Camping in a Time of COVID

Let me just start this post by saying that any of this information provided could be out of date in the next week, day, hour or minute. It’s a frustrating time to try to make decisions, and everything thing we have done so far has had a surprise twist or turn thanks to new rules and precautions. For two Type-A planners, it’s been a lesson for us to learn to go with the flow but I think it’s also brought us closer together as a family as we problem solve on our feet.

So that said, here’s some of our suggestions for camping in a time of COVID:

Masks don’t last long when you stretch out the straps…
  1. Pack at least one mask for every day of your trip. We all know that masks are going to be required packing for the near future along with sunscreen and swimsuits. However unlike those items, your mask spends all day hugging your body – just like your underwear! The best way to stay healthy is to plan for a new mask every day on your trip – or at least until you can launder them. And just like spare underwear, packing an extra mask or two is always a good idea because…
  2. You need to bring more than one mask on day trips. It’s hot out there and sweating is inevitable, even in cooler months, so bring a spare on your day trip or keep some disposables in your travel bag or purse. Mask emergencies happen, my son likes to pull his down around his chin and the straps inevitably break at the worst times. I’ve also seen masks go flying out of hands in windy parking lots, or get dropped on the ground on a rainy day which can make for some interesting messes unless you plan ahead. There is also my husbands favorite question, “What do you mean a gator is not a mask?” Bring a spare, you know, just to be safe.
  3. Secure that campground spot! Camping has been a popular past time this summer, and for us Southern states that continues to be the case for fall and winter. Currently, Florida State Parks are difficult to get into because of their popularity and some of the campgrounds have not opened all of their sites to accommodate better social distancing. You’ll need to research more of the private campgrounds, but even then many are full with visiting snowbirds. Make sure you secure your reservation before trying to make any plans for a particular area.
  4. Check ahead on activities. This summer, we had made travel plans to Pensacola to visit the Naval Aviation Museum believing that they were reopening in May – only to find out a day ahead of time that it was still closed. Time to find something else to do! What a lesson for us on not only planning ahead, but rechecking an attraction’s updates a day or two beforehand. If you are traveling during a holiday, attractions may reach capacity early too. This isn’t just a problem for places like Disney, smaller spaces have implemented this rule to keep their doors open. I have found that a lot of museums and other attractions have also switched to timed entry to allow for better social distancing. You may need to secure that ticket weeks ahead of time where as before that was not necessary.
  5. Go with the flow. Pool only allows 10 guests at a time? Limited hours for check-in? Have to wait for a socially distant clean table? Just go with it. The point is you’re out of the house and on an adventure. Adventures don’t always follow the plan!
  6. Check your out-of-state travel route. As positive cases fluctuate, so does the travel restrictions from state to state. Our favorite site to check is AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map. It puts all the rules and regulations in one easy place.
  7. Hand sanitizer and camper bathrooms are your friends. Right now, we hand sanitize in and hand sanitize out whenever we go someplace public. We also made the decision to stop using gas station and rest area bathrooms. So at least for now, pulling a camper also means pulling our restroom along with us which means we get to keep more of our germs to ourselves.

The best part about camping is that it lets you be socially distant but still get out there and see the world. What ideas are you using to up your COVID travel game?

It doesn’t get much more socially distant than this!

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