Backcountry Camping - DM's appreciated

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backcountrybronco's picture

Backcountry Camping - DM's appreciated

Hey all,

I've scoured the forum for about two weeks before joining and this post is hopefully directed to the Vets, Mods/Locals.
A few of us are going backcountry camping this weekend, we usually head out in Squamish Valley/Whistler/Penticton area mainly using FSRs and there are some seriously nice gem locations in the mountains there, sandy beaches glacier fed lakes and all that jazz.

One of the guys just moved to Victoria, (I've lived here for 10 years now) and they're asking me where to go on VI. These guys are all experienced in the bush, work in forestry - but I wouldn't say the vehicles are fully kitted out. Not stock, but well equipped and off road upgrades, maps, satellite/gps etc.

I've viewed routes/maps on the forum, used the search feature and read countless previous posts. As someone who's familiar with locals only and keeping the secret spots, secret, I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this...

I've been reading a lot about gates on the South Island and have read about the different logging companies and the history of land resulting in gates and private land etc.
Also read anything north of Campbell river is usually better for FSR"s and open gates/back country adventures. (thanks for all the useful info this community has provided)

Now, if your still with me, I could use a bit of assistance.. we're looking to likely have a 4 hour drive max from Victoria, and then maybe a hour or so into backcountry to a lake/river area with a view and some fishing etc. 2 full size trucks.

A few ideas for the weekend have been
JR - Bear Creek Res/Diversion not sure if the gates still locked or can get around it. my brother suggested it as he's camped back there and said there's some decent fishing.
Been up past tansky, not sure if thats north main but again fairly limited back there.

Also considered, Carmanah/Walbran area or heading out to Bamfield/Sarita area and exploring out that way.
Also considering heading up Strathcona area, Gold river area. Mt Arrowsmith or similar. or generally passing Campbell river and heading in. Thoughts?

I'll connect with the guys on Thursday night and we'll do some last minute planning, take a peak at possible DM's or choosing an area to explore and look at their map books and everything - but thought I'd post on here for any insider tips on camping near a lake/river in the mountains. As much as I've been trying to compile and do my own research, only gets you so far without getting out there for yourself and exploring the area.

If you have any tips please DM. I haven't seen many responses to these types of inquiries on the forum through my scouting, but thought I'd give it a shot.


gauntletrunner's picture


I've done a bit of camping around the south island, been meaning to get back out and try to find some more spots. I usually head out to the cowichan lake area, and I know a few good sites but they're often quite busy, hence the scouting trip. Let me know if you want to tag along.

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