7:17 p.m. on August 4, 2010 (EDT)
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I am a beginner at Back Packing i know how to fit it load it basically. What i need to know is my wife and i are planning a 3 day trip to the Grand Canyon we are planning to do the Bright Angel Loop. This trip we are palnning for November temps there on the rim are supposed to be mid 60F. What would be the best pack size wise for this trip? Any tips on anything else about the trip i would be cool to.

7:41 p.m. on August 4, 2010 (EDT)
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Welcome Mark!

Great question and a few more details will really help fill it out:

1) Are both you and your wife planning on carrying packs?

2) What size/style of gear are you hauling? Do you have a bunch of ultralight gear? 3lb tent? 5lb tent? 20* bag? 40* bag?

3) What is your anticipated load (lbs)? How about for your wife?

4) Have you tried on any packs? Fit is just as important as size. And, different sizes will determine your capacity, to some extent.

Folks around here can probably do a three-day trip on anywhere from 1500ci to... well... how fancy of a trip do you want? :) I'd haul a 3600ci pack and be quite happy with my food and accommodations. You need to determine the size of the gear you will be hauling, figure out if that will be an acceptable weight, and then decide on a pack size.

Of course, you could buy a certain size pack and then buy gear to fit into it... hmm... interesting strategy.

And, 60* in the day in November equals what at night? Pack for the coldest anticipated temps (heck, I'd even knock 10* off that), not the warmest or the average.

9:58 p.m. on August 6, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for the tips :)

1) Yes we are both carrying packs Her Load is 30 pounds mine will be a bit more probably 40 to 45 i will be carrying most of the food and water.

2) Most of the gear will be pretty light. Our tent only weighs about 2 pounds, stove not sure but pretty light weight. I figure 3 days 3 hot meals 1 can of fuel should be plenty. Meals are MRE so just hot water to heat them up and since they come with pre-packed heaters so may eliminate the stove.

3) My Wife has her pack fitted and should be plenty big 1500 ci. I have not chosen a pack, but i would like to get one that i can use for multiple outings. Sleeping bags we have not decided yet on which one to take. Of course the weather like you said is a factor and that is going to weigh our decision for type of bag.

4) The trip is not going to be fancy just basic down South Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch ground them back up the Bright Angel Trail. It looks to be a lot of fun and we are excited.

Thanks for your help stay in touch :)

12:29 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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If you want a pack that you will be able to use on further outings, I would recommend something in the 50-55 liter range. I currently have a Gregory Z55 and it works well for 3 day outings (and that is with me carrying everything except Gretchin will carry a few small items and water in her day pack). I even tend to pack a bit too much, just not the kitchen sink! Good luck finding a pack and have a great trip. Welcome to Trailspace!


12:46 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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You say your wife's pack is 1500 That's pretty tiny, basically daypack size. Are you carrying the tent, both sleeping bags, and the cook gear and food? You give her pack weight as 30 pounds, which is pretty heavy for a 1500 cu. in. pack. D&G's 50 liters translates to a bit over 3000 cu in.

I would suggest you take your gear to a backpacking store and try fitting it into the packs they have there. That will tell you the size of pack you actually need.

On the self-heating MREs - the "heater" in these sometimes fails, so you should have a small stove and a small pot to heat the meals just in case.

Gary P can give a more accurate number, since he lives in Flagstaff and has lots of experience with GCNP, but 60F for day temperature on the Rim can mean 30F or lower at night. Down at the river, the daytime temperature will be in the 80-90 range, much cooler than summer, but warmer than in December/January.

1:02 p.m. on August 13, 2010 (EDT)
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Good point about the 1500C.I. pack carrying 30 lbs, I didn't even notice that but was good that it was brought up. I don't think I even carry that in my 55L (approx. 3355 C.I.), maybe with a FULL load of water for a nice hot and muggy day!

10:41 p.m. on August 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Ok we took all of your advice and went to an outfitter and were both properly sized for our new packs. My Wife's pack is a North Face Crestone 60 Optifit and mine is a North Face EL LOBO 65 which i understand is new to the market. Both packs are very light. We both tried them with the approximate weight in them that we anticipate that we will be carrying down to the Grand Canyon floor. Thanks for the advice on the MRE heaters they have come a long way but i am taking a stove as back-up. We also puchased a water filtration device Katdayn (hope i spelled that right) its the top of the line for that brand. As far as the weather is concerned Bill S you say that we should touch base with Gary P? How exactly do we do that? Ok one more question about Hiking Boots i have a well broke in pair of Merrell Moab Gortex Mid heights do you think they work for this trip? I have been told that stiffer all leather boots are the best and must have Steel Shanks in them why i don"t not know? My wife how ever has still to find a pair of boots. Please advise which are the best boots for this trip.

Again many thanks to all of you for you help :)

1:11 a.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Glad to hear that we could provide a bit of help/advice for you here at Trailspace. I hope the packs do well for you guys and I hope that you have a great trip. I can't wait until I can just go around the country and hit up some spots that I want to hike!

3:21 a.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Stiff all leather boots with steel shanks are old school. I doubt you'd find a pair even if you looked for them. I personally like a heavier boot with good ankle support because I have a bad ankle, but that's just my personal preference. Some people do trips like you are contemplating in nothing more than trail runners.

Boot technology has come a long ways since the days of the all leather boots. I have a pair of Asolo FS95's and also a pair of old Asolos from the mid 80's. The old ones are all leather and the new ones are a mix of modern materials.

Nothing is more important than a good fitting pair of boots. I've beat up my shins in ill fitting climbing boots and my toes in ski boots that didn't fit right. Make sure whatever you are wearing works for you, don't just hope they will "break in" on the trip because that is the last place you want to be experimenting with footwear.

10:55 a.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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... As far as the weather is concerned Bill S you say that we should touch base with Gary P? How exactly do we do that?...

Gary P is Gary Palmer, who posts on this site frequently. As you get closer to your trip, post a weather question in the Trip Planning Forum with a title something like "For Gary Palmer - what's the current weather like in GCNP?" He will probably respond pretty quickly. He responds to just about everything with "Grand Canyon" in the title.

10:59 a.m. on August 17, 2010 (EDT)
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Be aware that boots made of synthetics do not "break in" like all leather boots do. They have to fit correctly from the start. Leather softens and molds to your foot with use, where the synthetics (including trail runners) stay pretty much the same throughout their life (except the foam insoles and footbeds, which just pack out, making the fit worsen with time)

12:00 a.m. on October 5, 2010 (EDT)
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MREs are pretty heavy. Thought about putting your own meals together?

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