Why Do I Need to Bring 3 Water Containers on my Grand Canyon Rafting Adventure?
The AzRA packing list states that rafting participants on all our trips must bring the capacity to carry at least 3 quarts/96 ounces. Why might you ask? Well, there are several reasons. While it is true you will usually not need more than 2 quarts at any point there are several reasons to have a greater capacity.
Water bottles have been lost or broken on river trips. So, it is a good idea to have a spare 3rd container.
We recommend that one of your three containers be a collapsible hydration bladder that fits in your daypack. Camelbak ™ or Patypus™ both make great options with a hose for drinking out of on the go. With this option, you’ll be able to hike hands-free, and avoid getting your water bottle out every time you want a drink on the trail. The bladder will be stored empty in your day dry bag and pulled out and filled up with water whenever you head out for hikes.
If you don’t like hydration bladders, having the 3rd water bottle works just fine; just carry them in your day pack for the hikes. Don’t carry water bottles in your hands, you will want your hands free. It’s also important that you hike with your own water bottles, and not have your traveling companion carry yours for you. It’s possible you may not stay hiking together the whole time, making it imperative you carry your own water.
The hard bottles made of plastic (or metal) can be filled with water (and electrolyte mix if desired) and attached to the outside of your day dry bag or somewhere else on the raft with a carabiner(s). That way, they are always handy to drink from at any time, both on the raft and at camp. These two bottles should be full anytime you board the raft. Filtered water is always available on shore at lunch, camp, and hiking trailheads. On motor adventures, water is readily available on the rafts and easy to access.
Occasionally on long day hikes from the river, especially on hot days, you may need 3 quarts/liters of water.
If you are hiking into or out of our Classic or Paddle trips on what is known as a partial trip, upper or lower section, there is always the chance that the water stations will be not functioning on the Bright Angel Trail. It is possible Bright Angel Trail may be closed, and the Kaibab trail would be the alternate trail. If you ended up on the Kaibab Trail, there would be limited or even no water refill stations for the hike to the river or rim. Three quarts of water would be the absolute minimum amount of water for the hike in or out in that case.
We currently sell a couple types of 1 quart water bottles and hope to sell 2-liter water bladders in the near future as well.