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  • Writer's pictureBasecamp Outdoor Gear Team

Havasupai Checklist: What to Pack for Your Backpacking Trip

In this post we offer you our packing list for Havasupai. You can also print this interactive GoogleDocs checklist (make a copy in GoogleDocs and it becomes interactive). But first thing's first: Read everything you need to know about Havasupai before getting your permit to go there. Read it again before you start packing for the trip! Now you're ready to pack your backpack for your trip to Havasupai.

Disclaimer: This is our personal complete list that we're sharing with you. You might need to add/remove items from this list in order to adapt it to your needs. Where applicable, we include links to our rental items, but you should research these items independently to make sure they will work for you.

Checklist for everyday hiking in the desert

Whether you day hike or backpack in the desert, you should always have the following items in your pack:

  • Trekking backpack (55-75L and make sure it fits you well!) -- OR -- 90-120L duffel if you booked a mule

  • Day pack (20-30L and make sure it fits you well!)

  • Emergency food (ie trail mix)

  • 3L of water in Nalgene bottles or water bladder

  • Water filter pump or Lifestraw

  • Headlamp w/batteries

  • Small Lighter

  • First aid kit

  • Trail map + Havasupai permit

  • Facemasks for walking through town

  • Sunscreen in small bottle

  • Chapstick

  • Sunglasses with hard case

  • Mosquito repellant in small 4oz bottle

  • Emergency rain poncho

  • Hand/toe warmers in all but the hottest months

  • Winter hat

  • Sun hat

  • Trekking poles

Overnight camping gear checklist

Once you get to camp, you'll need the following items:

Clothes for backpacking

This is my recommendation of clothing and article quantities for your 3 nights/4 days in Havasupai:

  • Bathing suit

  • Lightweight towel or wash cloth

  • Hiking boots (Vibram sole - break them in before the trip)

  • Water shoes or closed-toes sandals (in winter, use neoprene socks and boots)

  • Hiking socks (2 pairs = 1 to hike down and 1 to hike back)

  • Underwear (3 pairs = 1 to hike down, 1 to hike back, 1 for emergencies ; wear your bathing suit the rest of the time)

  • Hiking pants (2 pairs = 1 for the first 2 days and 1 for the last 2 days)

  • Hiking shirt (2 long-sleeve sun shirts)

  • Lightweight sweatshirt or fleece jacket

  • Long underwear top for camp and sleeping

  • Long underwear bottom for camp and sleeping

  • Fleece socks in all but the hottest months

  • Down jacket in all but the hottest months

  • Down mittens in all but the hottest months

Toiletries for backpacking

You might use more items in your daily routine. For each item beyond this list, ask yourself if you'll survive without it for 4 days. If you don't need it, don't take it (example: deodorant).

  • Toothbrush (cut in half)

  • Toothpaste (small tube)

  • Floss

  • Contacts + case + solution

  • Glasses + case

  • Personal medication/prescriptions

  • Face towel

  • Biodegradable soap (if you want)

  • Small roll of toilet paper

  • Wag bag

  • Tampons

  • Trash bags (4 x 8-gallon plastic bags = 1 for each day)

  • Zip lock bags (pack your clothes and toiletries in 1g size ziplock bags and bring 2 extra ziplocks just in case)

Other essentials to pack for Havasupai

  • Phone + charging cord

  • Solar charger

  • Download audiobooks

  • Real physical book

  • Cash for frybread/diner/helicopter ($200 per person)

  • Black light to look for scorpions (if you want)

Backpacking food

This is my recommendation for simple food planning on a short backpacking trip: Purchase RightOnTrek meals or make your own ~500 calories per serving. For more food ideas, refer to our upcoming post about camping food.

  • 3 x breakfast meals

  • 3 x dinner meals

  • Trail mix to snack on in between meals. Make your own trailmix using your choice of nuts, chocolate chips, and dried fruit. Divide mix into 4 x 16 oz zip lock bags and have a bag per day.

  • Electrolyte powder with flavor for your water

  • Instant coffee/tea/hot chocolate packets (1-2 per day per person)

person holding scissors while pot of water boils with food
Preparing a meal in the backcountry


For your backpacking trip to Havasupai, you'll need your personal items, backpacking gear, cooking gear, and food for at least three days. Some of us friendly and knowledgeable folks here at Basecamp Outdoor Gear have been to Havasupai a few times. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have. If you need to rent a backpack, we have a wide array of volumes and sizes to fit your needs.

Remember that you can rent camping gear specifically for Havasupai from Basecamp Outdoor Gear in Las Vegas. Renting gear allows you to try out a product before committing to buying it. It is especially handy if you don't anticipate ever using the product again. We also offer a complete Havasupai Package. If you don't need the full package, or what to supplement/modify the package, you can rent individual gear by the item.


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