3Tips For Acquiring Backcountry Hiking and Camping Permits

3Tips For Acquiring Backcountry Hiking and Camping Permits

Hiking and camping are fun activities that anyone can participate in. Being in nature allows you the opportunity to reconnect with yourself and reset with some gorgeous scenery. Even a simple outdoor excursion can get your heart pumping and some great energy flowing. 

A really cool part about hiking is that it is something you can do any time and any place. You can take a hike in the recharging comfort of nature local to your city, or you can plan for a hiking adventure anywhere in the world. 

What you may not know is that in order to go backcountry hiking and camping, you will need to  acquire a permit for either activity. Oftentimes you get a day permit if you’re going on a hike the same day. The crucial part is to plan ahead and make sure you have the proper permit in place in order to hike or camp in those gorgeous more remote areas. 

Do Your Research

Any fees that would be associated with permits are a very important part of the ability to offer improvements, maintenance, and keep up areas for visitors. If you are planning on backcountry hiking or camping you need to plan ahead in advance because applications need to be placed prior to venturing out. 

Here are several sought after parks you may not have realized require advanced permits:

Wyoming: Grand Teton National Park

Reserving your permit online is the most convenient way to be sure you will have the backcountry permit required for this park. During the high season this park is highly sought after. In January, beginning on the first Wednesday, you are able to attempt to secure a permit directly on this park's website. 

California: Sequoia and Kings Canyon

The name alone speaks for itself. People flock from all over to take in this unbelievable scenery. This park is known for its backcountry trails, rugged mountains, and enormous trees. For this park it is also highly recommended to plan in advance to secure permits. 

Summer months are often known to be crowded, and there is no fail proof way to secure a permit the same day. The only way to guarantee you are good to go is to do it in advance. 

Utah: Zion National Park, The Narrows

Plan in advance and make sure hiking this magnificent park is a breeze. Many people flock to this area to beat the heat of the desert and take in the breathtaking scenery. You are able to apply online for permits. Because they can go fast, you will be thanking yourself for doing it early. 

Plan, Plan, Plan

We cannot stress enough the importance of planning. The terrain while hiking can be rugged and offer unexpected challenges. If you decide to camp in a remote area you will not have access to conveniences you may be accustomed to. 

This can be an exhilarating adventure, but it is important to understand the planning ahead can save you in the long run. 

Here are some tips you should follow to help you plan your next adventure:

Permits Are Paramount

Secure your permits as much in advance as possible. Think of it the same way you do a hotel reservation. If you were traveling and knew you had a favorite hotel you wanted to stay at, you would not be taking chances on it being at capacity.  A park permit should be obtained in advance so you guarantee yourself your spot. 

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice hiking on your local trails. Make sure you will be prepared for the rugged terrain you will be encountering. Practice using all your new gear and equipment. Especially if this is your first time taking on a camping adventure, you want to be well prepared for anything and understand how your gear works and performs. 

Use your backyard as a testing point. Make sure you know how to assemble each piece of your tent, how to make sure you have drinkable water, and test your resilience to the elements as well. 

Essentials

What would any trip be without the essentials? When you are headed off on a traditional vacation you know that you can go to any local store and simply purchase something you may have forgotten. When you are in the wilderness there is no such convenience. 

Let’s go over some essentials you should be remembering:

Proper Clothing

You need to be prepared for any kind of attire. Even if it is summer, the chances are highly likely that you can go from a hot day to a chilly night. If you are going during the fall months you can guarantee your nights will be cold. 

Having the proper clothing is imperative if you want to stay comfortable and protected. While hiking you want to make sure to layer so that you can have extra clothing in case you may need it. 

Food

Packing food that is lightweight, nutrient rich, easy to transport and has an extended shelf life is a great way to make sure you are getting enough fuel during your trip. These things can include:

  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Jerky
  • Fruit 
  • Protein bars

Depending on how long your trip is, make sure you don’t forget utensils, a way to filter and store clean water and something to eat your food on. 

Toiletries and Bedding

This will vary depending on how long your trip is, but be sure to bring something to wash with. Necessities are different for everyone, so make sure you are packing what you know you will need to be comfortable. 

This is also where layering extra clothing comes in handy. Even something like a beanie can help keep your head warm. Packing a fire starter kit can also help keep you warm and cozy and scare off any critters. 

Summary

There is something about being out in the backcountry underneath the stars that makes our cares seem far away. Depending on where you live, it might be the only opportunity you get to connect with nature. 

Even if it’s not in your actual backyard, you do have thousands of options for parks that you can visit nearly any time of year. When you are going to be out in the wilderness, whether it’s for a day trip or several days, it is crucial to plan ahead.

Permits are typically required for camping and hiking in national parks.  You can easily go on their individual website to determine all the steps necessary to obtain the permit you need. Reserving your spot ensures there are no hiccups for your well planned adventure!

You would never dream of leaving accommodations to chance for any other trip. Be sure you plan far enough in advance that you don’t have to worry about anything other than the amazing adventure that awaits. 

 

Sources:

A Beginner's Guide To Wilderness and Backcountry Hiking Prep | National Park Foundation

5 Backcountry Permits You Should Start Planning for Now|thedyrt.com

Health benefits of hiking: Raise your heart rate and your mood|Harvard Health