U.S. National Parks: What to pack
Ok, so you're not going to North Dakota like Teddy Roosevelt did before he became President of the United States, but the point is clear here. The outdoors will change you. For the better, for the long term, and there is simply no way to doubt the magnificent power of our National Parks in this country.
The one thing Teddy Roosevelt did do was spend a long time exploring this country before he decided he wanted to represent it. From a young man exploring the outdoors, to becoming the Governor of New York, then President at age 42, he attributed much of his success to simply being in the wilderness and connecting with nature. Unplugging, listening, learning, hiking, exercising, eating, drinking....all things you will do a lot of on this trip, for sure.
Anyways, right here, in our very own backyard, we have hundreds of square miles that are completely untamed, untampered with, and ready for complete exploration. Yet, so many Americans choose to travel abroad before even thinking about exploring that the Southwest U.S. has to offer. Everything from the Grand Canyon, to Antelope Canyon, Red Rocks National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce....there is simply too many things to see out there. And that is why we can't wait for our upcoming U.S. National Parks trip this summer.
You will be traveling to and through all of these amazing places with a tight-knit crew who's hellbent on exploring these world-renowned places. Yes, world-renowned. Let me just put this into perspective for you, but according to the NPCA, 282 million people visited our National Parks in 2012 (last time the census was taken) and surely that number has grown exponentially since then.
If you are already signed-up, get ready, and if you want to go in the future, we will be adding more dates SOON! Just make sure you are signed-up for our email newsletter that goes out whenever we have a new trip out.
Anyways, for those of you going - you are probably asking yourselves, What should we pack? What should we expect?
Let's dive in and tackle a few of those answers below.
Our tour runs from August 4-11, 2018 and goes through Vegas, Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. And in August, they are all pretty hot. We have tours/hikes and activities running from early in the morning, throughout the day, and even some in the late afternoon (when it is hottest) so, let's dive into some avg. temps for each, highs and lows, and then talk about what to pack.
AUGUST AVG. TEMPS (Fahrenheit)
Las Vegas avg. temp = 103 / 77
Lake Mead avg. temp = 107 / 80
Grand Canyon avg. temp = 82 / 49
Antelope Canyon avg. temp = 92 / 68
Horseshoe Bend avg. temp = 89 / 67
Bryce Canyon avg. temp = 76 / 45
Zion National Park avg. temp = 85 / 55
As you can tell, it is going to be hottest at the beginning of the trip, but by the end of it, especially at night, it will cool off considerably. Some of these National Parks get downright cold even in the middle of summer, so prepare to expect some wild temperature swings while on tour.
The best way to prepare for something like that is to always have layers. You obviously will want to bring a lot of athletic gear, but as the day progresses, you will undoubtedly be able to feel the temperature change with every passing minute. That's always why I recommend bringing a good 'day pack' with you with lots of foldable and light clothing layers.
Keep in mind, we will be staying at hotels and some very good accommodations (always a three-star rating with VoyEdge RX) so there won't be a need to pack a 'ton' with you on your day bag, as your suitcase will be back at the hotel. The most extreme moments we have are on days three and four where we have some optional morning sunrise hikes. The big thing for this trip will simply to stay hydrated and staying away from getting sunburnt.
Lastly, with most of these places being such extreme and intense environments, there is always the risk of extreme weather and storms during July and August. Flash floods are known to happen in a lot of these locations, so please be in tune and aware as a group. Be ready for anything and be helpful to your fellow travelers. Our group this year (2018) will be using vans for accommodation, so you will be traveling with each other and will surely get to know each other quite well. Just remember, you are all a team on this one!
Now, let's get to what to pack.
what to pack
From Aimee & Marc Young
Hey National Parks friends! Summer’s approaching FAST, so here’s a rough outline of what you’ll need to bring for our August adventure…
Comfortable shoes to hike in- our hikes will range from 2-6 hours, but they’re all on very well taken care of paths that don’t require special hiking boots. If you have hiking boots already, feel free to bring them, but know they aren’t required!
One of our hikes will go through some water. This is on the second to last day and will be one of the last hikes we do, but you may want to bring a second pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting a little wet (as well as a plastic bag to separate them from your other clothes in case they don’t dry out before departure)!
A comfortable hiking backpack. Like I said above, the hikes are anywhere from 2-6 hours, so it doesn’t need to be a big bag. Just big enough to hold snacks and plenty of water and stay on your back! If you have a hydration backpack with a water bladder, that’s the most efficient way to ensure you can carry enough water. Www.moosejaw.com typically has a lot of deals, and most websites like REI, blackdiamond, the Clymb, Backcountry, etc. will do a Memorial Day and/or Fourth of July sale if you’re looking to invest in a great backpack!
Even though it’s going to be hot as hell, you will need to bring a pair of long pants. Our horseback riding tour requires long pants to be worn. I recommend a pair of Prana pants (www.prana.com). They’re AMAZING, lightweight, and comfortable (great for both men and women)! I have the Halle Pant and the Sage Jogger and love them. Again, there will definitely be Memorial Day deals here, so check it out that weekend if you need a lightweight pair of pants. That, and the temperatures will drop at night in some places.
Water bottle(s) that can hold at least 24 ounces of water, or more. There will be times when hiking where we won’t have access to refill water for a few hours. Be sure to have a couple large water bottles (or a hydration backpack) to keep you hydrated during the summer heat. The more the merrier. And if you're like Cam, and can't stop sweating once you start, you're going to want those 2-3 water bottles.
Shorts, T-shirts, and tanks you are comfortable both hiking and working out in (there is an opportunity to do laundry at almost every hotel we stay at!)
Sunglasses and hat to protect you from the desert sun
Sweatshirt and/or long sleeve to wear during the chilly nights. And there will be chilly nights.
Light rain jacket (just in case)
Bathing suit (for swimming, duh)
Plenty of undies and socks!! Keep in mind you will be sweating through them quite often (don't worry, there are laundry stops!)
Your favorite hiking snacks from home! We will be stopping at grocery/general stores frequently, but feel free to bring some of your favorites from home as well.
Any Vegas attire you may need for nights spent there before or after the trip (dress clothes, etc.)
1 suitcase and 1-day pack (Please try not to check a bag if possible! We are going to be changing locations quite often, and have limited space in the vans. There are opportunities for laundry at almost every hotel we stay at!)
Credit cards / debit cards
Any mobility tools (lacross balls, floss etc.)
Any additional gear you think you may need
Most importantly, comment below at the bottom of this post with anything else you think someone would need on this trip! Our community depends on each other, and we want to hear from you.
And email Aimee at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions about this list above!
This trip is amazing. star-studded full of bucket list places with likeminded people. It is truly an adventurous offering that Marc, Aimee & Ashley put together and they cannot wait to show you these places. If you have any questions about this tour in particular, email us at: email@example.com, but furthermore, do your own research, too! There is so much to learn about these places, where to go, what to do, how to see them, you will undoubtedly want to put a few hours of research BEFORE taking off into this adventure.
Have a blast, don't forget to leave us a comment, and of course, check our trip calendar to see where we are headed next!
Follow us on social!