Safety Precautions for Road Trips and Camping Trips During the Pandemic


The winter holiday season is quickly approaching and many people are hitting the road, with additional precautions during the coronavirus pandemic. If you are planning a long driving trip and your region lifts its coronavirus-related restrictions, consider these tips from experts for staying safe and lowering your risk of getting sick both on and off the road.


Standard Road Trip and Camping Precautions

Safety precautions for road and camping trips will vary according to each specific trip. However, there are a handful of general guidelines that serve travelers well while on the road and at campsites. What follows are a list of best practices for such trips:

  • Map out routes ahead of time, even when relying on apps such as Google Maps or GPS devices to guide you in real time. Technological malfunctions or battery loss may force travelers to rely upon paper maps, and one should be kept in the car at all times. Travelers should also download offline maps onto their mobile devices ahead of time.
  • Carefully research gas station availability, particularly if traveling in remote areas. If availability is scarce, travelers may wish to top up their fuel tanks even when current levels exceed half a tank. A jerry can for extra gasoline is also advisable for more remote locations.
  • Plan as much travel as possible during daylight hours. This not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents, but also ensures that facilities like gas stations are more likely to be open.
  • For remote camping locations, bring an excess of food and water supplies corresponding to the total number of travelers.
  • Carefully research if cell service can be assumed at all times. Should it not, travelers may wish to bring satellite phones, short-wave radios, or other ways of emergency communication that do not rely on mobile signal.
  • A first aid kit should be kept in the car and/or at the campsite at all times. The kit should include, at a minimum, such items as antiseptic ointment, gauze, antibacterial wipes, and band-aids, as well as typical medications such as pain relievers and anti-diarrheals.
  • Vehicles, including rental vehicles, should be inspected prior to embarking on travel. Emergency tools – such as those for changing a flat tire – should be kept in the trunk or another safe location within the vehicle.
  • Depending upon ATM availability, enough cash should be kept on hand for emergency needs but should be stored in a safe location.
  • At campsites, food should be carefully stored when not being prepared, as wildlife may be attracted by it, particularly during nighttime hours. Cookware should also be carefully stored.
  • As always, the crime and safety environment of any destination should be researched beforehand, as well as the safety of roads and highways to be used. Weather conditions should also be monitored in the lead-up to travel, particularly for campers.


Road Trip and Camping in the Time of COVID-19

The global COVID-19 pandemic has added a new complexity to all forms of travel, including simple road trips and camping excursions. While each individual will have a different risk tolerance concerning the potential for viral spread, there once again are general guidelines to follow. Importantly, however, all individuals should first ensure that any kind of travel is first and foremost feasible, as national and state governments continue to impose rolling lockdowns and other restrictions in response to viral spread. Other locations may allow travel but require quarantine when crossing state or national borders. Assuming such travel is feasible, a non-exhaustive list of best practices is as follows:

  • Where possible, limit trips to those within a single household. If others outside the household are joining, consider using separate vehicles.
  • Research the hygiene protocols of hotel and/or campsite facilities as well as the buffer time between guest stays.
  • Minimize time spent in indoor, closed circulation environments. Seriously consider outdoor dining options, when given the choice.
  • Ensure sufficient hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, face masks, and other prevention supplies are packed.
  • Continue to employ general viral prevention techniques such as social distancing; travelers may be tempted to let their guard down while on vacation.
  • Carefully research the status of all places to be visited, as some may be closed while others have implemented capacity restrictions and/or new reservation systems due to the pandemic.
  • Know the location of the nearest testing/medical facilities, in case of the development of any symptoms that give cause for concern. Travelers should also be in a position to isolate themselves from others if necessary.

This document is written by GardaWorld.

Posted: 12/11/2020 9:00:00 AM