“Why do you recommend long-sleeved shirts in the summertime?”
“Or long pants?”
“Socks, under my river sandals? Really?”
“Why can’t I just wear my baseball hat on the river?”
We’re not playing a cruel joke on you, we swear. We recommend all these things — long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks, and hats with a wide brim (and a chin strap!) — for one big reason: that brutal Arizona sun. Sure, it gets hot down in Grand Canyon, but there’s a simple fix for that. If you get hot, you dip your shirt/hat/bandana/sarong/self in the cold river! If you get a sunburn, though — and chances are, you will get a sunburn — there’s no quick fix. You’ll be limping around, probably crying, tears streaming down your face, bemoaning that terrible sun. Your poor toes will look like hot pink little sausages, the tops of your ears will be crispy, your kneecaps will look ripe enough to burst … You get the idea. Sun. Lots of it. No place to hide from it, except under your own clothes. And if you’re too sunburned to move, or to wear shoes, or to think, chances are you’re not going to want to join your fellow guests and guides on some epic adventures. You probably won’t feel like hiking up to an incredible waterfall, or like frolicking in a crystal-clear side stream. Chances are, you probably won’t want to do much of anything. So do yourself a big favor: prepare yourself for that sunshine. Bring something to cover up with, and bring a LOT of sunscreen. Most importantly, use it.