Grand Canyon Vacations
A Grand Canyon vacation is a trip not to be forgotten.
Western River Expeditions runs this trip like a well oiled machine. The time to unload and load the rafts each day is remarkably short. The food was spectacular especially given the circumstances. We even had bananas foster with ice cream on Day 4!!! The camping was just rough enough to make us feel like we were doing something really different but not rough enough to make us regret it. The side trips were a sweet surprise.
The group we traveled with was experienced in action travel and did not complain at all about the minor inconveniences of travel on the river. People signing up need to be aware that managing bowel and bladder needs can be a challenge and requires some flexibility regarding privacy. But the staff was very accommodating to my needs given the rustic circumstances. At one point I had to pee holding on to a rope off the back of the raft while we were traveling, but at least my needs were met.
I reserved this a year before the departure and worried the whole time about taking the right clothes in a 20 pound sack. In retrospect, I would recommend the following: 2 quick dry long sleeve shirts with button to maintain rolled up sleeves, 1 quick dry pair of shorts, 1-2 bathing suits, fleece sweater vest for night time, quick dry underwear 2-3 pairs, good foul weather pant and jacket (with cuffs elastic on arms and legs if possible, or add additional elastic Velcro cuffs), and most importantly neoprene socks (not booties) that come up to the mid calf and water shoes with rubber sole. Safari Hat with chin strap (I brought an additional baseball cap for camp). Hands don't really get that cold and gloves are only needed sitting on front pontoon for rope friction. Crocks for the camping area were much better than water shoes for night time. I did not need hiking shoes for the short hikes that we took which were all under 1 mile. Flashlight. Pen/paper for journal. The air and heat dry things out remarkably fast which greatly limits need for additional clothing. A small line level might be helpful to level the cots as the camp sites were usually on an incline.
I used an action cam that really brought out the excitement of the rafting. I used a short pistol grip that I either held with by hand or inserted into my life preserver for big rapids when I was sitting on a pontoon. The chest mount didn't really work out that well and for pontoon sitting I think a helmet mount would be better. That said, the chest mount did reflect the fury of the rapid and my exclamations of excitement were captured that were quite funny. Having at least a phone camera in a plastic wrap was also nice. Take a few short cords to tie things down and several large carabineers. This is all much less than 20 pounds.
Have a great trip.