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Author Topic: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment  (Read 370 times)

DavidM

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Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« on: March 20, 2020, 02:00:54 PM »
Well, we are hunkered down here in SWFL, staying home for the most part, only going out in the early mornings for our exercise walk but staying 6' away from others. Planning to order take out from our nearby cafe tonight to do something different and support the local business, washing hands furiously, etc.

So with all of that I am thinking about camping this season, maybe more than normal. Who knows what circumstances will be like by May when we are back in our summer home in Connecticut (or if we can even get back). But as long as our favorite campgrounds are open, we will go. So here are some thoughts about doing it with minimal risk.

First the family socializing type of camping in a resort RV park should be out for all of us. Too much social mingling. We camp in fairly rustic USFS, NP and SP campgrounds so that is not an issue for us.

We can hook up our trailer, drive to a campsite, even get gas (with a wipe down for the pump handle and payment screen) and not get within 6' of a human or a human's residue. The check in kiosk is the only real source of contact and we will stand back and conduct our business from 6' away.

Once we back in to our campsite the closest human will be 100' or more away and we won't contact neighbors or invite them over for a drink as we sometimes do. We will not use the public bathrooms and use the facilities in the trailer exclusively. When we arrive we will fill the water tank but use a wipe to turn the faucet valve. Same thing with the dump station when we leave followed by soap and water hand washing.

By doing all of this we should be just as safe as staying at home. I know some of the above sounds pretty draconian to some, but seeing what just happened in California (total state quarantine) makes it seem normal now. Some of you will say it will all be over by the time we go for the first time in May. I fervently hope you are right.

Other thoughts?

David


« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 02:05:52 PM by DavidM »

Paul

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Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 04:16:34 PM »
This is definitely in my mind too, will I be able to go pickup my trailer in the storage facility in the end of April? My whole company is working from home, I did a very big grocery that should last us 2-3 months so we don't have to go out much but it is challenging to work from home with the kids since the daycare are all closed down. My plan if I can get the trailer is to set it up at the seasonal site, the only travel plan I have with the trailer so far are in September and October.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 11:31:24 PM by Paul »
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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2020, 04:50:02 PM »
They just closed the OR state parks, and all established campgrounds and day use areas in the state forests.

We are not yet under curfew, but that may happen yet.

So if we were to go camping, it would be boondocking in a dispersed camping on state or national forest.

But then, who would stay home to guard our TP ?


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Merlin

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2020, 10:20:11 PM »
They just closed the OR state parks, and all established campgrounds and day use areas in the state forests.

We are not yet under curfew, but that may happen yet.

So if we were to go camping, it would be boondocking in a dispersed camping on state or national forest.

But then, who would stay home to guard our TP ?


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You have TP? Hmmmmm..............
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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2020, 10:30:03 PM »
Thanks for bringing this up David. I've been thinking a lot about it too. Michigan and Minnesota state parks are still opening this spring, but only pit toilets, water, and electricity will be available until further notice. That may change, of course. We know of some great state forest campgrounds and national forest campgrounds with widely dispersed sites and plenty of room to roam right here in Michigan. That will be it for use this season. We are canceling our big summer trip to Colorado, Utah, and points SW. We'll stick to our favorite sites in Michigan and take precautions like never before. We'll probably also limit each trip to 5 days/4 nights so that we can remain completely self-contained for water and tank capacity. With all reservations on-line we shouldn't have to touch anything away from home except the gas pump and we'll treat those like they are poisonous.

Maybe Paul and I should collect all the good ideas about camping during a pandemic and send out a newsletter. If anyone else has thoughts, post 'em up.
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Paul

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2020, 11:30:10 PM »

Maybe Paul and I should collect all the good ideas about camping during a pandemic and send out a newsletter. If anyone else has thoughts, post 'em up.

I like the idea!
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DavidM

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 12:02:36 PM »
Merlin:

As I stated in my beginning post to this thread, we are doing exactly what you are doing: short 3-5 day trips mostly close to home. But I am wondering why you have cancelled your more ambitious plans for a western, sw states trip?

The longer trip does pose some issues, but I think most are surmountable. You will have to shop for groceries along the way. Even Paul I suspect can't last for three months without doing some shopping  ;). We placed our first order a few days ago for grocery home delivery from Publix our local store. Will have to see how that works. I confess we just made a liquor run this morning. FWIW liquor stores are considered an essential business  :o.  I tried but couldn't stay 6' apart at the checkout line but as soon as we got home I ditched the packaging and washed my hands. So even though you probably can't do home grocery delivery while camping far from home, you could minimize the risks by wiping down the cart and everything you touch and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands as soon as you get back to your camper.
 
Laundry is another issue while extended camping. You could go to a commercial RV park for a night as they usually have washer/dryers but social distancing will be tough in one of these. The other way would be to stop in a small town along the way, put your clothes in a washer, go for a walk and come back and do the same thing with the dryer. As long as you stay 6' away from people, watch what you touch and wipe down surfaces like the sorting table you should be ok.

Finally a word about the 6' rule. It is just a generality and farther away is always better. As strictly an illustration and the numbers were pulled out of you know where, if you stand shoulder to shoulder with an infected individual you have an x chance of catching it. 3' means 1/10 x and 6' means 1/100 x and 100' means almost no chance.

Stay safe everyone.

David
« Last Edit: March 21, 2020, 02:10:12 PM by DavidM »

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 12:08:01 PM »
We will probably have to shop for things we forgot about what we do right now is that we are making a list of whats missing and will wait until we have enough and probably order online and go pickup
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Merlin

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2020, 09:28:37 PM »
Merlin:

As I stated in my beginning post to this thread, we are doing exactly what you are doing: short 3-5 day trips mostly close to home. But I am wondering why you have cancelled your more ambitious plans for a western, sw states trip?

The longer trip does pose some issues, but I think most are surmountable. You will have to shop for groceries along the way. Even Paul I suspect can't last for three months without doing some shopping  ;). We placed our first order a few days ago for grocery home delivery from Publix our local store. Will have to see how that works. I confess we just made a liquor run this morning. FWIW liquor stores are considered an essential business  :o.  I tried but couldn't stay 6' apart at the checkout line but as soon as we got home I ditched the packaging and washed my hands. So even though you probably can't do home grocery delivery while camping far from home, you could minimize the risks by wiping down the cart and everything you touch and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands as soon as you get back to your camper.
 
Laundry is another issue while extended camping. You could go to a commercial RV park for a night as they usually have washer/dryers but social distancing will be tough in one of these. The other way would be to stop in a small town along the way, put your clothes in a washer, go for a walk and come back and do the same thing with the dryer. As long as you stay 6' away from people, watch what you touch and wipe down surfaces like the sorting table you should be ok.

Finally a word about the 6' rule. It is just a generality and farther away is always better. As strictly an illustration and the numbers were pulled out of you know where, if you stand shoulder to shoulder with an infected individual you have an x chance of catching it. 3' means 1/10 x and 6' means 1/100 x and 100' means almost no chance.

Stay safe everyone.

David

Cancelling the big trip to the SW is a tough call, but with some reasoning and not just knee-jerk reaction (Not that you implied it was!) First, a major reason for the trip was to attend an annual meetup of Land Cruiser owners in Fort Collins. More than a 100 of us weirdos (or enthusiasts more diplomatically) had off road adventures, etc planned for late July in the Rockies. That was cancelled due to closure of public and private facilities in CO for an uncertain length of time. Second, it is difficult to get accurate local information on the situation with Covid-19 and traveling to many areas over a month or more increases risks from that deficit. We are very familiar with changing risks where we live and can take extra precautions; not as easy on the road. Third, in the event of serious illness, the situation is WAY worse away from home. Especially with an illness like Covid-19 that can take you down for long time and has no treatment. Fourth, both my wife and I are in the high risk group for complications making reason number three even more serious. I think at least some areas of the country will still be dealing with outbreaks 3-4 months from now as the virus moves around the country. For me, this is simply not going to be a spring/summer for extended camping trips outside the state. This week I'm spending some of my indoor time looking at state forest campgrounds along the Great Lakes. So far, the search is promising. I think we can have a great camping season without driving much. Too bad, with gas so cheap!
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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2020, 06:26:24 PM »
Well I am on day 9 of self quarantine due to a work exposure.  Our Building at work had two cases and is now closed.  All of us are teleworking.  Had my COVID 19 test done last Friday.  Still awaiting test results and I have had no symptoms.  The exposure was on 6 March so I should be good to go but I am awaiting on test results because in all good conscience I do not want to expose anyone.  I volunteer on our local fire department so I don't want to affect any of those guys. 

So far the state parks in PA are closed.  I haven't been notified that my reservation at Assateague Island SP in May is canceled but they are closed through 11 May which was our check out date.  :-[

Agree that camping is a perfect activity for social distancing if you have your own bathroom.  Parks could limit it to campers with their own facilities no different then Yellowstone that only allows hard side campers to camp inside the park.

We have camping planned in Vermont and Maine after Labor Day this year. Hope that doesn't get cancelled either. 

Anyhow stay safe!
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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2020, 11:50:01 AM »
Michigan state parks and state forests are open but only for limited day use. No water, no trash pickup, no toilets, no camping, no playgrounds, no beaches, etc. National parks and forests in Michigan have closed all facilities except for limited day use in some, with the same limitations as the state owned areas. My sister in Indiana reports a similar situation. This is for the indefinite future. Weve canceled all camping reservations for 2020 and will make new ones only after we know more about the Covid-19 situation in Michigan and elsewhere. Im going to use the time to do maintenance and more mods on the camper and to camp in our backyard with our new dog so he can get used to the routines.
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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2020, 12:07:50 PM »
Oregon State parks are cancelling reservations as the closure date bumps into them, so our early April dates were closed, but May look intact so far.

The State Parks are all closed, as are recreation facilities (day use, campgrounds) in the state forests and national forests. I have not gotten out to check if they have closed gates.

BLM has also similarly closed facilities, but have explicitly said the land is open for recreation within the bounds of social distancing.

Boat ramps in parks have been closed, but those operated by ports are still open for commercial boats, closed to recreation.

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2020, 11:44:36 AM »
Many states have now issued "stay at home" orders. I have read a few. Some allow outdoor recreation of which camping may be considered. They also allow travel from one place of residence to another, which may be invoked to allow travel to a campsite.

I still feel that camping in the more rustic campgrounds like NPs, SPs, USFS, etc is about as safe as being at home and getting there can also be managed as safely as going to the grocery store.

Anyone run up against restrictions in their state yet, beyond campground closings?

David

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Re: Camping in a COVID 19 Environment
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2020, 11:59:37 AM »
In Central Florida near me, Orange and Osceola Counties now have stay at home orders in place and the governor is signing a state wide order effective midnight Thursday.  You can be stopped and ticketed unless you are traveling only to an essential location such as a doctor's office or grocery store.  Most of the campgrounds have closed.  In Seminole and Lake Counties, emergency orders are in place restricting people 65 and older as well as enforcing the social distancing rules.  I've been following a Corona Virus camping Facebook page and it seems as though campgrounds, state parks and even USFS sites are closing all over.  I would LOVE to get out of the house now.  At least I have a nice yard and am tempted to do some driveway camping.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 03:52:47 PM by djsamuel »