Backcountry camping is a type of camping in the wilderness away from developed campgrounds or any what we call “civilization.” Backcountry camping can be an exhilarating experience, but it also requires you to take some precautions before you venture out into the wild.
We have compiled what we consider to be the essential information for those who are considering backpacking and what they need to know about what gear they should bring with them, food safety tips, and other things such as what types of bugs might pester them during their stay in this rugged environment.
What is Backcountry Camping?
It’s typically done on a long excursion without using typical facilities like bathrooms or showers and what we call “civilization.”
You need to be aware of what type of gear you’ll need for backcountry camping. Some things that might not be surprised are food, water purification equipment, and clothing layers geared towards keeping the person warm overnight.
One thing that many people don’t think about is what types of bugs they can expect while in this remote area. With so much forested land on the coast here in North America, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some repellant or something with DEET if mosquitoes are likely to bother your campsite where you’re staying overnight
Another important consideration when taking part in any outdoor activity such as backpacking is how far from your help. It’s possible that in the backcountry, there is no signal for a cell phone or what we call “mobile service.” This means if something goes wrong such as an injury, and they’re not able to walk out themselves, it might be difficult for help to find them.
What should I bring with me on this hike?
- You’ll need a backpack of some kind to carry all your gear; make sure it has padding around the body so weight distribution can be better managed.
- Clothing layers: what people wear typically depends on what type of season it is, but bringing more clothing than what you think may be necessary could always come in handy – Food – dehydrated food can lighten up what you’re carrying and what your pack weighs
- Water purification equipment: if water is not readily available or if it’s something like a river where there are natural hazards, having some way to make clean drinking water could be essential
- First aid kit: this can come with anything from bandaids to antiseptic ointment for wounds. It should also include what we call “personal hygiene” items such as soap and toothpaste, which may not always be easy to find out on the trail
One thing I need to know before embarking on my backcountry hike: what bugs might pester me?
The incredible thing about backcountry camping in the summer is that what bugs you might encounter will depend on what area of North America you are visiting. In much of Canada, what we call “Nocturnal Black Flies” can be a common nuisance, whereas if it’s during winter, then what types of bug bites to expect would likely vary regionally
What I suggest people do before they head out into the great outdoors for any length hike such as this one is making sure they cover their skin with repellant and also bring something like DEET, which can help keep these insects away from your campsite at night when mosquitoes typically come out looking for blood
What should I know about being far from civilization?
If there’s what we call “mobile service,” then what you’ll need to do is make sure that your cell phone is charged and has the battery pack so it doesn’t die while in use. This way, you can contact what we call “911 emergency services.” It’s also essential to have some map or something else with landmarks on them, so if lost, help can find where they are
The other thing I would suggest people bring when going into the backcountry for any length hike like this one is a first-aid kit which should include items such as soap and toothpaste, which might not always be easy to come by out there
What precautions before heading out?
It’s possible that what injuries may happen could require what medical professionals call “air evac.” What this means is that you should have a GPS location where your campground or campsites are located. This way, if something were to happen and they could not walk out themselves, it might be easier for emergency responders to find them.
Additionally, what I would also recommend people bring with them on their journey into the backcountry is some kind of map showing landmarks in case maps aren’t readily available at the time or what we call a “GPS signal” isn’t available
Your Atmosphere: Keep The Environment Preserve
When camping, stay on durable surfaces. Designate an area for fires and only have fires when permitted. Dispose of garbage properly in dumpsters or disposal bins, including food waste and fuel canisters. Avoid disturbing wildlife if you see them as well as other visitors to the park. Once you are done, please leave what you find and return everything to its natural state.
To ensure that your next camping trip will be enjoyable, it is essential to start with the basics and add or subtract items as needed.
Regardless of whether you are a car camper or a minimalist, there are some things that all campers should know.
- Always have a way to collect and purify water; some campsites don’t even provide potable water.
- Read campground rules before arriving, as not all camping sites allow pets or fires, and some also have special restrictions for wildlife safety.
- Make reservations in popular parks if they are full come the weekend, likely due to people making last-minute plans around holidays (like Mothers’ Day).
- Bring everything you need with you—even if there’s a store nearby that sells goods, it prevents having to leave your spot to get supplies or take care of first aid needs on hand at all times.
Backcountry Camping Backpacks
Picking the right backpacking bag for your adventure can put you in the best position to succeed.
Large or Frameless Backpacks
Some lightweight backpackers prefer an ultra-lightweight frameless pack because reducing size and weight makes their total pack weight lower. Others will choose to go with a giant bag due to the benefit of more easily pack, unpack, and quickly retrieve items.
Packing a large suitcase lightly ensures that the weight will be evenly distributed (balanced while strapped on your back). Packing a small bag too tightly can cause it to feel off-balance if one compartment is overstuffed.
If what you need to pack is large or bulky, don’t worry. A small backpack with a frameless design can easily be expanded by using what’s called “packing cubes.” These are bags that not only separate your items but also compress them for more accessible storage, and when they’re unpacked, the contents will spread out flat, so what we call “unpack” more quickly
A Few Last Skills to Master
Before you embark on an adventure, know the basics. Master fire-building, learning how to put out a flame before it spreads, and making sure your pack is packed with enough food for each person. Practicing these skills in advance ensures that everyone knows what to do when they’re in the wilderness and won’t panic under stress.
Backcountry Camping Extra Comforts
- For complete comfort outdoors, you may want to bring:
- a collapsible chair
- cooler & ice
- BBQ kit/collapsible wine glasses/bike
- shower supplies (soap and towels)
- coffe press – espresso – latte maker
- shelter – excellent plan for rainy day adventure. water proof bag
- camera with case spare batteries
- lantern – sun screen
- travel umbrella or a hat
- a wash basin or dish towel
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