Tag Archives: hiking tips

First person “video hike” of Grand Canyon’s North Kaibab trail

Another good “first person video” going down Grand Canyon’s of North Kaibab Trail. It starts at the North Rim and ends at Phantom Ranch.   Video Courtesy of  www.TrailVista.com.


Details of  Grand Canyon’s the North Kaibab Trail:

  • Distance:  14.2 miles one way.
  • Approximate time for hike:  Down – 8-9 hours Up :  10-12 hours
  • Elevation:  5,850 ft.
  • Difficulty:  Very strenuous

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

Cool 5 minute “first person video-hike” of Grand Canyon’s South Kaibab Trail

This is a cool 5 minute “first person video-hike” of the 7.4 mile South Kaibab Trail from Grand Canyon’s South Rim down to the Phantom Ranch.  Courtesy of www.TrailVista.com.

This video is very well done and shows you a little of what to expect on your Grand Canyon hike.  But don’t let it fool you, this hike isn’t a 5 minute walk in the park.  You need to be prepared for the challenge.

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