Maine Wilderness Camping: Preparing Accordingly and Where to Go

Baxter State Park

Maine wilderness camping offers a wide variety of experiences and options. Be sure to be prepared for the possible weather conditions of the season in which you are camping. The state's unique environment has challenges that are different from anywhere else.

Be Prepared for the Conditions

Preparedness is the key to camping in the wilderness of Maine, where supplies and services may be limited. Think ahead, try to consider the possibilities, and pack for them. Research the area; if you are inexperienced with this type of camping either take along someone with more experience, or save this challenge for when you have more experience yourself.

  • Thousands of acres of the North Maine Woods are partially accessible by the dirt roads used by the logging industry. These roads are not always passable. Often whether they are open or closed depends on the weather.
  • Baxter State Park is partially surrounded by undeveloped areas.
  • The peak camping season in the Maine wilderness is from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Keep these dates in mind and plan accordingly.
  • Consider hiring a guide if you want to go deep into the wilderness.
  • During peak times check with Maine State Park camping reservations before leaving for a trip to be sure you'll be able to get a permit.

Places to Go Maine Wilderness Camping

There are numerous wilderness areas, as well as Campgrounds and RV Parks in Maine. Some of the wilderness areas have organized campgrounds for those campers who may be inexperienced, or that wish to experience the wilderness without the isolation of the backwoods.

Other Activities

There are many things to do in Maine when wilderness camping. Check with the Maine Office of Tourism to find out what activities are available in the area you plan to set up camp.

Some Items to Take

Some people enjoy Maine wilderness camping all year. Each season brings its own challenges, scenery, and activities to the experience. In addition to what you might normally think of taking on your camping adventure consider the following items:

  • A sleeping bag filled with Holofill, or some other type of sleeping bag which is designed to dry quickly in wet weather.
  • Waterproof containers to keep matches and other necessities in.
  • Be sure to have fine netting to keep small biting insects out of your tent.
  • A rain fly, or tarp is an important accessory for your tent when going camping in Maine.
  • Bring a stove for cooking. While cooking over a campfire can create the best meals ever, doing so can often be an impossible dream in Maine. Be prepared to cook your dinner when your campsite is under water from heavy rain.
  • Make sure you have maps of the area. Maine has a billboard law which means that signs may be few and far between and you may have to hunt to find your way. Be prepared with good, recent maps and a willingness to ask directions.
  • If you plan on hunting or fishing be sure to stop and get a license from one of the statewide Maine Information Centers.
  • Northwoods Outfitters has kayaks, snow mobiles, and nearly anything else you may not be able to bring in.

Common Courtesies

Most people head for the Maine wilderness to experience the quiet and solitude of this amazing place. It is important to respect others when camping.

  • Camp away, and out of sight, from other campers.
  • Keep at least a 200 foot distance from streams and trails.
  • Use neutral colored tents and equipment to blend with the environment.
  • Do not cut branches or boughs, or trees.
  • Wash at least 200 feet from streams and rivers, and use a good biodegradable soap.
  • Dig a latrine eight inches deep and fill with loose soil after use to help the waste decompose quickly.
  • Always locate the toilet area at least 200 feet from the nearest water supply.
  • When hiking always take out everything you take in, and nothing you don't.

Preserve the Wilderness for Others

Maine wilderness camping gives campers an opportunity to experience nature that has been untouched by man. It is important to preserve that feature for the others that may camp after you. Always strive to leave the wildernees area as you found it.

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Maine Wilderness Camping: Preparing Accordingly and Where to Go