COVID is here, and it’s not going away in the immediate future, but many of us are itching to get back to regular life. Now that spring and summer are rapidly approaching, we feel the urge to get outside, hang with our friends, and go on adventures. But is camping safe during COVID?
Luckily, camping is a great activity to do during the time of social distancing. Whether you’re in a tent or RV, camping is a relatively safe activity with minimal risk of exposure when you take the proper precautions!
Let’s dive into these 10 tips to avoid COVID while camping.
Be Aware of Your Risk
Always be aware of your risk when you go into public–even in the great outdoors. There’s an inherent risk of COVID exposure when you go into public spaces or share space with other people, and that risk exists even when you take every precaution possible.
If you’re an at-risk individual, you’ll have to weigh whether or not it’s worth it for you to risk exposure in any way. If you follow all CDC guidelines, it helps immensely, but be aware that virus transmission is still possible.
COVID Is Now a Part of Regular Life
Since COVID hit the US over a year ago, we’ve realized that our reality is not changing in the immediate future. The pandemic has become a part of regular life, along with masking, social distancing, more handwashing, and hoarding toilet paper. Ok, so maybe not that last part, but you get the idea.
Avoiding COVID became extremely important to us, and many other full-time RVers. Balancing a life of full-time travel with restrictions and stay-in-place orders was a difficult time. While we did settle down for many months, getting back on the road safely was a big priority.
We’ve learned a few tips and tricks over the past year to keep yourself and other safe from COVID.
Is Camping Safe During COVID? 10 Tips to Avoid Catching It
The great outdoors offers relatively safe opportunities during the pandemic. You’re less likely to receive or pass on the virus when you’re miles from other campers, and camping lets you get away, relax, unwind, and recharge. Camping is a pretty safe activity with COVID but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of catching it.
With your risk of transmission in mind, take these steps to avoid COVID while enjoying the great outdoors!
You should always maintain social distancing, even outdoors. If you’re hiking and come upon a group of people, swing wide and go around them.
Avoid gathering in spaces like campground clubhouses or pavilions that either have other people or other people frequently visit.
2. Wear a Mask, Even in Outdoor Public Spaces
Always have a mask on you, even if you don’t think you’ll need it. When you pass people on hiking trails, put your mask on for the encounter, even if you’re six feet away. This not only protects you, but it also protects those on the trail or in the area. Feel free to take off your mask again when you are done passing them.
As a general rule, never go without a mask!
3. Wash and Sanitize Hands Frequently
By now, hand sanitizer stocks are back in stores. Be sure you’ve got plenty handy and that you are washing and sanitizing your hands as often as possible. Especially after touching doorknobs and grocery carts or other frequently touched items.
4. Avoid Spending Time in Enclosed Public Spaces
Avoid campground clubhouses, laundry rooms, and other enclosed public spaces. Spaces like these have poor ventilation and can put you at increased risk for COVID exposure.
5. Cook and Eat at Your RV or Campsite
Avoid going out to restaurants to eat and instead opt to cook and eat at your campsite. It’s an authentic outdoor experience, too!
6. Avoid Using Campground Restrooms and Showers if Possible
A lot of people typically use campground restrooms and showers, and they have poor ventilation. People aren’t usually wearing masks in the bathroom, and showers usually last 10 minutes or more. Inadequate ventilation can lead to COVID hanging in the air if a sick person was in the building, and the longer you’re in a poorly ventilated area, the more at-risk you are of exposure.
7. Avoid Indoor Activities
Avoid public indoor activities like playing pool in the campground lounge, sitting in a steam room, or otherwise. Instead, hit the water in a boat, go fishing, go hiking, or other outdoor activities!
8. Camp and Travel in Smaller Groups
If you’re a full-time RVer, try to stick with a travel pod of the same people. Ensure you all know your own risk and that you’re all being as safe as possible when in public.
Avoiding large gatherings and strangers will help minimize your risk of COVID exposure.
9. Keep Surfaces, Doorknobs, Steering Wheels, and Frequently-Used Items Sanitized and Clean
Even if you don’t think you need to, sanitize your surfaces and frequently-used items often. You can sanitize these areas with antibacterial spray, disinfectant wipes, and more.
Examples of these areas include your steering wheel, door handles, light switches, faucet knobs, window buttons, TV remotes, cell phones, and laptops.
10. Avoid Crowded Areas–Including Crowded Outdoor Spaces
Avoid crowded areas altogether, even if they’re outdoors. Although there’s unrestricted airflow, attending large outdoor gatherings can still put you at risk for COVID exposure. The below video shares some basic tips for camping during the pandemic. Even though it’s tailered for camping in Canada, it’s just as relevant to us south of the Canadian border.
Bonus: Get The COVID-19 Vaccination
We know this is a personal medical choice, but the CDC has advised that “getting the COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to stop the pandemic”.
Being able to get the vaccine was difficult if you weren’t a front-line worker or a senior citizen. However, the restrictions are being lifted each week, with more and more people becoming eligible. Be sure to check your local state or county websites to see where you can get vaccinated. We domicile in Texas, so when we finally qualified to get vaccinated, we did it!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
While it’s hard to make such drastic changes while interacting with the world and others, we must be safe to do our part to stop coronavirus spread. We know it spreads rapidly from person to person, so even if we aren’t scared of getting it ourselves, we should do what it takes to prevent further transmission.
Thankfully, camping and hiking can still happen–they just might look a little different! Until things can return to normal, enjoy camping, RVing, and spending time with friends at a distance, even in the great outdoors.