Gear Kits

Essential Packing List for Backpacking to Havasupai

If you’re planning to backpack to this desert paradise, you’re going to want gear that’s light but also sets you up for a fun time.

Curated by Lisa Bao

Getting permits to this very popular spot in Arizona is no easy feat, but I was lucky enough to snag some permits to this desert oasis during the fall. Even though I wasn’t going to be backpacking in the intense heat of the summer, I knew that the weather would be variable as the seasons were shifting and I had to prepare for both the heat and the cold. On top of that, I get pretty picky when it comes to how much weight I carry on my backpacking trips. Here is my kit of gear that I chose to bring with me that includes some basic essentials, “luxury” items I knew I’d want, and how I chose to pack for the cold and hot weather of the desert.

Harbor Beanie

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Like I said, I get cold easily. Having a beanie to throw on when the nights start cooling down was perfect. I could sit around camp and not get immediately chilly - you can lose a lot of heat from your head!

This is my go-to backpacking pack and it has gotten me through short weekends and longer overnight trips. It’s smaller on the volume side, but I like that it forces me to trim down to just the necessities when I’m packing my gear.

Weighing in at just over 2 lbs, this is my favorite tent for backpacking. It’s incredibly easy to set up with the color-coded poles and with 2 doors, it’s perfect for sharing with a buddy.

I use this 15F degree down sleeping bag for all of my outdoor trips. I tend to get cold easily, so knowing that I can get the extra warmth means I sleep super cozy at night.

I use one of these to pack down my sleeping bag, and for my clothes. It does an incredible job compressing my gear, and giving me more space in my bag. It also doubles as a dry sack, which was helpful for all the river crossings on this trip.

This was the perfect layer to bring on the trip. It packs down to practically nothing, but provided me with enough of a layer in the cold mornings while I made breakfast and coffee before the sun came up into the canyon.

This was a great base layer to have on once the sun had set. It was light enough where I didn’t feel bulky, but kept me warm during the cool night temperatures.

Okay, probably another luxury item, but I have the craziest sweet tooth, and eating one (or two… or three...) of these in the morning with my coffee makes me a very happy camper.

Water shoes are definitely a must-have for this trip! Hiking to many of the waterfalls in the area, you find yourself doing river crossings and it’s much easier to have water shoes than keep taking off your hiking shoes.