Attitudes, Opinions, and Characteristics of Backcountry Campers in Yellowstone
Project Status: Completed
Attitudes, Opinions, Characteristics, and Management Preferences of Backcountry Campers
in Yellowstone National Park
by Timothy Scott Oosterhous
A survey of backcountry campers in Yellowstone National Park was conducted during the summer of 1999. Backcountry campers were asked upon obtaining their backcountry permit if they would participate in a survey regarding their backcountry experience. Willing participants provided their name and mailing address on a sign-up sheet and were mailed a 6-page questionnaire following their trip. The response rate for the questionnaire was 61% for a total of 646 useable questionnaires.
The purpose of the study was to find out who is using Yellowstone's backcountry and their attitudes and opinions of the park's backcountry management policies. The questionnaire contained questions regarding demographic information, backcountry trip characteristics and specific management issues. Results indicate that the typical backcountry camper in Yellowstone is a young, white male. Most users traveled with one other person and stayed less than three nights in Yellowstone's backcountry. Some minor differences were detected between visitors and park employees in regard to management preferences. Visitors were more supportive of party size regulations, advanced reservations, and pit toilets, but concessionaire employees were more supportive of trail markers.