There are 2 things you need to get all prepared for the hike: Your bag and your body. Don’t get either of those prepared properly and you’ll be sorry!
To get our bodies prepared, we made it a point to walk and hike months in advance. Remember we took 3 of our kids, so although we figured we’d be alright, we had to get them ready. We have tons of mountains here that have hiking trails, so we hiked those to get our bodies prepared for the steep up-hill hike similar to the last 2 miles hiking out of the canyon. Being that we live in Arizona and we were hiking these in the middle of the summer, we waited until evenings (when it got down to a cool 105 degrees) to hike. Haha. In the end, it was good for all of us. I wouldn’t have been prepared for the distance part if we hadn’t done that for a while. Granted, I walk a ton in one day chasing around my kids and caring for my house, etc, but it’s not the same as going nearly non-stop.
Also, try carrying a pack of some sort when you hike. Unless you don’t plan on packing in your own pack, you’ll want to prepare your body for the extra weight. Start with a camel-back (water pack), and gradually increase. I’ll be honest and say I did not do this. I did just fine, but I’m also used to carrying around a kid often throughout the day…
We also made sure to walk around our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods to prepare for the distance hiking. 12 miles of a hike at the Grand Canyon takes quite a few hours, and though we never walked for that many hours with the kids all at once, we did go a handful of miles and took about 2 hours when we went.
You also need to get your bag ready. Lay out everything you need to pack ahead of time so you know exactly what you have to fit in. You’ll want to be sure to pack your bag properly so that the weight is distributed evenly. Pack heavier items in the center, lighter items as you pack outward. Be sure to fill your water bladder before you pack so you know how much room it will take.
In my must-haves post I mentioned the items you’ll definitely want to take with you. You’ll want clothing too, of course. To maximize space, use every bit of extra space you have. The bags that the fleece liners came in had tons of extra room, so we unrolled the fleece liners and rolled the kids clothes in it. We even packed a few apples in the space on top!
We even packed down the food in our Mountain House meals, then folded and taped down the extra packaging to free up room.
Once this is done, you’re all set! Have a great time and be sure to share how it went! I’d love to hear all about it!
Disclaimer: Remember, I’m no expert, and I am certainly not a doctor. Only you and/or your doctor can determine whether your body is capable of doing this. As for your pack, this is what we were instructed to do, and after a few trips of doing it this way it worked perfectly for us. It never hurts to ask a real expert, so check out your local outdoor shop!!