This year, we are being hit with the horrible Corona Virus or COVID-19. This pandemic is hitting the world and causing us to social distance and bunker down in our homes, but what about camping? Since it is early Spring and starting to warm up, people and families are wanting to go camping, and get outdoors. We wanted to take this opportunity to answer this question, and actually help everyone find some answers.
Can you camp during the Corona Virus? Yes, in most states you can still go camping, and get outdoors. The most important thing you must remember is that you have to follow your state laws and mandates. In most states, travel and leaving your house is only for essential business, but there are states that have not gone on lockdown. If your state is not on lockdown, go out and go camping, but stay safe and keep social distancing until we are over this pandemic.
How To Social Distance
First and foremost, stay six feet away from anyone you see at the campsite. This is going to keep you and other people safe from getting or giving the virus to anyone. Even though you may not show symptoms, you still might have the virus. If you drive up to a campsite and you see people next to the spot you want to take, drive down a few spots, or circle the entire campground. It is best if you keep a space or two in between you and the next family camping. When you are at the lake fishing or swimming, follow the proper steps to make sure you are at least six feet apart.
Can I Take My Boat Out?
If the lake is open, you can take your boat out to go fishing or have fun. Keep the people in your boat to a minimum and try to pack it full of people. I would keep it so you only have your immediate family or close friends that have not been out and around other people in your boat. Try not to have a collection of boats around you or your family, and try to maintain your social distancing. Be nice to other boaters, so if you see someone in a spot that you want to anchor, keep going and find a nice quiet place for you and your family to have a good time without being too close.
Try not to stay in one spot where there could be large crowds of people. Use this time to find new and interesting spots around the lake or campground. While isolation can be very boring, there is still a ton to do, and trying to find new more desolate places around the campground or lake is an ideal time right now. If you are fishing, or at your campsite and people come park right next to you, or start to fish around you, politely ask them to move down a few campsites to practice distancing. If they still will not move, you can ask a camp host, or park ranger ask them, or if you are just fishing, walk down the shore to distance yourself from them. Try to be as nice as possible when dealing with people and explain to them it is for everyone’s safety.
Stay Away From Group Settings
Stay away from crowded camp stores, bars, and restaurants so you do not come in contact with the virus. You can always try and go to stores right before they close, or when they first open to beat the rush of people throughout the day. I would avoid using bathrooms when there are a lot of people around, and try and limit your group activities. If you go to the shared pool and there are lots of people there, try something else, and give the people time to leave before you go in. If there are group activities, pick the ones where you can be spaced apart at least six feet, and be smart about it. Limit your interactions with groups so that you can be safe and not put yourself or family at risk of contracting the virus.
Safety Tips For Staying Healthy
There are some ways you can still be out and about and still safe. First, you should follow all the CDC and state guidelines for help on limiting your chances of getting COVID-19. Below are some tips for preventing the spread of the disease.
- Wash your hands, A LOT.
- Use hand sanitizer when you can.
- Disinfect anything you are going to touch in a public place.
- Distance yourself from others (at least 6 feet).
- Only go out when it is essential.
- Limit the number of times you go out as much as possible.
- Wear a mask and gloves if you go to a densely populated place.
- Go places by yourself when you can and limit who you take.
By following these simple recommendations, you will be better equipped to not contracting the virus, and keeping your family safe.
State And Local Parks
If you live in a state where state and local parks are shut down, then it is better for you to just stay home. I live in California, and almost all state and local parks have been shut down and are not accessible. Never go against your state and local agencies because you want to have a good time. If a campground is closed, it is for a good reason. While some states have not locked this down, be aware that any day there could be stricter rules and regulations for us to follow, so always check the news. If you are asked to leave a park or campground because of changing information, do not put up a fight, and politely pack your things up and return home where it is safe.
What If I Need Food?
While camping is one of the most fun activities I can think of, there is almost no way you can bring enough food for everyone, and will most likely have to go to the store. If this happens, try to go early in the morning, or later at night when there will be fewer people. Take a mask, gloves and disinfectant wipes, so you can be safe. Do not take your whole family if at all possible, and try to remain a safe distance from other shoppers. If you are not feeling well, DO NOT GO. Stay home and send someone who is not sick, or try to have your groceries delivered to you. There are several options for getting groceries without contacting or spreading COVID-19.
We know that this time we are all going through is tough, and most people who have been isolated for weeks already just want to leave the house. If you can get away while we are going through this, please do it with as much common sense as possible, and be prepared at any time to have to leave and go back home. Try and make sure that you practice social distancing, while still abiding by all the campground and lake rules. If you are not feeling well, stay at home and rest so you do not spread what you might have. Practice safety when going out into the public so you do not run the risk of getting the virus. Always have fun, but be extra safe out there right now.