We live in a litigious, guardrail society, in which is necessary to state the obvious.
Hiking the Arizona backcountry is dangerous. There is a perception that when a trail appears in a guidebook, or on a website, or in a magazine, it has been “tamed.” It has not. You are responsible for your own safety. Arizona is home to rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, tarantulas, black widows, scorpions, javelina, black bear, a few wolves. You may encounter extreme heat, freezing cold, flash floods, unstable people, falling rocks, falling trees, wildfire.
On a hot day, you should drink at least one gallon of water per person, per day. There is water in Arizona, but water sources can be unreliable. Purify all water that you find in the backcountry. And eat something, for cryin’ out loud.
It is a good idea to carry the 10 essentials on all hikes – day hikes or backpacking trips. The list can vary slightly but are similar. Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills breaks it down to the following: navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first aid, fire, repair kit, nutrition, hydration and shelter. Put another way: knife, map, compass, lighter, fleece, food, extra water, water purification, first aid, rain gear, sunscreen, flashlight, duct tape, space blanket or large trash bag. Add judgment. Please note that a cell phone is not on the list. Cell phone reach is sketchy in the backcountry. Be careful. Have fun.