little boy washing his hands while camping

Family Health

4 Tips for Staying Healthy And Sanitized While Camping

Aug 20, 2020

We all want to make the most of the summer adventures we have left this season, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, staying healthy is an important part of having a fun and safe outdoor experience.

Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe and sanitized on your next adventure!

1. Know the current COVID-19 guidelines and what facilities are available for you to use

The current COVID-19 situation is ever evolving. At this time, several parks and recreation organizations, including Parks Canada, strongly encourage all visitors to maintain physical distancing, and wear a non-medical mask or face covering when visiting indoor spaces. In some jurisdictions, non-medical face masks or coverings are now mandatory and visitors will be asked to follow this requirement.

Check the website for your destination or call ahead to know if there are washrooms, showers or guest services available. Double check the hours of operation and take note of any possible closures so you can plan for alternatives.

2. Maintain good hygiene practices

Washing your hands frequently is just as important in the wilderness as it is at home! Also be sure to cover your coughs and sneezes with the inside of your sleeve or with tissues, and stay home if you are sick.

Avoid touching your face and wash your hands after touching public items like tables, playgrounds or benches. Pack hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes to easily and frequently disinfect your hands if water and soap are not readily available. Also use disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces like benches and picnic tables before your meals, and consider bringing your own table cloth.

Make sure that you use designated washrooms and grey water pits.

Looking for a camping snack that's sure to be a hit with the kids? Find the recipe for campfire muffins baked in oranges here.

3. Bring your own soap

Most camping facilities will have washrooms with soap available, but carrying your own will ensure you are always prepared.

If washing outside of a designated area, practice leave-no-trace principles by washing at least 200 feet (about 80 steps) away from any water source. And consider using biodegradable soap. These soaps are available in many camping stores and have less of an environmental impact than regular soap.

Travel-sized soap bottles are great for short trips. Check if you already have travel sized bottles at home that you can repurpose.

4. Keep all your toiletries in a separate bag

When camping, pack all your toiletries into a separate bag to keep them organized and easily accessible.

Keeping toiletries in a separate bag will also make it easy for you to secure all your scented items away from wildlife. Scented toiletries should be stored in your vehicle or in a wildlife proof container along with your food when you leave your campsite or go to sleep.

Remember to continue to check ongoing updates to recommended COVID-19 procedures at the destinations you are planning on visiting. By respecting physical distancing and safety guidelines, you can continue to keep yourself and others safe. This added peace of mind will only enhance your enjoyment in the great outdoors.

Thank you for being conscientious campers!

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