Hitting the Road Safely During Covid-19 Times – Best Practices and Resources

Written originally for JOOB Activewear

Due to Covid-19, travel for the last few months has all but halted throughout the world.  As stay-at-home orders are lifting, many are starting to think about recreating farther from their hometowns. As you branch out, there are ways to show love to our favorite gateway communities by minimizing our health impact on the area.

The first step is to look at the health and safety mandates at your destination and at the places you will drive through to get there. If you are traveling within the United States, you can get updated information about different states reopening phases from the New York Times here. Be aware that some states are requiring or requesting a 14-day quarantine for travelers that arrive from certain areas. Additionally, check any county or city regulations that may be different from the overall state.   

Once you determine where you want to go and research current travel regulations, think about the group you are traveling with. If possible, travel only with your immediate family. Check on people‚Äôs health status before leaving; if anybody is feeling ill, has symptoms of Covid-19, or is in a high-risk category-they should stay home. A list of Covid-19 symptoms from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention can be found here. Try to stay isolated as much as possible from local populations by bringing all your food and only stopping for gas or restroom breaks. When making these stops, wear a mask and sanitize your hands before and after contact.

The type of activity should also be a consideration. We are all ready to get back to normal, but this is not the time to push your limits. Ease the burden on our rescue and medical systems by saving your 5.14 climbing project or intense river rapid trip for a later date. Check out the Recreate Responsibly Resource Hub for information on your specific activity.

Additionally, we need to ensure we are being good stewards of the land we play on. Now more than ever it is important to practice the Leave No Trace™ 7 Principles. 

Be mindful that resources that are usually available, such as bathrooms and drinking fountains, may not be open due to the pandemic. Groups that execute trail clean up and maintenance have not been able to gather, meaning we need to take more responsibility upon ourselves to keep outdoor areas clean. For more in-depth information about Leave No Trace™ Principles, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics website

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