Coming fresh off the back of an awesome Grand Canyon trip, I thought I’d share some tips to help you make the most of your permit.
Choose your group wisely
Your group dynamic will play a huge part in how much you do in the big ditch. Want to do as much hiking / climbing / exploring as possible? Make sure you pick friends that will want to wake up early and smash out those flat-water miles to make the most of the day.
If you can, try and bring someone along that has experience on the Grand. They can help show you lines and discover the lesser known hikes.
Try not to invite too many ego’s! You’re spending a long time with your crew in close quarters. If you have too many alpha’s heads will clash, and fights may ensue. The saying “too many chefs” works very well in this instance…
(Photo: Andrew Millar)
Dry bags actually dry? Dry suit a little old and leaky? The Grand can be a savage place, especially on winter trips. Make sure your kit is bombproof if you want to be warm and comfy and even then, bring a repair kit and/or spare kit just in case.
Pro tip: Get yourself a pair of Dewerstone sunglasses for that desert sun. They’ll protect your eyes, look great and float!
Don’t be that person that misses the shot of the trip because their camera died 3 days in! Try and minimise the amount of technology you bring with you to make the most of your experience but that being said, make sure you bring a camera for the thousands of incredible moments and also a waterproof speaker. Music goes such a long way on those long cold days and also helps make a great campfire party!
Take a little time out every day to write about your journey. There is so much going on down there that you forget what happened just a couple days before. Future you will thank you when you read it back many years later. Plus, it could help you if you are lucky enough to return on another trip. I also really liked writing down hilarious quotes from my friends so I can look back and laugh.
If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Everything in the Grand Canyon is fun, just different types of fun.
Type 1 fun: It’s fun now and always will be. E.g. Endless kick flips on endless waves.
Type 2 fun: It’s not fun now but it will be looking back. E.g. Long flat water days in horizontal blizzarding snow.
Type 3 fun: It’s fun now but won’t be later. E.g. Partying too hard at camp (woops)
Type 4 fun: It’s not fun and never will be. Examples of this do not exist in the Grand.