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New Post 1/12/2010 2:33 PM
124 posts

Back Country Camping Site 
Just came across this information on selecting a proper back country camping site. Hope it's useful!

There are many hints and tips that you should look into before going into backcountry camping. It may be a very exciting thing to do, but remember many of these places have little or no observation by park rangers, or other people, and very often you're responsible for your own safety and for your own wellbeing when you're camping in the wilderness. Below are some things that you might want to consider when doing backcountry traveling.


This is really important, as there are a lot of areas that can have major issues. Some of the things that you may want to consider in this area are:

1) Wild Animals? : Check for any dens, or other habitats close to where you're wanting to camp. Are there any dams, is there waterfalls, or other sources of water that is very close to where you're planning on camping? Camping near loud sources of water i.e. creeks, rivers, waterfalls, whitewater etc. is not a very recommended thing, as this is where a lot of wild animals such as bears, love to look for food. Also, look for places that are away from sedge grass (long weedlike grass). Stay away from any thick underbrush as well as this can hide many animals, and you might surprise them. Also look for signs of animals or if they have been here. Chances are, is if they have been there once, they will be back.

2) Slopes? : Check for the stability of the slope. If it is going to rain, is there going to be a chance that there will be a mud or landslide? If it is winter, is there a chance of an avalanche? When assessing slopes during the summer, look for insecure trees, or very muddy slopes, chances are is this is where you do not want to be. Also in the winter, check for slabs of snow that look very unstable. You do not want to stay in this area either.

3) Land? : Check for the firmness of the land. You want to stay in a place that will drain well if there should be heavy rain when you're sleeping etc. If there is insecure ground, or loose gravel etc. this might not be where you want to be either. You want to also choose an area that might be able to provide you some softness as well. Tree boughs like pines etc., can provide good padding. Also some grass would be ideal, but make sure that it is not the sedge grass. Check to see if you would be able to get some ground that may have some sponginess, but not too spongy or you mgiht find some problems.

4) Trees?: Pick a site that is around large trees, this will allow you to be able to hoist your food and other stuff at least 5-6 feet or more off the ground, so that it would be out of the reach of most wildife.


Always make sure that you leave a detailed plan with a responsible adult about your intentions, and when you plan on arriving home, and also which route you plan on taking. This way if you get lost or injured, or ill, then at least you will have someone that will be able to notify search and rescue people.

Also, if you don't feel safe, do not do it!
New Post 2/6/2013 9:41 PM
112 posts

Re: Back Country Camping Site 
Really useful info, padmej! Thanks!
New Post 2/8/2013 5:12 AM
121 posts

Re: Back Country Camping Site 
It pays also to do a bit of research about the area before heading out, and make sure that you're quite adept when it comes to your survival skills.
New Post 2/11/2013 6:15 AM
126 posts

Re: Back Country Camping Site 
Right on, Matthew! It's also great to bring someone along with you that's got experience backpacking and backcountry camping if it's gonna be your first time. It's a long ways off from civilization and help.
New Post 2/12/2013 9:39 AM
  the Alban
117 posts

Re: Back Country Camping Site 
Thanks so much for sharing this, padmej! Glad that you emphasized the part to bring someone a bit more knowledgeable about backcountry camping. Lots of crazy people try to go out and do it on their own with very little knowledge, only to end up in a lot of trouble.
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