About Backcountry Camping
Backcountry camping involves escaping into undiscovered wilderness. The experience is ideal for those who wish to spend quality time with nature. One cannot access backcountry trails except on foot or on an animal and sometimes on a bicycle. It takes the camper far from the madding crowds. There are no maps to show the way except geological or topographical maps that guide the camper by explaining the geological features or vegetation of a trail.
The main features of backcountry camping are self-sufficiency, survival and braving the unknown. The trails are not predictable and the camper may encounter foul weather and wild animals. Any hazard is likely to occur at any time. The rewards are peace, solitude, spectacular views and a greater appreciation of nature. It is also a test of endurance and courage.
For those who like the intense quiet devoid of human voices, backcountry camping is the way to go. Backcountry camping has been a philosophical experience for many campers. One of the finest early literary experiences of what could be described as backcountry camping was the experience of Henry David Thoreau in Walden Pond. The experience helps the camper go back to the basics to learn survival. The camper develops a personal relationship with nature and learns to appreciate the bounty of nature.
Skills training and good health are required for backcountry camping. Proper gear should be taken before embarking on a journey. Waterproof equipment will help the camper stay dry safe and resistant to the elements. Improving skills gradually is wise and taking short trails before taking to longer trails is required. Building endurance for long trails is also a gradual process. Preparation is vital. Backcountry camping has rules and requires permits. State and Federal Governments stipulate guidelines about the dos and don'ts of backcountry camping. In some forests there are designated campgrounds. Before starting out, it is important that the camper knows all of the rules.
Insight From Experts
Backcountry campers should respect nature and other campers. Littering or destroying nature should be avoided. Some trails prohibit campers to take their dogs along. If the dog goes on the trail, he should be on a leash and his litter should be buried. It is important that a camper stays on the trail as far as possible. Traffic rules should be followed and campers should give way to uphill hikers, animals, wild animals and motorized vehicles. Leaving the place clean and in harmony with nature is paramount. Dirty pots pans and clothes should not be washed in natural streams and lakes resulting in their pollution. Talking in loud voices is not desirable. This is a time to listen to nature and be her humble guest.
The usual time frame for backcountry camping is five to10 days. Ideally the increase should be gradual. A first timer should camp for one or two nights and keep increasing the number of nights as their confidence grows.