It’s no secret that the COVID-19 crisis has thrown a wrench into many families’ summer plans. But the good news is that, while you may not be able to attend amusement parks, go to baseball games, or enjoy concerts together, you can still safely enjoy one of summer’s most popular family activities: camping.
Of course, even camping might look a little bit different right now as campgrounds across the U.S. do their best to keep families like yours safe and secure during these difficult times. That being said, here’s what you need to know about camping in 2020 and what you can do to enjoy your camping experience safely this summer.
Know which campgrounds are open
Many families enjoy camping in state parks, national forests, and public campgrounds where they have access to basic necessities. About 50% of families travel less than 100 miles away from home when camping. However, many parks and campgrounds are operating on a case-by-case basis for day-use and overnight stays. For individual parks and campgrounds closed in each state, check out The Dyrt’s state-by-state guide.
Private RV parks and campgrounds have been deemed non-essential services in Connecticut, Virginia, and Maryland and have been closed until further notice. However, RV campgrounds have been deemed essential services in New York California, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Washington, and Tennessee.
According to the Department of Natural Resources in Michigan, state forest campgrounds and dispersed camping in state state forests are now open. State park campgrounds are set to open on June 22. However, certain state park campgrounds have delayed opening. These campgrounds remain closed because of needed construction on restroom and shower buildings, electrical systems, and other improvements.
Buy your tent (don’t rent)
The most important feature you need for camping is a tent. It’s recommended to avoid renting a tent at this time to avoid spreading COVID-19. Instead, consider buying a tent from your local sporting goods store or hardware store. About 64% of small businesses are struggling financially during the COVID-19 crisis, and giving your support when you can helps the local economy.
Wash your sleeping bags
It’s important to keep your sleeping bag clean, dry, and protected while you’re camping. Not only does this help your sleeping bag last longer but it also helps to protect you and your family forms germs and bacteria.
Spot-cleaning may be fine if your sleeping bag is relatively new, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Check the manufacturer’s washing instructions on the bag. You’ll want to use a gentle, non-detergent soap that’s made for washing down and synthetic-filled items. Don’t wash your sleeping bag in a top-loading machine with an agitator, which can rip the seams of your bag.
Drying your sleeping bag will take two to three hours at a time, so make sure to wash your sleeping bags well in advance before your camping trip. Fortunately, once your bags are clean, you can feel confident knowing you’ll get a good night’s rest. About 75% of people say they get a more comfortable night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent.
Bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
When you’re away from running water, you can’t wash your hands frequently. This makes spreading viruses and bacteria a greater risk. To reduce the risk of spreading germs, make sure to bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes along with you on your camping trip. Avoid touching your face as much as possible and use hand sanitizer both before and after you go to the bathroom.
Bring your own water
You want to avoid using drinking fountains and public restrooms as much as possible when you’re camping. Drinking fountain handles and buttons and door locks and handles can hold thousands of germs and bacteria.
Make sure to bring your own water bottles on your camping trip so you don’t have the need to use a drinking fountain. If you need to use a public restroom, avoid touching surfaces directly with your hands and wash your hands before and after you go to the bathroom.
Did you know that people spend, on average, about 90% of their time indoors? Camping is a great summer activity that you can work into the new normal during the COVID-19 crisis. But it’s important to make sure you’re still staying safe while enjoying your summer fun. By following these tips, you can feel safe and secure during your family’s camping experience.