As the camping season fast approaches, many of us are wondering, is it safe to go camping during coronavirus?
With many countries going into quarantine or being asked to self-isolate, families are trying to discover the best ways to entertain themselves while being stuck at home.
But what happens when you’ve streamed every good show on Netflix? When you’ve played every card game under the sun? When you’re starting to go a little stir crazy and you’re resorting to sock puppets for entertainment?
Camping looks like a tempting option, seeing as it’s always been a way to escape from it all.
Even now, many people are still grabbing their Best Camping Tent and going hiking, fishing, cycling, and camping due to the independent nature of these activities – as they technically don’t go against the guidelines of limiting social interaction.
Can I Self Isolate Outdoors?
Since it’s starting to spread like wildfire, perhaps it’s time to consider one of the oldest forms of self-isolation out there – camping in the middle of nowhere.
With many national parks closing in the US, it’s looking like a great option to experience the outdoors without putting yourself or others at risk. Equally many families are turning to Backyard Camping during the Coronavirus instead, where they can keep a watchful eye on the kids.
With the UK ‘s National Trust opening up all its parks and gardens to the public for FREE, there’s no doubt in my mind that self-isolation outdoors is more beneficial than indoors. You can start by choosing a simple lightweight tent to trial some hikes, or plan some camping activities with the kids in the backyard.
Here we’re sharing advice from the government and health specialists so you can fully prepare yourself if you decide to go.
How to Stay Safe When Camping During Coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us the best ways to protect ourselves and stay safe. It’s important to implement these steps while camping, even if you’re so far away from everyone.
- Wash your hands frequently. I saw a 5 Minute Crafts hack (yeah, I know, but you have to admit they’re kind of fun to watch) pop up on my feed for how to wash your hands while camping.
- Soak water-soluble paper with soap, let dry, and store it in a small container.
- Use your closest water source to wet the paper and you’ve got instant hand soap.
- Bring Hand Sanitizer with 60% alcohol or more as well.
- Ensure that you properly dispose of any trash bags and use a Biodegradable one.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unclean hands.
- You don’t need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick. If you have some, bring them just in case.
- Always cough and sneeze in your elbow or into a clean tissue. Bring a pack of tissues with you everywhere, like on hikes, and a small trash bag to throw them out as you use them.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day. The CDC explains which disinfectants will work best. However, consider a more natural option like baking soda and vinegar because you’re so close to the environment.
Even though we wouldn’t recommend a shared campsite as things can get a little crowded in the bathrooms, kitchen, and recreation areas, you can choose how much interaction you want with others.
If you’re in an RV, you don’t necessarily have to get out because you can cook, shower, and relax inside. So, a caravan park can be a safe option.
In fact, bookings for RV campgrounds are up by 4-5% right now according to Karen A. Redfern from Go RVing.
Safety Tips for Travelling During Coronavirus
Currently, the CDC does not issue restrictions for travel within the US. Before you head on a good old-fashioned road trip though, the CDC requires you to think about a few things before you head off:
- Research if it’s spreading in the area where you’re going.
- Avoid spaces with crowds so that you’re not in close contact with others.
- If you live at home with someone who is old or has a serious medical condition, you may need to self-quarantine somewhere else upon returning from travel so you can’t spread anything to them.
- Bring ibuprofen and a thermometer to check yourself for a fever if needed.
Remember to always refer to reputable sources, the current best being the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, to get the latest information updates on the virus. Also, you should consult with your healthcare provider before traveling to see if it’s the best option for you.
Where Can I Go Camping During Coronavirus Season?
After you’ve decided that you want to go on a trip, now it’s time to figure out where you can actually go.
If you plan to stay on a site, check your local campsite information, online or give them a call, and confirm if any closures are expected to happen and what their opening dates are.
For hiking trails and remote camping areas, a lot has remained open as they are not considered high-risk areas at this time. Since they are literally in the heart of nature, they don’t have an opening or closing time.
As a type of self-isolation that doesn’t involve being stuck behind your front door, being far away from the city could be one of the safest options.
Also, as dogs aren’t capable of contracting coronavirus thus far, hiking with your fluffy four-legged friend is a possibility. CDC has confirmed that they have not received “any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick” with the virus.
Why You Should Go Camping During Coronavirus
Surrounding yourself in nature (even in your backyard), has always been the best way to boost your immune system, since you can feel so relaxed and care-free.
You’ll feel happy, soaking in the rays and breathing in the fresh pure air, greatly reducing stress levels which also has a huge impact on your physical and mental health.
It’s like going to a hotel (obviously without the fresh sheets and 12am room service) as a holiday away from home, but there’s virtually no risk of getting sick because you’re so isolated from the rest of the public.
Conclusion of Coronavirus Camping
So, in conclusion, yes, the coronavirus has its obvious risks.
But as we can see from ongoing statistics, the highest at risk of contracting it are the elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions or weakened immune systems.
If you’re young, your family is healthy, and don’t fall into the high-risk category, camping is a great isolation idea. You can get away from it all, bask in nature, and know you’re not potentially contaminating anyone. Grabbing a simple family tent and going from there is a good start.
It honestly might be one of the safest options right now to protect yourself from COVID-19 – you can bring all your supplies and stay as far away as possible from the rest of the public.
Avoiding dedicated campgrounds is probably the best way to go, and the most likely risk of being exposed while out on the road is if you stop at service stations, restaurants, or supermarkets.
Get out there, soak in the sun, go on a hike, sing (badly) some campfire songs at the top of your lungs, and make the most out of this unusual situation by spending quality time with your family.
Plus, what’s toilet paper when you have the great outdoors at your feet? Oh, and don’t forget your 1L tub of hand sanitizer, just in case.