What began as a three-week quarantine has extended into every aspect of our lives from how we work, shop, and recreate for nearly a year. Safety precautions have changed the outlook on almost every form of our daily lives. What does this mean for the prospect of camping? The good news is: the prospect for camping is a positive one! Let’s take a look at the top three questions people ask about camping as well as the top three COVID-19 camping tips.
Is It Safe to Camp?
In general, the answer is yes, camping is safe. In fact, according to the CDC, one of the best ways to stay healthy both mentally and physically is through outdoor activities. Engaging in hiking and biking is actually recommended as they don’t involve close contact with others. These and other forms of outdoor exercise provide your body with fresh air, stress relief, and a dose of vitamin D from the sunshine.
This means that camping is considered a safe activity as long as you follow common COVID-19 safety protocols such as social distancing, wearing a mask when you are near others, frequently washing your hands, and camping only with those in your household.
Are Parks Open for Camping During COVID-19 Pandemic?
While most parks that can be safely staffed are open – including RV sites – some are at reduced capacity. Which parks are open for camping will depend on the individual park. Fortunately, because outdoor activities promote mental and physical well being, private and public parks have been part of the “deemed essential” group, so they’ve been open in some capacity for the majority of the COVID outbreak. There is a lot of public land that offers many opportunities for camping.
Federal parks have recently updated their protocols. According to numerous recent national park press releases across the country, masks are required for employees, visitors, partners, and contractors to, “protect the health of those who live, work, and visit national parks and National Park Service (NPS) facilities, and in support of President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing.”
Is My Destination Open?
While most national and state parks are open, it is highly recommended to look for news on websites or call destinations before planning a trip. There may be closures or restrictions that could impact your camping experience.
Some parks have temporarily closed. Check for state park closures prior to your trip. The Department of Natural Resources has a listing of state park closures for Michigan, Ohio, and other states as well.
Some locations may have restricted capacity, or be operating on a “first come, first serve” type situation. Some parking lots may also be closed or have limited capacity due to restrictions – especially those with historically high traffic volumes – in an effort to comply with social distancing regulations.
COVID-19 Camping Safety Tips
Camp with Your Close Family Only
The common COVID-19 camping safety protocols recommend limiting your party to only those in your household. Here is where RV camping shines and is one of the reasons RV camping is growing in popularity – so much so that there are even RV shortages! Your RV is like your own hotel room or vacation home on wheels. Everything in it is yours and you are the only one(s) who use it, so the chance of exposure to COVID-19 in your RV is like the chance of exposure in your own home.
Pack a Sterilization Kit
It is wise to bring a sanitation or sterilization kit with you when COVID-19 camping. As with any traveling, packing a kit that contains soap, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and the like. This will keep you prepared for any situation where you may encounter high-touch surfaces that may contain the virus. You can wipe these surfaces down prior to use, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after touching questionable surfaces, or use hand sanitizer.
Bring Your Mask
When you leave your RV whether going for a solo hike or participating in a family recreational activity, bring your mask. You may encounter others out on the trail and not be able to maintain proper social distancing. Even if you plan a disbursed camping or boondocking trip with the intention of encountering only those people in your own household, it is possible that you may have to speak or interact with staff or other campers, so it’s a good idea to always have your mask with you just to be safe.
Be Careful at Playgrounds
When camping with children you are likely to encounter parks that offer public entertainment areas like playgrounds. While there’s nothing like a swing set or a slide to entertain the children, even if the playground is empty, there’s a potential for viruses/bacteria to be left on equipment your children may touch. While it has always been a good idea to have your children wash their hands, COVID-19 camping means it’s best to try to wipe down public equipment before you use it, make sure everyone washes their hands afterwards. You may even opt to avoid the playgrounds altogether and play some family games.
Sure, there are many more precautions with COVID-19 camping, but overall RVs are a safer alternative to hotels and offer a great way to get out in the fresh air and keep yourself and those in your household healthy.
The professionals at RV Wholesale Superstore are ready to help you find the perfect RV for you and your family. Visit us in-person at 5080 W. Alexis Road, in Sylvania, OH or call us at (866) 640-9871
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