For many, summer wouldn’t be summer without a family camping trip. From sleeping in the great outdoors to s’mores around a campfire, camping is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all vacation! And after months of quarantine, nothing sounds better, right? But is it okay to camp?
For now, the jury is still out regarding the safety of a lot of activities. A recent article, authored by four public health specialists, rated 36 activities by their estimated level of COVID-19 infection risk. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest risk level, camping rated a 3. To put this in perspective, attending a large concert is rated at a 9, whereas gyms, amusement parks and churches come in at a level 8.
Although good news for camping enthusiasts, having a relatively low score on this particular scale does not mean camping is without risk. Experts agree, safe camping requires preparation. Equally important is planning with the goal of limiting personal contact with others not in your immediate family, including on the way to your destination, and also, once you set up camp. For instance, when reserving your campsite, if allowed, pay ahead of time for certain camp essentials, such as firewood and ice. This will reduce personal contact with campsite staff when you arrive.
Also, pack smart. Include cleaning and personal hygiene supplies, such as soap, surface disinfectants, hand sanitizer, paper towels and toilet paper to utilize on the trip there and at your campsite. When you pitch your tents and set up campfire and eating areas, social distance from nearby campsites. Finally, to help ensure all campers have a safe and enjoyable experience, make sure everyone in your group adheres to current campground rules, which may include such requirements as wearing masks in public areas. Additional considerations for visiting parks and recreational facilities can be found on the CDC website.
Whether camping is on your summer to-do list or not, stay safe while you enjoy these lazy, hazy days. Overall, keep in mind that we are all learning to navigate this new normal.
Keep your little campers happy (and also reading) this summer by checking out our collection of camping-themed books. Here are a few featuring some favorite childhood characters.
- “Pete the Cat Goes Camping” by James Dean
- “Llama Llama Loves Camping” by Anna Dewdney
- “Biscuit Goes Camping” written by Alyssa Satin Capusilli, illustrated by Pat Schories
- “Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping” by Melanie Watt
- “Curious George Goes Camping” by H. A. Rey
- “Martha Camps Out” by Karen Barrs
- “Flat Stanley Goes Camping” written by Lori Haskins Houran, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
- “Peppa Pig and the Camping Trip” by Neville Astley and Mark Baker