By Dave Helgeson
Due to the pandemic, more RVs are on the road this summer as families across the country have discovered RVing as a safer way to travel. While there are more RVs on the road, there are also fewer places to safely visit and activities to enjoy due to virus-related closures and social distancing requirements. RVers that traditionally enjoy visiting museums, visitor centers, theme parks, concerts, sporting events or other indoor or potentially crowded outdoor venues are now looking for lower risk activities and attractions.
While the previous parts of this series have focused on camping in the boondocks to minimize / eliminate virus transmission sources, there is another potential benefit that you might not have considered.
There is often a host of nearby activities and things to see when you are camped in the boondocks that, just like boondocking, are extremely low risk of contracting the virus.
Regardless of where you choose to camp, following is a list of activities / places to enjoy that provide plenty of social distancing giving you and your family an alternative to traditional higher-risk activities.
- Consider boating or kayaking: Kayaks have become relatively inexpensive and can be easily carried on most RVs. They can be launched from just about anywhere allowing you to forgo the public boat launch making it easy to social distance yourself from others. If you are not sure a kayak is for you, consider a folding boat like a Porta-Bote, that breaks down flat and is designed to be carried on an RV.
- Take up geocaching: Millions of geocaches are located across the world, assuring there is always one or more near your chosen campsite. Many are located in rural areas where you are unlikely to encounter others while hunting for them. Some are even placed in unique / lesser-known locations like gnome grottoes, hidden waterfalls, nearly forgotten historic sites and other places that you might have never known existed. If you have a smartphone, you have everything you need to get started.
Foraging: Public land is full of opportunities to pick wild berries, mushrooms and other tasty treats in areas that are likely to be absent of others.
- Lesser-known attractions: If you still wish to experience a national park or other popular public lands during the pandemic, seek out a lesser-known “attraction” where you are less likely to encounter others. These can be found online with a little advanced research.
- Prospecting / rockhounding: Public lands are ripe with opportunity to pan for gold or collect rock specimens while easily socially distancing from others.
- Rails-to-Trails: While the pandemic has driven tons of people outdoors onto narrow hiking trails where social distancing is not possible, Rails-to-Trails routes are wide enough to allow social distancing to safely pass others that you might encounter.
- Ghost towns and mining camps: History buffs can still get their fix outside of a museum by searching out abandoned ghost towns and forgotten mining camps where the only people you are likely to meet are buried in the cemetery.
These are just a few of the potential places / activities you can enjoy this summer while safely socially distancing from others. Hopefully, these get the wheels in your head turning allowing you to come up with some additional items of your own.
Don’t get discouraged because your traditional activities / haunts aren’t available this summer – give one or more of the above a try. Who knows? You may have a new favorite on your list when the pandemic is over. Get out there, enjoy and stay safe.