BC Backroad Tips

We've had the pleasure of travelling from one end of this province to the other and while we would be the first to tell you how beautiful BC is, we will also be the first to tell you how dangerous it can be if you're not prepared. Travelling the backroads of British Columbia should not be taken lightly. It could literally cost you your life.

We've had a few close calls ourselves and most of those times we were prepared, but there have been a few times when we looked at each other and said "Now what do we do?" From those experiences (and many more) we've come up with our 'Must Have Along list'. We'd like to share it with you. We hope you find it useful.

  1. your Backroad Mapbooks
  2. handheld GPS (global positioning system) - turn on your 'breadcrumbs' so that you can always find your way back home
  3. auto GPS preferably loaded with the Backroads maps
  4. compass
  5. extra batteries
  6. cell phone - you may not have cell coverage but you never know
  7. auto cellphone charger - you may go days without electricity, keep your phone charged
  8. extra auto battery - to run the lights, etc in your camper
  9. spare tire - for very rough roads we take two spare tires
  10. hydraulic jack - On one of our trips the front tire of our truck fell into an abandoned mine shaft... a hydraulic jack would have been very handy at the time. Needless to say we always have one with us now.
  11. a shovel - even 4x4's can get stuck and you may need to dig yourself out somewhere
  12. a chainsaw - we have been so happy going down a mountain road only to have our happiness cut short by a downed tree across the road
  13. a jerry can of gasoline - As much as we love the Backroads Mapbooks it would be impossible that they not have a few mistakes. One such mistake nearly cost us a whole day of travelling and if we had to turn around we would have run out of gas. It would have been a LONG walk back to the main road.
  14. snow chains for your tires... we have been in a snowstorm in August, the weather can change in a heartbeat in the mountains.
IN THE CAMPER - we have a large canopy on our truck and we keep it stocked with following, no matter if we're planning to be gone for a day or a week.
tackle box first aid kit
  1. extra food - preferably canned and/or dried - we store these in a large Rubbermaid container
  2. extra water - for you or for your vehicle if it overheats
  3. extra blankets - we have a wool Hudson's Bay point blanket that is just perfect for the outdoors
  4. extra clothes
  5. first aid kit - ibuprofen, band-aids, splint, Tylenol 3s (for extreme pain), cold medication... we saw this idea on Pinterest and loved it --->
  6. campstove & propane
  7. propane lantern
If you're TRAVELLING THE SUNSHINE COAST &/or BC ISLANDS add these things:
  1. preprinted BC Ferry Schedule - you really don't want to miss your ferry
  2. extra cash - many of the smaller islands do not have banks or even an ATM
  3. food for planned meals - grocery stores and restaurants can be scarce - they can also be very expensive. Graham Island (Haida Gwaii) has only 2 grocery stores and a 4L of milk was almost 7 dollars!

We love planning our yearly trips... for us that's half the fun. 32 years ago we planned by taking lots of books out of the library and by talking to others who had already been there. Now, with the internet, the information you can gather is almost limitless. You can find remote cabins to rent, find the depth of the lake you want to fish, determine where the Crown Land is and even check webcams for the latest snow conditions on the mountain passes.

We also have taken advantage of Pinterest and have found it to be a powerful tool for planning trips. We have a (secret) trip board that we share and whenever we come across something that looks good for our next trip we pin it to our travel board. 

If you have any questions about travelling around BC we would love to help you out as best as we can. Leave a comment on this page and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 

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