My guys were almost all ready to go back-country camping with a group of friends when…. our premier put as back into lockdown because of Covid. Since we had done all the prep work, I thought… there’s no need for that work to be wasted. I’ll write a post so we don’t forget what we have done! This is what we have done as we’ve been preparing for back-country camping.
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Normally when we go camping we go as a family. We find a decent site at a campground and I set up my trailer and kitchen. It’s all nice and easy. We might have to bear-proof, but really, it’s just being outside, safe, surrounded by nature but not hard to do.
It’s a bit different with back-country camping. There you need to either hike or paddle your way in. It depends on the park you are using. You need to pack all your gear and food in, and take all your garbage home with you. This means that you need to pack wisely…who wants to tote out more garbage than you need to eh?
In today’s post we’ll figure out weight limits, food, gear and whatever else I can think of. 🙂
Figure Out Weight Limits
YES, this is actually the first step. If you don’t know how much your canoe or kayak will hold you could conceivably pack too much and sink yourselves. Don’t forget to consider your own personal weight as well. You may need to buy or purchase a tow-behind for your gear. You may need to plan to go on a diet as well, so do this all long before your camping trip.
Since weight is a priority you won’t want to be hauling along sacks of potatoes and cans of beans. When you plan for weight you need to consider all the ways you can keep things as light as possible.
One of the best ways to reduce weight… is to lose water weight. Dehydrating your vegetables and starches. Bringing jerky or pemmican. Dehydrated eggs work well for scrambling. You can make your own with a good dehydrator (or even a poor dehydrator….. a good one just makes it easier!). 🙂 Another option is to buy already dehydrated products.
Learning to dehydrate your food will save you money, but takes more time. My teenage son tried hard to convince his dad that they should bring some army type ration kits. “Dad, they are good, and they carry really easy and they are light too!” As an army cadet, he’s well used to cooking them up and the packaging makes for a small garbage load. So should the guys ever do this again, I’m pretty sure they’d buy a kit that would last them a good couple of weeks. They would being oatmeal and dried fruit for breakfast.
Now making some dehydrated food is super easy. Mushrooms, carrots, corn, kale, herbs, apples, most fruits and the like are super easy to do. Jerky takes time, but isn’t hard at all. Cucumbers and zucchini I find tougher to do, but are really good when they turn out!
Back-country Camping Gear
Keeping in mind that you’ll want to pack as light as possible (cause who wants to haul heavy stuff), you might want to forego a full-set of cast iron cookware. Preparing for Back-country Camping requires light weight materials. A light, portable Tripod would be the most you want to bring. Enough to cook a meal or two and easy to clean. No room for a full-kitchen that’s for sure. Hubby mentioned that having a portable Tripod might be a good thing to have too.. to hang a pot over a cooking fire. If he couldn’t do that, he’d like to have a product called a Twig Stove. Easy, portable and easily taken apart for transportation. I’ll attach some affiliate links here of products that he has looked at.
Cooking gear isn’t the only thing to consider though. You’ll need to make a list of everything you need from the clothes you’ll wear, to hygiene considerations, and supportive stuff… like maybe a harmonica, a book to read, flashlights, fishing gear, and a support system to keep your site bear proof. Some of the gear might be dual-purpose.. like can your dry bag function as a food bag you can hoist up to keep it free of critters.
What will you sleep in? My hubby has a fondness for a hammock, but the lad likes a tent. Both can pack really tight if it’s just one person in it.
And before you go…. knowing the fishing regulations in an area you don’t normally fish in is rather important! Printing them off or carrying them on your phone, a useful thing eh?
Preparing for Back-country Camping takes time to do well, but it’s well worth the effort. Other than food, most items will be a one-time purchase and then, barring any misfortune, should last you a good long while. So grab up your teens, make a trip of it, you won’t regret seeing nature at it’s finest.
And while we are considering the great outdoors, SchoolhouseTeachers has a sale on right now. I urge you to check it out. So many great courses at one affordable price. Cover all your schooling from kindergarten and beyond!