As campgrounds and parks start to reopen their doors, people are running to mother nature for an escape. In California alone, camping reservations have nearly doubled compared to the numbers last year. Further, RV campgrounds and other parks around the country have reported spikes in visitor numbers.
However, it is important that people are staying safe – as we are still in the midst of a global pandemic. According to KOA’s (Kampgrounds of America) latest report, 50% of people believe that camping is perfectly safe as restrictions are lifted and 41% expect to be able to keep all of their traveling plans through the end of 2020.
There’s little question why there is such a sudden and intense spike in camping. After months of being quarantined and socially distanced from others, many people are craving some time to spend with family, friends, or even just by themselves away from the distractions of the world.
KOA’s report also found that 37% of people believe they will be able to maintain safe social distancing while camping. Additionally, 28% felt that camping was a safer form of travel or vacation than options like staying in a hotel or flying.
Whether you are planning your first camping trip ever or just your first trip post-quarantine, safety needs to be your primary concern. The risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 is still quite high – and you should do all that you can to keep yourself, your family, and other campers safe.
Here are four simple tips to make your next camping trip as safe as possible during a global pandemic.
Avoid Busy Places
Even though many camping sites across the country may be open, it is best that you steer clear of popular camping sites where large crowds may gather. This obviously increases the chances of coming into closer contact with others and potentially spreading germs.
Instead, check out some smaller campsites around areas that are less popular – but still equally as beautiful. Although you may be itching to visit popular national parks like Yosemite or Yellowstone, it is better to wait until more restrictions have been lifted to stay in places where there will be lots of other people.
Also, it is highly recommended that you make a reservation far ahead of time to secure your spot at the campground. You may also want to ask what days have the least amount of reservations so you can be sure you will have plenty of space to spread out during your trip.
Pack Easily Cleanable Items
It is notoriously difficult to keep things clean while on a camping trip. After all, half of the fun is getting some dirt on your hands and really “roughing it” out in nature, right? Well, not so much during a pandemic. The CDC has stated that the coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours or even days and need to be disinfected regularly to help slow the spread.
Cleaning all of your gear before, during, and after your trip is super important. It is best that you pack items that can be easily cleaned even when you are out in nature. You will want to pack items with surfaces that are easy to clean. For instance, an inflatable sleeping pad is going to be easier to deep clean than a sleeping pad made of foam. Visit here to check the most reliable and easy to clean inflatable sleeping pad for your camping trip.
You may also want to bring hard surface items which can be quickly washed off, such as plastic folding chairs instead of fabric ones. Also, be sure to pack biodegradable soap and cleaning solutions so you can clean during your trip without harming the environment around you.
Avoid Public Areas
You should be trying to avoid public spaces as much as possible – even while you are camping out in the wild. Although many businesses are taking precautions to clean things as much as possible, areas like campsite bathrooms, common areas, or picnic tables may not be cleaned as thoroughly.
If you choose to visit a campsite with common areas, try to stay away as much as possible and use precaution. Consider bringing your own supplies.
For example, you could purchase a portable camping shower if you are going for a longer trip so that you don’t need to use public shower houses. You should also bring your own tablecloth to cover picnic tables. Lastly, always be sure to wash everything thoroughly after the trip.
Stay Informed During Your Trip
If there is one thing we have learned during the pandemic, it is that things can change in an instant. State officials and governors have been issuing regulations specific to certain areas to help slow the spread of COVID-19. These rules are often effective immediately.
While getting out and unplugging is certainly the draw for camping, it is important that you stay informed in case any further regulations are put into place. You do not want to miss any news that pertains to your trip, such as a shutdown or a stay at home order.
If possible, check online news sources or consider bringing a portable radio so you can catch up and make sure you don’t miss anything important.
We are all looking forward to the day when things “return to normal”. But in the meantime, it is important that everyone does all they can to keep themselves and others safe.
Getting out into nature for a camping trip is a great way to escape the craziness of 2020. However, to make your camping trip truly enjoyable, be sure you are doing all you can to keep yourself and fellow campers safe and healthy.