Happily Camp, Travel and Live forever on $20 a day.

Grand Canyon Books worth checking out.

Here are some good Grand Canyon books to help you prepare for your hike. The more you’re prepared, the your hike will be!                   More »

Grand Canyon Hike Food

How much of food should you take on your Grand Canyon hike?

Food and water should be your top priority when you plan your Grand Canyon hike.  The trails are long and rigorous so you’ll be using up a lot of energy and burning More »

Do you listen to your iPod while you’re on your hike?

The Apple iPod MP3 Player has opened up a whole new world for portable music and entertainment. It seems like everyone has an iPod now including myself. I have to admit, it More »

Grand Canyon Hike Water

Don’t hike the Grand Canyon without this.

Stay hydrated!  It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or 120 degrees(f) at the Grand Canyon, you have to remember to stay hydrated when you go on your hike.  Even the fittest athletes overestimate More »

Who care's if you can run a marathon.

It doesn’t matter if you can run a marathon.

Can you run a marathon?  Do you think that means you’re in enough shape to hike the Grand Canyon?  THINK AGAIN!  To a marathon runner, the three main corridor trails are relatively short.  The South Kaibab More »

Category Archives: Hiking Tips

Grand Canyon Books worth checking out.

Happily Camp, Travel and Live forever on $20 a day.

Here are some good Grand Canyon books to help you prepare for your hike. The more you’re prepared, the your hike will be!

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Hikernut’s Grand Canyon Companion

Designed especially for the first-time day hiker or backpacker, this common sense guide contains everything needed to enjoy a fresh perspective and get below the rim of one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world: the Grand Canyon. Included is advice on equipment, permits, rules and restrictions, trail descriptions, and other tips—all geared toward the most popular, easily accessible, and well-maintained trails. Complete with full-color maps and photos, this beautiful guidebook provides prospective hikers with a real sense of what it takes to hike the canyon.

 

 

 

Frommer’s Arizona & the Grand Canyon

Completely updated every year, Frommer’s Arizona & the Grand Canyon features hundreds of gorgeous color photos of the sights and experiences that await you.; Our expert author has researched the best hotels, restaurants, shops, and nightlife spots in Scottsdale and Phoenix, and takes you to every corner of the state, from small, southern towns such as Tombstone to the Four Corners Region, where visitors can connect with Hopi and Navajo communities.; Extensive coverage of The Grand Canyon gives you insider information for seeing the park without crowds and the best options for staying in and near the park.; Frommer’s Arizona & the Grand Canyon also includes a fold-out sheet map.

 

 

 

The Rough Guide to the Grand Canyon

The Rough Guide to the Grand Canyon is the definitive practical guide to Americas greatest natural wonder. As well as comprehensive coverage of the national park, including all the fabulous viewpoints along the North and South rims, it includes full details of the majestic and under-explored deserts of the surrounding region. It will guide you to remote turquoise waterfalls and the dramatic new Skywalk on the neighboring Havasupai and Hualapai reservations, and the sublime slot canyons of northern Arizona, as well as to lively gateway towns such as Flagstaff. Together with informative reviews of accommodation and dining options everywhere, you’ll find step-by-step advice on making the most of countless awe-inspiring hiking trails, and even rafting on the Colorado River. With its custom-designed maps and extensive photographs, its the perfect companion for any Grand Canyon adventure.

 

 

 

DK Eyewitness Arizona and the Grand Canyon

DK Eyewitness Arizona and the Grand Canyon travel guide will lead you through the best attractions the state has on offer, including fully illustrated coverage of all the major sights from the Grand Canyon to the haunting beauty of the Colorado Plateau. The guide provides all the insider tips every visitor needs, whether you are exploring the ghost towns and historic recreations like Ottoman and Tombstone, or visiting modern cities like Phoenix and Tucson. Plus, you’ll find reliable, practical information on getting around Arizona; whether by bus, plane, train or car. The guide is packed with comprehensive listings of the best hotels, restaurants, shops and nightlife for all budgets, plus photographs and illustrations. It explores the culture and history of the state, covering the native civilizations that have lived there for thousands of years. With all the sites, activities, tours and attractions not to be missed, this DK Eyewitness travel guide is your essential companion to Arizona and the Grand Canyon.

 

 


How much of food should you take on your Grand Canyon hike?

Grand Canyon Hike Food

Food and water should be your top priority when you plan your Grand Canyon hike.  The trails are long and rigorous so you’ll be using up a lot of energy and burning a lot of calories.  It’s recommended that you eat about 500 calories an hour.  However, you should eat in small amounts so your body can process the food more efficiently.  There’s no doubt that you’ll be taking a lot of breaks during your hike for pictures or for resting your muscles.  This would be a good time to drink water and munch on a granola bar or salty snack.  Even some some cookies or salty chips will work but remember they crush easily in your pack.  I really DO NOT recommend bringing energy bars if you’re hiking during the hot weather.  We learned the hard way that the hot Grand Canyon weather will quickly turn a bag full of energy bars into a blob of warm chocolate goo in no time.

We brought enough food for 2 full meals a day and enough snacks to last us in between.  For my full meals (breakfast and dinner), I brought with me MRE’s (Meal Ready To Eat) which are used by the military as survival food.  The civilian version are called “A Packs”.  I like MRE’s because it’s a complete meal in one package.  You can eat it cold or you can heat them up with an MRE heater which it usually comes with.  With the MRE heater and a little water you can heat up your MRE up to 200°F.  No need for fire.  To me, MRE’s taste a lot better heated up.  Even though the weather can get really hot at the Grand Canyon, there’s nothing like rewarding yourself at the end of a long hike with a nice hot dinner.  A nice hot MRE for breakfast helps get you going as well.  Another good thing about MRE’s is that each meal is contains about 800-1000 calories.

One disadvantage of MRE’s/A Packs is that they get heavy.  I also brought along some Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food.  The Mountain House meals much lighter to carry and they do taste pretty good.  However, you have to make sure you add the right amount of hot water and of course a way to heat up the water.  It’s a good a idea to test out a couple MRE’s/A Packs and Mountain House meals before your hike.  That way you know how to heat them up, the right amount of water to use, and if you even like the taste.  You don’t want to be in the middle of your hike trying to figure out for the first time how to heat up your food.

 

So the food that I originally brought consisted of 2 MRE’s/A Packs per day for breakfast and dinner.  Snacks included packets of tuna, crackers, energy bars (they melted!) packets of fruit, and beef jerky. I’m ashamed to say, I also brought a can of cheese whiz, a couple of SPAM singles, and powdered Gatorade, and cooking oil. Why did I bring those? I had this wild notion that I’ll be sitting happy at camp eating cheese and crackers and then cooking up pancakes (which Juan brought) in the morning.  That wasn’t the case.  I was so tired after day one all I thought about was the added weight of the extra weight.  I also had the bright idea to store the crackers and oil in Tupperware.   Another bad idea. It just added more bulk and more weight and the crackers were still crushed and oil leaked everywhere!  Oil spilled inside your pack cooking in the Grand Canyon sun did not give a very pleasant odor.  Lessons learned.

At the last minute brought a couple Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food meals just in case.  The first time I tried them was during our hike and I had no idea what I was doing.  The first one came out very watery and cold.  That’s why I recommend testing everything before you’re hike.

 

NOTE:  When you’re at camp, be sure to secure your food in a stuff sack and hang it up to keep animals from getting to it.  Depending on the campsite, there could be storage containers that you can use.

So, for our next Grand Canyon hike, my food list will still include MRE’s but because they are so heavy I might limit it to one a day and bring more Mountain House meals.  The fruit packets I brought ended up becoming heavy so I may try bringing dried fruit instead.  I’ll also add more crackers, trail mix (no chocolate because it melts), and some granola.  This isn’t set in stone yet but the goal is to stay as lightweight as possible and only bring food that will provide energy and nutrition.  Also, this time we might consider having dinner at Phantom Ranch located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  If you reserve early, Phantom Ranch will have a dinner waiting for you when you reach the bottom.  They offer a steak, veggie, or stew.  A great reward for a long hike.  They also provide sack lunches for the next day to take with you as you continue your hike, again, you have to reserve early.  Snacks, first aid items, and souvenirs are available too but quantities are limited and with a high price.  Be sure to bring money.  Consider taking advantage of the food at Phantom Ranch.  It’s less you have to carry.  REMEMBER to reserve early.

 

NOTE:  If you’re hiking during the hot months, don’t bring anything that’s perishable.

Remember food and water can either make or break your Grand Canyon hike. Not only do you need to eat, but you need to eat foods that will give you the energy.  You’ll need to replace the salt that you will be sweating out during your hike.  Salty snacks and sports drinks will take care of that.  Finally, consider the weight of the food you’ll be carrying.  Bringing too much food will make you’re backpack heavy and if not eaten, it’s more for you to carry back up.

Happy Hiking!

– Canyon Hiker

Do you listen to your iPod while you’re on your hike?

The Apple iPod MP3 Player has opened up a whole new world for portable music and entertainment. It seems like everyone has an iPod now including myself. I have to admit, it took me 5 generations before jumping on the iPod band wagon. But now that I have, I can’t believe I lived without one for so long. All my music, audio books, and videos stored in one small digital device. It tunes out my co-workers when I’m trying to focus on work, it gets my mind distracted as I go on my long runs, and it keeps me entertained as I sit in traffic. But what about taking your
Apple iPod
with you during your Grand Canyon hike? Depending on what type of iPod you have, you have the ability to do so much. From GPS to apps that track your hikes, I can see the advantage for taking along your iPod during your hiking adventure. I can see both advantages and disadvantages, but what do you think?

Personally, I prefer to stay one with nature and enjoy every sight and sound the trail has to offer. It’s not everyday that I get to go out into the sunshine, smell the fresh air, and experience the outdoors. I use the time to be with my thoughts. The Grand Canyon is so spectacular and overwhelming, sometimes it’s hard not to feel spiritual. As much as I like listening to Lady Gaga while working out at the gym, I’m not sure it’s the right soundtrack for a hike. More importantly, listening to music can be distracting and could be dangerous.
The trails at the Grand Canyon are very narrow. You have to share the trail with other hikers in both directions as well as the occasional mule train that passes through. You don’t want to hold up a fellow hiker that wants to pass you because you can’t hear him/her. You especially don’t want to be surprised by a team of mules coming towards you. The mules have the right of way and since the trails are so narrow, you need time to find a place to move out the way. Another reason, is that you don’t want to be distracted and not able to hear any imminent danger such as large animals or someone calling out to you saying that the trail ends at a cliff 300 ft.
So should you bring your Apple iPod with you on your hike? For me, I prefer to be without one. There’s far too much to see, hear, and experience on the trail to be distracted by my iPod. However, during the downtime when you’re at camp, the iPod could keep you entertained. You could view the pictures you took or listen to some camping music. I’m sure there are apps out there where you can log your hike or see how many miles you put it. Also, keep in mind, there’s potential for iPod to become damaged during the hike, and once the battery drains, all you’re left with is added weight.

If you decide to bring your Apple iPod on your next hike, check out the Pelican i1010 Waterproof Case It’s designed for any iPod Nano and Shuffle and is waterproof, crush-proof, and dust proof.

Happy Hiking!

– Canyon Hiker

Don’t hike the Grand Canyon without this.

Grand Canyon Hike Water

Stay hydrated!  It doesn’t matter if it’s snowing or 120 degrees(f) at the Grand Canyon, you have to remember to stay hydrated when you go on your hike.  Even the fittest athletes overestimate their own capabilities and underestimate the Grand Canyon.  (Read about the tragic story of marathon runner, Margaret Bradley.)  According to the NPS, during the summer Rangers respond to heat exhausted hikers everydayDon’t trust that there will be water along the trail.

So how much water should you bring on your  hike? The rule of thumb is to drink at least 1/2 to 1 liter of water or sport drink for every hour you’re going to be hiking in the the canyon.  Remember to drink water before you start getting thirsty.Once you start getting thirsty, you’re already in danger of becoming dehydrated.

On my hike I carried 7 1/2 liters (two gallons) of water and about 3 liters of Gatorade. Plus I had 1 liter in my Camelbak. That’s roughly 11 1/2 liters or 3 gallons of liquid. This was in August where temperatures reached well over 100 degrees(f) so I wanted to make sure I had more than enough to stay hydrated. Even though I was drinking every chance I had and used a spray bottle to wet down my head and hat, I still had a few bottles left when we finally reached the bottom. However, we lucked out because there was a lot of cloud cover so the temperatures weren’t as hot as we expected. That made a huge difference.

In addition to water, its recommended that you carry salty snacks to help retain the water you’ll be losing.

Click here for Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage.


What was really useful was the hydration feature of my Backpack. It’s similar to a Camelbak and I highly recommend that your hiking backpack has this feature. No fumbling for water bottles or having to remove your backpack to search for your bottles. Plus, it keeps your water a few degrees cooler which makes a big difference. The one I had only held about one liter. The largest one I’ve seen carries about 2 liters. One disadvantage was that once it was empty it was a bit of a pain to refill since you had to take some stuff out of your pack to make room. But, you don’t have to do that very often and I’d rather go through that than hand carry a water bottle.

 

Happy Hiking!

– Canyon Hiker

It doesn’t matter if you can run a marathon.

Who care's if you can run a marathon.

Can you run a marathon?  Do you think that means you’re in enough shape to hike the Grand Canyon?  THINK AGAIN! 

To a marathon runner, the three main corridor trails are relatively short.  The South Kaibab trail is 7 miles, the Bright Angel Trail is 10 miles, and the North Kaibab Trail is 14 miles.  A marathon is 26 miles, so you can see that to a runner, these trails should be “easy”.  This is very far from the truth.

Grand Canyon Flyer

Grand Canyon Trail head Notice

Posted at the beginning of these trails is a public announcement notice that tells the story of Margaret Bradley, a Boston Marathon runner that died at the Grand Canyon while attempting to run a 27 mile trail run in one day.  Bradley was an All American athlete at her university and had completed the Boston Marathon 3 months prior to her Grand Canyon run.  According to the public announcement notice, Bradley was unprepared for the extreme heat, excessive distance, and excessive water.  Bradley brought with her 1.5 liters of water, two energy bars, and 1 apple!

This tragic story is one of hundreds of other stories of people who overestimate their own capabilities and underestimate the Grand Canyon.

The notice lists the following tips when hiking the Grand Canyon:

These simple tips can save your life!

  •  Have a Plan:  Plan ahead for the unexpected.  Know where you’re going, the length of  your route, and where to obtain water.  Check the weather forecast.  Leave your itinerary with a reliable person and report in when you return.  It can take twice as long to hike up as it is to hike down.
  • Stay Cool:  Avoid hiking between the hours of 10 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. when there is little shade on the trails.  If possible, wet your shirt and hat to stay cool through evaporation.  Hike during the cooler parts of the day.
  • Stay Together:  Always keep your hiking group together.  Never leave anyone behind.  Don’t forget:  YOU are responsible for your safety.
  • Refuel and Rehydrate:  Take twice as much food as you normally would, including high calorie salty foods.  The only trail with reliable water sources is Bright Angel Trail.  Stay hydrated by drinking often, even before you feel thirsty.
  • Rest:  Rest periodically in the shade with your feet elevated.  Enjoy a drink of water and some snacks.  Hiking in the canyon is strenuous even for those that are fit.  Do not hike beyond your abilities. 

Don’t hike the Grand Canyon without this.

Ironically, I am currently training to run a half marathon. Like hiking the Grand Canyon, running a marathon requires a lot of preparation and training. By no means am I relying soley on my running to prepare for the hike. However, running does provide a lot of benefits that will help carry me into preparing for the hike like improving my cardio and stamina. I’ve also discovered that running and hiking both require a high level of mental strength which is very important. (I’ll cover that in another post.) If running a marathon is also on your list of challenges you want to accomplish, check out, Marathon Running for Beginners it contains all the information you need to get you started on your training.

Click here for Water Filters, Purifiers and Storage.
Happy Hiking!

– Canyon Hiker