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What to Pack for Canyons of America's Southwest

The following packing list contains general recommendations for a canyons adventure. If you are currently booked on a canyons adventure with Nat Hab, please consult your pre-departure materials for the most up-to-date packing list specific to your trip. You will receive these materials 60-90 days before your departure.

Simplify your packing—shop at Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure. Look for this icon in the list below, then go to the Nat Hab Gear Store to start shopping.

ADVENTURE-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES

  • The climate in these parks can be highly unpredictable, so please come prepared for a wide range of weather conditions. Afternoon thunderstorms are always possible, so lightweight, waterproof rain gear and sturdy hiking shoes are essential. If traveling mid-August through September, we highly recommend bringing waterproof pants as well as a waterproof jacket.
  • To prepare for these variable temperatures, we recommend bringing layers of clothing, including gloves and a hat, that you can easily peel off as the day warms up. You may start the day in a T-shirt and shorts and need a sweatshirt and pants by evening.
  • High-altitude sun can burn in any season—sun hats, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and lots of sunscreen are suggested year-round.
  •  Hairdryers are available at all accommodations except for the campsite on our Safari America adventure. 

CLOTHING

  •  Warm, windproof fleece jacket
  • Lightweight, waterproof (not just water-resistant) rain gear
    — We recommend a rain jacket with a hood and rain pants. This is especially important if traveling mid-August through September.
  • Hiking boots
    — Waterproof, with good tread and ankle support, broken-in to prevent blisters.
  • Hat and gloves
    — Very good to have should we experience cooler temperatures. 
  • Sun hat
    — Make sure it has a wide brim for protection.
  • 2 pairs of long pants
    — Or nylon, zip-off pants—perfect for cool mornings and evenings and warmer afternoons.
  • 2–3 long-sleeved shirts
  • 2–3 short-sleeved T-shirts
  • 2 pairs of shorts
    — You may not need to bring extra pairs of shorts if you are bringing zip-off pants.
  • Silk or polypropylene thermal underwear
    — Bottoms and top for layering, should we experience cooler temperatures.
  • Socks for hikes
    — Several pair—preferably wool or wool blend.
  • Polypropylene liner socks
    — To wick away moisture and to prevent blisters.
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes
    — To wear after outdoor excursions.
  • Teva-type sandals
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuit (optional)

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

  •  Cash
    — For gratuities (you may want to bring envelopes for discreet presentation)
    — For personal spending (souvenirs, Internet use, or food and beverages not included in your trip fee)
  • Water bottle
  • Binoculars
    — High-quality binoculars will be provided, so you need to bring these only if you prefer to use your own.
  • Solar or battery-powered portable charging device (only if traveling on our Safari America itinerary)
    — To ensure ability to charge your electronics as our Safari America camp has limited power.
  • Sunglasses with U.V. filter and secure strap
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries and bulb
    — In case of power outages or if sharing a room with another traveler.
  • Lightweight, water-resistant daypack
  • Earplugs
  • Prescription medications and favorite remedies
    — For headaches, colds, upset stomach, etc.
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellent and anti-itch ointment
    — Repellents containing DEET are the most effective against mosquitoes, but please be aware that DEET is a very strong ingredient that can damage plastics, clothing and equipment.
  • Lotion, sunscreen and lip balm
    — At least SPF 15—western air is dry, and we will be outdoors at high elevations.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Eye drops (optional) if you are sensitive to dry air
  • Prescription glasses/contact lenses
  • Battery-operated alarm clock/wristwatch
  • Reusable, waterproof bags
    — Several sizes for wet or dirty clothing and to protect camera equipment.
  • Tissue mini packs
  • Bandana or neck buff
  • Long distance telephone calling card (optional)
    — Cell phone service is limited
  • Trekking poles (optional)
    — Trekking poles (one per person) will be provided during our itinerary, so you need to bring your own only if you need more than one, have some that you specifically like to use or if you are traveling on your own before or after the adventure.
    — If you are bringing poles, they must be able to fit in your checked luggage, as you will not be allowed to carry them on the plane.

    Header Credit: Court Whelan
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