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hiking in and rafting out

Philadelphia, pa
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hiking in and rafting out

Hi fellow TAers, wanted to get suggestions and advice.

I'll be hiking in the GC down Bright Angel in early august, meeting up with a rafting trip at PHantom Ranch and rafting out.

would love to hear stories from people who have done this and any suggestions for gear, supplies , things you took that were great, things you wish you had thought of and things you had that were useless.

I'm in my mid 50s, reasonably fit as I walk a lot, hike a bit, lift weights, do yoga etc.

thanks for any tips, and please, share your trip reports if you've done a similar trip.

L

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: hiking in and rafting out

I recall the group that hiked in and were waiting at the beach at PR on the morning that we stopped there to refill our water jugs. Our raft was about a half hour ahead of the other one from Canyoneers that morning. It was pouring rain. I'm talking about a drenching storm. The group was waiting for the other raft which was going to unload their passengers and they had to hike out that day. The big thing though, was that the second raft had all of the dry bags for the group that was waiting. They had all of their stuff in whatever bags they had used to bring (or send by mule) all of their gear for the raft trip. Most of them were holding onto large plastic trash bags. When their raft arrived, they had to put all of their gear into the drybags that the other passengers had to first unpack so that they could get their gear back up and out of the canyon. And all of that had to be done in the down pour.

Needless to say, the new group was anxious and not pleased when we advised them that we were NOT the raft they were waiting on, and that they needed to apply a little more patience...in the rain.

We met up with them a couple days later down the river, and again when the trip ended. They all had a miserable time. Our group, on the other hand, had totally enjoyed our trip. We had made the best of the rainy weather and we stopped that afternoon and dried everything out. Group two, never got it together. They never bonded with their fellow passengers, and they all reported that they hated the entire journey. All because of a rainy start, and lousy attitudes.

But my advice is to pack light. A good rain suit is essential. A flashlight and a change of clothes that will dry out quickly are next. Leave all of your creature comforts at home. Forget make up or a mirror, but do bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat. Expect what you bring to get wet. (It might not, but it's better to be prepared for it) And bring the best camera equipment that you have and protect it as best you can. You'll be glad to have quality photos as opposed to what you will produce with a throw away camera.

And make friends with your fellow travelers. Get to know them on your hike down into the canyon. You are about to share a life changing experience with some people who you've never met before. But when it's over, you could become life long friends. At the very least you're going to need to work together for the next few days. You need to help each other load and unload the raft whenever you stop for meals or to make camp. If you don't help, then the crew will have that much less time to do other nice things for you. It makes a difference. I talked to the crew from the other raft and they told me that the other group never helped out, so they only had time to do the minimum for the passengers. They all agreed it was a lousy trip.

California
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2. Re: hiking in and rafting out

I see you have read jwr's trip report about hiking down to Phantom Ranch---that's good. The hike down is surprisingly difficult, if you are not an experienced hiker. The downhill puts a lot of strain on your feet and your leg muscles, although less on your cardio ability than hiking uphill. Hiking poles help, but you won't want to use those and then have to carry them along on the raft, so you'll have to do without. But do heed the advice about wearing good socks (Smartwool are great). You'll probably want to wear something lighter than full-on hiking boots---cross trainers or trail-running shoes. Make sure they are large enough in the toe area that your toes don't hit the front when you walk downhill.

Philadelphia, pa
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3. Re: hiking in and rafting out

thanks redrox, great parable. attitude is all!

advice on rain suit for august weather - one i'm looking at look so hot!

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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4. Re: hiking in and rafting out

You won't need the rain suit when you're in the hot sun. You'll want it to keep you dry in rain or when you hit the big rapids though. So the most important feature of the rain suit should be, easy on and easy off. Sturdy is important too. I bought a cheap one and it was torn after the first day.

West Palm Beach...
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5. Re: hiking in and rafting out

Nylon rainsuits are not as hot. I kept my rain pants on sometimes to keep the sun off of my legs. PVC are hot. You will need one though because the water is always ice cold.

Aubrey, Texas
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6. Re: hiking in and rafting out

Take a look at the Vivitar 5188 digital camera for your trip. It comes with a waterproof case at a very reasonable price. The pics and videos it takes that I've seen were great. For my raft trip, I spent a lot more on a waterproof case for my camera than this whole package costs.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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7. Re: hiking in and rafting out

There are two types of rain gear: the type that keeps you dry and comfortable, and the type that doesn't.

The most important piece of gear I take with me ANYWHERE is my rain gear. It is nice to be comfortable in foul weather.

The down side to this advice is that good rain gear is not cheap (around $100+ for a jacket and $100+ for pants). The up side is that good rain gear can last from 5-10 years depending on usage.

Cheap rain gear can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 hours, and probably won't be very comfortable.

I use waterproof breathable fabrics (ie: Gortex or similar). There are many light weight jackets that are good in the desert (I have the Marmot Thunderlight for use in the summer on the river in GC). I use Marmot brand almost exclusively, but there are other good brands. The thunderlight is an "old" model, but as I mentioned it has lasted a long time.

A lot of people by cheap rain gear thinking they will only need it for one trip. But, I think that you will find that you can always find a need for quality foul weather gear throughout you days.

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for.

Flagstaff, Arizona
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8. Re: hiking in and rafting out

typing a little too fast in the previous post. Sorry for the typos.

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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9. Re: hiking in and rafting out

I completely agree with AngelGate Tours on the raingear. Living in the PNW, I find it essential, but it would be best for rafting too.

You can find closeout prices on good raingear (including brands such as Marmot, sierra Designs, Cloudveil, etc.) at Sierra Trading Post. I saw a lightweight nylon rain jacket by sierra Designs for under $50, with the matching pants around $35.

www.Sierratradingpost.com

10. Re: hiking in and rafting out

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