Solo back country in the Canadian Rockies

By Curtis D · Sep 13, 2016

Calgary, Alberta
East Wind Pond and summit of Mt Allan
Main mode of transport
Cost per person
I stayed in my bivvy sac (tiny tent) which was on the ground under the stars. No reservations required.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

Best Bits

The setting in nature is unparalleled. Pictures don’t do justice. That being said what was the best was being totally disconnected from the outside world for a few days and a chance to reconnect with myself. Sleeping under the stars, having no where to go and all day to get there — it doesn’t get much better.

Worst Bits

The hike in was challenging. This is not a destination if you are not comfortable in the wilderness. Past floods have destroyed parts of the trail so there are many points where you are bush-wacking and have to find your own way. Weather in the mountains changes fast. I didn’t get snow but was rained on and had frost every morning.

Trip Dates and Comments on Timing

August — Excellent. No mosquitoes. Although it is a little cooler and not as many wildflowers left.

Arrival Logistics

I drove my vehicle from home to the trail head - a 45 minute drive. I locked my car doors and hiked off with everything I needed for 3 days in my back pack.

General Route

A long strenuous hike in to the camp location. Set up camp, camp kitchen and food hang (so animals don’t get into my grub). On the following couple days, do day hikes around the area and spend lots of time scouting the area with binoculars, taking afternoon naps and drinking water out of a small waterfall.

Main Activities

Adventure, backpacking, camping, hiking, National Parks, nature, relaxing.

Food and Drink Highlights

Almost everything tastes better in the back country. This is a totally “self catered” trip. Instead of the usual dehydrated backpackers food, I took real food right from my fridge/freezer at home. The highlights were fried eggs and breakfast sausage, served on fried garlic toast. I did not take any wine on this trip, but there are some OK wines that come in a tetra pack (same as a juice box). These wines which rank at a 5/10 at home are easily a 9/10 in the back country.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

Essential Packing for this Trip

Back packing gear is essential. Don’t forget your bear spray. You will likely never use it but if needed, it is cheap insurance for both you and the bears’ well being.

Warm clothes and rain gear is also essential.

No need for cell phones out here :)

Curtis’ Experience…

The intent of this trip was to get away from the rat race for a few days. I had 3 nights to spend by myself with no cell phone, no internet, no mirror, no clock, nobody else.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

I packed everything I would need in my backpack and hiked to a remote are called Wind Pond. This is South - West of Canmore Alberta. The hike is ~10km in and rises ~900m in elevation. It is an absolutely gorgeous setting to go sit in nature and reconnect with yourself.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

Everything is on your own schedule. Wake up when you do, eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired… Different than the structure we’ve created in everyday life.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

After a few days of going with the flow it was time to head home. I chose a different route which took me over the summit of Mount Allan and down across Centennial Ridge (birthing grounds of the Bighorn Sheep). It was a 17 km hike back to the car which was beautiful beyond description.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

A short list of animals I encountered (in order): Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Big Horn Sheep, Ptarmagin, Marmot, Golden Eagle.

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

Curtis going solo in the backcountry, Canadian Rockies

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Male, 25 - 36

I’m from
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Self Employed

My favourite trip as of late
Hiking west of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Backcountry in Kananaskis.

Travelling Style
Book the important stuff, but leave some flexibility in the schedule.

I like to go on the following types of trips
Adventure, Food, Beaches, Hiking, Culture, Wine, Scuba Diving, Camping.

It’s a dealbreaker when
Accommodation is dirty and/or the food quality is poor.

Continent I know the best
North America

First Last Name

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I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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