Random Camping in Alberta
With cancelled international vacation plans, many of us are looking at a very empty summer calendar. If you want to try backcountry camping but don't have a reservation, this might be the year to try some random camping. In Alberta random camping is permitted in both Public land Use Zones (PLUZ) and Wildland Provincial Parks (WPP) subject to certain restrictions and guidelines. Many of these areas are very easy to access and are on common maps, such as the Gemtrek series.
In general, a random camp site must be at least 1 km from a road, designated campsite, public recreation area, provincial recreation area, or provincial park. Selected campsites must be located at least 100m from any lakes, streams, or rivers and must be temporary and portable. Campers must adhere to all posted bans and closures, leave vegetation and live trees undisturbed and remove all garbage. Remember that there will be no facilities provided, so you will need to ensure you bring everything you need to be safe and comfortable, and please follow Leave No Trace Principles so that we can enjoy these public lands for years to come.
If you are looking for some ideas, here are some popular areas near Calgary:
- Kananaskis Country PLUZ, Ghost PLUZ
- Porcupine Hills PLUZ
- McLean Creek PLUZ
- Bluerock WPP
- Don Getty WPP
- Elbow-Sheep WPP
- Bow Valley WPP