A lot is shut down or has been shut down, and even that which is open is socially distanced and less busy than usual. So what can you do on a free weekend with no plans? Well, quarantine seems to be the perfect time to work on your physical fitness, not to mention getting outdoors can do wonders for the psyche—and who doesn’t need an endorphin boost right now?
Enter hiking. This seemingly ideal outdoor workout option is garnering a lot of attention while the rest of the world is shut down. That’s because, nature isn’t closed. But while hopping on a mountain bike or lacing up a pair of hiking boots is totally allowed right now it doesn’t mean those social distancing rules should fly out the window.
Being outdoors offers one form of relief from possible transmission, as experts maintain COVID-19 is less easily spread outdoors. But to stay truly safe, you need to follow some guidelines even if you’re enjoying nature. The basic rules come down to this: don’t overcrowd the trails, bring a mask with you, and keep your distance.
Avoid the Crowds.
It turns out a lot of people have the same idea when it comes to getting out while we’re supposed to be staying in. And that means those typically bare trails are filling up fast, including the parking lots near access points. Try to go when the trails will be less busy, such as during the week. Early mornings are often a safe bet—consider leaving not long after the sun gets up—while after-work hours can get crowded.
Don’t Gather in Large Groups.
While outdoors it’s still important not to gather in large groups. The rule of thumb has pretty steadily remained at nothing over 10 people. So, be smart when you hike. The less people you invite, the safer it is. And when you’re hiking, still try to maintain some distance, cover your cough, and follow the other basic etiquette rules of COVID-19.