Bureau of Land Management Backcountry Guidelines
BLM Backcountry Guidelines
Much BLM land is extremely remote, with unimproved roads and no
services of any kind. Cell phones are not always dependable in some of
these areas. Mishaps can be avoided or made less serious with some
preplanning. The following is a list of preparations to be made before
your departure, a basic list of supplies, and suggestions for what to
do if you become stranded.
Let someone at home know your travel plans and a time you will return.
If you do get lost or break down, the people at home will know whereto
start looking. Also, let these people know if your plans change.
- Check local travel conditions before you depart and again at time of travel.
- Learn about the area, get accurate maps, and plan your agenda conservatively if you are traveling to an unfamiliar area.
gear appropriate to your activity, the expected range of conditions,
and the planned length of your stay. Many people have been fooled by
- Proper clothing for your activity (sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, or warmer clothing for changes in weather).
- Good walking shoes (or boots) and walking stick.
- Food (High energy - non-melting snacks).
- Water; at least one gallon per person per day. Purification tablets and high tech water filters are recommended also.
how to read maps, use a compass, and gain a knowledge of the area prior
to trip (note landmarks as you travel). Carry a GPS unit with you, and
know how to use it.
- Small first aid kit.
- Waterproof matches (in a case or film canister).
- Camping and emergency tools (depending on transportation):
-- Road flares;
-- Rope or cord/ duct or electrician's tape; and
-- Small tarp or ground cover.
- Day pack, cargo carrier or saddle bag to carry the preceding gear
- Vehicle tools, high-lift jack, extra fuel, and spare parts (spark plugs, fan belts, hose clamps), depending on your vehicle.
sure your vehicle is in good working condition. Take vehicle tools,
inflated spare tire, high-lift jack, extra fuel, and spare parts (spark
plugs, fan belts, hose clamps), depending on your vehicle.
If Lost, Stranded or Broken Down
- Stay with your vehicle or otherwise make yourself visible.
- Stay put, unless you have a clear and specific destination.
- Avoid walking during the heat of the day; morning and evening walking is better for conserving your body's moisture.
- Seek shelter from the elements, but try to make yourself visible (like with smoke or a signal fire, or a bright colored tarp).
Alcohol and Drug Use
operation of any vehicle or firearm, maintaining a campfire, and other
recreational activities requires skill and good judgment. Alcohol and
drugs impair both. You become a danger to yourself and others when you
take drugs or drink alcohol.
regarding DWI, open containers and giving or buying alcohol for someone
under the age of 21 apply everywhere in the state, even if you are on a
back country trail. The penalties are the same, including jail time and
the loss of your driver’s license.
Possession or use of illegal drugs on public lands is against the law.
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