How do I go backpacking in the backcountry?
August 4, 2010 11:15 PM Subscribe
What are the logistics involved in back-country camping / backpacking (CA specific)?
posted by jnnla to sports, hobbies, & recreation (20 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Tell me about backpacking!
I've been an avid car camper for years and have car-camped at most of the National Parks in the southwest...but this just isn't doing it for me these days. I need to backpack. The last time I backpacked I was at sleep-away camp in Maine, 15 years ago and all the logistics were taken care of by the camp counselors. Now that I'm a big strong man, I realize that I will need to figure out those logistics myself if I want to go backpacking...
As far as gear is concerned, I think I am well covered...I have a great pack, an ultra-light tent (around 2lbs), an alcohol pennystove I made a few years back, an ultra-light 3 season sleeping bag and pad, an MSR waterworks II purifier, and years of boyscout outdoors survival knowledge, etc., etc. etc... I have researched food. I have tested and updated my gear. I have tried to keep the weight down. And now I realize I have no idea of the actual logistics involved in proper backpacking...
My romanticized vision of an enjoyable experience involves arriving at a trailhead well researched with a fully loaded pack and map and heading out to camp for 2 or 3 nights...without having to camp at specific sites, but instead right off the trail itself, without a ton of red tape, pitching my tent where I so desire...does it work like this? Or will I have to camp in pre-ordained backcountry camp sites? What type of permits are involved and where do I get them? Obviously it will differ from place to place but I am looking for the general gist of the process and if you have an example I'd love to hear it.
I live in SoCal and would ideally like to visit the John Muir Wilderness (have had my eye on Big Pines) or Yosemite for a first-time backpacking trip. If anyone has first-trip ideas or experiences that might better suit someone in my position I'd be game.
So basically I am looking to get the general gist of how to plan a multi-day back-country camping experience.