I've been curious about backcountry landings, but one part of the practice still seems to based more on instinct and experience than on well-explained processes. I've read about making sure the strip is long enough, looking for power lines, avoiding campers and wildlife, checking your GA area, and other stuff, but what about mud?
Everyone seems to say that you do a pass close to the ground or a touch and go, but after that they seem to just make an educated guess based on how the ground looks and feels. Given that a misjudgement here could be disastrous and prevent you from being able to accelerate to a take off, what's the actual process and list of things to consider to make sure you're landing in a good airstrip and not a foot of deceptive-looking mud? Does a touch-and-go give you enough information or do you need to carefully consider things like recent rainfall, watershed shape, etc.?
Image from this video.