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We've used this model and had great success. Once the boats hit shore, the cook team for the night gets to pick their camp sites/set up tents/etc. while the rest of the crew sets up the kitchen/groover/tarps, etc. It gives the cook crew a little break and personal time before doing the kitchen chores.

The second benefit is that choosing the best tent sites is equaled out. A lot of trips have "Camp Site Karen" who gets off the boat and immediately claims the best tent site. Or "Cocktail Ken" who makes a big cocktail while everyone else does the work. This model sets the tone that the kitchen/camp chores get done first, then we get to sit around while someone else cooks dinner. There are always exceptions to the system if someone has a bad swim, cold weather, etc. My $.02.
 

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Feet issues were my biggest problem on my first grand trip. What works for me is to wear chacos or whatever during the day, but before bed wash and dry my feet, slather them with bag balm, and then wear socks that will get thrown away at the end of the trip.
 

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Plus one for bag balm. It is the miracle salve. I also wear (wool) socks with my chacos during the day (I like comfort too much to care about fashion).

The group I go with is pretty tight knit, so anyone can work with anyone else. As such we try to assign cooks/dishwashers/set-up crews, ect. who are not tent mates (a lot of couples and families in my typical cohort, so everyone has roommates). Communal work gets done, and usually the unoccupied spouse/kid/sibling can haul bags and set up their personal site.

Just establish the expectation that everyone chips in, and things run pretty smooth. It's a beautiful time in the canyon.
 

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I’d bring some leather work gloves and cheap rubber boots. I lost my gloves on day 6 or 7 and my hands got wrecked. I wore inexpensive rubber boots when we were rigging and sometimes during the evening. My feet stayed happy and I got to hike a bunch.

Have a great time!
 

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Lots of great information offered here but the poor ladies thread got entirely hijacked by people offering all sorts of information about the trip that she did not ask for and something tells me she is a bit more savvy than most of the folks offering the advice and really needed somebody to confirm that the food pack headache did not need to be hers. I’m sure it was all greatly appreciated though! She and her partner have two trips launching the same day and they’re going to have a fucking blast!
 

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Lots of great information offered here but the poor ladies thread got entirely hijacked by people offering all sorts of information about the trip that she did not ask for and something tells me she is a bit more savvy than most of the folks offering the advice and really needed somebody to confirm that the food pack headache did not need to be hers. I’m sure it was all greatly appreciated though! She and her partner have two trips launching the same day and they’re going to have a fucking blast!
Didn’t mean to hijack the thread just didn’t understand the concern was the food.

I’ve only been on trips catered by Ceiba and Pro but I’m sure Moenkopi will do a great job too. If your trip is longer than 14 days, check the menu closely for the last week. Both times I’ve been down there the food was great but toward the end of the trip it’s hard to have fresh stuff. Beans get old after a couple days in a row.

All the food is spread out over five or six boats so it can be a pain in the ass to find out where everything is when it’s time to cook. Moenkopi will probably give you or help you make an inventory sheet for each boat. Some people are really good with the food inventory so maybe ask your team if someone will step up and be in charge of it. At the put in you will have enough other stuff to think about as TL. The first couple of meals might seem overwhelming but it’ll get easier after everyone understands the outfitters food storage system.

Seems like you’ll still be in the canyon for Halloween? That’ll be a highlight for sure
 

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side tangent, I don't understand why outfitters don't pack food so an entire meal could be on one boat? Sure, I can understand having a kitchen comm box and a condiment box with some items spread over multiple meals...but what am I missing???
 

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side tangent, I don't understand why outfitters don't pack food so an entire meal could be on one boat? Sure, I can understand having a kitchen comm box and a condiment box with some items spread over multiple meals...but what am I missing???
The biggest thing is health department regulations. They have to avoid cross-contamination which is why all of your meat is in one cooler all of your dairy is in another cooler and all of your vegetables are in a third cooler. The local health departments which regulate food service have these pesky ass rules, that of course we don't abide by when we're on private trips doing your own food pack, we can pack things so it makes sense. When you buy a food pack, it comes from a licensed and permitted kitchen, and they have to adhere to the health standards, but I think I said that already lol
 

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I used Moenkopi on a 2015 May GC trip and they did a great job; delicious meals, well organized, clear directions. One thing I'd keep an eye on is anyone who are outliers on food. We had a passenger who claimed to be vegan and brought personal food, but didn't have a separate cooler. They ended up jamming things all over and making cooler management really hard, then ended up eating out of the group meals they didn't contribute to. I say all of this so that if you have passengers not participating in the Moenkopi food, you set clear directions with them BEFORE you hit the water. Save everyone some day 4 drama.
 

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Thanks for the compliments on my book. I've worked with several outfitters in the Grand (as well as rowed commercially for 20 years) Moenkoepi is the best. To make life easier stay the River house before and after. Big garage to do last minute packing an organizing.

Have somone go through the stove with you and how to fix it, what the spare parts are for.

Grand Canyon Private Boaters have several gear lists for private trips. Check them out. I always take a couple of bocci ball sets and horseshoes. Bocci balls get used the most.
#1 thing I take is dishwashing gloves. The hotter the dish cleaning water the better the clean and disinfection. With gloves you hands don't take a beating from the chlorine and you can start washing immediately. I even use heavy duty chemical gloves i get at harbor freight. Buy a pair of leather welding gloves too if you are going to use a dutch oven at all.

Check to see if the can opener works before you drop that dry box in the boat...... '

Download Moenkoepi's list of what is in the dry boxes and what gear he is supplying and see what that looks like to you. I always bring a couple of extra cutting boards so more people can work on lunch.

Have a great trip.

(y):):)

Jim
 

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We had a passenger who claimed to be vegan and brought personal food, but didn't have a separate cooler. They ended up jamming things all over and making cooler management really hard, then ended up eating out of the group meals they didn't contribute to.
That sounds like someone who should be uninvited from all future trips rather than an issue with meal packs!!!
 

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Also 2-3 of everything. I lost 2 pairs of sun glasses for instance. On the food. If you are renting boats get a boat lay out in advance of where each each cooler and dry box or can of food will be. I passed on this and it was a big mistake. That could help you organize in advance.
 

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Speaking of socks, our group all had foot issues. Its the sand abrasion. 3 weeks is no joke. I am using NRS rubber booties. They do not keep your feet dry, but they keep the sand out. I had 2 pair ( until I had to give a pair to someone in bad shape) Used one on the river in my river shoes, and swapped to a dry pair at night for walking around camp. Then plenty of moisturizer before bed and air dry.
I like to alternate between the socks and just sandals every day or two, and some nice fleece socks for camp does not hurt.(Super Salve)
 

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I did Groover Duty as trip leader and we came up with a rotation for meals. Groover also includes both wash stations. I would also help set up the kitchen and tear down. Worked for me doing planning and trouble shooting as well. Just do not be too rigid, every group is different. Everyone must contribute and make sure the boats are unloaded and kitchen is set up and has what they need no matter what before wandering off.

Another thing that worked well is ASSIGN riggers for each boat. Those riggers rig the boat and unload each day while the captain hands or hauls items and assists. They can ride on different boats each day, but those riggers get damn good at strapping that junk pile each day and get faster and faster,
Did you rotate this rigger action? Did some folks have everything bags, or was this for group gear?
 

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I won a permit and am now 6 weeks out! Gee I’m nervous and am using Moenkopi. What ddid you forget that you really cant believe you forgot. I’m so nervous I’m sure once we are on the river it’lll all be good but the reality is daunting. Not so concerned about running the river, of course, Ill be nervous running the rapids but the food pack is giving me nightmares. Help please
Nervous is good. Keeps you attentive. Don't sweat it so much if everybody is not perfectly happy. Pick up on folks who do nothing but complain or try to nab all the good group gear. Realize that the folks you could have sworn won't be the pains just might be, and that remaining calm can go a long way. Bring a pair of nail clippers and a second pair if you find people are asking to borrow yours. It costs nothing to bring an extra thing of salt (I have run out before with a food pack). I am a huge fan of DeadDownWind body cloth wipes, they stop the stank. Agree with sacred socks. Muckboots a bit thick/warm/heavy at this time of year, but ExtraTuff or other such boots a nice choice. Although you are bringing way too much of something, you won't really know what that is. Also, even though you think you can predict the hard things, you can't and what you thought would be hard is likely not. The hardest part is just not worrying so much
 

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I’ve used Moenkopi twice (most recently last month) and they do a good job. But ask them for an extra umbrella (or two). Both trips, we had an umbrella malfunction early in the trip. Makes for a long float on those flat water days when your umbrella is trash.
 
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