Our beloved Canadian summer is just around the corner. The weather’s warm and we can finally enjoy the outdoors. And getting outside has never seemed more desirable after a cooped-up pandemic winter. We may be limited in where we can travel, but we can still enjoy all that nature has to offer by going camping. Here’s how you and your family can enjoy a COVID-safe camping excursion this year.

Make A Reservation
Camping has always been a popular pastime for Canadians, so if you want to get a spot, you’re going to need a reservation. The number of first-time campers took off in 2020 with a rate five times that of 2019. In Alberta alone, camping reservations increased by 5,000%. The Government of Canada makes it easy to book. It has sites listed by region and by the different types of accommodations available.

Go Small or Go Home
When you’re planning your camping trip – think small. We’re all desperate to hang out with groups of people, especially friends and family we haven’t seen, but it’s important to still be safe. Just like when you’re not camping, you should try to only be in contact with your immediate household or a small group you’ve been seeing during the pandemic. Try to look at it as a unique opportunity to experience nature with just your family.

Bring Sanitary and Personal Hygiene Supplies
As hard as you may try, it’s difficult not to come into contact with other people or surfaces touched by others. Make a sanitary pack with supplies to keep you safe throughout your trip. Include things like hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes, soap and tissues. You’ll likely be using a shared bathroom at a campsite or may need to stop somewhere along the way – so it’s good to have those things on hand.

Don’t Forget That Face Mask
Face masks have become part of our everyday carrying items. You likely don’t leave home without one and have a few spares in your car. You may feel like you don’t need one in the great outdoors but don’t ditch the face mask yet. If you’re camping with a group outside of your home, make sure you’re following the local mask guidelines and protocols. There are lots of great masks made specifically for outdoor adventurers, so you can say safe while enjoying the outdoors.

Socially Distance
The best way to avoid COVID, as we all know, is to maintain social distance. That means only sharing a tent, RV or Yurt with your immediate household. If you’re planning on seeing someone outside of your household make sure you travel in separate cars. If you and your family decide to do a hike, bike or any other sort of outdoor activity, choose a trail that isn’t too popular and maintain as much social distancing as you can when you come across other campers.

Avoid Some Camping Traditions, For Now
Some of the best things to do while camping are also activities that are most likely to spread COVID. Most of these happen around the campfire like belting out some tunes or sharing smokies and smores. Singing has been shown to cause spreading of COVID due to the droplets that are released as you sing - best to avoid any rounds of Kumbaya this trip. Smoke around the fire is unavoidable, even if you say white rabbit! Smoke can cause you to cough, which can also cause the spread of COVID so try and stay away from the fire or skip it altogether this time.

Camping may look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be an incredible family trip. As long as you’re prepped and follow proper COVID protocols, camping can be the perfect way to enjoy the summer.