Now more than ever, families are itching to find ways to get outside and explore somewhere new. The provincial and private campgrounds on Vancouver Island have established some great protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Before you book your stay, find out what the campground you’re planning to stay with is doing to curb the spread, as many are operating with a reduction in services. If you’re planning to stay in BC Parks, be sure to review their guide to Camping during COVID-19.
Plan Ahead & Be Prepared
While many services and destinations have been safely welcoming visitors, some businesses may still be operating with reduced hours. Be prepared that it might be a little more challenging to find something on-the-go if you’ve forgotten it at home.
In addition to clothes and basic camping gear, you’ll also want to pack your own hygiene essentials, regardless if the campsite you’re staying at has facilities or not. In times like these, its recommended to be as self-sufficient as possible to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Here’s the list of essentials recommended by BC Parks:
- Hand sanitizer
- Wash bin and soap
- Toilet paper and tissues
- Garbage bags
- Disinfecting wipes
- Extra water (preferably in a large, easy-pouring jug that you can open and close like a tap.)
When you arrive at your destination, use the items above to set up a handwashing station at your campsite.
Before leaving home, it’s also strongly recommended to have all of your grocery shopping completed for the trip. That being said, don’t be shy to stop at a restaurant or coffee shop along the way. Many small businesses have taken precautions of their own to stop the spread of COVID-19 and operate safely this summer.
If you’re feeling sick, please stay home.
Follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer and stay home if you have a cough, fever, or any symptoms of COVID-19.
With the announcement of Phase 3, travel around the province may resume. That said, please be mindful of your destinations this summer. Many popular camping areas are in small towns near indigenous communities that do not have the resources to handle a widespread outbreak. Please explore these areas respectfully to reduce the risk of unknowingly transmitting the virus.
Before leaving home, try to have everything you’ll need for your adventure purchased and packed at home, and limit the number of stops at gas stations. If you do need to fill up, always use hand sanitizer after touching common surfaces, like gas pumps.
Practice Physical Distancing
One of the best parts of going camping is the fresh air and open spaces in nature. But sometimes, you’ll have to come close to others to pass on a trail or while waiting in line for the bathroom when nature calls. In these situations, please try to hike in single-file and leave a 2 metre distance between you and the person in front of you. If you have an RV or camper, try to use your own facilities if you have them.
Be prepared. This sentiment cannot be emphasized enough. If things go wrong, search and rescue is available to assist but it will take them longer to get to you, so please exercise caution and mitigate risks as much as possible. Follow AdventureSmart Guidelines for every expedition.