Last summer I got to experience a backpacking trip to the gorgeous waterfalls of Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. This trip was not easy. It definitely tested my fitness and skill level. You have to plan ahead. I want to share with you what I learned on my first backpacking trip.
Planning for Havasupai
First, it was a challenge to get the right amount of sleep considering we started hiking down the canyon at 4am in the morning. This threw my sleeping schedule off so make sure you get plenty the night before and during the day (take lots of naps).
Next, stay hydrated. Hydration is very important when you are hiking for 6 hours straight and in the hot sun. This includes getting enough water AND electrolytes. One thing that made this easier for me was that I packed two camelback fluid carriers, one of water and one of gatorade. I also had some more bottles in my backpack. This kept me going during the hard times.
Prepare for Meals
Make sure to fuel your body. Besides water and electrolytes your body also needs to have the energy when you’re hiking. Some good foods I packed for snacks were peanut butter packets, almonds, granola bars, and beef jerky. We also packed dried foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Having enough food was crucial so we packed as much as we could fit.
Listen to your body and take frequent breaks. When you get tired from carrying your heavy backpack or have been hiking for quit a while take a break. Our group took frequent breaks in the shade to let our bodies recover and relax. This helped me a lot since my backpack was probably half my body weight and took a lot of energy to carry.
Lastly, one of the most important things I learned from this trip was to be outdoors more. After seeing the beautiful crystal clear waterfalls it made me appreciate what mother nature has created. I plan on doing another backpacking trip to Zion in the near future.
We have beautiful places on this earth we can enjoy just by stepping outside. So get out there!