A breath of fresh air: heading out for a hike during covid times
Heading out into nature is the perfect way to blow away the cobwebs and get out of the house; especially during tough times like these where many of us often feel trapped, bored, and lonely. Leaving the house can be nerve-wracking though, especially if you’re more vulnerable or just feel paranoid that you could become ill. Not everyone wants to be rushing out into the cities right now, we totally get it.
We’ve got the answer though, and it’s as easy as going for a hike. Yes. A wander through the trees, along lake edges, into the wild. Perhaps with a picnic halfway round. Whether you want to plan an outing with your family and littles, your best friends, or even a covid-friendly date with a blossoming love interest, here are our top tips for getting the most out of your hike during covid times.
Right now, you want to be avoiding the crowds – so heading to your trail as early as possible is the way to go. Set your alarm a few hours early and make a morning of it, or plan to head into nature for sunrise for the ultimate wake-me-up. This way you’ll have the trail to yourself and see the world waking up around you. That sounds pretty perfect to us.
Arriving early just gives you that opportunity to relax and take in the trail at your own pace. Plus, you’ll feel way more at one with nature, which’ll give that that good old boost of endorphins from the freedom, the scents in the air and the blooming beauty all around you.
Pack the Essentials
Whether you’re planning on a super short walk, or a longer hike, you’ll need to pack the essentials to make sure you don’t end up in any sticky situations. Of course you shouldn’t forget water, healthy and filling snacks, and maybe even some toilet tissue just in case nature calls and the public toilets happen to be closed(!), but right now, hygiene wipes and disinfectant hand gel are also super important to keep yourselves clean and protected against any germs you come into contact with on your way.
Don’t forget: treat your national parks and nature reserves with love and care – don’t drop your litter. Pack it away in your bag or backpack until you can dispose of it correctly. Many trails won’t have any sort of garbage disposal en route!
Don’t Forget your Mask
You may have arrived early to beat the crowds, but it doesn’t mean you’re not going to wander into some other early risers on the paths. Also, if your hike takes longer than planned, you may well find yourself amongst crowds later in the day. Take your face masks along for the ride. You definitely don’t need to wear them as you’re hiking – the ultra fresh air is the perfect tonic for being stuck inside for so long, and super healthy – so breathe it in as deeply as you can!
Pick Suitable Trails
Think about who you’re heading out with, and pick a suitable trail that fits everyone’s fitness levels and needs. If you’re heading out with young children, you might want to pick a few shorter hikes that are easy to navigate and offer plenty of stop points for when nature calls.
Whilst you may feel fully equipped to hike the longest trail on the map, do keep in mind that the park will become busier the later it gets and you may well come into contact with more people than you feel comfortable with. Also…
Stick to Just Hiking
…and by this, we mean don’t start doing anything too risky, like scaling rocks, passing safety boards, or generally acting a bit stupid. Right now, hospitals probably aren’t where you want to end up. Not only are the emergency services overrun with Covid cases, but you don’t want to end up sitting in a hospital waiting room where the chances of being infected are even higher.
Of course, no one can ever predict an emergency, but if you stick to the rules of the park or nature reserve you’re hiking, you can absolutely limit the amount of danger you put yourself in.
Are you ready to take on your next hike? Find out our favorite national parks in our blog posts from back in March here and here, and if you want to go one step further and get your family out on the road for the best road trip of the year, head here! We’ve got plenty of inspiration to keep you going!