Backcountry versus wilderness
While the term "backcountry" is roughly comparable to the term "wilderness", they are not necessarily equivalent. "Wilderness" implies more the condition, whereas "backcountry" implies more the position.
There is some debate about the accessibility of people by means other than human power. While wilderness is a state of mind that implies pristine and untouched landscapes, backcountry serves as areas of land explored exclusively by human power. Wilderness exists in many places, including the backcountry.
In New Zealand, "backcountry" often refers to land that is not accessible by public access. For example it is common for a farmer to have some remote parts of his land left in scrubland or forest. This is often adjacent to other areas of backcountry which are yet to be developed or protected from development. Trampers and other explorers sometimes need to get farmers' permission to access parts of the national parks of New Zealand or other natural phenomena, if they intend to pass over backcountry. Hunters can ask for permission from farmers to hunt in their backcountry.
The backcountry contains many hazards including rough terrain, life-threatening weather, avalanches, and wild animals. Tragic accidents and dramatic backcountry rescues of stranded hikers, climbers, or skiers are a staple of news reporting.
Some jurisdictions have discussed placing limits on human access to the backcountry during times of particular danger.
- Potability of backcountry water
- Backcountry skiing
- Backcountry snowboarding
- Backcountry hut
- "More people dying in avalanches as more take to B.C.'s backcountry". Canada.com. December 30, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Stranded Backcountry Skier Is Rescued After Eight Days". The New York Times. April 26, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
- "Latest avalanche has Colorado looking at backcountry limits". The Bulletin. February 22, 1993. Retrieved July 6, 2011.