With summer officially upon us and lockdowns lifted, your family (like mine) is probably thinking about ways to salvage that summer hiking and camping holiday you had your sights set on.

While British Columbia parks may be open for business, it’s important to remember that camping in 2020 will look nothing like it did back in 2019. The world has changed. And more importantly, there is still a global pandemic that – if left unchecked – can cause serious harm to our family, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens. Which is why if you do decide to take that summer camping trip, you must plan your trip responsibly.

Rest assured, there are still plenty of natural wonders out there waiting to be enjoyed. You just need to update your plans slightly to ensure you maximize safety for yourself and others before hitting the trails. Based on guidelines shared by BC Parks, as well as my own camping experience, I’ve put together this handy list of  our

Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020 – Pandemic Edition:

Stay Home If You’re Sick

The “Golden Rule” of post-pandemic life, it’s vital that adventurers who don’t feel well stay at home. Though exploring the great outdoors might not feel like it poses a danger, remember that BC Parks have many shared facilities that could become a home for viruses left by ill visitors. And as hard as park employees may try to keep things clean and sanitized, there is still a high risk that sick guests could expose an illness to others.

If you have a cough, fever, or any other symptoms of illness – or you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 – do everyone a favour and stay home!

Explore Local

Stay local for our Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020

While your family might be itching to take an extended road trip this summer, remember that we are still very much in the middle of a global pandemic. As such, it’s important to limit yourself to shorter, more local trips in order to maintain safety, and prevent further spread of COVID-19.

But don’t fret – staying local shouldn’t be a problem with all that British Columbia has to offer! In fact, just a few minutes on the BC Parks website and you’ll be amazed at how many local outdoor treasures lay just beyond your front door.

Be Extra Cautious

Though it’s always a good practice to remain extra cautious, now more than ever it’s important to stay super vigilant while exploring our parks. While BC Parks are maintaining emergency services, each individual that park personnel come into contact with poses a risk to these essential workers. Avoiding unnecessary risks means fewer injuries and fewer points of contact for these brave workers!

Keep Your Distance

Social distancing doesn’t stop when you hit the trail! Be sure to maintain at least two metres from other guests at all times. Whether on the trail, waiting for washrooms or shower facilities, using common areas, or on the beach, keep your distance at all times to ensure you prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Watch What You Touch

Rangers following our Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020

Even outdoors, viruses like COVID-19 can live on surfaces for hours or even days. Meaning that touching certain surfaces while camping can pose a serious risk.

Be extra mindful when using handrails, garbage cans, maps, and other common surfaces during your park visit, always washing your hands and using generous amounts of hand sanitizer as well. And don’t eat or touch your face unless you know your hands are clean!

Keep Those Hands Clean

Speaking of which, keeping those hands clean is vital to having a safe camping or hiking trip with your family. Be sure to bring a large bottle of hand sanitizer with you on your journey, as well as smaller “keychain” size bottles for everyone in your party, so that each individual has some available for use at all times.

In addition, bring a “DIY handwashing station” just in case your campsite is further from the bathhouse than you might like. Simply fill a food-safe water storage container (preferably with a spigot) and place it on the end of your picnic table or other nearby ledge. Put a bucket underneath to catch the gray water, bungee a paper towel holder on top, and set out some all-natural, biodegradable soap (so that you do not harm local plants or wildlife when you dump the gray water later), and you’re all set to stay super clean and germ-free around the campsite.

Careful in Common Areas

In order to keep proper social distancing in effect, expect most common areas at BC Parks to have new limited capacity guidelines. Be mindful of all posted signage, and ensure you limit your time in common areas so as to let others take their turn.

Be extra careful with the little ones. Playgrounds and other kid-oriented facilities will likely have new restrictions on use in place. Keep an eye on your kiddos, and ensure you’re following the posted guidelines. Remember that these aren’t there to punish the tiny campers – they’re to keep us all healthy and safe!

Build a Safe & Successful Campsite

As your “home away from home” during your camping trip, take extra precautions to set up your campsite for success. Upon arrival, be sure to explore the campground boundaries with your children so that they know exactly where they can and cannot venture. Explain to all members of your party that you are to maintain proper social distancing of two metres with anyone not in your camping party. This includes limiting visitors to your campsite. Note that during this post-pandemic period, BC Parks have a strict limit of no more than 8 persons on a campsite pad (visitors included) at any one time.

In addition to social distancing, you’ll want to disinfect all common surfaces upon arrival, and throughout the duration of your stay. Bring plenty of disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies to sanitize tables, trash lids, etc. And as always, remember to dispose of waste and recyclables in the appropriate receptacles. Just because we’re living in a post-pandemic world doesn’t mean there aren’t critters still interested in your food!

Pack for Your Protection

Moose mascot Staying safe with our Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020

A safe and successful campsite starts with proper packing. Before you head off on your trip, be sure that you pack all the pandemic essentials to keep you and yours safe, clean, and compliant, including:

  • Hand Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Wash Basin
  • Toilet Paper
  • Tissues
  • Face Mask
  • Flip Flops (For Shower Facilities)

 With a little planning and proper packing, you’ll be sure to have a holiday that’s safe and enjoyable for all!

Practice Patience

Like all businesses and organizations right now, BC Parks is working in real-time to update their facilities and policies to meet the unprecedented demands caused by COVID-19. Needless to say, there likely will be a few hiccups along the way. It may take longer to use washroom and shower facilities. There may be a line to enjoy common areas. Your favourite trail might be a little stop-and-go while people work to maintain proper distancing.

Just remember to take a breath, and practice a little patience. We’re all in this together. No one has a playbook for how to adapt to these times because we’ve never experienced them before. So be sure to treat any delays as a chance to enjoy a little extra time with your friends, your family, and the great outdoors!

Camping in 2020 is going to look a lot different than it ever has before. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic has to ruin your summer holiday completely. Follow this list of Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020 - Pandemic edition, practice extra safety and caution, and get out there to enjoy all that BC Parks have to offer. Needless today, all of us are probably ready for a little fresh air!

Now that you know our Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020 are you looking for other things to do during COVID? Check out the blogs below!

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10 Social Distanced Outdoor Playdates for Kids

Is this a sponsored post?: No, we just wanted to share our Top 10 Camping Tips for 2020 with our followers.