Grand Canyon Backpacking Checklist – Are You Forgetting Something For Your Grand Canyon Hiking Trip?

Do you remember the most embarrassing moment of your life?

I do.

I grew up at the Grand Canyon National Park and had hiked in and out many times. A friend of mine (who I happened to have a crush on) came to visit and I offered to take him on a hiking trip into the Canyon.

We planned everything, packed our bags and headed down the trail for a 3 day/2 night stay. We made it to Bright Angel Campground, set up our tents and started to prepare our well-deserved dinner.

The most embarrassing moment came when I realized that almost all of our meals were dehydrated and I had forgotten to bring the fuel canister for our stove! Oops.

We had to have snack food for dinner that night and cut our trip short by a whole day to hike out early the next morning.

At Least Remember the Important Stuff!

After that painfully embarrassing experience, I created a Grand Canyon backpacking checklist. I keep it in my backpack and refer to it before each trip I make.

Here’s the quick version of things I recommend taking with you on your Grand Canyon hiking trip:


  • Moleskin – because blisters can really cramp your style
  • Gatoraide or Gookenaid – to prevent dehydration which is very common in the desert heat
  • Ibuprofen and/or TigerBalm – The best muscle pain relief there is
  • Sunblock
  • Basic first aid kit with a medium size Ace bandage
  • Indestructible, waterproof Wilderness Medicine First Aid pocketbook

Emergency gear

  • A small roll of duct tape
  • Flashlight
  • Swiss Army knife or a Leatherman tool

Cooking gear

  • Stove, fuel container and waterproof matches
  • Pot and pot holder – My MSR stove packs into one of their collapsible pots
  • Cup, plate and utensils
  • Food to cook
  • Lots of snacks


  • Plenty of clean socks
  • Sweatshirt for layering
  • Sandals to wear around camp and in the water
  • Wide brimmed rain/shade hat Light
  • Gore-Tex shell


  • Bug repellent
  • Water bottles
  • Sunglasses
  • Tent and sleeping bag
  • Camera
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant

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