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Do I Really Need a Sarong?

By Marie • June 14, 2021

I know what you’re thinking, “How important could a sarong be on a Grand Canyon river trip?” I was skeptical as I dutifully followed the packing list and tucked a sarong in my bag as I packed for my first Grand Canyon trip, but it rapidly became my “must-have” item! The most practical use is to manage your body temperature in the desert climate, but as you’ll discover below, it does so much more than that.

This simple, lightweight, quick-drying piece of fabric is crazy versatile.
Is the weather hot and dry? Dunk your new best friend (your sarong, not your fellow raft mates) into the cold river water and wrap it around you to cool off. As the water evaporates, it takes some of your body heat with it. Sounds simple, but it’s a game-changer!
Are you sick of putting on sunscreen every ten minutes? Cover your legs with your wet or dry sarong. It provides some sun protection without making you overheat.
Want to minimize what you pack? Allow your sarong to dry as you approach camp, so it’s ready to use as a towel after a riverside bath. This way you can leave your towel at home.
Need to change clothes? Have a friend hold up your sarong like a privacy curtain.
Ladies, do you want a convenient, more discreet way to urinate in broad daylight? Wrap your sarong around you like a dress and head to the river. The fabric creates your very own privacy curtain as it covers your backside.
Want to do yoga and gaze at the Grand Canyon? Lay your sarong on the sandy beach and find your zen.
yoga on side of river

Seriously, you’ll find even more uses for this rectangular wonder on your next trip. And, yes, I encourage guys to pack it too!

Not convinced? At least pack a bandana. I bring both a sarong and a bandana. Bandanas can be dunked in the river and wrapped around your neck to cool you off. You can clean your sunglasses after getting splashed in those epic rapids. You can even use it as your napkin. To reduce unnecessary waste, we don’t use paper plates or napkins at lunchtime. We have real plates and silverware for breakfast and dinner because we can set up a dishwashing system at camp.

So enjoy a sarong on your next Grand Canyon river trip. You can even buy one in our store!

teaching in a side canyon