The lifting of restrictions does not mean that the pandemic is over. There is even a surge with the emergence of new variants of the virus. While it’s fine to travel, you may want to limit your trips to domestic destinations. You can even try exploring the great outdoors to take in the beauty of nature at its best.
But you still have to take the necessary precautions to stay healthy while traveling. Here are some things you need to consider to remain safe while spending a couple of days at the nearest state or national park.
Observe Physical Distancing
Even if you hike on a nature trail, you should still observe social distancing. The fresh air in nature can relieve the stress of life in the city. But you should avoid areas where a lot of people converge. Since the guidelines in each park are different from each other, you may want to check them before heading out to the park. Some parks require people to wear masks in areas where physical distancing is not possible. The local conditions also determine if vaccinated individuals should wear masks or not.
Despite this, you should still try to follow minimum health protocols by avoiding crowded areas in the park. When you hike, you should also stay with the people who live with you and avoid mingling with those not part of your household. You may also want to avoid games that require physical contact. The dominant variant of the virus is more contagious than the original variant. So, playing these types of games can increase the risk of infection.
You should also pack enough water for the hike along with trail food so you can avoid passing by the store at the park. Bringing a hand sanitizer is also important in case you need to use the public restroom.
Check Park Rules and Guidelines
Since the guidelines in national and state parks change often, you should visit the website of the National Park Service and check the guidelines of the park you plan to visit. Some areas where huge increases were noted might have limitations on the number of people visiting the park.
You can also check the website of the park you want to visit. They may provide additional information about the rules and guidelines they are implementing amid the increasing number of cases of the virus. It’s always a good idea to check when you are still in the planning stage not to be disappointed when you visit the park. Keeping yourself updated can spell the difference between enjoying your weekend or wasting it while looking for a place to stay.
Be Cautious When Hiking and Camping
You may want to go hiking on a trail at a state park close to your home. You may even want to spend the night there with your family. One thing you need to consider is that the pandemic is not yet over. While this shouldn’t stop you from enjoying nature, you should also be cautious, especially with the increased transmissibility of the delta variant of the virus.
If you take up running, you should stay at least six feet away from people not a part of your household. You should also avoid high-traffic areas and use trails that people rarely use. Similarly, you should stay away from people who do not live with you when hiking at a state or national park. You should also set up camp away from everyone else.
Aside from the virus, you should also take other necessary precautions when you go hiking or camping. You should know your physical limits and avoid overexerting yourself. If you have joint injuries that caused your osteoarthritis, you should wear a knee brace while hiking. The brace provides the support you need while exploring nature and the great outdoors.
Knowing how to control a campfire is also necessary if you want to start one. This means knowing local rules and the environmental conditions in the area. You should keep water close to the campfire and never leave it unattended.
You should also make sure to have all the necessary camping equipment. Wearing the proper clothing is essential, especially in areas where it gets cold at night. To avoid sunburn, you should wear sunscreen. Bug spray also helps keep pests at bay. You should also set up camp in designated areas in the park to stay safe and avoid issues. Additionally, you may want to reserve a campsite in case the park requires it.
Enjoying the great outdoors is possible during a pandemic if you follow health protocols set by the park you’re planning to visit.