Summer is quickly approaching and while it may look a lot different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic—there are a number of ways to still enjoy the great outdoors while keeping yourself and others safe.
Hike & Camp Responsibly in BC
BC just announced it is now reopening several provincial and marine parks, much to the delight of nature lovers. But there will be several guidelines in place to ensure people remain safe while outside.
And starting June 1st, BC Parks is also planning to reopen most provincial campgrounds and other back-country camping spots.
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If you’re sick, stay home
Anyone with cold or flu like symptoms is advised to stay home (no matter how minor the symptoms may be).
Physical distancing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of the coronavirus and generally, this can be an easy rule to follow if hikers make sure not to get close to other groups when hitting the trails.
Hikers should be able to maintain a minimum of six feet away from other groups and if they can’t—they should choose a different trail. An easy way to gauge how many people are at a specific park is to check out how full the parking lot at the trailhead is.
When select campgrounds open back up, there will also be a number of changes to promote physical distancing. For example, there will be additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests allowed in each of the campgrounds.
Some communal facilities will reopen but they will be enforcing enhanced cleaning protocols. While other campgrounds that require visitors to use shared facilities will remain closed.
Stick with close friends & family
Local health officials are still advising that people stick to just a small group of people that they already spend the majority of their time with.
Passing on trails
While it may seem like the risk of transmission is low when you’re quickly passing by someone—it’s imperative to not crowd other hikers and make sure they have enough space.
Communication is key. If you’d like to pass someone on a trail, just let them know and safely do so (while allowing for as much space as possible).
Wear a mask
Wearing a mask or another face covering is definitely a good idea whenever you’re out and about. And the same can be said for when you’re exploring the trails and potentially coming into contact with someone else.
While covering your nose and mouth doesn’t replace physical distancing—it’s another measure to help keep everyone safe.
Take the trail less-traveled
Do some research before heading out on your adventure. Find spots that are lesser-known and likely to be less populated. If you find a hike is too crowded, find another one or attempt it on another day.
Bring hand sanitizer
If it isn’t already—this should become a daily habit. Along with the usual supplies you’d bring along to stay safe on the trails, don’t forget to pack the sanitizer. Make sure to use it if you’ve touched any railings at lookout areas along your trail and before eating any snacks.
Respect trail & campground closures
If a particular trail or campsite is still closed to the public—respect the rules and find another spot to enjoy the wilderness safely.
For a full list of popular hiking trails and parks now open, check out Vancouver Trails.
Check out our Travel & Outdoors section for more.
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