Many summer plans have drastically changed or been cancelled, with borders closed and governments urging us to stay as close to home as possible. More people are flocking outside to go on walks and to visit local parks and beaches in order to get outside and enjoy the fresh summer air. Most people will be turning to their local campsites in lieu of road trips, summer getaways, and summer camps. Camping is one of the only ways to travel this summer while also safely practicing social distancing.
With reports of RV sales surging and travel extremely limited, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is one of the busiest camping seasons yet. However, it will definitely not be the same as a regular camping season. In order to be safe and healthy, it is still essential to practice social distancing while camping. Here are ways you can enjoy camping this summer while also respecting social distance.
Pay Attention to Local Guidelines
Where I live, parks are just beginning to reopen and camping will likely be allowed in June. However, the rules are going to be very different depending on where you live. Each state, county, park, and even campsite will all have different guidelines. Some may not even be open, are only allowing local visitors, or only available for day use.
Before you head out anywhere, know exactly where you will be staying and what protocols are expected there. Make reservations whenever possible to guarantee that you have a spot and avoid unnecessary travel to a full or closed campsite.
Be a Smart Traveller
Sometimes all it takes is for us to get out of the city and noise and into nature. We’ve been urged to stay as close to home as possible, so let’s listen! This is a great time to find some wonders in your local area. Sometimes playing tourist in your own town can be fun, exploring new hikes or fishing spots that you may have forgone for ventures further out.
When on route to your campsite, avoid unnecessary stops such as gas stations and drive-throughs. These are high traffic and high touch areas and are best avoided whenever possible. Fill up with gas at your local gas station and pack any road snacks you may require instead.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
When is the last time you have done a deep clean on your camping equipment? For some things such as camping chairs and flashlights, the answer may be never! Consider dedicating time to cleaning and disinfecting your equipment before and after your camping trip. This avoids spreading any germs at your campsite as well as avoiding bringing any home.
Avoid Amenities Whenever Possible
Amenities while camping can sure be a huge positive at a campsite. Many campgrounds are sure to have some amenities closed, but some are likely to also remain open. Avoid public areas such as playgrounds, camp kitchens, picnic shelters, public showers, and other amenities.
Instead, try to stick to your own campsite as much as possible. Plan your own games and activities to keep the kids busy, use your own bathroom or solar shower whenever possible, and cook all meals over your own campfire or camp stove.
Avoid Large Camping Groups
For many, camping is a very social activity. It’s a fun and inexpensive way to go on a vacation with friends and other family members. However, now is not the time to organize a large camping get together.
Instead, camp with those who are in your own household or limit yourself to small gatherings. Each area has different rules in what they consider small gatherings so be sure to listen and stick to that number in your camping group. Choose to stay at one campsite only to limit exposure to other campers in the campground.
Consider Off-Grid Camping Instead
While easily accessible, campsites are busy places in the summer. Avoid crowds and go as socially distant as you can go…off-grid! Off-grid camping is camping outside of designated camping areas. This can include hiking into national forests or even parking on private property.
While we remain at home, many of us are itching to get outside and travel. However, we must be smart and patient while we wait for our communities to recover and heal. Camping is one of the best ways we can experience summer while also safely practicing social distancing. Always be sure to be following your local camping guidelines and any suggestions your government has laid out. By adjusting our regular camping habits slightly, we can have a safe and enjoyable summer for everyone.
This is one of the best ways to go out and explore nature completely undisturbed. It can definitely be a bit of an adjustment if you are used to camping solely at campsites with hookups and amenities at the ready. Check out my guide on off-grid camping if you think you would like to give it a shot this summer!