Typically the opening weekend of camping and kick-off to summer, Memorial Day is a day many families spend time outdoors camping, barbecuing and soaking up the sun. While herds of people have flocked to the outdoors for a break during this quarantine, Memorial Day isn’t going to be any different. Although the rules vary by state, one thing is for sure: Memorial Day is going to look a little different this year. Here are a few tips on how to camp responsibly this holiday weekend:
Listen to Official Guidelines, Even When You’re Outside
While spending time outdoors is beneficial for your health and wellbeing, be sure to follow the official guidelines from your local government, WHO and the CDC. As you pack up your camping gear, make sure to include a handwashing station and hand sanitizer. Easily set up a handwashing station out of your trunk or on top of a picnic table using a water dispenser and biodegradable soap. Be sure to suds up regularly, just as you would if you were back at home.
The government is still encouraging people to keep a minimum of six feet (or roughly the length of a llama) between themselves and others. This should be easy to do at your campsite since campsites are often placed far enough away from one another, but be mindful as you use community resources like the bathrooms or water spout. When maintaining a six-foot distance is hard, wearing a mask can help protect you and others.
Avoid Areas You Think Might Be More Crowded
Memorial Day is always a popular camping weekend. Those who plan ahead luck out with reservable spots while the rest of us wake up early hoping to get lucky. When planning your camping trip try to think outside of the box and head to places that tend to not be as popular. While camping near a national park may sound fun, it’s probably best to try and avoid the crowds this year. Leave the national parks, local reservoirs and state parks for another weekend. Be prepared with a back-up plan (or plans). If you arrive at plan A and it's crowded, don’t be afraid to move on to your plan B.
Keep Your Camping Group Limited
Most local governments are suggesting that you keep your camping group limited to your quarantine group. Whether that’s your immediate household or a few close friends, fingers crossed you guys can still stand one another. Use this to your advantage; the fewer people that come, the fewer people you have to please (and feed). There will be a time for large gatherings, but for now, take a little stress off your shoulders and just enjoy the company of your close family and friends.
Minimize Pit Stops
Plan ahead and get all of the food, wood and drinks you’ll need for your trip. Think ahead, make a list and grab everything you’ll need (or think you might need). Just add your camping list to your weekly grocery list to make it easier. As you travel to your campsite, try to minimize stops to the gas station and grocery store. To make this easier, camp closer to home and fill up before you head out. Not only does this save you time and money, but it also minimizes your contact points.
It’s Okay to Postpone
Traditions are important (especially those involving the outdoors). While camping on Memorial Day Weekend is a tradition for many families, this year has been different for everyone. If you’re not feeling comfortable going camping, just wait. It’s okay to postpone your plans until things have calmed down and you can feel more relaxed. Those camping spots aren’t going anywhere. If you’re still wanting to keep the tradition alive, spend time outdoors and roast some marshmallows, try camping in your backyard.
With a few simple adjustments and reminders, you can still enjoy your traditional Memorial Day camping trip while keeping yourself and others safe.