Bright Angel Advice and Tips for the day of the hike:
NO FOOD, NO FUEL, NO FUN
Your body spends an enormous amount of energy (food calories) keeping you cool in the heat. Eating is your most important defense against exhaustion and water intoxication. Eat small amounts every 1/2 hour. We will provide you with snacks for the hike.
Everyone sweats around 1/2 to 1 quart of water and electrolytes each hour hiking in the heat. Some very important Bright Angel advice is do not wait until you are thirsty to start replacing fluids and electrolytes. By the time you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Drink 1/2 to 1 quart of electrolyte replacement drink each hour that you are hiking in the heat. We will provide you with a powdered electrolyte drink for your hike. In addition, we will also provide you with snacks. It is important that you eat even if you don’t feel hungry. Eating will help balance the nutrients in your body.
REST IN THE SHADE
Stop and take a break if you find shade.
YIELD TO UP HILL HIKERS
Yielding to up hill hikers is common hiking etiquette.
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE
Do not leave your backpack unattended as the squirrels are very aggressive on the Bright Angel Trail because so many visitors feed them. Need we say more?
STAY WET AND STAY COOL
Keep yourself soaking wet to stay cool. Anytime you cross a stream or water pump, stop and dowse yourself. Allowing your clothes to evaporatively cool will reduce fluid, electrolyte, and energy loss significantly.
TAKE BREAKS AND STRETCH
Every one half to one hour, take a seven to nine minute break. This break can flush out approximately 20-30% of the waste products that build up in your legs while hiking. Don’t forget to have a snack while you are resting.
When you huff and puff, your body does not get enough oxygen to function efficiently. If you can talk while you are walking, you are walking the perfect speed.
Very important Bright Angel advice is to stay with the other members in your party. This allows everyone to keep an eye on each other looking for signs of trouble such as dehydration. If you stick together and one member has trouble, there will be others to assist or to go for help.
CARRY A LIGHT LOAD
The less weight you carry in your pack will make your hike easier and more enjoyable.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Do not exceed what is your normal level of physical activity or training.
BEGIN HYDRATING A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE YOUR HIKE
Drink about 8 glasses of water before you go to sleep. The climate in Arizona is a dry heat. Your perspiration evaporates so fast that you might not realize you are dehydrating.
EAT A GOOD DINNER THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR HIKE
This meal will help give you the necessary fuel needed for your hike. Avoid drinking alcohol the evening before your hike as it exacerbates dehydration.
Eat a light breakfast with essential nutrients and minerals to give you additional electrolytes.
MULES HAVE RIGHT OF WAY
To ensure safety for yourself, other trail users, and mule riders, when encountering mules on the trails: step off the trail on the uphill side away from the edge, follow the direction of the wrangler, remain completely quiet and stand perfectly still, and do not return to the trail until the last mule is 50 feet (15 meters) past your position.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET
Trim toe nails, and wear socks with heal and toe cushioning. Retighten laces throughout hike. Address blisters immediately.
SHARE THIS INFORMATION
Sharing this information with others in your group will ensure a healthy hike for everyone.