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20

In the corridor zone (where you are planning) you are only allowed to camp at designated campgrounds, which are secured on a reservation basis. If they are full, of the options you list, 2. Pray hard a permit is available when I show up is your best bet. The park leaves a percentage of permits unreserved for the main corridor (which includes the Bright ...


18

I would call it a reasonable risk to camp in the desert without a tent (but with a tarp available if it was to rain!). I've "cowboy" camped 40 or 50 nights in the desert and never had any company try to join me in my sleeping bag :) That being said, I would heartily recommend shaking out your clothes and shoes before putting them on in the morning. In the ...


17

I led extended backpacking trips in Grand Canyon country for several years, and we required everyone carry at MINIMUM a gallon (almost 4 litre) per person per day -- which adds up. (Though rarely did we plan trips that did not have dependable water sources within a day's walk, meaning we would start and end the day with bellies full of water.) Different ...


16

Although black clothing absorbs radiation from the sun more than white clothing, this is somewhat offset by the fact that it also emits it more efficiently. Good absorbers are also good emitters. If you're standing in dark shade and the objects in your environment are cooler than the temperature of your clothing, then black clothing will theoretically cause ...


14

There's a reason desert cultures almost all wear coverings from head to toe. Three main things to consider: Protection from the sun's harmful rays. Air flow for convection cooling Moisture retention (you heard that right) for evaporative cooling. Despite the convention, "cotton kills," in the desert those same properties (slow drying, water retention) ...


13

Black robes are worn predominantely by Bedouin tribesmen. A scientific paper has been written on this Why do Bedouins wear black robes in hot deserts? article in journal Nature. This is summarised quite neatly here. To cut a long story short: "It seems likely," the scientists wrote, "that the present inhabitants of the Sinai, the Bedouins, would have ...


12

Hiking in the desert? As much as you can carry! I tend to prefer packing more water than less, and especially in a desert area where if something goes wrong, your access to resupply is very limited. You can lose up to two quarts (almost 2 litre) of water per hour hiking in the desert in middle of the day, but you can only absorb around one quart (almost one ...


8

There are two types of water-based concerns while doing strenuous activity in the desert: dehydration and hyponatremia. Dehydration occurs when your body is not getting enough water, and is the most common. Symptoms include irritability, headache, lack of energy, bright yellow/orange and infrequent urine. You lose water while you sweat, but in hot climates ...


7

There are several concerns Rodents. Unlike the eastern US, rodents in the West are much more likely to carry Hanta virus and Bubonic plague. These are not common, but unlike the Eastern US, they are also not unheard of. Scorpions. Scorpions in the east are a minor annoyance. Some of the Western ones kill. Wild Horses. Again, unheard of in the east, ...


7

Despite the convention, "cotton kills," in the desert those same properties (slow drying, water retention) are useful for keeping you cool by slowing down the near instant evaporation experienced at such high heat and low humidity. Your goal is to make that moisture work as long for you as possible. Since "water is 24.5 times more conductive than air," ...


7

Large tents are generally not an issue in campgrounds, although finding a large enough flat piece of ground may be. The more likely problem you'll face is maximum stay restrictions. Be sure that you check the requirements before making your decision, because having to move your camp every couple of weeks will dramatically change the setup you want. I ...


6

I have always been advised to be in bright/light colours during the trekking expeds in regions which are known for bad sun. Everybody knows that Black clothing absorbs more heat(radiation). The lighter you wear, the lesser heat you attract(radiation). Now there is a point rightly said above that the darker colours will emit it faster as well, but the ...


5

Your blood and body need sodium, potassium and various other solutes in order to function (without the correct potassium levels, your heart will start to fail etc) In a hot country, where you may sweat a lot, and top up your liquids by drinking water, you lose these solutes quite rapidly. The quantities you require are generally a lot higher than you might ...


5

As an update, I arrived at the canyon on May 13th. They had precisely one open slot and thus I was able to hike down to Bright Angel one day, and back up the next. A rim-to-river in a day is doable, but hard. For a first timer, it is definitely worth overnighting and going back up. Especially during May, hiking between about 11 - 3 is really uncomfortable. ...


5

Long sleeve, breathable, wicking fabric. Failing that, long sleeve, ultralight and blousy (loose to allow lots of airflow).


4

The other answers have great information. I would add some specifics that I have learned from living and backpacking all over Arizona and the white mountains for most of my life. Don't have everyone pee on the same rock/place at night. It will dry out and the salt can attract deer. If they get brought in to camp for the salt, they might smell something else ...


3

Adding to what Don Branson said, Try not to dismantle or peep into a pile of stones, small cracks. With reference to :"During winter, do most of these reptiles go in some sort of hibernation, or can some/many still be found and seen during the day where there is some sun?" What I've observed is, It is most likely that you may come across a snake/serpent ...


3

I live in the northeast US, but have done a bunch of hiking in the desert of AZ and NM. Big animals aren't really the problem. Most everything like that will run away from you. Camping with bears around is something you have to think about, but that is not really different from New England. In fact, you're quite unlikely to bump into a bear in the ...


3

I can only confirm on the experience of Ryley. We've been sleeping in Morocco on a 3 week trip, just pad and sleeping bag (well, sometimes it was so hot that it was almost all open). I was afraid of snakes and scorpions too but I haven't seen one for the whole time there (apart from those presented at the market). So no problem actually! Sometimes I tried to ...


3

I recently hiked in the desert in April and drank 8 oz per half hour, which was a pint an hour. That was not enough. I felt like a dried out sponge for a couple days after, and this was only a six hour day hike. I will plan a quart an hour in the future if at all possible, so that means a gallon for every four hours out.


3

I carry 6L in the Mojave dunes but find that I only drink 3 to 4L. I may carry as much as 8L. Better safe than sorry. Water is very heavy, but you can always ditch gear. I pack my backpack like a lightweight hiker, so I can carry all that water without my backpack getting too heavy to be any fun. My backpack weights around 40-45 pounds with water, but it's ...


3

Apart from what has been said, your need of water also depends on what you eat. If you eat salty or sweet food, or meat, you will need more water than when eating cereals for example.


2

It depends a bit but I would recommend twice as much water as you would need in a cooler time of the year for a similar hike. Perhaps 3 times as much if it is particularly hot. As best as possible, don't travel in the heat of the day.


2

I visit AZ every summer and include some hikes in the desert when I'm there. First, don't just take water. That can lead to electrolyte loss, as actually happened to me the first year I did this. Now I dissolve some gatorade powder in the water, and I haven't had that problem since. I usually mix it 1/2 to 2/3 strength relative to what the directions ...


2

You could talk to the guys at Panther Primitives. They make high-quality canvas wall tents for the historical reenactment community, and they spend a sizeable amount of time camping in them. However, I really think your answer is a yurt (or ger). They are round, so that helps with high winds. They are big enough to walk around in. They have ...


2

I would at least look into multiple smaller tents instead of a single large tent to handle all. Other than the cat thing (I really don't know how to respond to that), I'd probably have one tent for sleeping, and another for the "office". A third thing that isn't really a full tent but more just a canopy for cooking, eating, and other things that can be ...


2

I'll weigh in on the Gatorade part. No, you don't need Gatorade, or any other drink with the right salts in it. However, you do need to replace the salts somehow. I use Gatorade because it's convenient (I have to carry the water anyway), the amount of electrolytes I need to replace is well matched to the amount of water I need to replace so having them in ...


2

To add to what others have mentioned, reptiles do indeed go into hibernation, but not in the thought of "traditional" hibernation, such as that of a bear or other mammals. Reptiles usually do burrow down, but they can certainly be awoken. Here in the southeast, if the temperatures rise just a bit, we have plenty of snakes and lizards around sunning ...


1

So-called "sports drinks" such as Gatorade are miracles of modern marketing, surpassed only by bottled water. They are expensive and contain large amounts of sugar. If you're hiking long distances in high temperatures (say 40 C or 105 F), then you have a long list of hazards to worry about, one of which is getting low on electrolytes. Higher on the list ...


1

Bears in California are a huge problem in certain highly impacted areas such as Yosemite Valley. They are almost not a problem at all in less traveled areas such as the White Mountains. Rattlesnakes are fairly common. Keep your eyes open and don't step on one that's basking in the sun on the trail. They're not aggressive. If you get bitten, don't try to do ...



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