Remote travel has seen a recent surge in popularity across the United States. This is thought to be due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and how so many restrictions put people in the position to find things to do away from large crowds. Remote, backcountry travel offers exactly this experience.
Maybe you enjoy the solitude of nature or the magnificent feeling of walking alone through the backcountry amid all of the wilderness. If this is the case, then remote traveling might be right up your alley.
The fact is, remote traveling is a relatively unheard-of pastime. Most choose to vacation in popular resorts, beaches, and interesting cities. But, nature’s backyard can be just as interesting and even more invigorating than that spa treatment that you can get in Vegas.
If you’re interested in remote, backcountry travel, there’s a few things you need to know before you get started.
What Type of Vehicle Do I Need?
Sorry for all of you electric car aficionados out there, but an electric car simply won’t get you deep into the great outdoors. Sure, you might be able to make it down a couple of moderate dirt roads, but when things get bumpy, you’ll be wishing you opted for that spa treatment in Vegas.
Backcountry travel requires getting into the backcountry, and often these are located in places where you have to have both 4-wheel-drive capability and high ground clearance.
Not only does this sort of activity require this type of vehicle, but you’ll also need to be prepared to leave your vehicle to get deep into the wilderness.
Vehicles such as Jeeps, or those equipped for rugged terrains such as a 4-wheel-drive truck or a comparable SUV are the types of vehicles you’ll want when venturing out into the backcountry. Above all, ensure that you have adequate off-road tires no matter what type of vehicle you choose.
If you’re heading out into the wilderness, let’s assume that you know what you’re doing. As such, you already know to pack plenty of food, water, and survival equipment to keep you comfortable, safe, and healthy for your time in the remote backcountry.
What you also need to do is ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition. In order to ensure optimal vehicle performance, adhering to the following checklist will get you into the backcountry safely:
● Battery Check (this is the last thing you want to die on you while in the wilderness)
● Tire inflation and tread
● Top off all fluids (brake, radiator, transmission, motor oil, power steering, etc.)
● Headlights, taillights, turn signals, and hazards
● Windshield wipers
In addition to the checklist, having a CB radio, satellite phone, or remote transmitter of some sort is a great safety asset to bring along in case you get stranded in remote areas where cell coverage is poor or nonexistent.
Now that your vehicle is in tip-top shape, what else do you need to do before you head out to tackle the wilds of North America?
The first thing you’ll want to verify is that you have adequate insurance for your trip. Many insurance companies don’t offer roadside assistance packages, or if they do, they’re only basic packages and the coverage doesn’t help anyone in remote locations.
Contact your insurance company prior to setting out for your destination to see what your coverage is. If it’s not up to par with what you need, obtain a new auto insurance quote and purchase a better policy.
In addition to insurance, you’ll also want to leave a detailed trip itinerary with a friend or relative before you depart. This way, if anything happens to you, someone will know exactly where you’re going and through what remote regions you’ll be traveling.
While leaving a plan with friends or family is ideal, it’s also a good practice to leave a map of your travel or a note stating where you’re heading and how long you’ll be gone in the window of your vehicle. This is simply a last resort safety effort, just in case you get lost, injured, or stranded.