Havasupai (Havasu Falls) Packing Guide & Camping Equipment
You’ve got the permit, so now let’s get packing. Didn’t get your permit yet? Read this first because no day hiking is allowed anymore.
It’s no walk in the park for the average person but what makes it so hard is the weight of your pack. The hike to the Supai Village is 8 miles and it’s another 2 miles to the campsite with a total elevation change of 1963 feet. The campsite spans 1 mile. It’s easily 10 miles in the first day so keeping your pack light is everything!
Consider the time of year you’re going. Also keep in mind you’re in a desert where the temperature drops drastically at night.
Hiking Boots We decided to use our hiking boots (his & hers)* that we already have and they were comfortable to use. Your choice of footwear is up to you and many people have just worn running shoes or preferred to use shoes like the Salomon cross amphibian (his & hers)* which can be used as water shoes as well.
Swim Suit This one's a must! The water is actually a fairly constant (70°F/ 21°C) temperature year round. After a hike like that you definitely need to cool off and it doesn’t hurt to bring a cute one (his & hers)*.
Wool Socks If you hike, then you know the value of a good wool sock (stay away from cotton). We’ve brought them to Iceland during the winter & they were great for this hike as well. Wool socks* wicks moisture away & keep you warm. They’re pretty good at preventing blisters
Sweater/Long Sleeve Zip I am a huge fan of Under Armour Long Sleeves Heat Gear or Cold Gear with a zip (his & hers)*. Better than cotton, the material like the wool keeps you warm and takes away moisture. It’s thinner & light weight compared to cotton sweaters.
Down Jacket A good down jacket is all you need sometimes (his). We didn’t even need the thermal layers we brought just in case. Just remember, no fires are allowed on the campsite, so bring enough layers to keep you warm at night.
Sunglasses Most people start the hike before sunrise, so don’t forget these babies!
Gloves & Hat (wasn’t needed in mid-March) Depending on the time of year these might come in handy. We brought them but we had good weather and they weren’t really needed at all.
Thermal Layer (wasn’t needed in mid-March) Some of our favourite are Under Armour Cold Gear & also Uniqlo Heattech. Temperature can really vary from daytime to nighttime. Don’t forget to check the average temperatures during the time of year. Plus, it really is your own personal preference of what a comfortable temperature is.
Rental Camping Gear
There are a lot of options in camping equipment and this is where it might pay to get something a little lighter when you are purchasing your own gear. We don’t actually have our own gear & opted to rent from Basecamp Outdoor. They delivered to our hotel ahead of our arrival on the Vegas strip. In our case, the hotel didn’t charge us for receiving the package since it was delivered to the bell desk as luggage arriving ahead of us. There are other ones and it really depends on where you will be coming from the night before.
Hiking Backpack (Rental: Gregory $18) Definitely invest in a good backpack with good padding and correct adjustment of the torso length. Even MORE importantly, make sure you’re wearing it properly to have the weight of the backpack distributed on your hips by having the hip belt sit on top of your hip bones. We learned this the hard way so hopefully you won’t have to. Adjust the straps and your shoulders don’t have to feel like they’re destroyed.
Tent (Rental: 2P Backpacking Marmot $29) Try to find the lightest tent that will work with the temperatures for that time of year. Some people have opted to sleep in a hammock so it is doable. Sleeping in a hammock would be lighter so its something to consider.
Sleeping Pad (Rental: Big Agnes $15) This is important so that you can get a comfortable sleep after a hike like this.
Sleeping Bag (Rental: North Face 3 Seasons $22) Try to find the lightest sleeping bag that will work with the temperatures for that time of year. This will be important if you’re going to skip having a tent altogether.
Hammock (Rental: Double Nest $12) These are just great. Other than to picnic table there is really no other seating. Grab a hammock and just take it all in!
Stove (Rental: Pocket Rocket Stove w/ Gas $9) No fires are allowed so you will need a stove. Jet boil is a popular one but our rental gear came with Pocket Rocket Stove. Don’t forget your gas & lighter ($3 at the village store) to go with it!
Pot Set (Rental: MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set w/ Spork $7) The rental included 2 pots but we just brought one to lighten the load & it came with a spork too.
Day Backpack You could just throw a bottle of water in your backpack but we love our CamelBak backpack. I've linked a similar one here*. It distributes the weight of the water a little better. You can easily take out the water bag & put it into your hiking backpack.
Hiking Sticks These are a life saver. These tiny little stick helps you distribute the weight a bit more evenly to help save your knees. A lot of the trail is gravel and sand, don’t underestimate how much these can help.
Flash Light/Lantern There are no lamp post or any artificial lighting on the campsite so bring your own. We brought this camping lantern* and found that our solar powered collapsible luci light* is an even better way to lighten your load. No fires are allowed and you will be counting on these to light the way.
Head Lamp These are convenient and always on your head. Bring them during your day hikes too, incase you run out of sunlight on the way back.
Waterproof Sunscreen Don’t forget your sunscreen during your hike & when you’re enjoying the waterfalls.
Lip Balm Kind of an odd thing to include but make no mistake, I’m serious. It gets really dry. You’ll thank me later.
Garbage Bags Please don’t forget your garbage bag because you should hike out with all your garbage. Some assh*** hikers leave behind their garbage & even shoes on their campsite. Show some respect and hike out with your garbage, leaving nothing but your footprints.
Microfiber Towel Microfiber will dry quicker & weighs lighter. Check reviews for any complaints about the color bleeding. The one I bought bleeds so I no longer recommend It & removed the link from the blog.
Scissors You're going to need these to cut open the bags with your freeze dried meals.
Water Container (Optional) The drinking water is available only at the beginning of campsite. Save yourself the multiple trips and bring a collapsible water container*.
Water Filter (Optional) Drinking from the spring is 100% fine and no filtration is needed. The only reason you might want to bring one is to filter* the water for your return trip from the confluence.
Travel Mug (Optional) Cups* are optional but we just liked having a warm drink before bed to keep you a little warmer.
Rope (Optional) This is great to have around to hang up your food. You could also bring a rat sack to help protect your food from little rodents & marmots.
Tarp (Optional) This would be great to bring if you’re sleeping in a hammock for extra cover. Also good over the tent in case of rain. I would definitely take my chances without it if sunny days are forecasted.
Duct Tape (Optional) Just an extra item we brought and it actually came in handy to fix my walking stick up.
Food, Meals & Snacks
No fires are allowed on the campground so plan your meals and snacks with that in mind. Here are some suggestions.
Freeze Dried Meals* These are super light and all you need is to add hot water, quick stir and let the food rehydrate. The taste is not too bad except I wouldn’t recommend any tomato sauce on those dry cracked lips!
PB & J Sandwiches I don’t know what it is, but peanut butter and jelly is a classic. We went with PB & Nutella! Pack your sandwiches ahead of time and save yourself from having to pack a knife.
Cup Noodles I can’t fight it but cup noodles are a staple on any trip.
Camera (This really shouldn’t be optional) Havasupai is just stunning. The turquoise blue you see in the photos is 100% real. You need to see it to believe it. Please bring your camera!
Power Bank These are great to charge your phone or even camera. We even brought a solar panel to recharge it but it just wasn’t needed! Just bring a bigger power bank.
First Aid Kit
Extra Change of Clothes
Hand Sanitizer These are always available at the 4 compostable toilets, each with 2-3 stalls, on the campgrounds. I didn't need to bring mine.
Toilet Paper The toilets are stocked with toilet paper. If you must just bring a tiny roll.
Heat Packs Some campers who opt to sleep in a hammock said these made the night more comfortable.
Non-Slip Gloves This is recommended by other hikers for Mooney Falls descent. We brought ours and didn't need them.
KT Tape Some hiker swear that these saved their knees.
Bug Spray Depending on the season, but it wasn't needed in March.
Our final backpack with all the "optional" items were 37lb and 45lb hiking in. Packing is a personal choice, you don't have to be too strict but the more you bring the harder your hike is going to be!
What's in your backpack? What's a necessity for you?
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