Camping in the age of COVID

While some of us have ventured out over the last year to see family and friends, for millions of Americans, social distancing has meant a lot more time indoors with immediate family or alone. But, as the weather warms up, and COVID-19 numbers (hopefully) continue to drop, many are looking for ways to enjoy the weather — safely.


While many state and national parks may be closed or have restrictions on visits right now, camping, hiking and being outdoors is a great way to feel good — both physically and mentally. In fact, ecotherapy is increasingly popular as a way to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. And most Americans — 59% — rank camping (and especially glamping) the safest form of travel.


If you’re thinking about spending more time enjoying the great outdoors, here are a few tips to do it as safely and as respectfully to others as possible:


1.     Stay close to home: If you don’t have established camping or hiking locations nearby, err on the side of an alternative close to home instead of travelling hundreds of miles, where the risk of spreading COVID-19 to your community or others is increased.

2.     Avoid public amenities: It’s easier to keep your distance in wide-open nature settings but don’t forget to continue doing so when you cross paths with others and avoid using public amenities that other nature lovers may have used or touched. If you do, wear a mask, touch as little as possible and wash your hands. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you.

3.     Keep your distance: If you’re not able to physically distance properly, for instance on a crowded trail, don’t take the risk: leave the park or find a trail with fewer people.

4.     Practice Leave No Trace principles. For instance, pack out toilet paper and hygiene products, deposit solid waste in catholes six to eight inches deep and away from water, camp and trails, and wash yourself or your dishes at least 200 feet away from streams and lakes.


As always, remember, stay home if you’re experiencing any COVID-like symptoms or you’ve had contact with someone suspected or confirmed to have the coronavirus in the last 14 days.


Have you camped or hiked recently? We’d love to hear about your experience and your safety tips — share them with Shop Talk blog community members.


Did you know: Camping is gaining popularity


As Americans look for safe activities to experience, one-fourth of campers took their first camping trip during the pandemic. (Source)

31 thoughts on “Camping in the age of COVID

  1. We haven’t done any camping or actual hiking, however, we have gone for more walks than in past years. When the weather got nicer so we were able to be outside, we started going for walks every day. We’ve gone to some nature areas for our walks.

  2. I used to go camping all the time and take my children. I wanted them to experience being out in nature and end up loving it as much as I did. I have gotten older now and my children are grown and we don’t do the camping thing anymore but I wish alot more parents would and teach their children to love and nurture nature.

  3. I think the camping idea is great for those physically able to do so. Of course, there are those who cannot physically do the things required by camping.
    If you live with the other person you are going camping with it saves masking and gloves, because you live with them all the time anyway.
    Great idea and Adventure.

  4. Selling camping equipment online, like backpacks ,sleeping bags, led lights, binoculars, heating equip to support the trend and expand the move to nature discovery and preserving our Planet Earth.

    April 22 2021, Happy Earth Day!

  5. I can’t emphasize enough the way that so many who live in the cities are so FILTHY and NASTY to the environment (they drop their waste EVERYWHERE EXCEPT in the trash bins!). SERIOUSLY Folks — it is not that difficult to pack with you one of those plastic bags you get from the grocer to put your TRASH into as you walk along (like wrappers from your snacks, water bottles, etc), and carry that stuff with you when you are on the trail and then to your vehicle and then to the recycle bin and/or trash bin and PUT IT IN Those BINS!!! (yep, nasty folks tossing their used PPE Face Masks on the ground just inches from a trash bin — YUCK!!! HOW LAZY is that anyways!)

    And, if you are out in another area in nature, do NOT use the beach (or the forest) as your TRASH BIN!!! (IF there’s anything I am totally disgusted with is the drug residue on the beaches or cigarette butts or marijuana whatever just left on the sand — GROSS!!!!).

    PLEASE .. do not smoke or do drugs in public. NO ONE wants that inflicted on them, and it is just as harmful to have to be involuntarily exposed to second hand tobacco as it is to second hand marijuana (and the worst is when there are those using various substances and dump their needles anywhere and everywhere).

    Finally, (this is NOT San Francisco) — if you are out in public, PLEASE be considerate to others, and DO NOT just relieve yourself out in the open (or tinkle or other nastiness everywhere EXCEPT into the toilet and/or outhouse — and definitely CLEAN UP After yourself!. It is so GROSS and vile (and dangerous) to know some guy tinkled all over the seat, walls, floor all because he couldn’t be bothered to lift the seat or park his rear on the paper that is provided to cover Toilet Seats (and then dispose of that paper properly).

  6. I love camping! Its quiet spacious and nature is the best! We camp as much as we can near home and far away. Our favorite Camping spots is anywhere in the mountains.

  7. Unfortunately, my husband and I are unable to go camping anymore. We enjoy spending time with our friends at their campsites, Haven’t gone anywhere during Pandemic but I think camping wouldn’t be affected much

  8. This will come in handy this summer for my planned trip to Crater Lake National Park in OR. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you for the useful information.

  9. I will just continue what I have always been doing even before all of the pandemic out there. Taking care of the land, getting ready for the upcoming winter and although it is months away there is a lot which still needs done. Dropping a few trees, cutting hauling and stacking so they can dry out in the sun. Limbs also need cut even though they have fallen to the ground. Work never ends even though one has been retired for years but it makes one feel good as each step gets accomplished. No problem with being alone or even getting snowed in at times because life is good but need to get rid of lots of stuff from those that passed away or those I helped that give you stuff instead of money….oh well all in time. God bless you all.

  10. I don’t like camping at all. My family did it when I was a child but it’s not something I would ever want to do as an adult.

  11. We recently took a trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and took a day hike! It was incredible to get some fresh air and just be out and about with Nature, my teenage kids loved our adventure, then we headed down the hill for a nice dinner, well deserved indeed!

  12. Have been camping for years. I know what to expect. Blaming does not fit my definition of what I deem the steps to prepare for such adventures. I have things to make me more comfortable, but I understand the term ” roughing it”. Thanks

  13. Camping is the only way to stay safe in these uncertain days. You have your own place and your own bed 🛌 and you don’t have to mingle with anyone, although that’s the fun of glamping. I totally prefer glamping. 👪

  14. Life is crazy because everyone conforms to society. There’s no in between it’s yes or no, black or white, and right or wrong no in between. What happened to having a voice or opinion.

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