RivCoParks Camping Best Practices during Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
Camping, either in a recreational vehicle (RV) or tent, can be a popular pastime for families. Camping can offer a myriad of benefits including:
Getting “unplugged” from technology!
In this time of increased virtual learning and telecommuting, sometimes getting away from technology and information overload can be just what you and your family need.
Getting outdoors, spending time among the plants and trees can mean you are getting more oxygen.
Good/Healthy Food (Not counting s’mores of course)!
Bringing and preparing your own fresh food (meats, veggies, and fruits) is a great way to go. Just make sure to pack natural, healthy foods and you’re all set.
All of the above benefits could lead to improved mental wellbeing and less stress.
For all of these reasons and more, spending time camping can be appealing for families to escape the monotony of everyday “lockdown”. For some families, staying in an RV park or campground is the best option for essential workers that want to isolate from vulnerable members of their household. For others, your RV is your home and you need a safe place to stay.
If you decide camping is a good option for you or members of your household, here are some best practices to keep your group and others safe:
First and foremost, you should avoid traveling out of the area. Look at opportunities for a “stay-cation” and find a campground close to home. Be sure to plan for any restrictions or limitations that might be in place. If you determine you need to travel, follow the CDC Considerations for Travelers.
Shop for your trip in your own neighborhood
Plan your meals ahead of time and do your essential shopping in your neighborhood grocery store whenever possible.
Keep your stay short if possible
Camping for shorter periods of time (2-3 days) helps avoid filling up your waste tanks if you don’t have access to full hook-ups and helps you avoid additional shopping trips when you run low on supplies.
Only camp with members of your immediate household
RVs are considered homes for many people. Even if your RV is your second home, friends and family members that don’t already live with you should not be joining you while camping.
Stick to your own campsite when you are relaxing
You have better control of your group’s exposure to viruses, etc., when you are keeping to yourself and your own belongings.
Strive for “self-contained” camping whenever possible
An RV with a bathroom and sink is your best bet to help avoid using shared restrooms where others might touch the same surfaces as you (sinks, toilets, etc.). If you do use a campground restroom, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you are done, as you always should. On-site staff and volunteers are working extra hard to keep bathrooms and other high-touch areas clean. Protocols have been developed to increase cleaning intervals to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Maintain social distancing
Keep a distance 6 feet or more from people that are not part of your household. When you are out getting your exercise or participating in outdoor activities, choose areas where there are fewer people and distance yourself from others as you pass.
Don’t congregate in groups
Camping can provide a nice social setting to spend time with friends. Now is not the time to invite your friends to join you on your camping trip. The state’s stay-at-home order prevents gatherings – this means in campgrounds too. You can still call or video chat with them if you’re not taking advantage of the “unplugged” benefit listed above.
Wear a cloth face covering if possible
While wearing a mask/face covering in Riverside County is strongly recommended, it’s good to have a mask/face covering if you are going to be around other people. Better to be safe. Keep a mask with you when venturing away from your campsite for any reason.
Clean up after yourselves
Pick up your trash, empty your own trash bags/cans into site provided dumpsters, and wipe down surfaces you touch, especially after meals. This includes picnic tables, barbeques, benches, faucet handles, etc. This is a good practice to help keep the critters (germs, bugs and beasts) that find their homes in nature out of your camping space.
Be kind and respect the rules
The circumstances of the pandemic can be stressful. Be kind to others and respect the rules in place at the campground you are visiting. This is the best way to create an enjoyable experience for you/your group, as well as not ruin the benefits of camping for other visitors. Don’t forget, staff at campgrounds are essential workers. They are there to help keep all visitors safe and as healthy as possible. They respect your need to camp and appreciate your support.