used just a foam pad and tossed and turned and so one of the air mattresses might be better and worth the $60-70 investment.
Miscellaneous: Binoculars - I wish I had brought a pair and today there are some that have a digital camera built into them.
Temperature in the Canyon changes without prior notice. So bring enough warm clothing, especially in the Winter. Comfortable walking shoes are necessities.
Photo Equipment: This is a photographer wonder. All kinds of lens: zoom, wide angle, etc... Viewcams, digital cameras, medium-format, normal 35mm films, whatever you feel comfortable with. Many many rolls of films; a must!
Warm sweater and trousers as gets quite cold at most times of the year, near the rim of the canyon (or so I was told).
Photo Equipment: Lots and lots of film for the camera and a camcorder if possible to really capture the 7th wonder of the world.
Since it can get really cold at night, bring jackets. Wear sturdy shoes if you plan on hiking especially on non-paved trails (you don't want to ruin your vacation by injuring your feet/ankles or anything). Since rain is always possible, bring some rain coats.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Bring your shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc. so that you won't have to purchase them at the General Store. Bring a first aid kit in case of injury.
Photo Equipment: You would have to be ***NUTS*** to not bring any photo equipment. The Grand Canyon is SO beautiful that you'll be taking picture after picture after picture. Bring a camera AT LEAST and a video camera if you have one. Bring enough film and batteries because films and batteries are EXPENSIVE there.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you're camping, bring a tent to sleep in. Make sure that it has a rainfly so that you will stay dry should it rain. Bring a canopy for shade if it is sunny and for a source of shelter if it rains. Bring some folding/reclining chairs for relaxation. Be sure to bring a lantern and flashlights with extra propane cylinders and batteries. Bring a propane stove to cook and some charcoal for the BBQ. Also bring a citronella candle to ward of those evil biting bugs. Also another good thing to bring: a battery-powered alarm clock to wake you up before sunrise. You've got to see the sunrise! It's beautiful... except if there is an overcast of clouds, ugh.
Miscellaneous: If you are travelling with others, two-way radios will come in handy. Make sure you bring extra money and a credit card for surprise expenses such as locksmith service just in case you lock your keys in your vehicle. Yes, that did happen to me. Most of the locksmiths were located in Flagstaff and Sedona in the phone book. :O But then I was relieved to find that there was on in the Grand Canyon. It is named Locksmith - Open Any Car Door.
It gets quite windy at the canyon. I was actually cold believe it or not. Hmm...maybe that had something to do with the terrible sunburn I had recently aquired...But to be sure, it's not a bad idea to have something a little warmer just in case.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: SUNBLOCK!!!!! If you have skin like mine then you'll want a lot of it!!!!!
Miscellaneous: Countless warnings stress the importance of drinking enough water while exploring the canyon. It's easy to get dehydrated while tackling the trails in any season, so make sure you drink plenty!
Make sure you bring different jackets . there could be a sudden weather change.
Photo Equipment: Bring pleanty of film.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: The campsites are all rather rocky. Bring rockpins and a good hammer. Nights can be very cold. We were there at the end of september and the nighttemperatures were well below zero.