Hiking Essentials

Essential Gear for Hiking in Bryce Canyon

Taking a hike along the Bryce Canyon area provides hikers with so many incredible opportunities to see and experience unique and exciting things. Hiking is a great way to exercise, enjoy nature, and challenge the body to things that are a bit out of the ordinary. From perching on precarious ledges to exploring deep canyons, there are so many amazing things to do while hiking in Bryce Canyon.
Before heading out on the trails, there are some important things that hikers should know first. The most important thing is what all should be taken along on the hike. Being prepared is the best way to ensure that a hike goes smoothly. The following is a list of the most important gear to bring along when going on a hike in Bryce Canyon.Gear for Day Hikes
Though hikes may only last a few hours, it is still important to bring these essential supplies along. The things on this list are not items that are negotiable, and hikers of every skill level will need to have these items to have a safe and successful journey in Bryce Canyon.


For a shorter day hike, hikers should bring along at least a gallon of water. While that may seem like a lot of water, the combination of high temperatures and physical exertion can lead to dehydration very quickly. The easiest way to carry water for a hiking trip is in a wearable water pack, but a couple of large bottles in a backpack will work, as well. Hikers should drink when they are thirsty and refill their water container at every fill station available, even if they think they will not need the extra water.


When packing food for a hike, many people think that bringing along an energy bar and a piece of fruit will do the trick. In reality, hikers will need a lot more fuel than that. Snacking along the way on high-protein foods like nuts, trail mix, granola bars, tuna packs, and jerkies is the best way to avoid severe fatigue. Most importantly, the body needs protein to absorb water correctly. This means that, for hikers who are guzzling water but not eating, the chance of needing to be rescued due to dehydration, exhaustion, and other serious condition is greatly increased.

Hiking Footwear

The terrain of Bryce Canyon is not the place for sandals or tennis shoes. Footwear, either boots or shoes, that are specifically made for hiking are required for hikes in Bryce Canyon. These special boots and shoes will grip rock, protect the bones in feet and ankles, and will stay comfortable during the entire hike. It’s a great idea to break new boots in for a few weeks before wearing them out on a long hike.

Appropriate Clothing

Hiking the Bryce Canyon area will probably require a few wardrobe changes along the way. Temperatures can fluctuate greatly throughout the day and at different elevations, so having a few layers to take off and put back on is advisable. All layers should be moisture wicking, protect the skin from the sun’s harsh rays, and be comfortable enough to wear for the entire journey. Even socks and underwear should be planned to make sure hikers have maximum comfort during their hike.


There’s no way to carry all this essential gear without having a suitable hiking backpack. Hikers should bring a pack that has comfortable shoulder straps, can withstand the weight of the objects it carries, has extra support straps at the chest for weight displacement, and is not too big and heavy for the hiker to carry. Finding a backpack that meets these requirements is crucial for having an enjoyable hike.

Route Map

Even the savviest of hikers will get turned around occasionally. As hikers traverse the red rock and backcountry, things will inevitably begin to look the same between landmarks. It is important to have a map of the area, with the route clearly marked, to avoid being lost along the hike. It is also a great idea to mark an alternative route in case the planned route is not able to be hiked.

Sun Protection

Nothing can ruin a lovely day faster than sunburn, sun poisoning, or heat exhaustion. To avoid these horrible conditions, hikers should protect themselves from the hot desert sun. Hikers will need some sunscreen with a high SPF, protective clothing, a wide brimmed hat, and a neck cover, at least. Hikers should bring along any extra gear that they think will help to avoid damage and discomfort from the sun. Avoiding the harshness of the sun can mean the difference between having a successful hike or ending up needing to be rescued, so even those who live for the sun’s rays should protect themselves well.

First Aid Kit

When hiking along rough terrain and jagged rock, scrapes and cuts are bound to happen. A first aid kit stocked with antiseptic, bandages, gloves, instant cold packs, and other small items will be well appreciated when the first small accident occurs. Those who understand proper first aid techniques may want to bring along things like splints, tourniquets, and other more advanced first aid measures. Any accidents that result in an emergency should always be met with a call to a professional rescue team.

Personal Protection

A multi purpose tool, like a tactical knife, is a great thing to have while hiking. It can not only get hikers out of tough situations, especially in wooded areas, but it can also serve as protection against threats. Some hikers may also want to bring along mace or bear spray when concerned about attacks from large predators. The most important thing that hikers can have in their personal safety toolbox is the knowledge of what to do in dangerous situations and the ability to keep a cool head in stressful times. Reading up on dangerous situations and the best way to handle them before heading out on a hike is a great way to stay safe and enjoy the journey.

Gear for Extended Hikes

Those who have been hiking for a while may decide that they would like to go out on an extended hike that takes a few days to complete. These journeys can be some of the most memorable times in a hiker’s life. In addition to all the gear needed for a day hike, as listed above, hikers will need gear that allows them to camp out along the way. Also, extended hikes will require hikers to bring along the gear listed above in larger amounts. Long hikes mean more food, more water, more clothing, and much more planning. Once hikers are prepared for their long journey, the only thing left to do is get on the trails and enjoy the hike.


Essential for setting up a comfortable camp, there are many things that hikers should look for when choosing a tent. Tents should be relatively easy to set up, waterproof, fully enclosed, and be spacious enough for the number of people dwelling in it. Tents should be set up, looked over, and waterproofed before hitting the trails, or else hikers may end up have a miserable night in a faulty tent.

Sleeping Bag

The type of sleeping bag hikers bring along will depend on the temperature expected during the trip. Some bags are rated for sub zero temperatures, while others are best suited for much warmer temperatures. A sleeping bag should be lightweight enough to not be a burden to carry but heavy enough to provide comfort on cool nights.

Cooking Stove

In some areas of Bryce Canyon, specifically below the rim of the canyon, campfires are not allowed. This means that campers will need a cooking stove and fuel for the stove. Having a fire safe mess kit to cook with will eliminate the need for individual pots, as well. When hikers are looking for a bit of warm comfort food after a long day of hiking, a cooking stove is a terrific item to have.

Permission to Camp

There are many designated campsites along the routes in Bryce Canyon. These sites are given out on a first-come-first-served basis. Hikers cannot simply set up camp where ever they please along the hike. Even when hiking in less popular areas, backcountry permits are required for camping. Hikers should be sure to follow all the rules for camping and should never leave a trace of having been there.

Experience Bryce Canyon on Foot

Hiking along this amazing area is one of the best ways to soak in its beauty. Hiking allows visitors to take their time through the area, appreciate each formation and scenic view, and really get to know the landscape. By being prepared for a hike through Bryce Canyon, hikers can be sure to have a fun and safe journey they’ll be talking about for the rest of their lives.

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