A small backpack is nice to have so you can enjoy the side hikes without having to carry items in your hands. Friends and family can easily share a pack or two as not everyone needs one. Most of the hikes you’ll be doing are not long, but several of them require a bit of maneuverability. So if you have your water bottle, camera, sunscreen and a snack, a little bag will go a long way.
The easiest way to accomplish this is with a drawstring bag or collapsible backpack. They are lightweight, easily pack into our provided day drybags, and allow you to keep your hands free while navigating the “trails” of Grand Canyon. If you already own a small hydration pack, that may work. Just make sure that it is small enough to fit into the small dry bag (7″x 14″) we provide you with, otherwise, the pack and all its contents get wet when running the rapids.
Finally, if you’re thinking, “All I really need is my water bottle.” No worries! Your guides will be often be carrying extra snacks and first aid so if you just want to carry a water bottle, find a way to strap it to your person. You can use a simple shoulder strap or rig something up yourself. Make sure that your water bottle is approximately one liter.
EXCEPTIONS: If you are on a full canyon hiker’s special trip, you’ll likely want a comfortable backpack as your hikes will be longer. If you are hiking into or out of the canyon, be sure to read your trip packet for specific details regarding backpack requirements and hydration pack/water bottle recommendations.