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Lucky me got invited on a private raft trip on the Grand Canyon, mid July. I'm joining at Phantom Ranch, so doing the second half. I'm wondering if I should even bother with a tent or not? Sleeping bag or just a sheet? Sounds like we might have sleds for the rafts? I've never seen or used them so not quite sure how they're setup, nothing came up on Google. I've been know to snore and can be a fidgety bastard when I sleep though, so wondering if my poor fellow rafters might prefer not to share the raft with them. Don't think I can do a hammock, bad back, but maybe a bivvy bag? Or would that be too hot and I should just put a paco pad on the ground with a light cotton sheet? Ideally there's something that isn't an attractive spot for scorpions. I know they love hiding in folded fabric.

Appreciate any suggestions and experience of best solutions.

Thanks!
 

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Personally, I always bring a tent for the just in case occurances. In July you could have some serious thunderstorms with heavy rain and possible hail. There is also the lovely wind driven sand/silt that only a decent tent can somewhat protect you from. With luck your tent will never leave its bag, but if it does, you will appreciate it and perhaps someone will enjoy it with you.
 

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No way. Any night shivers from a storm will be a godsend. Worse case your bag gets soaked and it dries in 4 minutes. Cot is nice to get level and closer to the river than a paco on bare sand allows.
 

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As others have posted, it's hot as shit in July, temps will be 125 degrees plus on the floor of the canyon. It MAY still rain though, I favor a black diamond megamid or one of the knock off's for this time of year, and sleep on the boat if at all possible, It's MUCH cooler down by the river than in a sweltering baking camp. Picking one that's wide open, as opposed to next to a bunch of rocks is perferable.
 

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When I went over 4th of July it was so hot in the bottom of the canyon I'm convinced it was raining at the rim but evaporating before making it to the canyon floor.
LOL, I had this same feeling. Never want to be there in the summer again, despite it being GC.. You can't escape the heat, but mercifully it cools down to 110 degrees at night. One of these made it a little more tolerable,
 

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I would take a tent or a tarp, in case of rain. It will be hot, and a cot will make sleeping much more comfortable. Setting the cot up as close to the water as possible - keeping in mind the tides - will make it cooler and nicer for sleeping. I was on a Phantom down trip last June and pretty much every night I started with no cover, pulled a light sheet up sometime in the night, and pulled on a light down quilt by almost-morning. Granted, July is hotter than June, but I would take some light cover for warmth; more than just a sheet.

Given the tides, I find that sleeping on the boats is not usually a great option.
 

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I'm not much of a fan for sleeping on the boat...but it will be much cooler for sure. Short of that if your able to send some of your stuff from the beginning then I would send a roll-a-cot and light sleeping bag or bivy sack and sheet and maybe a tent for the just in case scenario.
 

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What has worked for me on hot GC nights.

Ideal is a roll a cot down close to the river, a sheet and light blanket. For me a small tarp to roll up in in case of rain. you can handle light rain rolled up in a tarp.

on one trip no cot but a 4 inch paco JPW pad. Hot nights I would start off very close to the water. If the water rose up in the night it would hit my feet and wake me up to move up hill a bit.

Summer storms down there can be intense. And cold, during the rain storm. I recommend either a tarp to roll up in or a small stand alone dome type tent with good light weight sand stakes. The tent is insurance, but if it is a real storm, easily worth bringing along a small tent. You never know what GC weather will do day to day. A good tent can easily be the difference between a miserable night or dealing with a tent on the trip. I have seen light rain and several hours of rain and wind, be prepared and be comfortable.
 

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+1 on this. i'd bring a tent ... it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it :)
Summer storms down there can be intense. And cold, during the rain storm. I recommend either a tarp to roll up in or a small stand alone dome type tent with good light weight sand stakes. The tent is insurance, but if it is a real storm, easily worth bringing along a small tent. You never know what GC weather will do day to day. A good tent can easily be the difference between a miserable night or dealing with a tent on the trip. I have seen light rain and several hours of rain and wind, be prepared and be comfortable.
 

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Another vote to bring a tent. Put it in its own dry bag that stays in the boat unless needed. Saves you from carrying it back and forth everyday if you're not using it.

I have not been in GC in the heat of the summer, but I was on the Deschutes last summer during the heat dome event when temps reached 119º. I slept on a cot on a paco and started the night off with a wet sarong as my sheet. By the time your body temp and ambient air temps have dried the sarong, the heat of the day has passed.
 

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I'm with the others in not worrying about a camping tent. Its hot as balls. I tossed a paco pad with a fleece slip cover I made on the deck of the raft and slept there most every night. What I did take and people initially gave me guff for is a legit 10'X10' EZ-UP tent. It pops up in less than a minute, provides the perfect amount of shade for the kitchen crew and was my escape from the sun when kitchen crew was not in there. In the evenings you can lower it down to its shortest height and sleep under it if it decides it wants to rain. Tie each corner off to a kitchen box, water jerry or some other heavy piece of kitchen kit and its as good as bolted down most of the time. It WILL change your trip for the better. The first GC trip I took it down I assumed would be its last as it was well used by that point already but it has since made it down another GC trip, TWO MFS, 2 Selways, and some Smiths river and other short multi-days! Its worth its weight in beer or whatever other something you value.
 

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Send a REI cot and gear down with the group from the put-in, I don't quite understand what you mean by "sleds" for rafts. The cot will get you up off the ground so no bug worries. take a 8x6 tarp instead of a tent so you can "burrito" in case of rain (burrito sucks because it is hot but can get you through a nite of rain) I've slept with no tent on 22 day trips twice with no bug problem, just watch where you put your feet and shake out your shoes in the morning. Those fffiiing scorpions come out at night and leave tracks everywhere. Also, get prepped for the hike down to the river, it is long, hot and start down before it starts getting light. If your not prepared the Grand Canyon can put out your lights in a short time. You are jumping on the trip right when the big action starts so have fun. I started working out super hard 3 months before my trips and it really helped. That heat in July is going to clobber the hell out of you so plan for that. Have a great trip!
 

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When you get to Phantom you can get an ice cream and I think if I remember right its 1/2 mile to the the riv. Show up with a couple jugs of frozen water (ice) and your set.
For that first nights cocktail.
 

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Ah yes, ice cream at Phantom Ranch. Served by a Yeti. Was there ever ice cream at Phantom Ranch, or is this just a urban (or National Park) legend? In 2020 and 2021 there was no ice cream at Phantom. Also none in 2018 when my son went down.
 
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