Airports were created for a reason: They provide a smooth and predictable surface for aircraft to land without unduly taxing wheels, tires, landing gear, and/or propellers. But airports sometimes don't exist where we like to go, which is the beauty of it. This makes landing at sites that present the most suitable surface conditions necessary. The idea of landing and taking off from a completely unimproved surface presents many challenges, ranging from whether your tires will actually roll on the surface without flipping the aircraft, to whether the site is large enough to allow a safe landing AND takeoff. That last part is really critical.
Mike Vivion, long time BCP contributor and even longer time Master CFI with 30 years of working pilot's experience in Alaska, put together an in-depth Guide to Landing Off-Airport, which walks the would-be bush pilot through honing their skills for methodically evaluating sites.
Additionally, the Alaska Region FAAST team has put together a guide to off-airport ops too.
This is a living article in the Knowledge Base. If you have feedback on the accuracy or legitimacy of this entry, or would like to add more information, join the discussion below or email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer your input. Suggestions and changes will be incorporated readily.
Here we attribute