Photo Courtesy of Tom Hardy
When guests book Grand Canyon rafting reservations, there can be many things swimming through their heads including excitement, exhilaration or anticipation. For the newbie rafters that perhaps haven’t undertaken an adventure such as this, there might be some other thoughts. Here are 7 thoughts that many first time rafters have when looking over the packing list for the first time.
- I have to wear rain gear in the desert? Alas, yes. Rain gear tends to be one the more necessary and appreciated items on that packing list. Though the desert provides fantastic summertime weather, the river provides shockingly sweet splashes. Keep cozy with a great pair of rain gear and be prepared in case of a random rain storm. Isn’t it always said that if you are prepared by bringing an umbrella, there won’t be rain? Think of this the same way.
- Why do I need two pairs of shoes – a sandal and a tennis shoe? Shouldn’t sandals suffice? This addition on the packing list helps ensure comfort on the river. Some guests live in sandals year round and want to stick with that trend. Many guests need a more solid shoe when hiking on some of the more rocky trails. Having a second pair of shoes ensures a dry pair to slip in to when the sand and water become too much.
- So there is really no cell service? Thankfully it’s true. Grand Canyon provides the perfect opportunity for unplugging and reconnecting with nature and family. Work just has to wait as days will be spent adventuring and exploring. There may be service at Cliff Dwellers Lodge or the South Rim before trips depart and it won’t return until the return. Guides are equipped with satellite phones to call out in case of emergency and occasionally guests can make phone calls at Phantom Ranch provided time allows for a stop here. Other than that, the Canyon provides immense amounts of peace and calm.
- Tell me more about the toiletries. Bring what might be used in a daily routine, except smaller sizes. Think biodegradable shampoo and conditioner, body soap, toothpaste and toothbrush and lotions. Many men and women skip shaving while on the river, but that’s a personal preference. Stock up on lotions and hand salves to combat the dryness. Bring enough sunscreen to last for the length of the trip. Bug spray is optional and only rarely necessary. Feminine hygiene products should be brought when applicable. Also deodorant and baby wipes can be wonderful additions. Keep it light and easy to travel with.
- And bathing? Take all the swimming opportunities presented to freshen up. Bathing with toiletries takes place in the main body of the Colorado River which can be a bit chilly. Many opt for a splash technique with minimal submersion. Make sure the toiletries are easily accessible or even on a lanyard to make it easier to wash. The baby wipes from above can be a great supplement to a "splash" bath.
- I have to pee where? The most sanitary place to pee is right into the river. It is an NPS regulation for guests to pee right at the water’s edge. Ladies often squat right over the water and occasionally wade in (in the middle of the day when it’s hot) and men go their separate direction. For those that can’t separate #1 and #2, it’s fine to go in the groover. It’s not recommended for everyone due to space restrictions and weight.
- What’s the deal with this "pee pod"? Some ladies find them to be absolutely fantastic when doing their business by river’s edge. For those not up to squatting, these hand devices can divert the stream away from the body. This is totally personal preference and not mandatory by any means.
Guests with these questions are not alone! These calls come in to the Hatch office often. Grand Canyon rafting reservations staff is more than happy to answer any and all questions to ensure guests are prepared as possible.