Camping at Adventure Treks

While our trip itineraries provide a great overall picture of the outdoor adventures we do at Adventure Treks, it can be tricky for new families to visualize the many logistics that go into a traveling expedition. Additionally, most students aren’t accustomed to camping in tents for two to four weeks at a time. Not to worry, though—no experience is needed, and many students grow to love camping so much that when they get home, they pitch a tent in the backyard!

Frontcountry and backcountry campsites

Adventure Treks and outdoor enthusiasts often use the terms frontcountry and backcountry when referring to the campsites. Frontcountry generally refers to a campground that has amenities like running water, bathhouses, picnic tables, fire rings, etc., and one that we can drive right up to. Frontcountry sites can be found at state or national parks, inside national forests, and in public or private campgrounds. You typically do not have to hike or boat or bike into a campground in the frontcountry.

When Adventure Treks stay in the frontcountry, we’re close to our vehicles and trailer, with all of our gear and food at hand. We regularly restock large coolers with ice and fresh food from nearby grocery stores. Often, groups will stay at these campgrounds when they are doing activities like mountain biking, climbing, or whitewater rafting—activities accessible by road. It’s not uncommon to stay at the same frontcountry site for a few days at a time. If you have ever stayed in a national park and woken up to a gorgeous view the next morning, you have a similar picture to the types of frontcountry campgrounds Adventure Treks uses.

The term backcountry refers to remote wilderness areas—meaning you have to hike, canoe, bike, etc. to get there instead of driving right up. Being in the backcountry also means being away from amenities like running water and toilets. Many of our activities at Adventure Treks include backcountry camping, like our backpacking, canoeing, and sea kayaking trips.

Being away from amenities usually begs the question, “how do we use the bathroom?!” In the beginning of each trip, we’ll thoroughly cover how to safely and hygienically use the bathroom when toilets aren’t available. This might sound intimidating to a new student, but don’t worry—it becomes second nature very quickly!

Read more about backcountry hygiene here

Gear storage at Adventure Treks

Another frequently asked question involves our students’ items and the gear we use: “Where does it all go?!” Though students will pack most of their belongings in a soft-sided duffel, they won’t have to lug their heavy bags around every day. Our gear will be stored in a neatly packed U-Haul trailer, which will act as somewhat of a “closet” throughout the trip. Duffels and other gear will live in the trailer, and we’ll simply pull out whatever we need for that day or the next few days and use our large backpacks or daypacks for that activity.

When we’re in frontcountry campgrounds, students will often “duffel shuffle” their bags a short distance to organize their personal items and prepare for the next activity. (We do ask that students not bring wheeled luggage, as those are harder to navigate in gravel, dirt, and grass, and they’re harder for students to pass through the line.)

Questions about packing lists and tips? Click here!