There are many things that go into planning a camping trip to the backcountry. You should plot your route, organize your supplies, and practice your camping skills to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
But unfortunately, if you’ve ever camped at a campground, planning your first trip can seem daunting. Where do you start?
Our friends at Trip Shed run guided hiking and camping trips for beginners. Brothers Aaron and Alexander Savatti share more than twenty-five years of experience as wilderness guides.
That’s why we asked them for their best tips to help you plan your first backcountry experience:
Tip #1: know your skills
Self-awareness is key when planning any outdoor adventure. Sure, you’ve been camping with your parents before, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to run a series of rapids.
Take the time to identify the skills you have (and those you don’t have). And stick to what you’re comfortable doing.
Educate yourself as much as possible before planning anything or reach out to your friends or online resources. Believe us, there is a lot to learn.
Of course, you can always have a guide join you on your trip to ensure your safety and teach you some valuable skills for your next trip.
Tip #2: Safety, safety, safety
It all comes down to managing risk.
Know yourself, know your abilities, and do everything you can to make sure you’re safe, comfortable, and having a good time.
This means wearing your personal life jacket, having a working water filter with purification tabs as a backup, putting on sunscreen, and being aware of your surroundings.
This is your first time in the field, so it’s best to follow the rules and cover all your bases. The Ontario Parks blog has many resources, including comprehensive FAQs for beginners in the field.
Tip #3: Eat well and look at the stars
This may seem simple at first glance, but remember that you are going to the field to have fun.
Take the time to enjoy the special little moments: that satisfying seat on a warm rock after a meal, the cold water when you go swimming at your spot, the fathomless stars at night.
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, there is so much to discover that you never knew you were missing.
Assume everything and don’t take yourself so seriously.
Backcountry itineraries are a great way to take some of the planning pressure off yourself and make sure your first backcountry camping trip is the best it can be.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Trip Shed has stopped offering its usual in-person guided camping and hiking trips. Now, they offer fully detailed, personalized travel itineraries for campers: where to go, what to bring, tips, and more.
Here is a sample of one of their itineraries.
1% for parks
This year, The Trip Shed will donate 1% of all profits directly to Ontario Parks to ensure our parks are preserved for future generations.
Ontario Parks appreciates your generous support.
Ready to start camping?
Visit the Ontario Parks booking service to start planning your backcountry camping trip, or visit The Trip Shed website to get started and explore their services.
Ontario Parks thanks its corporate partners like The Trip Shed for your support.