Tips to Hike safely during a Pandemic. Who else is heading back to the trails? For the first few months of COVID, aside from some local nature walks, I didn’t do much hiking. With COVID slowing down (at least by me) I have decided to hit the trails again. That being said COVID is not gone, so we must stay vigilant and take the necessary steps to ensure that you keep yourself and other hikers safe. Here are some things you can do to help keep yourself healthy and safe on the trails!
Our first tip is pretty self-explanatory, but it feels necessary to share. If you are feeling sick, even if you do not think it is Covid-19, stay home. Be courteous to the other hikers on the trail and do your best to protect all of them. The mountains will still be there when you are feeling better.
Do your Research:
While many places are starting to re-open, not all are, or there may be limited parking. Do your research beforehand to ensure that you know what the situation is like. Some good resources are National Park Websites, All Trails, or local hiking Facebook Groups. If you are traveling (though I do recommend hiking locally) make sure that you understand what the situation is like where you are going and what travel restrictions are in place going there and coming back. You may need to quarantine when getting there or when you get home.
No matter how much research you do even the best-laid plans can go array. It is always good to have a backup plan in case the parking lot is closed, or it just looks too crowded … remember social distancing is still important!
Bring Your Own: Many stores and park centers are reopened but not all. Plus many are still open for reduced hours. It is important that you are prepared and bring:
Don’t forget a Mask:
The new essential item we can not leave home without. This also counts for the trail! You do not need to wear it the entire hike, especially if you are one of the only people on the trail, but have it handy. If you are in a crowded area such as the parking lot, a summit, or a viewpoint, wear it not only to protect yourself but others.
Keep your Distance:
Maintain a 6 ft distance whenever possible it can be hard when passing people. I find it best to step off the trail slightly (without disturbing any wildlife or plants) to help keep my distance from others. If that 6 ft distance can not be maintained wear a mask.
Leave no Trace:
This is should always be the case when hitting the trail, make sure everything you bring in you pack out. I can not tell you how many masks I have seen just discarded on the trail. Do your part to keep it clean.
Happy hiking and be safe!
We hope you found our Tips for Hiking Safely during a Pandemic helpful! For more Hiking Tips check out our Blog Summer Hiking Tips.