As promised, I've complied a list of the essentials you should definitely have to hike the Narrows at Zion National Park. Ok, they are optional but I'm telling you, these items will make your experience that much better. After all you don't want to show up unprepared. Well, you can, but I wouldn't really recommend that. I did see some people trudging through the water in jeans and regular shoes. They looked like they were struggling a bit. While I was hiking through the Narrows, I kept a little checklist in the back of my head on what was useful. I think doing this while I was actually in the Narrows really made me figure out what was really worth investing in.
1. GOPRO - I would definitely recommend investing in a GoPro. I really struggled with whether I actually needed one before I left on my trip, but man I am so glad that I did buy one. Especially if you don't plan on getting a waterproof cellphone case, I would have some sort of camera to record your adventures. You're definitely going to want to look back on this down the line.
2. QUICK DRY TOWEL - Just a great thing to have if you accidentally fall in or at the end when you want to dry off. This way you won't be lugging around a giant (possibly wet) towel.
3. WATERPROOF BACKPACK - This is another route you can go instead of the waterproof bags. I was fine with just the waterproof bag in my regular backpack, but my friend bought one and loved it.
4. WATERPROOF SHOES - The rocks can get super slippery when you’re wading through the water. I bought aqua socks that I changed into from my running shoes at the start of the Narrows. The only problem was that they only had a hard bottom. When the rocks moved (and they will move), sometimes they would fall on my toes or I would stub my toes since the top and sides were just mesh. Since you can’t really see through the water, you don’t really know where you’re stepping.
5. WATERPROOF BAGS - This may be the most necessary thing to have especially if you’re a photographer and have your expensive camera with you like I did. I bought one of these to put my extra clothes, running shoes and DSLR camera in. This type is completely waterproof. I was a bit nervous wadding through the water knowing I was carrying precious cargo with me, but this bag was perfect and kept everything dry! It comes in multiple sizes, too. I got the 8L and it was just big enough.
6. QUICK DRYING CLOTHING - Try not to wear anything thats 100% cotton. It won’t dry fast and it can get chilly in the shade especially since the water is not warm. Something that's dry fit material would be ideal.
7. HIKING POLES - I think this is definitely necessary. I didn’t realize how slippery the rocks would be and that the current can make you pretty unstable. If you’re anything like me (a little prone to falling) and don’t want to fall in, get one! I think you can rent them for like $8 right at the Zion store. My friend let me use one of hers (you don’t really need 2) that she purchased online.
8. WATERPROOF CELLPHONE CASE - Would definitely recommend this if you’re going to want to have your phone out at all especially to take pictures. I’ve had this one forever and have never had a leak (fingers crossed).
For further details on my experience in Zion and where to go to hike the Narrows, click here.
Yours Truly // Shannon