Its not a hotel or a cruise ship. Neither is it Everest or backpacking. You do get to bring some extras, and you're gonna eat more than oatmeal and cheese and freeze-dried sushi.
The worst part is that they're going to make you fit everything into two rubber bags, each not a whole lot bigger than the size of a paper grocery bag. The first bag is easy: your sleeping bag, pillow (mmm, yes, a pillow) ground tarp. Usually there's enough room for the few items you couldn't fit into your other bag. The tent is usually packed in a "tent bag" with other tents, so if it rains, and you have to pack your tent wet, everything else stays nice and dry.
All your clothes, toiletries, extra book, pills, spare shoes, etc. go into the personal bag. Done. Typically, you'll also get a small dry bag for your daily stuff like sunscreen, sunglasses, daily meds, hat, camera, raingear. Easy to get into and stowed easily and close at hand. On dory trips, we'll even let you take a daypack for extra stuff that won't be damaged by a little water, like water bottle, boots, etc. Finally, your sleeping pad, much more luxurious than a backpacking pad, made of foam and plastic, gets stacked with the rest on a baggage boat. Done.
The toilet system was described in my previous blog for women about the FUD pee system. As for the kitchen, that's pretty cush, too. A coffee/tea/appetizer/snack and lunch table off to one side, near the campfire circle, then a dish washing table, serving table, prep table, and stove setup. Lasagna, steak, burgers and dogs, pasta salad, salmon, spaghetti, french toast, pancakes, omlettes....mmm.
The Grand Canyon, like most river trips, is more than just a river trip. You'll spend a varied number of hours each day on the water, depending on rapids, wind, water level, planned side-trips and campsite availability... perhaps anywhere from three to six hours each day. And the side trips?... waterfalls, creeks, overhangs, fossils, Indian ruins, some within a few hundred yards, some a couple of miles of hiking off the river. Your choice to have a stroll or relax under a Tamarisk tree.
Check out the website of the outfitter you are planning to go with, or check out the folks I work for at: http://www.oars.com/grandcanyon/dories/leesferry-diamondcreek15day.html#Trip-Planner
They not only have some of the best guides and rivers in the world, but have an excellent, informative website for river enthusiasts.
Finally, check out the latest blog to feature an interview of me regarding The Secret to Saving Money While Doing What You Love. Basically, its about the fact that there is a leisure class at either end of the economic scale!: