Backcountry Camping Safety Tips

  • While camping on the gravel bar does the least amount of impact on the environment, make sure you select an easily accessible back door to higher ground. Click here to check out more tips on Leaving No Trace in the Backcountry >

  • Weather Awareness is a vital part of being prepared while camping in the wilderness. Getting caught in a flood or freezing temperatures is an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal mistake. Place a stick on the water’s edge and pay attention to the water level. If it begins to rise rapidly, get to higher ground well above the floodplain.

  • When setting up camp always look up for a dead tree branch. Don’t set your tent up where a potential snag could come down in the middle of the night.

  • Make sure all your fires are out when you leave. Pack out what you bring in.

  • Do not camp on private property. Respect the rights of landowners when paddling. Do not engage landowners, especially if they are in possession of a firearm. Click here to learn more about Arkansas State Waterway Laws.

  • Do not underestimate the river. Most rivers vary in class depending on different sections and current water levels. Know where you are floating and don't overestimate your own ability.

  • The Upper Kings River has 3 low water bridges you should be aware of when floating the upper section.

  • Secure your good when not eating. Depending on where you are camping, you may even need to string up your food at night or use designated food containers if they are available. Check with your local outfitter to see what the protocol is or wildlife in the area.

  • Always tie your canoe up at night. You don’t want to wake up and find your means of transportation is gone in the morning.