Bruce’s Grand Canyon Insights

After the Rain

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SO I DID THIS AS A REMINDER TO MYSELF FROM PREVIOUS TRIPS. MANY OF THE ITEMS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU – I DON’T MEAN TO OFFEND ANYONE – I WILL ALSO INCLUDE A PACKING LIST ON A SEPARATE PAGE. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY. 

I can’t say enough how much fun you will have (ha!). but these simple ideas work on any rafting expedition. You will probably go WTF is this old loser talking about but some luxuries are really important.

  • An extra (suitably small) dry bag for your sleeping bag. (A DRY BAG INSIDE YOUR BIG DRY BAG).

GET this map!

RiverMaps Colorado River in the Grand Canyon 7th Ed. Guide Book

Do not go ANYWHERE without it. 

  • Double bag your sleeping bag a small drybag is cheap insurance inside your big bag. maybe i said this already.
  • 1 or 2 pairs of leather work gloves for cooking/work shit. You’ll only need one but the second will be there when someone asks to borrow them and he decides to loose them.
  • A set or two of channel lock pliers NOT a leatherman (best tool on the planet)
  • First aid scissors the ones with a serrated edge that can cut metal, pennies and everything.
  • A good camp/kitchen knife. A really sharp one. NOT your river knife.
  • Bring a small day pack for hikes.
  • A private bottle or two in case booze runs out. High test good stuff. It’s cheap in the states. Do not run out.
  • Since you can’t wash (as in bathe) a big box of baby wipes. Take them to the groover (toilet) every time.
  • A spare dry bag (day bag) for your lunch. Or box.
  • Smokes, or papers and tobacco are just as good. Buy them in the states WAY cheaper.
  • Spare batteries…. lots of them. Camera batteries too. Amazon has all the batteries you need and it’s way cheaper and more reliable than some solar system.
  • An alarm clock. Most days you won’t need it but if you are doing breakfast…. cha-ching!
  • Camera: Get a decent WATERproof camera (your phone will suck at taking pictures – Attach it to your lifejacket each day. Make sure it takes SD cards and . . .
  • Buy lots of SD cards and batteries (third party ones are great – a company called wasabi makes them my canon batteries are 75 bucks each and wasabi’s are 2 for 10 bucks)
  • Batteries for your cameras…. SEE above – just sayin’.
  • Have the trip bring a few battery powered lanterns for cooking. Headlamps are great but a couple of good solid lanterns rule.
  • Other Ideas: I know you won’t think this important but GET AN EARLY START each day. You can sort out the shit at the end of the day.
  • If the punks don’t help….BEAT them. You won’t have much daylight and you won’t get on the water until 9:30-10:00 each day. Even if you are up early. Dave you won’t have this issue in October but it does make a difference in November.
  • I mentioned to Darin to create a small library of books on the canyon, natural history, flowers, flora, fauna, and history. There are some goods ones. See NRS website.
  • RIG TO FLIP EACH DAY!
  • Take lots of pictures.
  • Hike a bit, eat well (YOU WILL).
  • get a chair (almost a month is a long time to sit on the ground). Drink enough to make the boys tolerable. Not sure which boys I was talking about. LOL.
  • Keep smiling! Make time for yourself. It is important.  
  • Shake your shorts or pants out!  I have had scorpions in my shorts on two of my trips. 
  • Don’t camp close to others. Alone time again.  
  • Make sure you have at least one extra tent for the group.  
  • You will invariably meet up with other groups… make friends, ask where they are headed for the night and plan around them.  Offer them a beer!
  • If you are not going in the summer.  I hope you have really hot weather but see below.  bring lots of warm gear for the river and for off river
  • November to February – –  – You will not see the sun in the bottom of the canyon for a few days after Crystal to just below Lava Falls.
  • INSURANCE: MAKE THE TRIP LEADER (ORGANIZER) ENSURES THAT EVERYONE HAS INSURANCE THAT COVERS HELICOPTER EVACUATION FROM THE CANYON. Even though the NPS covers medical emergencies with helicopter evacuations they decide if the flight happens. Nelson Dow broke his leg on day 17 of the 2006 trip and everything including his 3 day hospital stay, heli evac, and surgery was over $50000 US. We found out after that 3 people had NO INSURANCE at all to cover their medical or evacuation.  DO THIS>>> Its cheap!
  • Kitchen setup tip: Set it up as close to the high water marks as you can.
  • Toilet setup tip: Bring along some rechargeable lawn lights (moonrays or whatever) light the trail to the pooper for night time with them.

BOATS:
Number of Rafts per trip

You have to consider how many people per boat and how much food will be needed for your itinerary. Generally 16 to 18 foot oar boats are a good all-around size for the Canyon and for carrying your gear.

Consider these factors and general guidelines, then call us if you still have questions.

  • How many boatmen are on the trip? You cannot take a boat if there is no one to row it! – How experienced are your boatmen? Larger boats are more stable.
  • How much fresh food does your menu call for? Fresh food takes the most space.
  • How much gear are you bringing? Winter trips and longer trips require more space.
  • How many people are riding in the rafts?
    14’ = 1 passenger and a boatman
    16’ = 2 passengers and a boatman
    18’ = 3 passengers and a boatman

    A 16 person, 16-18 day trip typically has five boats.
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