Arizona Hiking: What to bring when you backpack to Havasupai?

Besides securing whatever necessary permits to you need to visit your Havasupai arguably the hardest part is what.the.f*ck. goes in my backpack?

It’s a valid question and one that doesn’t have an exact answer but more of a broad guideline. First, how many days will you be out? For me, it was only two nights. Then, there are the necessary items, such as your sleeping bag/quilt, tent (or maybe a hammock), sleeping pad, water filter, and some sort of stove. Then there are the items where you can be more proactive. This can include clothes, food, and campsite additions (chairs or lanterns come to mind).

For my Havasupai trip, there was no rain in the forecast, which meant I didn’t have to bring any rain gear. Plus, as I found out later, there’s drinking water at the bottom, so I didn’t even need my gravity filter (though I probably still would have brought it just to be safe).

My gear to hike Havasupai.

Havasupai Arizona Waterfalls Packing List

In My Backpack for Havasupai

  • Gregory 65L Backpack
  • Big Agnes Happy Hooligan 2-person tent
  • Big Agnes Q-Core SLX Sleeping Pad
  • Big Agnes Mystic 15° Sleeping Bag (in Sea to Summit compression sack)
  • ENO DoubleNest Hammock
  • Flash JetBoil
  • Small JetBoil Fuel cannister
  • 5L water bladder (full)
  • Black Diamond Lantern (small)
  • Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles
  • Sea to Summit ultralight pillow
  • MSR Trail Base Gravity Filter
  • 10L MSR Reservoir (empty when I hiked)
  • Chacos Sandals
  • Multifaceted Knife
  • Plastic fork/spoon
  • Headlamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Bucket hat
  • Sunblock
  • First aid container
  • A Book – Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Mountain House Breakfast Skillets – 2
  • Mountain House Chicken and Mashed Potatoes
  • Backpackers Pantry Chicken Fettucine
  • Sandwiches (3 PB&J, 1 Turkey, 1 Ham)
  • 6 bags food from Sprouts
    • Granola
    • Dried Mangos
    • Dried Apples
    • Banana Chips
    • Assorted Nuts
    • Trail Mix (with chocolate and raisins)
    • Chocolate Nut Mix (basically desert food)
  • Two bags of beef jerky
  • Gatorade/BCAA’s mix
  • Gel Shot (Carbs that I used at the final uhill)
  • Hydro flask (I didn’t realize it was in my side pocket. Stupid decision by me.)
  • Expandable cup
  • Long sleeve dry fit
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Short sleeve dry fit
  • Zipper off pants
  • Short sleeve wool shirt
  • Long sleeve wool shirt
  • Leggings
  • Two pairs of socks and compression shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • Gloves
  • Beanie
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Vitamins
  • Bug Spray
  • Tripod
  • Camera
  • Cotton Carrier Camera Harness (on me)

In the end, it all comes down to how much you want your backpack to weigh on your way down to Havasupai. With me, at my size, I can afford to carry a little more weight and not have it affect my hiking speed.

If you want a full list of what I’ve got with the weight of each item, you can see that here.

Havasupai Backpacking Hiking

What I Learned

  • You can buy the lightest items in the world but added all up, it’s still going to weigh a ton. I didn’t weigh my backpack, but Caleb said it was comparable to his which was ~40-45 pounds.
  • I didn’t need all those sandwiches. By not stopping on the way down (as I sort of assumed we might), my count of meals was off by one. Not a big deal. Also, probably didn’t need all the bags from Sprouts. I found myself eating for no reason other than to not have it in my bag on the way out. (Also, better to have more food than less in my mind.)
  • Probably didn’t need my water filter with running water down there.
  • Hiking poles are fantastic. I’d highly recommend them.
  • If it was a little warmer in the night, I probably could have gone with only the hammock (with a hammock-aligned sleeping pad). That would have knocked 3.5 pounds off my back.
  • I need a new, lighter tripod that doesn’t feel like I’m carry a sack of stones.
  • I used my sleeping bag compressor as a food holder. In the future, I need to get something that is designed specifically for food/not letting animals get into it.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

You can follow along the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when new posts come out!