Social Distancing in the Great Outdoors Is Easy!
Not too long ago, you might have been making a list of items to bring camping in Alaska—but that was probably before the coronavirus outbreak. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, government and health officials have enforced stay-at-home orders, with the exception of leaving to get essentials like groceries, curbside food pickup, home improvement supplies and medical care. Some establishments are considered essential businesses, which allows them to provide goods or services while following social distancing guidelines.
Sadly, fishing charters are not on this list. However, although you can’t head out on a guided fishing or camping adventure at the moment, not all individual outdoor activities are banned, just modified to comply with state and federal guidelines on social distancing. Here’s how to enjoy the great outdoors when social distancing during COVID-19:
- Follow official social distancing guidelines: Social or physical distancing is not limited to indoor gatherings. When outside, you still need to follow local government and health officials’ recommendations to stay at least six feet apart from others. Avoid heavily-populated outdoor areas, keep appropriate distance away from others you encounter in parks or on trails and carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for use as needed.
- Check the open status of parks: Many parks and other recreational areas are closed to the public. This is to help prevent the spread of the virus. Be sure to plan and find out about closures ahead of leaving your house for outdoor activities in any recreational area.
- Limit your group and touch contact: If you’re getting stir crazy and want to go out exploring, you can, but do it safely, according to official guidelines, and keep your group to a minimum. That means limiting your group to your immediate household. Inviting your friends or combining with another group in the park is a quick way to expose everyone to illness. Also, pack snacks from home, if possible, so you don’t have to stop at a store on your way out. Pack snacks and bottled water, get in your car, get to the trail, take in the fresh air while exercising, then head back home.
- Stay close to home: If you’re bored with backyard stay-cations and want to escape your own walls for a bit, head to the great outdoors, but seriously consider taking trips closer to home. Visit a nearby park or hiking trail that is open. Better yet, take a few spins around your neighborhood.
- Avoid crowded areas: A park or trail might be open for your enjoyment, but you should avoid areas you think might be crowded. There’s a chance that someone in that crowded outdoor recreation area is sick in some way. Choose smaller parks to explore, and have a plan B. This way, if you see large groups of people at your first destination, you can check out your second choice.
Even though Phantom Tri-River Charters is closed temporarily in response to COVID-19, we remain available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about fishing or camping in Alaska. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and we look forward to seeing you at the conclusion of the pandemic.