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The Manual: How to Explore a Slot Canyon

Explore these redrock mysteries safely with expert tips on gear and technique.
september 09 slot canyons 445x260(Illustration by Supercorn)


  • Pack Streamlined models with mesh panels and drain holes (such as Imlay Canyon Gear packs)
  • Wetsuit 3mm, Farmer John-style, for cool, wet canyons. Rule of thumb: You need one if the combined water/air temp is below 120°F. Also: neoprene gloves (or dishwashing gloves) and socks or booties
  • Footwear Mesh shoes that cover your toes and have good arch support and grippy rubber soles (such as the Five Ten Canyoneer)
  • Helmet Always: scrambling + loose rock = high risk for a head injury
  • Water protection Dry bags or plastic, screw-top kegs (we like Imlay Canyon Gear’s 3.5-liter Dry Keg). Budget option: Triple-bag items in garbage or zip-top bags.
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