Packing for a trip to the great outdoors is more complicated than anyone would initially think. Sure, you don’t need much to enjoy your Hells Canyon hiking trip, but you should have all your bases covered anyway. While you don’t need to bring business suits or high heels, there are more supplies you should have on hand besides mere hiking boots. Remember, just like the tried-and-true scout motto states, it’s best to be prepared.
If you’re reading through this packing guide now, that means your trip to the beautiful Hells Canyon will soon be upon you. While packing may be your least favorite traveling activity, we’ve compiled a general list of what you should bring on the adventure. Whether you are traveling to Hells Canyon to fish, raft, hike, camp, or simply experience all this rugged terrain has to offer, you are sure to be prepared for the excitement that lies ahead. Here are the basics on how to pack for a trip to Hells Canyon.
Be Ready for the Weather
Our lovely Earth’s weather can be so unpredictable. The weather is surely the most fluctuating factor to consider when you pack up essentials. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack, but do put aside some extra time before the trip in case you need to switch items out. We suggest keeping your eye on the weather forecast for the area throughout the packing process. While you may be aware of the usual temperatures in a seasonal timeframe, conditions and elements can quickly change against your favor. Rougher weather conditions are common in the Hells Canyon area.
Ideal Attire for Cold Weather
For those heading to Hells Canyon in the cooler months, temperatures will vary from day to night. Dress appropriately for warmth. Consider layers, layers, and more layers. Your attire should withstand any cold weather or extreme conditions. During the winter, long underwear provides an extra layer of warmth to help retain body heat. Pack up clothing of thermal layers with moisture-wicking properties.
Fabrics that moisture-wick serve a dual purpose: they transfer your sweat to the top layer of the fabric while they dry out your sweat to keep moisture from soaking in. Your Hells Canyon hiking trip can be a far more pleasant and comfortable experience with the right clothing. Warm hats and gloves are also critical to prevent potential frostbite. Pack a few that are waterproof but do not hamper a good grip. And remember to pack plenty of pairs of warm socks.
Ideal Attire for Warm Weather
For those trekking to Hells Canyon in the warmer months, temperatures can still vary from day to night, especially for those who will experience altitude change throughout the day. Your choice of footwear is most important, as shoes or boots need to be comfortable to wear for long periods of time. If you will be hiking or backpacking, mid-weight, broken-in shoes are the versatile ideal. If you will be on the water, water-resistant or waterproof shoes are the best bet. Bring an appropriate, supportive swimsuit if you plan to swim. Remember that function is always vital over fashion.
For daily clothing, try to avoid cotton. Cotton gets cold when it is wet, and despite the warmth of the season, you do not want to get cold. Stick to synthetic shirts that are quick drying. A long-sleeved sun shirt is another option for protection. For bottoms, pack quick-dry shorts that are breathable and water-resistant. A pair of sweatpants or leggings are nice to have along as well for those cooler nights. While rain is not typical, be prepared with a comfortable rain jacket and a lightweight sweatshirt for chillier evenings.
Bring Along Special Gear
When you wonder how to pack for a trip to Hells Canyon, consider any special gear or apparel based on planned activity and not just the weather. Hells Canyon is home to a wide array of outdoor activities, so make the most out of your trip. Are you an angler? Bring your fishing gear. A biker? Grab your helmet and strap that bike on top of your vehicle.
If you look forward to Hells Canyon hiking, bring a reliable backpack, hiking boots, and sticks. Your pack should be comfortable to carry and durable enough to house the necessities for the duration of the trip. If you are a photographer or nature lover, your camera is the very essence of your trip. Protect it well with a good case and a waterproof bag. Large plastic Ziploc bags are handy to separate gear and keep items safe from possible water damage.
Pack Up Accessories and Personal Items
Outdoor accessories can be fundamental for safety purposes. Think sunglasses, sunscreen, sports bandanas, sun-blocking hats, flashlights, day packs, water bottles, Swiss army knives, binoculars, and even portable telescopes. Bring what you know will be of the most use to you or what will provide some comfort and fun.
Don’t forget personal items such as cell phones, headphones, portable chargers, electronics, and maybe a travel journal or sketchbook. Toiletries such as soap and lotion are also necessary, so bring along the basics to get you through the entirety of the trip. It could be handy to have a first-aid kit on hand, as well as cold, allergy, or pain medications in case of illness or injury.
The Experience of Hells Canyon
While the Grand Canyon is known as the granddaddy of canyons in America, Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon on the continent. This place is truly special and unique as a natural landscape that remains untouched by modern burdens and humankind. To experience this landmark unlike anywhere else, a perfect day spent on the river might be just the ticket.
Here at River Adventures, our Hells Canyon boat tours are truly adventures of a lifetime for tourists of all ages. Our boat tours are popular for families and friends to take comfortably through the most rugged and wildest parts of the canyon. Our jet boats are Coast Guard-certified for safety and thrill alike. We take our tour guests through challenging whitewater on the Snake River and stop at historic sites for further photo ops and exploration. We want our guests to see everything that this stunning canyon has to offer. Contact us for more information or to schedule a boat tour today!