With many states issuing stay at home orders, people are looking for ways to keep from going stir crazy. Physical and mental health is paramount at this time. Going on a hike with your immediate family at one of your local parks can be a great way to get outside during the COVID-19 crisis.
But in order to keep parks open, we all need to practice good social distancing. And to keep ourselves healthy, we need to practive good hygeine.
Here are some tips on how to take a hike while staying safe.
These tips are by no means any type of medical advice – just some things to think about before heading out to the trails.
Safety Tips for Hiking During COVID-19
Know What 6 Feet Looks Like
We all know we’re supposed to be practicing social distancing. But are you truly keeping others, besides your immediate household members, 6 feet away?
When encountering other groups on a hiking trail, be sure to give them as much room as possible.
Some spots on trail, such as staircases and bridges may not be wide enough to accommodate two passing groups maintaining the 6 feet distance between. If so, wait at the other end of the bridge or stairs until they have passed.
The same goes for natural trail hazards, such as places where the trail gets muddy or has other obstuctions.
Avoid Touching Railings
Don’t touch railings when navigating staircases or bridges.
Same goes for items like trail map displays and other informational signs.
If you think you’ll need to use hand rails for balance, use gloves. And then be very mindful not to touch your fave and mouth with your gloves.
Take Your Own Water
You certainly want to steer clear of water fountains. Plus, many parks have their nature centers and bathroom facilities closed for the time being.
Be sure to take your own water.
Keep Wipes and Hand Sanitizer Accessible
Because the park facilities will most likely be closed, you won’t be able to wash off dirt and mud using their sinks.
Take hand wipes to get rid of the mess and then follow up with sanitizer to get rid of any germs.
Carry Out Your Trash
Many state and national parks may keep their trails open, but stop all facility maintenance, including waste management.
Be respectful of your environment by taking all of your trash with you to dispose of at home.
Keeping the trails clean with also help ensure the parks are able to stay open at this time.
Even if you are on a short hike in a local park, taking a daypack for trash, wipes and hand sanitizer is a good idea.
Tips for Hiking Safely During COVID-19 Conclusion
Taking a hike in a local park is a great way to get outside during the COVID-19 crisis. Getting off the couch and moving the body can do great things for physical and mental health.
However, be mindful to do so safely while adhering to all CDC and state mandated orders.
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