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How to Safely Camp During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by CampspotterAug 15, 2020
How to Safely Camp During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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The purpose of this Camp Guide is to provide Campspotters the best camping experience through sharing advice and information. While that may tend to be more about the best destinations, posting campfire recipes, or featuring different camping products, the most important thing we can share during this pandemic is how to create and enjoy a safe and responsible camping experience. Thinking of going camping during COVID-19? Here are our seven tips for how to do it:

Are you feeling sick? Don’t camp.

Stay close to home.

Cleanliness is critical.

Practice social distancing and use face coverings.

Be in the know.

Be responsible and self-sufficient.

Be nice.

An Airstream trailer sitting at its campsite below big trees and next to a black pickup truck.

Are you feeling sick? Don’t camp– If you’re not feeling well or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home. According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and sore throat. If exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please get tested yourself. If you have been exposed and tested, please don’t go camping until you receive negative results. Lastly, if you have a preexisting condition that makes you particularly vulnerable to the virus, now is the time to self-reflect and decide if you are comfortable camping in a public setting that may increase the risk of exposure.

A view of the Delaware Water Gap during sunset.

Stay close to home – Stopping the spread of COVID means, well, stopping the spread. By sticking to locations close to home, you’re helping keep the virus’s movement minimum. Even if you don’t have COVID-19, the point is that if everyone stays close to home, it lowers the risk of communities with high cases (typically larger cities) from impacting smaller towns that may be susceptible to the virus. The great news is that there are plenty of places to visit and explore, just a short drive away.

A collection of personal protective, PPE, to be used while camping safely during COVID-19.

Cleanliness is critical– Be sure to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash your hands after touching campground surfaces like water spigots or electrical outlets after setting up your RV. Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. If you don’t have quick access to hand soap and water, it’s helpful to carry and clean your hands with hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Carrying a travel-sized bottle in your pocket is a great way to sanitize your hands quickly and regularly. Lastly, clean surfaces that are frequently touched. While camping, this might mean the door handle of your RV, the light switches in your camper, the doorknob to your cabin rental, the handles of the cooler, the flashlight, car doors, grill knobs, etc. 

A sign communicating to campers to wear their mask within the campground office.

Practice social distancing and use face coverings – When indoors, please cover your nose and mouth with a face mask when around others. This includes places like the campground’s main office or the laundry room. Do you have to wear a face mask when outside? If you feel safer wearing a mask when you’re outdoors, then, by all means, do so. If you’re outdoors at your campsite and only around those from your household, a face covering is unnecessary. Suppose you’re outside somewhere other than your campsite, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be around anyone not from your household or when there is enough space to maintain a safe distance from others (at least six feet). In that case, a mask probably isn’t necessary. Still, campgrounds get busy, and pathways might be tight, so it’s a good idea to have one handy. Keep your distance even when wearing masks. It’s important to remember that masks aren’t a replacement for social distancing and that the most effective way to avoid the virus and prevent it from spreading is to socially distance and wear a mask. Lastly, please cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing or cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow. 

A man researching state and federal mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to camp safely.

Be in the know – Do your research ahead of time to be aware of travel-restrictions or closed facilities such as parks, beaches, bathrooms, or pools. Follow the guidance of local public health authorities from where you live as well as from your destination. Some areas have travel forms to be filled before arriving, timed quarantining, or proof of testing. Once you book your site on Campspot, Contact the campground or resort for more information on the area’s status and requirements.

A man hooking up his sewage hose to the sewage connection at a campground.

Be responsible and self-sufficient – In addition to researching and planning, be self-sufficient. If you are traveling in an RV/camper with a bathroom, please use your own and not the campground facilities. Try to get your groceries before heading out to limit your time out in public. If the pool or playground looks crowded, encourage your children to do another activity. Let’s take an extra second to be mindful of our actions and ask if what we’re doing puts yourself or others more at risk.

A woman holding up her arms in the shape of a heart during a sunset along the gulf of Mexico.

Lastly, be nice – Times are tough, and the haven of campgrounds are more needed than ever for respite, recharge, and enjoy the outdoors. Campgrounds are unique little communities of people that love to help others, strike up a friendly conversation, and wave to one another. While we may be in a pandemic, this still holds. By doing our part to help prevent illness and stop the spread of COVID-19, we are assisting campgrounds across the nation to keep their doors open for business and, in turn, allow ourselves and our neighbors to get that well-deserved reprieve in the outdoors.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for COVID-19 right now and the best way to prevent illness to avoid being exposed to it. By following the CDC guidelines and these helpful tips, you, your family can stay healthy and safe while camping. While things are different this summer, we are thankful that we can still enjoy the great outdoors. Please, feel free to contact our support team at or call 1 (800) 724-8620 with any questions or concerns regarding camping during COVID-19. 

Thanks for staying safe at your next Campspot!