One of the most important parts of planning a backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls is making sure you pack the right gear. The importance of planning and packing is amplified if you intend on bringing your children along with you. In this gear guide, I’ll provide a comprehensive gear list for backpackers that will include information on packs, clothing, footwear, shelter, sleeping, electronics, and food. I’ll also include a designated section for those planning to bring a child along.
Hiking from Hualapai Hilltop down to Supai and Havasupai Falls is 11 miles each way. Be mindful that you’ll be descending more than 2500ft on your first day, and then have to hike uphill more than 2500ft on your return to the parking lot at Hualapai Hilltop. There is an option to have your packs carried by horse up and down the canyon while you hike, but you’ll still have to get yourself to and from the falls. There is also an option to take a helicopter into and out of the falls. For this gear guide, I’m going to be assuming you’re hiking with your gear, into the canyon and back out.
My Complete Backpacking Gear List By Category:
Below you will find my Havasupai Gear Guide broken down by category. This first table below is a comprehensive table with all categories and total weight included. Below that, there will be tables for each category with items and their respective weights listed individually.
**We visited in late November with day time temps in the high 50s and night time lows in the 30s. The day we arrived, a three day rainstorm had just passed through. Needless to say, we had to pack more layers and storm gear than those hiking in the warmer months.
|Shelter And Sleep||7.6 lbs|
|Electronics And Photo||2.9 lbs|
|Packed Clothing And Footwear||3.9 lbs|
|Food, Water, And Cooking||2.2 lbs|
|Child Hiking Kit||6.45 lbs|
I used an Osprey 58 for this Havasupai Falls backpacking trip, and Julia used an Osprey 48. Without a child or 3P tent, a 30-40L pack would be enough for lightweight packers. The Exos 58 has worked very well for me over the last few years. This is also the pack I wore on the John Muir Trail.
|Osprey Exos 58||39 oz|
|Osprey Pack Cover||4.8 oz|
Shelter And Sleep
Julia and I used to backpack with a 2P Tarptent Double Rainbow for most of our outings, but needed to pick up a 3P tent before this trip. We grabbed the Big Agnes Copperspur HV UL3 from REI and really liked it, although it was a bit heavy and more tent than we needed. Tarptent is our preferred tentmaker, and we have a 3P from them that we’ll be using in the months ahead.
*Keep in mind that this weight can be distributed amongst a group if you’re not hiking alone. I carried all of this in my pack, so that we could keep Julia’s pack light.
|Shelter And Sleep||Weight|
|Big Agnes Copperspur HV UL3||64 oz|
|Sierra Designs Zissou 23||33 oz|
|Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Trekker||17 oz|
|Homemade Tyvek Groundsheet||4 oz|
|Sea To Summit Pillow||4 oz|
Electronics And Photo
I used my tried and true Sony a6000 once again on this trip. See my favorite 20 photos here!
|Sony a6000 Camera Body||12 oz|
|LowePro Camera Bag||6 oz|
|Sony 10-18mm Lens||9 oz|
|iPhone7 w/ Case||6.4 oz|
|Delorme InReach||7 oz|
|Camera Batteries X2||4 oz|
|Lipstick Charger||2.5 oz|
Packed And Worn Clothing And Footwear
In this first table I’ve listed the clothes that I wore while hiking and exploring Havasupai Falls. This weight is not listed in the table above, as these items were not in my pack. Make sure to wear quility footwear with good grip and traction if you plan on hiking down to Mooney Falls. That climb down is a real doozy!
|Worn Clothing Items||Weight|
|Nike Trail To Peak Hat||2.1 oz|
|Julbo Dust Sunglasses||1.1 oz|
|Arc’teryx Motus Longsleeve||4 oz|
|Nike Freedom 7″ Shorts||3.1 oz|
|Exofficio Brief||2.2 oz|
|Nike Impossibly Light Jacket||3 oz|
|Darn Tough 1/4 Sock||2 oz|
|La Sportiva Akasha||28.2 oz|
|Suunto Ambit2 GPS Watch||3.2 oz|
The items listed in the table below are the clothing items that I packed with me. We visited Havasupai in late November where temps were 56 F during the day and 36 F at night. Most visitors get much warmer weather, so the down jacket and long pants wouldn’t be necessary.
|Packed Clothing Items||Weight|
|Xero Sandals (For Water)||6 oz|
|Nike Freedom 7″ Shorts||3.1oz|
|Marmot Precip Rain Jacket||13 oz|
|Outdoor Research Voodoo Pant||12 oz|
|Patagonia Down Sweater Hooded||15 oz|
|Exofficio Brief||2.2 oz|
|Darn Tough 1/4 Sock||2 oz|
|Buff Headband||2 oz|
|Outdoor Research Gloves||5 oz|
|Alpaca Wool Beanie From Peru||2 oz|
Food, Water, And Cooking
There is no potable water at Hualapai Hill, so make sure to pack plenty in your car for the hike down. From Hualapai, your next water sources will be 10 miles later at Supai Village, and more at the Havasupai Campground. I never needed my filter, but at 2 oz, the Sawyer Mini is worth brining along.
There is a restaurant in Supai Village. To minimize the amount of food you have to pack, I would recommend grabbing a meal or two here. The Supai Village Grill serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only meal we cooked was dinner, which involved boiling water for our Mountain House dehydrated meals.
|Bear Canister, Water, And Cooking||Weight|
|Jetboil Flash Cooking System||15 oz|
|Sawyer Mini Filter||2 oz|
|1L Smartwater Bottles X3||5.4 oz|
|Mountain House ProPak Meals X2||6 oz|
|Hiking Snacks & Oatmeal||8 oz|
This section covers gear items that don’t fit neatly into any other categories, but are still critical items for each trip I take.
|Black Diamond Storm Headlamp||4 oz|
|Toothbrush, Paste, Soap, Deodorant||2 oz|
|Tissue And Wetwipes||2 oz|
|Microfiber Washcloth||.5 oz|
|Suunto Compass||1.1 oz|
|Firestarter And Lighter||2 oz|
|First Aid Kit and Ibuprofen||3 oz|
|Neutrogena Sunblock||1 oz|
|Burt’s Bees Lip Balm||1 oz|
|Sea To Summit Stuff Sacks X2||1 oz|
Infant Backpacking Kit
Julia and I took Owen on a bunch of practice hikes and dry-runs before this backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls. As you can see, we packed a lot of warm clothes due to the cold weather. Most items are self explanatory, but the fleece liner sheets not so much. We used fleece between our bodies and Owen’s to keep our sweat from soaking his clothes while hiking. The layer of fleece did a great job of insulating him and keeping him warm and dry.
*We did not take Owen down to Mooney Falls. Julia stayed with him at the campsite while I hiked down.
|Infant Hiking Kit||Weight|
|Therm-A-Rest NeoAir X-Lite||12 oz|
|Ergo Baby Carrier (Review)||24 oz|
|Columbia Fleece Bunting x2||12 oz|
|Down Bunting||5 oz|
|Merino Wool Pants X3||5 oz|
|Merino Wool Onesie X3||6 oz|
|Merino Wool Socks X2||1 oz|
|Julbo Looping Sunglasses||1 oz|
|Fleece Carrier Sheets||2 oz|
|Columbia Beanie and Glove Kit||1 oz|
|Nike Hat||1 oz|
|Diapers And Doggie Bags||16 oz|
|DIY Tyvek Changing Mat||.5 oz|
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