Overnight on Public Lands

The province where I live currently has over eleven thousand square kilometres of public lands that are available for a variety of recreational activities, including cross-country skiing, backpacking, and overnight camping.

Sadly, much of that land is at least three or four hours of driving away… so nothing is close enough for a quick weekend getaway, at least not without some substantial planning.

With everyone sticking closer to home due to lingering travel restrictions, it seems like a lot of the so-called official campsites are (like last year) likely to be booked up quickly by the RV crowd. We enjoy our share of backpacking, though, and it seems like it might be the summer to jump with both feet into the backcountry, random, boondocking-style of camping and see where that takes us.

I thought it would be useful for both my readers, and my future self, to write a post where I compile some resources and thoughts on the topic.


Public Land Use (an Overview for Alberta, Canada) is the official government website detailing many of the places, rules, and parameters of those who choose to stray from the well-travelled path and forge their own adventure.

Alberta Parks Random Backcountry Camping is a guide from another branch of the government with some more plain language guides, rules, and hints for where and how to camp outside of designated campsites.

Beginners Guide to Public Land Camping is an adventure blog where they have already done some resource gathering for this topic. I’m not necessarily saying go there and check their list first … but I did.

How to Camp Respectfully is another blog-like site with a great run down of how to get away from everyone else who is trying to get away from it all and find some backcountry camping solitude with respect for the land.

Permits in 2021?

I'll continue to add-to and update this post as I do more research on the topic.