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Backcountry Camping in Canada - Where to start?

2:04 p.m. on June 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Hello, I am brand new to backcountry camping, I have not been yet and unfortunately do not know where to start. I have tried looking up the "backcountry" parks in my area (British Columbia), but the places shown are just campgrounds minus the running water. Most charge you for parking, and all in all, I do not see this as a true "backcountry" camping experience.

I have done a google search for forums about BC backcountry camping and have come up with nothing. Would anybody who may know of British Columbia or Canadian camping forums be able to point me in the right direction? Any help would be very appreciated!!

 

Thank you!

12:09 a.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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Chose a mountain range.  Then find some good maps that show trailhead access.  That would be a start, or a trail guide.

11:01 a.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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Kevin, 

There are a number of Provincial and National Parks to get your feet wet. A great resource is Backroad Mapbooks, which is published with different areas(Cariboo, Kootenay, etc.) Manning Park in the south is a good place, Tweedsmuir is high on the list too. Garibaldi is popular. There are also a number of areas on Vancouver Island that often get overlooked.

If you are looked for experience outside parks, again the Backroad Mapbooks are helpful. Another good resource are the local outfitters/outdoor shops. The Spatsizi Wilderness, though a designated wilderness, has large areas that are not at all protected. I have paddled and hiked there and seen osborne's caribou, wolverine and grizzly.

11:07 a.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I have done a fair bit of hiking and extended camping in western Canada, some on trail but mostly off, so I may be able to help. But, I have to ask; what is your definition of "backcountry". To me it is off trail where you camp where ever you want.

If this is the case then I would recommend staying with National Parks and registering your hike. As you say, you are new to this. The Rock Mountain National Parks have plenty of great areas designated backcountry where beginners can camp in peace and solitude, while not being too remote.

8:44 p.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
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The best website is Club Tread in BC. It has an active community of hikers and climbers, and there are a number of trails you could do that have been posted. 

Beware, though! It is also cluttered up with the usual posers and wannabes, so verify any information you find independently. 

11:05 p.m. on July 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Search suggestions sent from my phone. More later when I am at a computer. Also my short Canadian backpacking Bucket List: Berg Lake Trail. Mt. Robson Provincial Park. Rockwall Trail. Banff N.P. Great Divide Trail. North Boundary Trail. Jasper N.P. Information the Ancient Way: Buy a book. There are several hiking guides to the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks on the B.C.-Alberta border. There are a lifetime of possibilities between Vancouver and Calgary and Edmonton. Have fun!

Wayne

9:26 a.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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The 'Bible' for hiking in the Rocky Mountain national parks, is the "Canadian Rockies Trail Guide", Brian Patton and Bart Robbins, Summerthought Press.

Now in its ninth edition, it's been revised and updated constantly since it was first published in 1971. The trail information is now accurate and complete.

It covers: Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine, Peter Lougheed, Elk Lakes, and Akamina-Kishenena Parks.

10:42 a.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter said,

The 'Bible' for hiking in the Rocky Mountain national parks, is the "Canadian Rockies Trail Guide", Brian Patton and Bart Robbins, Summerthought Press.

Great guide book; I have an old one on the shelf. Very concise and comprehensive. I heard there was a downloadable version, too.

12:19 p.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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Peter1955 said:

The 'Bible' for hiking in the Rocky Mountain national parks, is the "Canadian Rockies Trail Guide", Brian Patton and Bart Robbins, Summerthought Press.

Now in its ninth edition, it's been revised and updated constantly since it was first published in 1971. The trail information is now accurate and complete.

It covers: Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton Lakes, Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine, Peter Lougheed, Elk Lakes, and Akamina-Kishenena Parks.

 That is the book that I own. I think I have read the print off of the pages.

Add Bugaboo and Strathcona Provincial Parks to the list.

Wayne

12:55 p.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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this is the book I bought. I like how it breaks down the hikes whether it is a dayhike or a backpacking trip


image.php?type=P&id=207

2:41 p.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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'Don't waste your time...' is a good one, too. It's the authors' personal opinions, of course, and I disagree with some of them, but that's just because different hikes appeal to different people. 

If you have the time, it's nice to just try all the trails, but if you've only got a couple of weeks every summer, the Copelands have done some pretty good screening for you. 

4:18 p.m. on July 26, 2013 (EDT)
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I wish I had the time to do all of the trails in the Canadian Rockies.  

Peter, a few post up you mentioned Club Tread. I used that site a few yrs ago and really enjoyed it. Lots of helpful folks on it. 

9:01 a.m. on July 27, 2013 (EDT)
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Another excellent resource are the GemTrek maps. They are local maps meant for hikers, so the have both good written directions and excellent detailed maps to get you wherever you're going. 

Website is:

http://www.gemtrek.com/

Trail guides and maps for the Rockies are also available from Mountain Equipment Co-op stores, located in major Canadian cities. 

http://www.mec.ca/shop/guidebooks-and-maps/50250/

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