Getting into the Backcountry

Let’s face it, some approaches are simply tedious. Whether a long and winding slog along an old roadbed, or a vista-impaired bushwack through thick dogpine forests, some backcountry access routes beg to be shortened. At times like this, a canoe or bicycle can be a backpacker’s best friend.

Canoe shuttle. (Photo: Megan Kopp)

I’m just back from a backcountry hut trip where the approach was a 13.7-mile walk – almost a third of which was a flat trek across the river from the highway. When the group leaders suggested a short canoe shuttle to lop off five miles, I wasn’t the only one jumping for joy.

It’s not that I’m against going the distance, it’s just when you have the opportunity to save your energy for exploring the spectacular as opposed to slogging along the mundane, well… why not?

Tips for Stashing Gear:

  • Bring a lock if you’re worried about someone else taking your bike/boat for their return trip.
  • A dry bag comes in handy for storing PFD’s, throw bags, bicycle helmets, etc.
  • Clip loose items onto boat or cycle in case winds blow.
  • Don’t bring your newest, most precious gear – if possible. There’s always a chance that some rodent may decide that your paddle is a mighty fine chew!

What’s your favorite shortcut for quick access into the backcountry?

© 2011

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