Canoe bearing The Trip Shed logo

Introductory backcountry camping tips from The Trip Shed

There’s a lot that goes into planning a backcountry camping trip. You have to map out your route, organize your supplies, and practice your camping skills to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.

But unfortunately, if you’ve only ever camped in a campground, planning your first trip can seem daunting. Where do you start?

Our friends at the Trip Shed lead guided hiking and camping trips for beginners. Brothers Aaron and Alexander Savatti share over twenty-five years of wilderness guiding experience.

That’s why we asked them for their top tips to help you plan your first experience in the backcountry:

Tip #1: Know your skills

Self-awareness is key in planning any outdoor adventure. Sure, you’ve been camping with your parents before, but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to run a set of rapids.

Take the time to identify the skills you have (and don’t have). And stick to what you’re comfortable doing.

Educate yourself as much as possible before planning anything or reach out to your friends or online resources. Trust us, there’s a lot to learn.

Of course, you can always have a guide join your trip to ensure your safety and teach you some valuable skills for your next trip.

Tip #2: Safety, safety, safety

It all comes down to managing risk.

Family paddling canoe at Driftwood PP,

Know yourself, your abilities, and do everything you can to make sure you’re safe, comfortable, and have a great time.

This means wearing your PFD, having a working water filter with purification tabs as a backup, putting on sunscreen, and being aware of your surroundings.

campers cooking on stove

This is your first time in the backcountry, so it’s best to play things by the book and cover all your bases. Ontario Parks’ blog has many resources, including a full FAQ for backcountry beginners.

Tip #3: Eat well & look up at the stars

This might seem simple at face value but remember, you’re going into the backcountry to enjoy yourself.


Take the time to time to enjoy the special little moments – that satisfying sit on a warm rock after a meal, the cold water when you go for a swim at your site, the unfathomable stars at night.

Away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, there’s so much to discover that you never knew you were missing

Nighttime campfire in the backcountry

Take it all in and don’t take yourself so seriously.

Backcountry itineraries

Backcountry itineraries are a great way to take some of the planning pressure off yourself and ensure your first backcountry camping trip is the best it can be.

Backcountry fishing at Quetico

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Trip Shed has shifted from offering their usual in-person guided hiking and camping trips. Now, they provide fully detailed, personalized trip itineraries for campers – where to go, what to bring, tips, and more.

Here’s a sample of one of their itineraries.

1% for the parks

This year, The Trip Shed is donating 1% of all their profits directly to Ontario Parks to ensure our parks will be preserved for future generations.

Ontario Parks is grateful for their generous support.

Ready to start camping?

Visit Ontario Parks’ reservation service to get started planning your backcountry camping trip, or visit The Trip Shed‘s webpage to get started and explore their services.

Ontario Parks thanks corporate partners like The Trip Shed for their support.