Getting Outside Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
A guide to making responsible decisions in the outdoors
As our nation, and the world, battles to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, everyone’s decisions play a role in the outcome. Understandably, stress levels are high and outdoor recreation can provide much needed stress relief. Although California is currently under a stay at home order, you can still get outside! But before you do, take a moment to assess how your actions may impact others.
We have compiled some information to help Sacramento State students (and anyone else reading this) decide how to get outside.
Cancel your spring break plans
Please cancel any plans to travel for Spring Break. We know it sucks, but unfortunately traveling for spring break is definitely not recommended. If you made plans to travel for Spring Break and have not cancelled your plans by now, PLEASE reconsider and stay close to home. Many outdoor recreation meccas like Bishop and Moab saw a huge influx of travelers and have made drastic measures to reduce the amount of people coming to climb, camp, bike, raft, and adventure. Many students across the country have opted to keep their plans and are endangering themselves and the communities they are traveling to.
Get outside, but do so responsibly
Yes, we’re in a national and global pandemic, but you still can (and should) still get outside! If you’re going outside, we have read tons of articles and guidelines and have summarized some key points for you!
Please consider the following before heading outside:
1.) Stay informed
Always adhere to official guidelines. Check in with your local health official’s website before leaving.
2.) Locals only
Stay close to home and respect closures. Avoid unnecessary transmission, especially to rural and at risk communities. If areas are closed please respect the closure and choose another activity or area. Even if you have been to that trail 1,000 times, it’s closed for a reason.
3.) Don’t touch me, bro!
Minimize contact and shared surfaces. Sports with contact (football and basketball) or shared surfaces (rock climbing and gym equipment) should be avoided or altered to minimize spread as much as possible. Spread out and avoid crowded areas like trail bottlenecks and busy parking areas.
4.) Keep it mellow
Choose low-risk activities. Hospitals and rescue workers do not need any extra work right now. Choose activities that are low risk. If there is any chance that you can become seriously injured or need medical assistance, please choose another activity.
“Embrace the casual. Now is not the time to get after the gnar. We’re all in this together, and it’s imperative that the backcountry community do its part to not further stress the system with preventable accidents.”
Says Matt Hansen in the article You Probably Shouldn’t Be Backcountry Skiing Right Now
There you have it. Get outside, but do so responsibly. Stay safe and stay well hornets!
P.S. Stay tuned for a future article about indoor recommendations! Books, movies, music, workouts, trip planning, gear maintenance, and more!
For further reading and to read the articles referenced in this post:
Outdoor Meccas Are Not a Social-Distancing Hack – Outside Online
The Leave No Trace Recommendations for Getting Outside During Covid-19
A guide to safe outdoor activities during the coronavirus – Popular Science
Bishop Shuts Down – Rock & Ice
Climbers: Take Action Against Coronavirus - American Alpine Club
You Probably Shouldn’t Be Backcountry Skiing Right Now - Outside Online
It’s Time for the Outdoor Community to Step Up – Outside Online