Yellow Van Travels

Packing for the Grand Canyon

Packing for the Grand Canyon can be a daunting task. You are going to a fairly remote place and while they do offer basically whatever you could need or want in the village, you will be paying extremely high prices. Below are packing lists that we used when we went to the Grand Canyon.

Days in the Canyon: We spent 2-3 days in the Grand Canyon and we chose to camp there overnight. Every morning, we would leave our campsite and not return until the evening. Below is a list a things we would take with us for the day.

  • Good walking/hiking shoes-make sure they are comfortable and broken in
  • A sturdy back-pack-we took a backpack similar to this one as well as a light-weight cinch backpack
  • Sweatshirt/light jacket-we went in the fall and sweatshirts were a must!
  • Comfy walking/hiking clothes-don’t forget a hat if it’s sunny
  • Water bottles-there are multiple filling stations with clean water from the canyon around the rim
  • Meals and snacks-depending on how long you are planning to be gone, you might want to bring simple lunches and dinners as well as some snacks; see the food list for more ideas
  • Camera/phone and camera equipment (tri-pod, selfie-stick, etc.)
  • Park guide-these are free when you enter the park and they are located at most buildings in the village in case yours gets lost or destroyed
  • Phone (with the Grand Canyon app loaded onto it!)
  • External battery pack and charging cords-while the buildings have electricity, it is hard to find outlets to charge your devices; make sure to bring some external battery chargers and make sure they are charged before you leave home!
  • Binoculars-we really wished we had brought these
  • Flashlights-especially if you are planning on being out after dark; parts of the trails and areas are not very well lit
  • Sunscreen and bug spray

Camping: We chose to camp as an economical way to stay in the Grand Canyon. We camped at the South Rim in Mather Campground for $15 a night. Each campsite had a fire pit and a picnic table. and centrally located restrooms.

  • Tent and tarp
  • Sleeping items (sleeping bags, air mattress or sleeping pads, pillows, etc.)
  • Lantern
  • Flashlights
  • Cooking equipment (camp stove, firewood, roasting sticks, etc.)
  • Changes of clothes and pajamas
  • Toiletries

Food: Because we were staying for only a short time, we did not take many items that needed to be in a cooler. You can purchase ice in the village, but we preferred to not take too much that needed ice. For lunches and dinners, we made sandwiches or bagels and put them in a collapsable, insulated lunch box that we carried in our backpacks. We would also bring snacks in our lunch boxes and backpacks as well.

  • Bread and sandwich fixings
  • Bagels
  • Granola and cereal bars
  • Crackers
  • Fruit
  • Muffins
  • Hard candy (for hikes to keep your mouth moist)

Other Random Things:

  • Ziploc bags-these are great for packing lunches, keeping wet things in, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer-great for around the campsites and to have in a backpack
  • Plasticware-we used knives a lot to make our sandwiches and bagles
  • Small first aid kit
  • Plastic grocery sacks-great to collect garbage in and toss as you are leaving the campsite or your picnic area
Click the image below (or here) to download your own Grand Canyon packing list!