Some more info on Grand Canyon here:
Carol Crooker seems to be well informed in dessert hiking round here. She has a gear list for desert hiking and articles about hiking the different times of year. I wish I could pack this way but it's something to aim for:
The Rims are still chilly(as in still snow possible) at night but gets warmer as you go down. If your pack is heavy the going down can be brutal... don't forget to prepare for the trip. (go up and down steep stuff with a pack on). Make sure your food and fuel is not overdone. They can really weigh you down if you go over prepared. Many people just take way too much on the corridor trails and you can even find people giving stuff away at the bottom trying to make their packs lighter. If you get stuck needing a few extras(snack etc.) you can always buy some at Phantom Ranch.. Snacks are especially heavy.. I wouldn't volunteer to take the tent and snacks.. If your taking the tent make sure your partner takes all the food.. I think technically if you are just corridor camping 2 nights and staying at bright angel camp & then say cottonwood camp.. you could even go to the bottom.. buy all your food there including having a steak dinner(needs to book ahead) some sandwiches & snacks for the following day/night..(if you want to spend money). Then you won't need to bring a kitchen with you at all.. No stove, no fuel! Maybe a bowl/mug and spork for cereal w/Nido(powdered whole milk) and maybe some hemp hearts for protein :P... This does not address hot coffee at all though... unless you like it cold... Via rocks over Nescafe (of course that's according to me)!! I cringe at the packaging waste of Via but still use it.. doh!
Mike Clelland's book is just great for info even if your not going ultralight. I recommend the ebook version and you can use it as a reference where ever you go(plus it's lightweight!!:
If decide you like backpacking and would like good gear for it, I really recommend trying some gear before you buy. You will most likely find that your first purchase after you get it could go lighter. My first pack was 5lbs and it was my first purchase after I had saved a bunch of money... I didn't know about going lighter then, all I knew is I wanted to go hiking. I wanted to go somewhere and bammit, I just wanted a pack to do it with. It's bomb proof but after doing some reading and discovery around here and in the articles you may find that a frameless pack may be just as good. Or, you may find that you can save some money and go for something ubber nice that everyone wished they had bought for their first pack(most likely not from a major manufacturer though)...
Last year I went with a Go-Lite Pinnacle pack I got on clearance for $50.00.. It was a little sweaty but I found I didn't need the frame and the difference was 3lbs between pack weights.. That's 3lbs off my back!! Just with a different pack!! When your in the Canyon you will thank your lucky stars you don't have more weight. IMHO it's the going down that'll get ya... and then, you have to crawl out.. hahahahaha. Try gear anyway you can... Join a local hiking group in your area, beg from your friends or family if someone has something stowed away just to try it out.. Also REI will rent gear as well... Try it out first!! Or, if you want I can loan you my 5lbs pack and you can load it up run around with it and consider your options. For 3 days you don't need a huge pack.. and if you do and you fill it, you've brought/bought too much and you'll be wishing you hadn't.. ps... the bottom is like car camping without the car... There are even picnic tables at the bottom.
If it's just two of you.. you could try an alcohol stove. If your taking pre-packaged meals all you need to do is just boil water mostly anyway. I'm not sure mine is the best in the world but it's really easy to light and takes about 5-6mins to boil 500ml of water and the wind cover is the pot stand so it won't likely blow away on ya... I've had it for 3 years and it's still going. I had no problems with delivery from their site though it's not the worlds greatest website:
If you make a simple one you can save yourself money. Just google alcohol stove and check out all the images of them to get an idea of how varied they can get.. Simple to complicated. I've been reading about the penny stove lately..
See if you can rent a tent if your going with a tent.. Maybe a single wall? Pretty dry in the canyon so condensation shouldn't be an issue. A single wall fully enclosed could be 3lbs or under... Mine is bomb proof in the rain though I didn't think it possibly could that first time in a downpour. My friend also reflected the same thoughts when we got hit with rain in the Canyon on 2 nights.. (maybe we where just unlucky - everyone seems to think it doesn't there but yes it does and yes in May)... dries up fast though.
If you shave weight everywhere then you can put it back in the one place you'd really like..
For a super cushy mat this is what my aunt who's never been backpacking loved in the Canyon last year. She even wanted to buy it off of me... It's sinfully delicious but a whopping 2lbs... even comes with it's own repair kit and bag.
SynMat 7 M
Size: 183 x 52cm / 72 x 20"
Thickness: 7 cm / 2.8“
Weight:860 g / 30.3 oz
Packed: 21 x 15 cm / 8.2 x 6“
Temperature: -17°C / 1°F
Filling: Texpedloft Microfiber.
Water... if your corridor camping you most likely will not need to treat your water. Check in with the backcountry before you go and they will have the water availability postings. If you want to ensure your safe.. bring some iodine or other small water treatment just in case.. I've had my eye on this as another alternate:
My 2 long cents.. happy hiking.. maybe i'll see in the Canyon May 2012