Going Back Outside to Camp and Hike During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Consider These Things

by Hunter Miller

With coronavirus restrictions on the decline, parks and campgrounds across the country are beginning to reopen. Many Americans are likely looking to make travel plans, but there are several things worth considering before camping and hiking this summer.

Park Closures and Re-Openings

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a number of parks and campgrounds shut down access to all visitors. Currently, many of those parks are in the first phases of reopening. Before leaving home, be sure to check the status of your destination.

Consider Staying Close to Home

During the pandemic, people were discouraged or restricted from non-essential travel. For example, in the state of Oregon, officials are asking travelers to stick to places within 50 miles of their homes, according to Oregon Live. Consider taking a day-trip to an outdoor location in close range to your house.

Social Distancing and Face Masks

Currently, health officials recommend leaving six feet of distance from others. At most parks or campgrounds, social distancing is not an issue. However, on narrow trails it may be impossible to leave six feet of distance.

Even while outside, travelers should considering wearing a mask in some areas. Despite the risk of transmission being extremely low while outside, it is still possible. So remember to bring your mask with you on your trip.

Pack Your Own Supplies

Many campgrounds and parks are moving forward with a limited access reopening. Facilities like bathrooms or supply stores may be closed. Remember to pack your own water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and other essential items.

Avoid Peak Hours

If possible, avoid going to your destination at high-traffic times. As a rule of thumb, weekends are typically busier than weekdays. Also, the evenings are usually less crowded than mornings and afternoons.

New Places and New Activities

Instead of hitting the same trails at usual, consider doing something different. Try not to go to the popular destination for camping and hiking. Also, think about taking on a new outdoor activity. Getting out on the water is a great way to keep distance but also enjoy nature.

[H/T Oregon Live]

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