what is the backcountry

What is the Backcountry? Experience Complete Solitude

The backcountry is a great place to escape from the busy city and suburbia. The best part of being in the backcountry — is experiencing complete solitude from people. But since you’re in the backcountry — it does have it’s drawbacks. So, what is the Backcountry and how is it different from the Frontcountry? Let’s answer that question…

The Backcountry – Great Solitude

what is the backcountryThe backcountry is a place far away from roads, modern conveniences, and people. It’s a place deep in the wilderness, mountains, desert, etc, etc. Moreover, the backcountry takes time to reach and depending on the terrain — it can be an easy or difficult access.

Most likely, it will take some effort to reach the backcountry and to finally experience complete solitude. You’re alone and you may feel like you have it all to yourself. Chances of you encountering another person, is low. But being in the backcountry has some caveats…

Those caveats are no modern conveniences — no restrooms, no food (umm, unless you know how to hunt or fish, not me). To get water, you have to head over to a stream, river, pond, or lake — and use a water filter, to get rid of the dirt and bacteria. I recommend the Sawyer Squeeze, to get the job done. It’s easy to use — fill up the plastic pouch and screw on the filter. Then squeeze the pouch and let the water drain into your water bottle.

You won’t find any roads, just miles of hiking trails. You can camp just about anywhere, depending on where you’re going. Always read the rules of dispersed camping. Usually, it means 100–200 feet away from water sources, trails, roads, etc.

Be Prepared

Help is far way if you need medical attention or get lost. So do yourself a favor and bring a map, compass, GPS (optional), and before you head into the backcountry — study the map and trails. Stay alert, stay cautious, and have fun. In case you get lost — bring your cell phone, you might not get a signal, but your cell phone will send out a ping. But, search and rescue can’t pinpoint your precise location.

That’s why I recommend, you bring a satellite messenger or a personal locator beacon (PLB) transponder. It’s your last lifeline, if you get lost or injured.

What’s the Frontcountry?

Now we know the backcountry, but what is the frontcountry? The frontcountry is exactly the opposite of the backcountry. It’s easily accessible by car. You’re still in the country, although, and will see much more people.


If you’re car camping in designated camping areas, not far from the road, it’s the frontcountry. The same is true for RV camping. Basically, the frontcountry encompasses campsites near the road, frequent encounters with people, easy accessible trails, and so forth.

Another way of comparing the two is this… If you can walk to the road, that is right near you, you’re in the frontcountry. If you have to walk miles upon miles, into the wilderness, you’re in the backcountry.



The backcountry is a beautiful place, but can be unforgiving, if you’re not prepared. It’s a great place away from the city life and the best part of being in the backcountry — is experiencing solitude.

But, before heading deep into the wilderness, be prepared — study the place you’re visiting, look at the trail map, and have fun. It’s a great place and you get to experience the wonderful views and the great outdoors. Until next time, start your own backpacking adventure, and embrace the outdoors!


Now you know what the Backcountry is about — What about Backpacking?

What Do You Think About the Backcountry?
If you have any questions or comments about this article, please leave them in the comments below. I will be more than happy to respond.



I enjoy backpacking in the backcountry and experiencing the outdoors — even more so in complete solitude. I write reviews for backpacking gear and blog about my hiking adventures, as often as I can. If you want me to write a review for any particular backpacking gear, let me know in the comments below. Start your own backpacking adventure and embrace the outdoors!


  • NemiraB

    Hello there. I am a fan of Nature, maybe I can tell that I am in love with Nature. After reading your article, I doubted. Why? You introduced two types of wilderness. For me, it is closer to my taste and experience of the front country.

    What is interesting, that just now, I know how to call it. The front country. I can spend hours wandering in the forest, exploring meadows or hills. However, after the journey, I would prefer a shower and a good book in a comfortable bed.

    Previously I thought, how can I go along with these wishes? To explore the wilderness and at the same time, to be in touch with civilization after the day. Now I found the answer in your article. Thank you. It means that there’s nothing wrong with me, just a different understanding.

    Happy writing, Nemira.

    • Hi Nemira,

      Thank you for your thoughts on the frontcountry and the backcountry. If you prefer to stay in a modern campsite or even a motel, there’s nothing wrong with that. You can always take short day hikes and return to civilization at the end of the day. I’m glad you’ve found your answer.


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