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I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List.
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Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 12/31/2011 18:42:46 MST Print View

Osprey Exos 49L Pack - 2 lbs - $99.96
ThermaRest Basecamp Pad - 3 lbs - $79.95
Marmot Trestles 30 Bag - 3 lbs - $66.75
Ozark 3 person tent - 6 lbs - Had it in my garage ;)
------>Looking for a good water filtration system still<--------
------>Looking for a good cooking setup.. Caldera Cone?<--------Whats a good website?
------>Looking for a good Hiking Boot.. on the cheap<-----------

I am going to carry 2 or 3 Liters of water on me

I am carrying the Tent so my friend is carrying the meals. I will have snacks though.
Cliff Bars/Trailmix/Jerky

I dont have the fancy ultra light clothing, cant afford it so Im just using what I have.
Thick cap/Dessert Camo Boony/Sunglasses
Dessert camo Pants
Nike Dry Fit shirt
Normal T-Shirt
Wool half zip pull over
Im still undecided on my last heavy layer.. Suggestions welcome.
3-4 pairs of Wool Socks

So what do you think? Ive done a ton of research but have yet to buy anything in hopes that I could run it by you guys and see what you thought. I know I can get a lot of different opinions, that's okay. I have little to no experience, so if im missing something obvious or completely blowing it entirely lol.. let me know.


Jennifer McFarlane
(JennyMcFarlane) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Grand Canyon on 12/31/2011 19:20:57 MST Print View

What gear you take will be determined by the time of year you are hiking. If you tell us that, recommendations can be made about your gear.
Your sleeping pad is very heavy- you might want to think about a Ridgerest (17 ounces for a regular or large and $30-40) or a Thermorest Prolite (16 ounces for a regular and $70-80)
The Exos is okay (weight wise) and carries gear well.
You can often find clothes for hiking in at your local thrift store- I picked ups few things there last year for $1-2 for each piece.

Edited by JennyMcFarlane on 12/31/2011 19:35:57 MST.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 12/31/2011 19:21:59 MST Print View

Hi Ben,

Sounds like a fun trip! Smart move to share gear where possible.

A few suggestions:

Pad - go lighter. You can get a Prolite for < 1lb. A Neoair as well, and many other inflatables for a great price. Montbell's set w/pillow is great.

Caldera - TrailDesigns or Antigravitygear - GREAT setup.

Boots - I recommend Trailrunners instead to save weight and added breathability - many low cost options locally & online: Merrell, Inov8 are nice. I haven't hiked in boots in years.

Filtration - I use a Steripen Journey (there was an Adventurer on sale here today). If a lot of silt a filter will clog. Using good prefilters help, such as coffee filters

Get a puffy jacket/pullover like the Montbell Therrmalight parka or Down Inner. Tons of warmth for the weight. For lower cost at higher weight Ascent from Eddie Bauer can't be beat.

Bag - For less money you can get a far lighter (40deg I think) quilt from David Wills in Gear Swap. Will need the puffy jacket on at times.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 12/31/2011 22:36:50 MST Print View

Edited by annapurna on 01/01/2012 11:10:10 MST.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
more info on 01/01/2012 00:16:42 MST Print View

Ben, I answered your Q's about the Exos in the other thread. What is your budget? Honestly. We can work with you a lot more based on that number alone. Also, did you say you were going in May? That's gonna be hot can get by with very little at that time of year.
About stoves...I've played with tons of stoves in the past (including a caldera cone, which I love), but I relied on a 49 cent Cat canister stove for my JMT hike...don't get too caught up in all the stuff on this site. Most of us (including myself) are just gear geeks who love toying with the latest fad.... doesn't mean its better or easier.

Thanks and happy new year!

Edited by Konrad1013 on 01/01/2012 00:22:01 MST.

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Grand Canyon on 01/01/2012 01:35:48 MST Print View

Konrad: Yes the trip is in may, but from what I hear/read the lows are in the 30 degree range (Night/Morning). Ive never been though, so im just taking info from others or off websites.

Todd/Jennifer: Im looking into The Therm-a-Rest Pro Lite, Im finding that its about 2 lbs lighter, but it has an R value of 2 compared to the base camps 5.

Light weight is awesome, but when it comes to my sleep I don't want to mess around over a pound or 2. Whats the best pad I can get under $100 counting weight only as a bonus feature?

My sleeping bag.. im clueless here. Ive never owned anything other than a regular wal-mart bag. Im open to anything, but I cant seem to make up my mind on these. Ill talk to David Wills and see what he thinks as well.

No boots? Im going to take your word on this, but if I lose a toe or a toe nail I get one of yours okay lol?

What do you guys think of this as a puffy? Its an expense I didn't account for, but im thinking it's pretty important?

Going to spend tomorrow checking out all the links and stove options, thanks for the info guys.

Edited by Ender on 01/01/2012 02:25:44 MST.

C Nugget

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Grand Canyon on 01/01/2012 14:08:33 MST Print View

Where in the Canyon are you hiking? You going it alone? That could change your stove set up. I went last May for 10 days along the Tonto then down and up and around Hermit... Hoping to go again this year for May (permit granting of course). Can be a mixed bag of weather of course from what I understand. It was a tad rainy when I went but nothing a garbage bag can't fix. Don't forget a hat and sunglasses.

I got a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker Torso length super wide 25"x 47" can fill in the legs with pack. Mine weighed in at 14.7oz and is 2.5" thick. R-Value I guess not so hi at a 2 though...

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Grand Canyon on 01/01/2012 14:27:34 MST Print View

>"No boots? Im going to take your word on this, but if I lose a toe or a toe nail I get one of yours okay lol?"

Here's my low-cut trail-runner fit test:

1) Your toes should not touch anything in the front of the shoe. And they must not touch anything while you're on a 30 degree downslope. A decent outdoor shop will have a carpeted ramp in the shoe section for exactly that purpose. REI certainly does. Try to slide your feet forward in the show while on that downslope. If you're bumping your toes against anything in the shoe, get a bigger size or try a different model.

2) Walk around on the level in the store. It should comfortable. You should not have much heel lift at all (<1/4"). Excessive heel lift will cause a sore spot or blister on the back of your foot above your heel.

(1) and (2) are in opposition to each other. Too small and you get pressure on your toes. Too big and you get a lot of heel lift. But when you find that right size in the right make/model that fits you foot well, that's the shoe for you.

My dozen GCNP trips have all been in running shoes or low-cut hikers. Leading trips, I bandaged / second-skin / dealt with blisters MUCH, MUCH more on people with full boots than with light weight shoes. If you're going to kick down doors or play soccer with a stone cobble, get big boots. But for hiking, get lighter low-cuts.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: ...Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 01/01/2012 15:10:11 MST Print View

Just a thought: If camping in "the corridor", the soil can be very hardpacked unless the rangers have tilled the soil since I was last there (doubtful). Either a truly free standing tent (only secured by the gear inside) or maybe just going with a bivy sack are some options. The rangers have given buddies of mine tickets for staking their shelter outside the hardpacked soil (the official limits of your official campsite). I was thinking of just a bivy but claiming your site early, then leaving your stuff while doing side trips can be problematic.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 01/01/2012 15:44:39 MST Print View

There are a number of sources for inexpensive lightweight gear and clothing; here are a couple of good references:

Try Mark Verber's encyclopedic website:
It lists lightweight, low budget options at the end of each gear and clothing category. He also has a section called "Backpacking for Cheap":
with links to a number of gear lists, suggesting many items which can be bought or made quite cheaply.

Another favorite of mine is "Sgt. Rock's" "Dirtbagging and Deal Shopping":

Watch for sales! The google shopping feature is a big help. REI should have a sale later in January and always has the 20% off regular price coupon (one item only) for members in March.

Basically, the two items you list where you could save quite a bit of weight for the least expenditure are your sleeping pad (the most important) and your tent. Here are some specific suggestions:

Pad: Since you have a thick self-inflating pad now, you probably don't want to revert to the old blue foam style, a Ridgerest or even a thinner Prolite (you might try the latter, though). I suggest an insulated air pad, 2.5 inches thick or more. One to consider is the Big Agnes insulated air core which is nearer 1 lb. (depending on size). Do a google search and use the shopping feature; most sizes are under $100 and there seem to be a lot of sales right now. The Exped UL7 is getting many highly favorable comments, but it's a bit more expensive. Consider getting the short size and using your pack under your knees and feet (try this out at home first). Do try any pad out on the floor (not on carpet) for a couple of nights and send it back if it doesn't work for you--we each have different sleeping styles! With an air pad, the trick is not to blow it up all the way, but have it a bit squishy--find the "sweet spot" between too firm on the one hand and having your hip and shoulder bones hit the ground on the other. You may find yourself ditching your Base Camp, as I did mine 6 years ago!

With two of you splitting the weight, 3 lbs. of tent per person isn't quite so bad, but if you can find a tent that weighs 4 lbs. or less that won't break the bank, that will definitely help with pack weight for both of you (i.e. you can carry more water!). There are lighter tents, which can be bought used; look at the websites for Tarptent and Six Moon Designs and watch for used models on Gear Swap. Here's a Tarptent Squall 2 (2-person) for $150 on Gear Swap, which weighs 34 oz:
The specs are here:
I own one (my original lightweight tent, now used when I take a grandchild out) and really like it. However, it's not a freestanding tent. Tarptent's Double Rainbow can be made freestanding, if a used one turns up. Note, though, that you should stake down a freestanding tent anyway, lest a wind gust send the tent over a cliff or into the river! At least tie it to some rocks.

With "mainstream" style tents, watch out for "creative weights"--what you want is not the "trail weight" (which omits minor items like stakes, the stuff sack and sometimes the poles) but the "packed weight." Watch for sales, especially this month. If you can't find a tent weighing 4 lbs. or less, though, saving less than 1 lb. per person over your current tent is probably not worth the money.

Sleeping bag--If you want a new bag, BPL gave a good review to the Kelty Cosmic Down 20* bag, which can be found for $100 or less. It will be warmer than you need for the GC (although on the North Rim in May it might be just right), but if you can't afford a whole series of sleeping bags, this will work as an all-purpose three-season model. Just ventilate it (open zipper) or use it as a quilt in warm weather or (if it's too hot) sleep on top of it. However, the Kelty bag will save you only half a pound, and your current bag should work fine, so IMHO this should not be a high priority purchase for you. Down is quite a bit more compressable than synthetic if space in the pack is a problem.

+2 to David's comments on trail runners! I was a long time ditching boots--finally did it three years ago and haven't worn the boots since!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/01/2012 15:52:45 MST.

C Nugget

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 01/01/2012 17:14:41 MST Print View

Hey.. awesome post and great links.. Very useful for myself as well.. also looking to descend in May. I have a double rainbow and I used it mostly freestanding in the Canyon w/tie out's to rocks(couple long pegs occasionally) that seem to be there just for that purpose. Had huge gusts of wind at bright angel and there where tents a flyin last year. This year I hope to make the boot to shoe transition since others I was hiking with went that way and had no problems. I will miss my boots but not the weight. Any recommendations on shoes to try or look at?? I have the Montrail Masochist but wasn't really convinced it would work for the Canyon... don't want to slip on the descent. I have mostly a narrow foot with high arch but wider toe spread. Feet like to swell so I usually go a larger size. I wish I could get one to keep the dust out.. but not sure that possible with a shoe.

+3 trail runners
I can't recall anything on the corridor trails that will attack your feet and make your toe go black and fall off..

I think some kind of 3rd and 4th leg is a good idea(ie.hiking poles). Also useful if you use them to set your tent up with as well.

The link for tarptent is missing the l on html:
will get to the info page...


Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 01/01/2012 18:42:12 MST Print View

In may I would recommend 3L as a bare minimum for the Grand Canyon if you are descending. Dehydration is far from fun and sneaks up on you if you are not from a dry and hot environment. I'm well acclimated to desert heat (Arizona Native) and will carry only as low as 3L after mid march. If light hiking, 3L will cover me for a day but I'm also used to the heat and have a very large surface area to volume ratio (ie I'm really skinny).

The thing people don't realize about the Canyon is that it is literally an oven. The exposed rock reflects heat on to you and while it could be a cool 60F on the Rim, it will be 100ish near the bottom. The amount of moisture you'll lose just breathing will probably be 3L a day in May. Not having sweat patterns adapted to the desert will put you at 5+ easy when you start hiking. The reliability of water, depending on route, is iffy unless you're on the river itself.

As for camping, personally I would forgo a sleeping bag in May and just use a bivy and my day clothes for warmth. Maybe a VERY light summer quilt depending on weather forecast. Since you're sharing a tent, it will probably retain enough heat that you'll end up sleeping on top of your bags anyway.

I would take all your worst case scenario gear anyway, but come the day of the trip check the forecast and leave as much behind as reasonable. Remember the weather on the Rims is considerably different from in the canyon itself, it could snow/rain on top and at the bottom you're suffering 80+ heat...

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Woohoo! on 01/01/2012 20:04:52 MST Print View

Mary D! Great info, thanks a ton. After comparing the Kelty Cosmic down and the Marmot, you have persuaded me to switch! They are the same price and the Kelty is warmer, lighter, and more compact. Great Find!

Talk to me about sleeping pads real fast though. You said you traded in your base camp 6 years ago. Is that because it doesn't work as good or because it is to heavy? When it comes to my sleeping pad im gonna splurge. I am looking at the Basecamp and the Prolite plus. The base camp has an R value-5, $80 bucks, 3.5 lbs, and is 2" thick. The Prolite has an R value-3.8, $80 bucks, weighs 2lbs, and is only 1.5" thick.

The stats are pretty similar, I save a bit of weight in the Prolite, but I lose thickness and warmth. To me they are equal in value, so which pad is of higher quality?

The Tent you suggested sold today! Just my luck lol, a brand new one is 235 dollars. I like the idea of something smaller and more simple, but will this thing hold up in a decent storm/wind? Is it capable of fully closing to keep out rain and cold air? (maybe that's a dumb question? The pics just looked like it did not) Also what do you do with 2 sets of gear in a 2 person tent, is there room?

Dustin: Thanks for the water tips, Im not hiking the Gorge though, just the 23 miles between the North and South Rim. 3 Liters it is.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List on 01/01/2012 20:17:16 MST Print View

The Basecamp was both far too heavy and not thick enough. My shoulder and hip joints have become increasingly pressure sensitive with age, and to avoid pain and be able to sleep I needed a thicker pad. By now (6 years later) I am up to a 3 1/2 inch thick pad, a custom pad from KookaBay. Of course I keep it pretty squishy; in fact when I'm not on it it looks as though there's hardly any air in it. It's sure comfortable, though. It's only on the thicker air pads that I've been able to achieve having my hip and shoulder off the ground and my spine parallel to the ground when I'm lying on my side. This ensures that my shoulder and hip joints and my lower back (also prone to problems) stay happy during the night.

I think I'd have been equally happy with the Exped UL Synmat, judging from the specs--I haven't tried it, though.

The NeoAir is another possibility, but more expensive than either the BA Insulated Air Core or the Exped Synmat UL7. I never was able to get comfortable on the NeoAir--couldn't get that "sweet spot" of inflation and because of the horizontal baffles I kept rolling off every time I got near the edge. A lot of people seem to like it, though.

The POE Ether Elite AC seems to be having a lot of problems; there's a several page thread about it here on BPL. I have a much older POE pad (the InsulMat Max Thermo, discontinued in 2005), which is the pad I went to after ditching the Basecamp.

I suggest you try a bunch of pads to see what works best for you. You should be able to achieve equal comfort at close to 2 lbs. less weight!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/01/2012 20:20:33 MST.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Woohoo! on 01/01/2012 21:08:54 MST Print View

Yeah, then 3L should get you down to one of the Park Service water sources. I'd still recommend bringing an empty 1L bottle or playtpus as backup. If you don't need it, the weight is near negligible, but if you find you're going through water quickly on your way down, you'll be happy to have the extra liter for the trip back up. Usually I use more water with ascending than descending (air is drier with altitude and fighting gravity is more tiring).

Again this is also a judgement call dependent on what water sources the NPS has turned on or off.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: I need Help. 3day GrandCanyon Gear List. on 01/01/2012 21:58:17 MST Print View

The Roan is not so much a backpacking puffy as it is a full-blown winter parka... trust me, when you're at the Colorado River on Memorial Day and pull out a Roan out of your pack, you're going to laugh and say "WHAT WAS I THINKING??" Your consolation will be that it will make a very comfortable, albeit very heavy, pillow. :)

I hike in the Canyon twice a year, usually April and November. My son and I did a quick 3-day rim-to-river hike in early November of 2010; down South Kaibab, camp in Clear Creek use area (dry camp, at-large camping), second night at Bright Angel campground. I carried all the shared gear on this trip and note that we had one dry camp in a non-corridor use area.

Weights and gearlist are as follows:

Gear weight: 9.12 lb
Clothes (carried in pack): 2.42 lb
Food (3 days), water (2L) and fuel: 7.75 lb

GoLite Peak (26oz)
Pack cover (1.6oz)
Silnylon double tarp (11oz)
Ti tent stakes (x8 = 2.24oz)
2mil plastic groundsheet (2oz)
Sierra Designs Wicket Light 45* bag (23oz)
Cloudrest pillow (4.6oz)
Prolite pad (16oz)
2x 2L soft Platy (2.4oz) *extra H20 containers for dry camp
2x 1L soft Runrunners (1.6oz) *extra H20 containers for dry camp
2x 1L water bottles (3oz)
MSR Titan pot (4.2oz)
Primus micro stove (3.6oz)
Tupperware bowl (1.8oz)
Snow Peak H300 mug (2.7oz)
Eating utensil (.5oz)
Outsak (4oz) *food protection f/Dry Creek camp
Shovel, TP (3oz)
Headlamp (2oz)
First Aid kit (2oz)
Small Gerber knife (1.4oz)
Misc. kit (duct tape, thermarest patch, water tablets) (2oz)
Camera (9.2oz)
Sunglasses and case (3.7oz)
Bandana (0.8oz)
Toiletries (3oz)
Kindle (7.5oz)
Fizan trekking poles (worn - 11oz)
Silnylon anorak (3oz)
NF fleece (7.3oz)
Patagonia merino1 baselayer top (5.2oz) *for sleeping
FA midweight baselayer bottom (4.6oz) *for sleeping
Shorts (5oz)
Hiking pants (worn - 8oz)
T-shirt (3oz) *one worn, extra one carried
Extra underwear, socks (3oz) *in addition to worn set
Camp shoes, imitation crocs, trimmed (7.2oz)
LaSportiva Wildcat trail runners (worn)

Edited by DetroitTigerFan on 01/01/2012 22:01:14 MST.

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Stoves on 01/01/2012 23:38:52 MST Print View

I need a little info on stoves. I researched them today and found out all the basic info about them, but not settled yet.

The Caldera Cone

Is the option for $34.95 just the metal wind shield? I cant tell if it comes with a pot or the base that holds the alcohol..

There are just so many different kinds of pots and different accessories with the Caldera I dont know where to start. Any suggestions for my little 3 day hike?

Edited by Ender on 01/01/2012 23:43:20 MST.

Dave Myers
(PatientWolf) - F

Locale: South Western Oklahoma
Re: Stoves on 01/02/2012 07:34:45 MST Print View

As Konrad said there is no need to go fancy on a stove for a 3 day hike in warm weather. For next to nothing you can make the cat stove and a myog aluminum foil windscreen. Throw in a light pot like the antigravity gear 3 cup pot and you are ready to go.

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Fancy! on 01/02/2012 13:54:02 MST Print View

Simple enough, fancy food can it is.

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
Re: Stoves on 01/02/2012 15:08:53 MST Print View

>Is the option for $34.95 just the metal wind shield? I cant tell if it comes with a pot or the base that holds the alcohol..

Hi! The goodies that come with the system for $34.95 are all the things in the second picture (no pot).....cone, fuel bottle kit, stove with integrated primer pan and the caddy. Drop me a line at randATtraildesignsDOTcom and I'll talk you through the various pot options.

Rand :-)