Some essential items should be included in your hiking gear when out and about. Southern Utah features countless hikes and views to explore, and you should be prepared for anything you might encounter. Especially in the arid climate, you should pack plenty of water, but there are plenty of other items to add to your backpack when heading out for an adventure. Here are some of our recommendations while hiking in Zion National Park.

Water, Water, And More Water

If you have never visited Southern Utah, you should know that we are considered a desert. That means we experience extreme weather conditions, especially in the summer. Drinking water is essential in keeping you cool, hydrated, and comfortable while exploring. In general, you should pack about a gallon of water per person daily. Pack more than you usually consume if you’re in the heat or doing strenuous hikes.

Having a water purification device in your pack might be wise as well. In Zion National Park, the Virgin River flows through the canyons, allowing you to use a LifeStraw to purify water if you don’t pack a plethora of water or find yourself in a bad situation. Plus, water purification devices are typically small, so they can easily fit in your backpack.

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Food And Snacks

Especially if you plan to explore for an extended time, you should have some food handy. Small snacks such as granola bars or dried fruit while taking a break can keep your energy levels up while hiking. Throw a few in your pack for you and your friends or family. Food is essential for energy and keeping in good spirits to complete a challenging hike. If you plan to be out for a while, toss in a can of soup or beans that you can warm as a meal if you get lost or stranded. It’s never a bad idea to be prepared, just in case. 

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You will most likely be in the heat, particularly if you visit Zion Canyon Campground and Resort in June, July, or August. Remember to include sun protection to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays as day hiking essentials. If you visit in the early spring or winter months for day hikes, you will most likely experience some rain or cooler temperatures while hiking. Be sure to take proper outdoor gear like a light rain jacket or a poncho to protect yourself from the precipitation or chilly weather. Also keep in mind you want proper hiking shoes – these include hiking boots, and hiking gear like trekking poles.

Bears are rarely a concern in Southern Utah, but other wildlife like snakes or mountain lions are among the predators prowling in Zion National Park. It’s important to know the types of animals that might threaten your experience while in the park. A small can of bear spray and a small knife can be helpful if you encounter a wild animal while on your adventure. To see some of the wildlife here in Zion, check out this blog post.

First Aid Kit

Let’s face it, accidents happen, especially while in the wilderness. Adding a simple first aid kit to your backpack can help you prepare for those typical cuts and scrapes. Be sure your first aid kits include some of these essential items:

  • Bandaids: Various sizes ensure you’re prepared for minor scrapes and large cuts while out and about.
  • Antiseptic wipes or spray: You most likely have water to clean wounds, but having an extra cleaning agent can prevent infection and make a clean surface for your bandage.
  • Antibiotic ointment: Packing some ointments can help promote healing for cuts or scrapes. Add that to your first aid pack, just in case.
  • Pain medication: Be prepared for headaches and soreness with a small bottle of ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Plenty of items can be included in your first aid kit, and being prepared with simple supplies can ensure you’re ready for an adventure.

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Don’t get lost or caught in a storm and not know where to go. Having clear instructions to get to and from your hike is important in ensuring a safe return to camp. Stay on the trail and follow signs while on the trail to prevent getting lost or confused. Packing a small map or GPS will keep you safe and going in the right direction while exploring. Before you go, consider going over your itinerary with your group for the day, and be sure to return before dark.


When venturing into the wilderness, it’s important to be prepared for the weather and the difficulty of your hike. Packing plenty of water ensures you and your crew stay hydrated and excited to complete a hike. Be prepared with items like bandaids and pain medication to treat cuts and scrapes. Remember always to be prepared for your adventures to have a positive experience. Because Zion Canyon Campground and Resort are right outside the park, you are as close to incredible hiking experiences as possible. Book your stay today!