Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get some fresh air, stay active, and relieve stress. With precautions, COVID doesn’t have to change that. Your camping experience may be different but can still be extremely enjoyable! Are you ready to venture out?
First of all, you need to plan. This is not the time to be spontaneous. Some campgrounds may be closed so call before you go. Other facilities may have limited offerings. While others may require reservations. Make plans ahead of time for needed items such as permits, ice, firewood, etc. Come stocked with personal hygiene supplies and cleaning products.
Be prepared for changes and adjustments. For example, you may be asked for a temperature screen on arrival to a campground. You may be required to wear a mask in public spaces such as retail areas or check-in. Many campgrounds will offer online check-in and check out to facilitate the process and reduce in-person interaction. Some bathrooms, camp stores or other facilities may not be open this year.
Continue to practice social distancing. Set up your campsite as far as possible from people outside of your household. Don’t invite people from outside of your household into your campsite, cabin or RV. Keep it in the family.
Dos and Don’ts for Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities (excerpt from CDC)
- Do: Visit parks that are close to your home. Traveling long distances to visit a park may contribute to the spread of COVID-19 if you stop along the way and are in close contact with others with whom you may not otherwise have contact. You may also be exposed to contaminated surfaces.
- Do: Check with the park or recreation area in advance to prepare safely. Make sure the campground and services are open and available. Check with the park in advance to be sure you know which areas or services are open, such as campgrounds, visitors’ centers, bathroom facilities, laundry facilities, and concessions, and bring what you need with you, such as hand sanitizer or other supplies to maintain proper hygiene.
- Do: Social Distance. Stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with and wear a cloth face covering as feasible. Avoid gathering with people you don’t live with. Camp and hike with people in your household.
- Do: Clean hands often. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Continue good hand hygiene practices after touching surfaces such as doors and handles, including those within the bathroom and showers rooms, as well as water fountains or spigots, laundry facilities, ice machines, trash and recycling cans and bins, payment stations, vending machines, and other camping amenities.
- Don’t: Visit parks if you are sick with, tested positive for COVID-19, or were recently (within 14 days) exposed to COVID-19. If you are sick with or tested positive for COVID-19, were recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19, or just don’t feel well, do not visit public areas including parks or recreational facilities. Follow the recommended steps to take if you are sick.
- Don’t: Visit crowded parks. Do not visit parks where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.