About Backcountry Vacations
Vacations to the backcountry often include camping, skiing, and snowboarding. Spending a winter or summer vacation in the wilderness presents activities not experienced in many other places.
A backcountry vacation means leaving your car behind and spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks in the wilderness area of your choice. Means of transportation can vary with walking and canoing being the most common means of travel. Of course there's also kayaks or rubber rafts, and travel during the winter might include snowshoes or skis. An extended journey into the great outdoors can be an adventure of a lifetime or it can turn into a nightmare if one is not prepared for the rigors of wilderness travel.
Perhaps the biggest ingredient to a safe journey is doing your homework before you leave, so that everyone in your party will be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to offer. This includes bringing along the correct gear for the elements, such as ponchos, rainpants and a pair of hiking boots that are comfortable and will keep your feet dry. Other things to consider are the presence of insects, poisonous snakes or wild animals. All of this requires prior knowledge of existing problems before you leave home.
Some experience is needed before you journey into the beautiful wilderness and then once you are there your trip has to fall within your realm of outdoor skills. Most backcountry disasters do not occur to people with a small amount of wilderness experience, but rather to those who exceed their knowledge of the outdoors or take on a more strenuous adventure than they are physically able to handle. In short, know your limitations.
Wilderness guides are great for those who are traveling into unknown country or who wish to take on a slightly bigger challenge in outdoor travel. This could mean hiring a river guide on a whitewater excursion or an experienced mountaineer for a trek into the high country. Don't forget to do some research on the guide or outfit that you plan to use to make certain they are qualified for the trip that you intend to take.
Plan each day's activities and each overnight camping location carefully. While on your journey, begin at a slow pace and be sure not to plan an excessive amount of travel or physical activity for one day. Also, make sure each campsite has adequate shelter and water. Try to arrange each night's stay in a place not too far away from the campsite of the previous night, and don't forget that it is not necessary to travel every day. Some places naturally lend themselves to a prolonged stay.
Travel with care and be sure to bring specific items to deal with minor injuries. Your first aid kit should include bandages, antiseptics and antibiotic cream, larger bandages, gauze and perhaps some specialty items like eye drops or a laxative. Don't forget water purification tablets and waterproof matches. Then there are the other safety concerns such as life jackets for canoeing and whitewater rafting and climbing ropes and hardware for mountain climbers. Always inspect all gear before you leave to ensure that it is in excellent condition.
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