Open, outdoor spaces surrounded by nature are some of the safest places to be in the midst of a pandemic—but before you throw your tent in the car or start stocking up your RV, make sure you’re properly prepared for this new spin on camping.

The pandemic has made everything from routine trips to the grocery store to carefully planned vacations a calculus of risk. Do you have your hand sanitizer and mask? Is it going to be very crowded? Will you be able to follow all of the recommended social distancing guidelines? It might all feel like nothing more than a huge inconvenience, but better safe than sorry.

The good news is that camping—of both the tent and RV varieties—are still relatively safe activities. Provided you observe the latest safety guidelines, of course!

Is Camping Safe?

Venturing outdoors is a great way to stay active, breathe fresh air and reduce stress, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are on board. However, make sure not to travel if you feel ill, have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or know someone who has. This is imperative to help slow the spread of the virus and keep vulnerable people safe.

Call Ahead to Reserve Your Spot

With a huge number of public lands closed to camping and flights not being a viable option for many travelers, campgrounds are filling up faster than ever before. When you also take into account that most campgrounds are only filling every other lot to promote physical distancing, capacity is severely limited. Before you get going, make sure your ideal campground has room for you!

More Tips for Making the Most of Your Next Camping Trip

Next time you pack your tent or hop in your RV, think small. Solo trips and outings with only the people you live with are the safest ways to go. Only being around small groups of people you’ve already been exposed to will significantly lower your risk of contracting the virus. So, what else could lower your risk?

  • Avoid smoke from campfires. The smoke can make you cough and help spread the virus, so try to limit your exposure.
  • Spread out for campfire singalongs. Like coughing, singing can help to spread the virus.
  • Don’t share food. Try not to eat from the same pot or share utensils. Buffet-style situations are likely a bad idea.
  • Bring your own cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. Pack your soap, surface cleaners, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and toilet paper—and use them!
  • Respect the campground’s rules. Whether you’re in a tent or an RV, make sure you’re following the campground’s social distancing guidelines. Most won’t hesitate to remove people who don’t comply.
  • Avoid public restrooms when you can. The fewer people who use the shared ones, the better.

Our final tip for preparing for your camping trip? Don’t forget your hand sanitizer and masks! Even if you’re planning on disappearing into nature and staying away from everyone else, it never hurts to be prepared for unplanned interactions.

Lastly, have fun and enjoy your camping trip!