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Title: Backcountry  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ski skins, Mountain Empire, San Diego, East County, San Diego, Skiing, Golden Hinde (mountain)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A backcountry area in general terms is a geographical region that is remote, undeveloped, isolated or difficult to access.

A backcountry region can be close to urban areas if it is not immediately accessible by vehicle, at relatively high altitude, not generally frequented by human visitors.


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 is 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 phenomenon if they intend to pass over backcountry. Hunters can ask for permission from farmers to hunt in their backcountry.

Similar terms

A better-known Australian English term is "outback", or in some other countries "the bush". Backcountry is also similar to "hinterland".


The backcountry contains many hazards including rough terrain, life-threatening weather, avalanches and wild animals.[1] Tragic accidents and dramatic backcountry rescues of stranded hikers, climbers or skiers are a staple of news reporting.[2] Some jurisdictions have discussed placing limits on human access to the backcountry during times of particular danger.[3]

See also


  1. ^ "More people dying in avalanches as more take to B.C.'s backcountry". December 30, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Stranded Backcountry Skier Is Rescued After Eight Days". The New York Times. April 26, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Latest avalanche has Colorado looking at backcountry limits". The Bulletin. February 22, 1993. Retrieved July 6, 2011. 
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