Health Care

How to Stay Safe and Healthy While Camping

A family by a campfire.
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It’s summertime and many families are looking for safe family vacation options to enjoy with their loved ones. And camping might top the list as a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors. We’ve put together this list of tips to help you and your travel companions camp safely.

Be Aware of Travel Restrictions

Most parts of the country have reopened and are now allowing nonessential travel again. But not all public places like campgrounds or state and national parks are open.

When planning your camping trip, it’s important to first check with local and state health departments for any travel restrictions or park closures. Be sure to check not only the health department for your destination but also those in the areas you will be traveling through to get there.

It’s also best to check with your designated park or campground to see what safety protocols they have in place. Some may have new procedures for checking in and out. They may also have closed or restricted access to facilities, such as restrooms and picnic areas, affecting how you prepare for your camping trip.

Health Precautions While Traveling and Camping

Travel of any kind — including going camping — can raise your risk for getting and spreading coronavirus, according to the CDC. Simply stopping for supplies or bathroom breaks on your way to your campsite can put you in close contact with others and with contaminated surfaces. These activities may be especially unsafe for people at high risk for infection.

While traveling and at your campsite, continue to practice good hand hygiene basics, like washing your hands often and not touching your face. Also, wear a cloth face covering and stay 6 feet away from others when in public — even in your campground.

You may also want to follow these CDC travel precautions to further protect yourself and your travel companions:

  • Bring cleaning and disinfecting products

  • Choose campgrounds closer to home

  • Don’t gather with people outside of your travel group

  • Keep hand sanitizer on hand and use it often

  • Pack extra clothes, food, water and other supplies

Other Ways to Keep Camping Safe

When you’re outside in nature, you can be exposed to other health and safety concerns, such as poisonous plants, stinging insects and inclement or quick-changing weather. It’s important to be prepared and to pack well.

The U.S. Forest Service provides an outdoor safety checklist that includes necessary emergency items like a first aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent and a flashlight. As an added precaution, pack an extra amount of any prescription and over-the-counter medicines you take.

Being out in nature can boost your mental and physical health, but it isn’t without risks. As a general rule, don’t hike, swim or do other outdoor activities alone. The CDC and the National Park Service offer more tips on staying safe and healthy while camping, including guidance on:

  • Creating an emergency plan

  • Knowing park rules and regulations

  • Packing and preparing food safely

  • Planning safe activities for you and your group

  • Keeping your group, including pets, safe from wildlife

  • Staying healthy in cold and hot weather

Here When You Need Us

Planning a camping trip with your loved ones can be a great way to make summer memories. And as you begin to ease your way back to your favorite activities with your family, know that we’re here to support you. If you need care at any point, you can rely on our experts to keep you safe with additional safety measures at all of our facilities, whether it’s at one of our emergency or urgent care locations, or routine primary care.

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