Grand Canyon Backpacking Packing List

About to embark on the trip of a lifetime, Fred reaches into his bag.  He expects to find his sunglasses; and he needs them quite badly in fact.  Fred is about to begin a hike in the Grand Canyon, just a couple of days in paradise.  However, he got so caught up dreaming about how much fun he was going to have that he remembered to pack three sweaters and some long underwear, but forgot his sunglasses.  Fred now has a problem: His pack is too heavy with items that he doesn’t need (it’s July), and he lacks an item that will save him from three days of squinting and headaches.  Fred should have read this blog.

We have all been Fred at some point in our lives; not focused on the task at hand and blanking on something that we really needed.  Here, we will outline must-have items for hiking and adventuring in all of the wonderful places that you will go with Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism (in all seasons).  We will assume a three-day hiking/backpacking trip in Grand Canyon National Park.  Although we will send you a packing list for any of the trips you go on, this is a good reference point for any adventure you may have.  See you out there!


2 short-sleeve synthetic (not cotton) shirts

1 pair shorts

1 pair light pants

1 rain jacket

3 pairs underwear

3 pairs socks

1 brimmed hat

1 pair sunglasses


Large backpack

1-person tent w/ footprint

35-degree sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

3L Water bladder, full

1 32oz. water bottle, full




Fire starting materials (lighter, flint)

Knife or Multi-tool



First-Aid kit (disinfectant, bandages, tweezers, etc.)


Insect repellent

Cell Phone

Water purification gear (tablets or apparatus)

Cooking gear (pots, spoons, backpacking stove, propane)


Meals for every day you will be on the trail (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks).  Dehydrated meals are best, or check out our backpacking recipe blog

Luxury Items (At your discretion):


Travel board games

Balls, recreational items



This is not necessarily a complete list, but should give you some idea of how to go about packing for adventures in the outdoors.

Going Guided

Hiking and exploring Grand Canyon, or any of the National Parks, is a special experience.  Although it is possible to see these places yourself, hiring a guide is a great idea.  For instance, guiding services provide logistical support, and plan everything for your best possible trip.  They provide a great safety net on the trail, and are trained in backcountry medicine. Above all, they provide a depth of knowledge of the region that turns a walk into a true adventure.

Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism provides all of the support you need, and pairs that with expert geologist/guides.  Our backcountry meals use fresh ingredients, and are planned by a professional chef.  Furthermore, we provide top-of-the-line gear and passion for the places we explore.  In conclusion, you can visit National Parks, but going with a guide can create and even more memorable experience.  Don’t be shy, and call us!

Read our blog!

For adventure hiking vacations in a geologic time machine, see our epic tours in Grand Canyon, Utah, and Arizona!

For geological musings read The Goat’s geology blog.

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Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time — Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism