Physical exercises and outdoor recreation activities are essential for the mind and general health. It is recommended to exercise more to stay healthy during these hard times. However, without adequate care, these activities are more likely to increase your chances of contracting COVID-19. Camping is one of the safest outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Its risks can be minimal or negligible if you strictly follow various precautions. Knowing what to do is crucial because it will keep you safe while camping.
Consider the following practical safety tips that will keep you safe while camping.
1. Plan and Prepare
Before you go camping, get a test for Coronavirus. If you feel sick with symptoms or were exposed to the virus in the past 14 days, stay at home. Do not risk other people’s health. If you plan to camp with friends, you will need to know what they are up to in the 14 days before camping. Ask for their travel and medical history. It will be risky to camp with other people who have not been planning seriously by adhering to COVID-19 precautions.
In these uncertain times, find out if the camping site is open or not for any activity. Different campsites open at different times while still adjusting to the measures put in place. Carry all the essentials that you will need while at the camp. Do not borrow or share any of the items you use with others because this can increase your chances of infection.
2. Schedule your Camping during Weekdays
Most campers go out during the weekend when they are less busy or have an off from their normal work schedules. You will most likely find the campground full during the weekend, especially in summer. This means that there are many people that you would come into contact with, and it will not be easy to keep the social distance as the CDC and WHO recommend.
To reduce your risk of exposure to the virus, you should consider camping during the week. The crowds are minimal in the middle of the week as most people are busy at their respective places of work. Fewer people also mean that you have access to various shared amenities, which would otherwise be difficult to get.
3. Plan Early Enough
Make reservations and bookings early. Before you head out, visit the location’s website or make a call to enquire about your safety. Proper preparation will help you to obtain useful information online, and minimize contact with people outside your home.
Carry all the items you will need to use while at the camping site. You would need a vehicle with a roof rack to pack all the essential camping items. Come along with your tent because many sites are not currently operating and well-staffed. Please bring hand sanitizers and wipes. Camping in remote and undeveloped areas is preferable. The entry is free, and you will not be required to acquire permits.
4. Camping Close to Home
Visit campsites that are near your home. Do not travel away from your local community. Home proximity will help you not to interact with people from far where the risk of infection increases. Whenever possible, get access to open areas that are legally allowed.
Visit camps that are more likely to attract fewer people. People from many different locations also might be asymptomatic and increase your chances of infection.
5. Avoid Crowds
Some of the campsites, whether they have big or small campgrounds, are always busy. In this case, it is essential to try as much as you can to protect yourself. It is going to be too risky for you when you arrive at a campsite already crowded.
Whereas camping is fun when large families and groups meet together, but this is a risk amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Preferably, stay with people who belong to your household. Know who you invite. Avoid interactions with anyone outside your family because they might be an asymptomatic carrier.
Keep it a manageable size. Whenever it is mandatory to share a camp tent with people from other families, always maintain a social distance. Erect your tent at least 50 feet away from the other. Distance yourself while using public amenities such as toilets, bathrooms, and trails where you are likely to meet people from outside your home.
6. Engage in Low-Risk Activities
You can end up in the hospital by trying to engage in something extreme that can increase your chances of infection while camping. When engaging in any activity, put on personal protective equipment, and sanitize all the items. Wear your face mask while engaging in any activities. Personal protective equipment prevents the amount of the secretion and respiratory drops that you exhale into the air.
Some of the activities may be dangerous and risky because they require you to be near other people. Avoid contact sports because you will be required to share the equipment and the court, which is hard to avoid contact. The reality is that it is too difficult to know when you will be in close contact with an infected person.
Personal injury is also something you should avoid. If you need hospitalization, it will be a lot riskier now that hospitals are overwhelmed with the coronavirus patients.
7. Know Proper Trailhead and Apply Etiquette
Understand when and where to go. Trailheads are more likely to be less crowded in the morning and evening. Do not go out to the trailheads at popular times of the day with everyone. Find another trail if the parking is full and has a lot of people.
Awareness and consideration are essential. Make some noise as you approach the trailhead. Step back when someone is getting close to you. Keep your group as a single file even if the trail is big.
Outdoor activities are riskier during this pandemic. Personal protection will be mandatory to keep yourself and your family safe. When camping, consider spending more time with people from your family. Observe social distancing directives, wear personal protective equipment, and have all the information about the kind of camping activities that you are most likely to engage.