Planning Your Camping Trip Under The New Normal
Camping has always been a way for us to escape the rat race. It’s a time for us to get away from the stresses of the 9 to 5 grind and spend some time getting in touch with nature in the company of family and friends.
However, our motivations for camping have now changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering most of Victoria has been in lockdown since August 5, once lockdown is over, we could see an unprecedented rush for camping grounds and caravan parks. The dam walls could well and truly break!
And with spring and the warmer weather approaching, people are going to be even more eager than ever to get out of the house and the city so they can reset and relax. But as we all know, there is a new normal and that new normal is going to affect the way we approach camping on so many levels.
That means that there will be so many extra precautions that we will now need to take when we go camping. We will need to plan our camping trips carefully to make sure that we keep ourselves safe by obeying social distancing protocols as well as observing constant sanitation and hygiene practices.
We will need to balance the benefits of being outdoors but staying socially distant. However, the benefits of being outdoors outweigh the potential risks if we plan our trip properly and do our research beforehand. With this in mind, let’s take a look now at how we will need to plan our camping trips for the foreseeable future as part of the “new normal”.
Ask for recommendations and check online for less popular camping grounds and caravan parks that are more likely to be less crowded. It is also better if you choose campgrounds that have strict camping and social distancing protocols.
Pick areas that limit the number of campers and offer generously sized camping areas. Check for online reviews and call ahead. Always do your due diligence before picking a place to camp.
2). Call And Book In Advance
Further to the above, make sure you have a reserved spot before arriving in the camping area. Most places accept advanced bookings now, especially due to the high COVID-19 risks.
Call and ask for their camp rules, what amenities they have and what necessities and essentials you need to bring.
3). Pack In Advance
Make sure you are ready a couple of days before you head out on the road so you don’t forget anything at the last moment. Make a list of all the essentials and the small luxuries you are going to bring.
Following is a list of the things you may need and want to bring:
- Solar lights
- Portable stove
- Potable water and maybe water for showers and washing dishes
- Sleeping bags
- Comfy pillow
- Clean sheets
- Extra clothes
- Trail snacks
- Insect repellent
- Headlamps and flashlights
- Camp tables and chairs
- Fuel and batteries
- Hygiene products
- Alcohol and hand sanitisers
- First Aid Kit
4). Expect Other People To Be There
Even if you do your best to avoid crowded areas and choose a less-populated campground, it is highly likely that other people will still be there. Be aware of your proximity to other campers. Stay within your designated camping space and interact only with your loved ones and friends. Respect other people’s privacy and space.
Here are things you can do to stay safe while camping:
- Keep your distance
- Wear a mask anytime you need to interact with strangers or if you are unable to physically distance yourself with others
- Avoid crowded trails
- Move off the trail if you run into other hikers
- Stay at least six feet apart from others
- Wash your hands regularly or sanitise with a hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content
- Avoid touching your face and other parts of your body before you have washed your hands
5). Be Adventurous But Be Careful
It’s good to be adventurous and to have fun. We deserve it considering the year we are having. However, be careful. You can’t afford to get into an accident in the current environment.
Hospitals are already full of COVID patients and hospital workers are already overworked. Do not add an unnecessary burden to them by being careless. Choose relaxing and safe camping activities instead of risky ones. Leave that until the pandemic is over.
6). Share Gear And Food Only Within Your Group
Stay within your camping space and with your group. That means sharing your gear and food within the group too. Having a quick chitchat and sharing food with neighbouring campers is a no-no.
Whatever you do, wherever you camp, always proceed with caution. It is better to be safe than sorry. It is okay to enjoy and relax in the outdoors. Everyone deserves a break once in a while especially after the recent lockdown in Victoria. However, always make your safety a priority. We have to adjust and adapt to the new normal in doing things. This applies to camping too.
Planning your camping trip under the new normal may take more time and effort but it is worth it if you plan and manage the situation thoughtfully and carefully. One day, you will get used to it and most importantly, have fun out there!