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About Backcountry Vacations

Strictly speaking, backcountry vacations entail non-motorized treks into remote, wilderness areas. Ideally, these involve backpacking or the use of pack animals with a hiking itinerary that involves at least one overnight camp. But newcomers to backcountry travel may want to ease into the experience starting with day hikes.

About Backcountry VacationsThe Originals

Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.
Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.
John Muir (1838-1914) and Bob Marshall (1901-39), principle founders of the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, respectively, are the patriarchs of contemporary backcountry travel devotees. Muir wrote of venturing into Yosemite National Park backcountry, and Marshall could hike 50 to 60 miles a day across alpine terrain.

National Parks

About Backcountry VacationsLost Valley State Park in Arkansas is seen in early spring.
Lost Valley State Park in Arkansas is seen in early spring.
The National Park Service administers some of the best backcountry in the United States. Knowledgeable and helpful rangers and loads of resource material about trails and destinations facilitate planning.

Teamwork

A cascade runs by a trail in Yosemite National Park, California.
A cascade runs by a trail in Yosemite National Park, California.
There is safety in numbers in the wilderness, even for the very experienced. Paul Petzoldt underscores in “The Wilderness Handbook” the importance of teamwork and rendering aid to others on outings.

About Backcountry VacationsOrganized Trips

The Sierra Club, an environmental and outdoor organization, offers an extensive roster of group outings and trips to backcountry locations. Club outings feature experienced, competent leadership.

Backcountry Ethos

The most succinct expression of the backcountry vacation ethos is “take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Diana Koll details the “rules” of this ethos for backcountry vacations on the Green Home Environmental Store website.

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Catherine Han founded Murals Plus in 2017 and is currently the managing editor of the media website. She is also a content writer, editor, blogger and a photographer.

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