Tips on Socially Distancing and Staying Healthy While on the Trail
May 17, 2020
Yesterday we went hiking. It seems normal enough, but this was our first hike in two months.
Due to the pandemic, we’ve been hanging tight at home. We’ve followed the stay-at-home orders, for the safety of others and ourselves. We’ve been cautious, only going to the store for essentials and supporting our local small businesses. We’ve had to cancel travel plans. We spend hours in the backyard to get fresh air and occasionally go for neighborhood walks. But to go on a hike, this felt like a bit of normalcy in a world not so certain.
We headed out east towards the mountains early in the morning. We thought this would mean fewer hikers and ensure social distancing. It seemed as though we missed the crowds until we turned a corner and saw both sides of the road completely packed with cars. We were surprised. We were just as surprised to see almost everyone wearing a facemask and attempting to keep a six-feet distance.
We continued along the highway to find a quieter trailhead. We found a section of the Pacific Crest Trail that was open and far less trafficked. As many of you know, the PCT is a special trail to us. And although many through-hikers postponed their hikes this year, many through-hikers would have far surpassed this section. With few other hikers around, we decided to hit the trail.
Almost every hiker we saw had some type of facemask that they used to cover their nose and mouth when coming up on others. We were among the hikers who used their buff as their facemask. We also stepped aside whenever another hiker crossed our path. Other hikers did the same. But there was room on the trail to do this and visibility to see ahead.
Although it felt weird to have to put on a facemask each time we passed another person, hiking provided a sense of normalcy. For a moment it didn’t feel like we were living in a pandemic. Instead, we were enjoying a beautiful Saturday on the trail. If you’re like us and have been craving to hit the trails, do it! It was a very much needed breath of fresh air. But we recommend following these tips to stay healthy.
- Hike on trails close to home, don’t travel during stay-at-home orders.
- Wear a buff around your neck and use it as a facemask when coming close to others.
- Find trails that are less trafficked.
- Step aside when coming across other hikers to let them pass, keeping space on the trail (But make sure to watch your footing for plant and animal life, we’re in their homes!).
- Go hiking at less crowded times.
- Hike on wider trails and ones in which you can see ahead.
- If you go with people you don’t live with, make sure to keep six-feet apart.