READER QUESTION: Do you know of any areas where you can have a real authentic backcountry camping expedition? I’m looking for somewhere off the grid, that’s not in any national park or on someone’s private property.
Planning a Backcountry Backpacking/Camping Trip
I get it; I do a lot of backcountry camping, hiking and fishing, so I know how hard it can be to find a good spot. It seems like every time I go out, it gets harder and harder to find a true backcountry experience, or an adventure far away from people and modern society.
While it’s not going to be easy, it is still possible to get out there and do some Renegade Camping.
Where to go?
Your criteria of something that’s not a national park or someone’s private property is going to be a little hard to get around. While not all government land is part of the national park system, it is still government land and maintained by the BLM or Forest Service.
I’m guessing that when you said “not in a national park”, what you really meant was “away from people.” If that’s the case, then don’t let the national park designation scare you away. There is still plenty of public land out there that is pretty remote.
While I’m not sure it fits your exact criteria, I suggest checking out The National Trail System. Although they’re somewhat maintained, most of these national trails are pretty remote and are very rarely used by the public. Camping anywhere near one of these trails shouldn’t be a problem, and it should provide you with the experience you’re looking for.
The National Trails are great for people who are looking for a real adventure. Some of these trails are thousands of miles long, and they are very rarely used by everyday hikers. It takes a real hardcore backpacker to complete some of these trails, as many of them have fewer than 100 people a year who attempt to make the trek. Check out our list of the National Trails
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Before you take off on your grand adventure, I suggest checking out our article on pre-trip planning for a backpacking trip. One of the most important parts of any backcountry adventure is your pre-trip plan. The research you do before your hike will help ensure your safety while out in the wilderness.
Once you’ve got your plans locked tight, the next safety precaution you should take is to fill out a detailed trail plan and then leave it with someone you trust. Should something go wrong, your trail plan will help search and rescue teams know exactly where they should be looking.