Despite (or because of) Coronavirus, Camping More Popular Than Ever

by Jack T. Wilder

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced yesterday that in the first two days of online campsite reservations re-starting, almost 13,000 new bookings were made. The reservation portal had been down for Covid-19 closings since early March. Even with some restrictions still in place, New Yorkers are obviously eager to get outside.

And not just in the Empire state, but all over the country camping has seen a boon of new interest. Getting outside has been touted as one of the safest and best things that you can do during the various phases of re-opening the country. Enjoying the fresh air and getting exercise are high on most people’s lists this summer.

John Gonano, General Manager at River and Trail Outfitters who manages the Brunswick Family Campgrounds in Brunswick, Maryland told local TV station WUSA that they have been extremely busy at their RV campgrounds since mid-May and everything there is booked for the next six weekends. .

“Camping is a great social distancing opportunity. You can be social here but you don’t need to be right on top of each other,” said Gonano. “People are looking for an opportunity where they can get outside and have some fun with the family and friends but also not feel really cramped up.”

One great way to get outside is to use the camping apps Hipcamp or Tentrr. These are like Airbnbs for campers. You can quickly find a private campground in your area or where you’re traveling and book the entire stay over the app. These sites are usually a lot more private and offer a lot more perks like fishing, hiking and biking on the property.

Read The Camping Guidelines

The New York DEC reminds campers there are COVID-19 guidelines at the DEC campgrounds that should be followed. They include:

  • Face masks must be worn when outside your campsite area at any place where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Only registered campers will be allowed in campground areas. no day visitors will be permitted.
  • In order to assist with enhanced cleaning efforts being made by campground staff, check-in time is 2 p.m. and check-out time is 10 a.m.

Reservations for New York park campsites can be made online through the DEC website. Walk-in campers are still not allowed at this point. Visitors from some states will need to impose a self 14 day quarantine.

John Gonano at Brunswick Family Campgrounds says,“I think it is important for people to keep in mind as they are making their plans, whether it is with us or with anyone, they should call in advance to make reservations.”

Outsider.com