Hiking during Coronavirus Pandemic: Risks and Step-by-step Guide to Stay Safety on the Trails
As social distancing guidelines continue others weeks or may be months, many people are looking for safe outdoor activities. So, they think that hiking during Coronavirus Pandemic is mightily the best way to avoid the virus. Moreover, medical experts say hiking is safe for backpackers alone or with someone close to home at a trail that isn’t crowded.
In fact, backpacking during this period has some constraints and risks. Furthermore, some hiking organizations insist hikers to cancel or postpone their trips to limit the spread of Coronavirus.
Let Best Hike Guide help you safely hiking during the pandemic by presenting the risks and the precautions before taking this decision.
- 1The Risks
- 2The Precautions
a. The Closure of Local Services
The spread of Covid-19 drive to the closure of many local services in rural communities like hostels, restaurants, stores, urgent care clinics, and post offices.
b. Being Infected by Covid-19
In reality, with the spread of Covid-19 you have more control over your circumstances and who you interact with at your home than on the trail. What if you become infected with the Covid-19? Where will you go to be cared? What if the regional health centers are overrun with people infected? The Pacific Crest Trail Association says: “It is clear that anyone traveling the PCT … represents a serious risk to others on the trail and people in those communities”.
c. Lack of Healthcare
The healthcare system begins to crumble because the people waiting for care. Who’s going to help you if the rural medical centers are already busy with local residents?
a. Be prepared
Check the weather before you leave, bring plenty of food and water, GPS, hand sanitizer, glasses, hat, headlamp, flashlight, first aid supplies, camp stove …etc.
c. Keep away from other hikers
The Washington Trails Association advises you to stay at least 6 feet distance from other hikers and cover coughs or sneezes with an elbow. So, you should look for trails that are less crowded or are wide enough to accommodate more hikers. The association also recommended that hikers double-check where they are going is open or not before leaving the house. Furthermore, hiker should gives people space in parking lots, restrooms and gathering areas, and washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before touching anything.
c. Stay local
Probably, your town or city has many trails and green spaces. Hence, Best Hike Guide advises you to visit trails in their own communities rather than run the risk of spreading the Coronavirus to other areas.
d. Don’t take unnecessary risks
Hikers should avoid areas that could result in injury, necessitating a rescue. Emergency responders may be limited in the pandemic period. Stay at home or hiking shorter segments along the trail where you can be fully self-sufficient. “They’re busy working on a lot of other situations. We don’t want to have people putting themselves at risk on a trail and using those resources.” says Arizona State Parks and Trails.
Finally, hike your own hike, but we’d encourage you to think again and analyze the risks before heading for the hills.