Outdoors in the Time of the Coronavirus

If you're coming here for public health recommendations during a global pandemic, please listen to the medical professionals and follow all CDC and local, state, and federal guidelines. The COVID-19/Coronavirus situation is serious and professional guidelines, mandates, and closures must be respected and followed. Check out Centers for Disease Control and PreventionWorld Health Organization, and Coronavirus.gov.

If you're coming to Trailspace for outdoor gear recommendations...great! We want to hear about your gear experiences and help you and others get outside in a safe, healthy, and socially-distant manner (if that's still an option).


Getting Outdoors (or Not)

We all should know by now to practice safe, social physical distancing. Amid the more immediate and severe concerns about public health, you may be wondering if you can still go outside. If it's advisable, practical, and allowed that may mean going outdoors on low-key, uncrowded, local adventures, provided you can stay at least 6 to 10 feet away from other people at all times and your spot is still open to the public.

The National Recreation and Park Association published a statement on Using Parks and Open Space While Maintaining Social Distancing. Leave No Trace has recommendations for getting outside during COVID-19. (Side note: Mud season is here in New England. Don't forget to follow basic Leave No Trace and protect local trails.)

For me personally, getting outside for a solo run or a skin and ski on our local hill has been a welcome reprieve from the stress and uncertainty of the growing crisis. However, public access and guidelines vary and recommendations change daily, if not hourly. Our thought process and decisions must change with them. Dial it back, stay local, and before heading out, check your location's current guidelines.

If in doubt, please stay home. Don't risk spreading the virus or burdening SAR or medical responders. Nature will wait.

  • Listen to and follow what your state and municipality recommends and permits in terms of outdoor exercise.
  • Check with individual field and district offices, visitor centers, state parks, and other public spaces for specific details about operations before you go. For example, camping in many state parks is closed.
  • National Park Service Active Alerts show that most visitor centers and services are closed.
  • Parks Canada has suspended all visitor services until further notice.
  • The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is urging all section and thru-hikers to come off the trail until the CDC announces that it is once again safe to return.
  • The Continental Divide Trail Coalition has a page with information regarding closures, restrictions, and other notices along the official route of the CDT.
  • The Pacific Crest Trail Association is asking hikers to postpone or cancel Pacific Crest Trail plans due to COVID-19. 

Stay Local or Stay Home

As more people turn to the outdoors, local areas and organizations are speaking up about staying away—farther away than the social distancing of six feet. Many parks, beaches, and other areas are closing. Check with your local areas before heading out and be prepared to change your plans to comply with closures and recommendations. Don't add to the problem or risk needing rescue or medical care. 

Below are just a few examples:

Effects on the Outdoor Industry

You've likely heard from many of your favorite outdoor brands, retailers, resorts, non-profits, and other entities on how they're addressing the emergency. Stores are closed. Programming and events are cancelled. Travel is restricted. Economic uncertainty abounds. And reports get more serious daily.

SNEWS is maintaining a list of outdoor industry news related to the crisis. All companies have been affected to some extent, whether shutting down operations, reducing hours, dealing with supply chain issues and a messed up economy, and above all trying to keep employees and the public safe. Go to any brand or retailer's website and you'll likely see its COVID-19 notice.

Amid the health and economic threats and challenges to come, there is positive news:

  • The Save Your Local Gear Shop campaign encourages outdoor enthusiasts—like you!—to contact their favorite local gear shop to buy a gift certificate that can be used at a future date. Support your local retailers and nonprofits if you can.
  • Darn Tough, Patagonia, REI, and Evo are among brands still paying employees while shut down and/or sharing paid time off with their hourly workers. Columbia Sportswear's CEO cut his salary while continuing regular paychecks to employees. Dicks Sporting Goods's top executives are taking no pay or pay cuts while store employees receive full pay and benefits.
  • Toad&Co is helping small retailers weather the economic uncertainty by sharing 10 percent of its new-customer ecommerce revenue for at least the next two months. Eco Vessel and Rab are following suit with their own programs. Opinel knives also has launched a new retail support program to drive sales and revenue for retail vendors.
  • Under Armour pledged to donate $1 million to Feeding America to support hunger relief efforts and another $1 million in money and products to Good Sports.
  • If you know of other efforts to support the people, businesses, and non-profits in the outdoor industry, please share them below.

Efforts by the Outdoor Industry

Numerous outdoor brands and organizations have stepped up to help supply and protect health care workers and others directly affected by the virus:

  • LL Bean is working with MaineHealth to create "sneeze masks" for health care workers using existing materials, such as its dog bed liners.
  • New Balance has begun producing prototypes for face masks in its Massachusetts facility and hopes to scale production using its other New England factories.
  • Flowfold has retooled its facility to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment for hospitals.
  • Eddie Bauer is shifting portions of its production capacity to make N95 and surgical masks.
  • Kitsbow Cycling Apparel is making personal protective equipment to help first-responders and medical staff.
  • Shaggy's Copper Country Skis has transitioned manufacturing to making face shields for hospitals and healthcare workers.
  • Chaco Footwear has retrofitted its Michigan-based ReChaco factory and mobile factory bus to the production of face masks and other critical protective equipment.
  • Vermont Glove has paused glove production to sew protective masks for frontline medical and community workers. They also are building a network of home sewers in central Vermont.
  • SylvanSport is manufacturing Personal Protective Gear for healthcare professionals and first responders.
  • Superfeet has opened up access to its 3D printers and/or production facilities to shore up short-term medical supply demand.
  • KEEN gave away 100,000 pairs of shoes to workers on the front lines and the families at home fighting through the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Hestra donated 38,000 pairs of nitrile gloves to Colorado first responders.
  • GogglesForDocs is an effort to get used or new ski goggles into the hands of healthcare workers who currently have no eye protection as they treat COVID-19 patients.
  • In addition to goggles, the National Ski Patrol is asking patrollers to donate unused medical supplies to local providers.

 

Effects on Trailspace

Our two-person staff already works from home, so we're fortunate to be less affected by those changes (though we've gained two young remote-learning "co-workers"). Like many of you, our volunteer gear testers are monitoring the situation in their own locations and adjusting their outdoor travel, testing, and review timelines.

Additionally, as a small business in the outdoor industry, we can see and feel the tough financial effects as online retailers and brands that advertise with us—and pay this website's operation costs—shut down operations.

The backbone of Trailspace is you, our community. If you're stuck indoors with free time, please consider reviewing your own gear, apparel, or footwear. You'll help support those outdoor brands, many of whom are struggling, as well as Trailspace and our own community of outdoor enthusiasts. 

Most important, stay well and help limit the spread of the Coronavirus for the good of everyone. We hope to see all of you healthy and outdoors on your favorite trails, waters, and mountains again when we reach the other side of this crisis.

*The info above was accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication, but please confirm and follow your own local, state, and national guidelines. Information and recommendations are constantly changing.

Comments

LoneStranger
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March 20, 2020 at 11:18 a.m. (EDT)

Don't forget tick and sun protection while you are getting out there. Spring is springing and the old stand by killers are still on the job even while we're focused on this other stuff.

Waving is the new elbow bump. Nice to see you...over there!!

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 20, 2020 at 12:13 p.m. (EDT)

LoneStranger said:

Don't forget tick and sun protection while you are getting out there. Spring is springing and the old stand by killers are still on the job even while we're focused on this other stuff.

Waving is the new elbow bump. Nice to see you...over there!!

Good point about ticks. I've heard from several people here in Maine who have found them already on themselves or dogs this month. Yikes!

I'll wave to you from the next ridge over...

Old Guide
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March 20, 2020 at 1:21 p.m. (EDT)

Be careful where you stop/what you touch, if you drive, going and coming to hiking areas.

FlipNC
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March 20, 2020 at 1:37 p.m. (EDT)

Leaving in a couple of hours...got a disposable glove for gassing up on the way. 

Old Guide
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March 20, 2020 at 1:53 p.m. (EDT)

FlipNC said:

Leaving in a couple of hours...got a disposable glove for gassing up on the way. 

Smart.

Trail register pencils/pens can also be infected. 

ghostdog
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March 20, 2020 at 3:27 p.m. (EDT)

Man I’m glad we are walking to our 400 square miles of wilderness mountains and canyons a half mile away. Even with our neighbor California on total lockdown they consider outdoor exercise very permissible. As we know healing nature is essential for a sense of well being and mental health. 

Everybody is cool. We step aside for the uphillers and give a greeting. 

Good advice on gloves at the gas station. I have always done that regardless and keep leather work gloves in the side pocket. I never go anywhere without my own writing instrument. 

Good luck everyone and may the odds be ever in your favor.

ppine
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March 20, 2020 at 9:57 p.m. (EDT)

The mental health plan now calls for lots of time with animals, plants and being outside.  Fresh air, sunshine, UV light.  Get connected with Mother Earth in your new found spare time. 

We just ran errands in town and everything was drive through including groceries ordered ahead of time.  Gloves for pumping fuel in the truck. 

The recent snow has about melted and it is time to think about some camping probably with the travel trailer since the weather is still crummy. 

Old Guide
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March 21, 2020 at 6:05 p.m. (EDT)

My wife is under a 14 day quarantine after I took her to ER. Its a Viral infection but unsure of Corvid since the hospital has no test kits!

She doesn't have the flu they know that. They took many blood samples and ordered a dozen tests.

She hadn't been out of the house in 7days!

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 21, 2020 at 8:26 p.m. (EDT)

Old Guide said:

My wife is under a 14 day quarantine after I took her to ER. Its a Viral infection but unsure of Corvid since the hospital has no test kits!

She doesn't have the flu they know that. They took many blood samples and ordered a dozen tests.

She hadn't been out of the house in 7days!

I'm so sorry to hear that, Old Guide. I hope your wife gets the treatment and care she needs to start recovering.

Best wishes to you both!

Old Guide
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March 21, 2020 at 9:57 p.m. (EDT)

Much thanks Alicia. The local hospitals are over run and very different then in  the past and locked down. I had to sit and wait in the parking lot. It was a weird day to say the least. I'm glad I could bring her home and take care of her tho I won't hesitate to return her if situation warrants...and hopefully I don't catch it, whatever IT is.

balzaccom
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March 22, 2020 at 10:53 a.m. (EDT)

wishing her a speedy and healthy recovery

Old Guide
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March 22, 2020 at 3:41 p.m. (EDT)

balzaccom said:

wishing her a speedy and healthy recovery

 Thank you...she'll get the best care I can give her. We've been together 27 yrs and plan on  plenty more :)

FlipNC
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March 23, 2020 at 8:20 a.m. (EDT)

OG...best wishes to your wife and take care of yourself too. 

Old Guide
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March 23, 2020 at 9:32 a.m. (EDT)

FlipNC said:

OG...best wishes to your wife and take care of yourself too. 

Thanks...I always try. 

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 23, 2020 at 12:26 p.m. (EDT)

I've updated the article above to reflect the following concerns:

Additionally, as more people turn to the outdoors, local areas and organizations are speaking up about staying away. A few examples:

Old Guide
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March 23, 2020 at 12:33 p.m. (EDT)

Lots of same kind of links being posted for the Adirondacks and NY also. Stay away, Stay Home or local hikes only.

And don't touch the trail register pen/pencil...bring your own.

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 23, 2020 at 3:27 p.m. (EDT)

Interestingly, on Friday Governor Mills opened the fishing season early here in Maine and waived fishing license requirements until April 30:

Governor Janet Mills today directed Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso to open all inland waters for fishing and to waive the requirement that anglers need a recreational fishing license to fish the inland waters of Maine. The order, which is effectively immediately, will run through April 30 and is intended to encourage Maine people to enjoy the outdoors as we confront the challenges associated with COVID-19. The Governor is considering additional measures to make Maine’s great outdoors more accessible to Maine people. She continues to urge those who go out to employ appropriate physical distancing measures recommended by the U.S. CDC.

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-commissioner-camuso-suspend-inland-waters-fishing-license-requirement-open

FlipNC
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March 23, 2020 at 3:53 p.m. (EDT)

The trail register comment got me thinking...I don't think I've signed one for many years. Being primarily a solo backpacker I don't like random folks knowing where I am...my wife and the SAR (god forbid they are ever needed) can use my Inreach positions I regularly send with a lot better detail than a register.  Any other reason I should be thinking about signing...this may need a different thread.

whomeworry
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March 23, 2020 at 5:06 p.m. (EDT)

Phil:

Agencies use data, such as permit head counts, to determine how funds are allocated  for services whose demand is related to the amount of use by the public.  If you don't want your whereabouts known, perhaps register using an alias name and work address.  But do reconsider registering, so your favorite venues receive their full funding allocation.

Ed

LoneStranger
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March 23, 2020 at 5:13 p.m. (EDT)

I hear that Phil. My trail log entry/cards give trail name,  date, number in party, number of nights out along with zip code only and a notation of "woot!"

They have all the data they need without wasting money sending me mail asking me to send them money.

FlipNC
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March 23, 2020 at 7:31 p.m. (EDT)

That makes sense...ill start thinking of that. I tend to avoid areas with registers (and especially hate permits...would rather just go somewhere else) , but if I pass a register I'll probably sign in...thanks for the calibration. 

balzaccom
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March 24, 2020 at 9:25 a.m. (EDT)

It seems to me that if you are going out anywhere that a SAR action might be required, God forbid it or not, you are being irresponsible.  If you want to risk it, take that risk.  But don't, in any way shape or form, call on emergency personnel during this time of crisis. If you run into trouble, you need to deal with it without calling for help.  You know the situation. Medical and LEO staff are already under immense pressure 

And please don't say that you don't expect to need rescue.  Nobody ever does 

balzaccom
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March 24, 2020 at 9:39 a.m. (EDT)

This posted yesterday from the San Mateo Country Health Officer near San Francisco:

"As I write this, I am both immensely grateful and exceedingly disappointed. We are in a grave crisis. I believe the virus is growing at an exponential rate in our county. Unless everyone does their part and follows the County’s Shelter-in-Place order and the Governor’s Safer at Home order, we will be facing an Italy-type catastrophe very soon. These orders are not recommendations, they are rules to be followed. My disappointment stems from the fact that many people just aren’t taking this seriously and going about their business as if nothing has changed. Our world has profoundly changed in an instant. It is now up to you all, the community, to decide what you want your future to be. If you decide you want to do your own thing and follow your own rules, you disrespect us all. You spit in our face, and you will contribute to the death toll that will follow. For those of you who say: “nobody tells me what to do,” now is a time to make an exception. You can go back to being ornery in the future."

And this:

"For families in different households, do not mix your households at this time. As hard as this is, do not gather in any way outside of immediate households. As for outdoor exercise, people certainly need to get out, but do this in your own immediate neighborhoods. Do not drive except to provide or obtain an essential service. Do not go into other neighborhoods for recreation. This increases the risk of virus spread. Always maintain social distance. Wash your hands frequently and follow all the other recommended actions."

LoneStranger
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March 24, 2020 at 10:08 a.m. (EDT)

balzaccom said:

It seems to me that if you are going out anywhere that a SAR action might be required, God forbid it or not, you are being irresponsible.  If you want to risk it, take that risk.  But don't, in any way shape or form, call on emergency personnel during this time of crisis. If you run into trouble, you need to deal with it without calling for help.  You know the situation. Medical and LEO staff are already under immense pressure 

And please don't say that you don't expect to need rescue.  Nobody ever does 

 I saw someone on a FB group yesterday yelling at another person making this warning. Their reasoning was that because no one goes out expecting to be rescued you shouldn't tell them not to go out there.

People are dangerously stupid. We've decided to stop all contact including the grocery store as of today. I was going to make one more run for fresh food, but the household executive committee met this morning and voted that down unanimously.

FlipNC
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March 24, 2020 at 10:23 a.m. (EDT)

Balza...I respect your concern, but I think clarification is needed on my previous post. My comments were intended as general about registers (and SAR), and not related to the current crisis, which is why I probably should have started another thread as I mentioned at the end of my post.

I agree with your general comment that we should not be putting stress on resources at this critical juncture, and also should be heeding all orders, and guidelines even if they aren't orders.  We are doing that here on a personal level and with our business.

I had no intention of calling for assistance this trip in the event of an inury...I had bigger plans on some monster climbs and scrambles a bit further away, but changed those and stayed local in a familiar area and easy walking where I have been multiple times before and family are familiar with the access points and favorite camping spots if I needed assistance.

If we were under a shelter in place order here, I would absolutely have not gone out but the current situation here is apparently at a different stage than CA that you are quoting.  That was probably my last trip for a while due to the possibility of that occurring here as things change. I saw less people (4 total) than in our neighborhood walking or at our local parks, which are beginning to close due to too many people heading to them, and did not stop anywhere besides topping off the tank with a rubber glove on. I consider this last trip a balance of not being irresponsible, while reacting to the current local situation.  I will be complying with all guidelines as they get updated and probably staying off the trail for a good while until this is over, and I hope everyone else does the same.

balzaccom
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March 24, 2020 at 10:36 a.m. (EDT)

Thanks Phil.

LoneStranger
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March 24, 2020 at 10:46 a.m. (EDT)

Phil, Pat and a few others here strike me as the sort who would crawl off a mountain with a broken leg if necessary. If they want to go out I won't say they shouldn't :)

We're sticking to day hiking local forest trails for now. I've hiked out seven miles on a bum knee one time and didn't like it. Pretty sure I'm not tough enough to crawl that far.

FlipNC
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March 24, 2020 at 11:05 a.m. (EDT)

No worries Balza - glad you brought up warnings so I could clarify my statement a bit. 

LS - you won't say I shouldn't but if the authorities do I'll comply:)

A side benefit of my weekend trip - in making room to dry stuff out from a wet weekend I got to organizing my basement storage a bit more and we found, in some boxes I collected after my fathers passing last year, an unused new box of N95 respirator masks (my mother fought respiratory problems and lack of immune system for 40 years).  So I'm off at lunch to drop them by our local hospital just down the road!

balzaccom
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March 24, 2020 at 2:06 p.m. (EDT)

Excellent!  And a good idea for us all to inventory our equipment and see what might help....

whomeworry
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March 24, 2020 at 4:50 p.m. (EDT)

My cardiologist scheduled me for another procedure, and advised me to avoid physically demanding activity until thereafter.  He also said I should consider holding off the surgery until this crisis starts running down - or at least until a few month from now.  Ergo any pipe dreams of me going backpacking are moot for awhile.

------------------------------

We talk about rubber gloves, like they will shield us from all that is bad.  They are not all they are cracked up to be, however.  Cornell University, noted for their curriculum for food and hospitality industries, conducted research on the efficacy of rubber gloves and food hygiene.  They found rubber gloves at best are equal to good hand washing technique.  You have to know how to don, remove, and properly dispose of them, for gloves to match hand washing effectiveness.  You still need to be careful about touching things, even with gloves, to avoid contaminating other surfaces or yourself.  In fact you still need to wash your hands every time you change gloves (e.g. healthcare workers do this before attending every patient) as part of a proper glove use program, so gloves are not the panacea they are perceived, when used by the general public.  Keep it simple, and practice good hand washing (or disinfecting solution wipe downs).

--------------------------------

It isn't our possible contamination risk to SAR that so much drives the travel ban, including driving to distant trailheads; rather it is the potential of spreading the virus while en route to the venue, as we eat, gas up, use restrooms, and provision along the way.  Money and credit cards may spread contamination, regardless of glove use.  Unless you are keeping used gloves for disposal back home, they can contaminate trash receptacle that others along your route must empty, possibly getting exposed as a result.

Ed

g00se
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March 25, 2020 at 8:03 a.m. (EDT)

I have my pack loaded and plan to go out to the Mark Twain NF this weekend--weather permitting. 

When I see calls to get off the AT & PCT, I'm struck by the fact that so many thru hikers are going out there for a social experience. I recall an incident around 2015 when scores of AT hikers were sidelined--ground zero was a contaminated food bag that everyone kept reaching into for treats (one reason I don't share unwrapped food with other hikers--except my rotten kids).

I don't disagree with the call to come off trail, but I don't think it applies to folks who are hiking to get away from the crowds, not join a "trail family." If all I need is to stop for gas at a trail town, I can pay at the pump and be on my way (Of course, I'm not pulling weeks-long hikes with the need to resupply.). 

Regarding SARS. As a caver and hiker, I have often turn back from situations where I recognize I couldn't self-rescue. I know I can't control "accidents," but I can wisely determine how I could manage with an unexpected outcome. This is one of the reasons I don't have a lot of respect for the UL hiker who boast of carrying only 2 bandaids and a couple Ibuprofen in their first aid kit. That's well and fine, until you are trying to deal with an injury that will require stitches and your 24-hours from a trailhead.

The problem with SARS is people have become overly dependent on having a bailout. Everyone wants to be "safe" while being adventurous. The two aren't synonymous, and frequently they are contrary to one another. So, if I'm going to put myself in danger (great or small), I have to judge my ability to handle the consequences. I'm far more likely to need EMS for being in a car accident on the way to work or the grocery store, than SARS for hiking in the woods. 

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 25, 2020 at 12:53 p.m. (EDT)

I added a few more brand stories above:

balzaccom
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March 25, 2020 at 3:53 p.m. (EDT)

I had an interesting conversation with my wife at lunch today. In a nutshell, she said:  "I'm frustrated that they have closed our local parks.  I wish I could hike in them, but too many people won't follow the common sense rules. So now none of can do that.  I wish people weren't so irresponsible and careless."

And I started thinking about that.  "Every law we have, from speed limits to murder, is because there are at least some people who won't follow common sense--they are careless and irresponsible.  And because of them, we have rules against everything from violent crimes and grand theft to littering and...yes, failure to observe the shelter in place guidelines established by the medical offers." 

Kinda sad. 

balzaccom
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March 25, 2020 at 4:11 p.m. (EDT)

And here's a sobering note from Mono County...where locals are threatening violence to visitors from urban areas:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article241449116.html

g00se
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March 25, 2020 at 8:29 p.m. (EDT)

Saw this post on FB this morning. Amazingly, the woman who posted it operates an Inn in northern Michigan. 

So much for national unity in a time of crisis!


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Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 26, 2020 at 10:23 a.m. (EDT)

This is an issue here in Maine, among many other places. People in more populated places that have higher rates of coronavirus are opening up their summer homes/camps early and then "escaping" to them.

Not only does that spread the virus, it puts more stress on rural places that don't have the medical facilities or resources to handle it.

Here are a few articles about the second-home issue:

Also, York Beach here in Maine had to close its beaches because it got so many day trippers, including from out of state, over the weekend:

Patman
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March 26, 2020 at 10:37 a.m. (EDT)

LoneStranger said:

Phil, Pat and a few others here strike me as the sort who would crawl off a mountain with a broken leg if necessary. If they want to go out I won't say they shouldn't :) We're sticking to day hiking local forest trails for now. I've hiked out seven miles on a bum knee one time and didn't like it. Pretty sure I'm not tough enough to crawl that far.

 True enough but I've now changed my tune on this. Despite the sunny weather here this weekend, Susan and I have canceled our off-trail trip plans. We luckily have access to some woods and grassy fields from home now; we can do a 2 mile loop without leaving the immediate area or coming within 100 yards of any homes expect one. I may pitch my tent in those woods this weekend for some kind of fix...


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Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 26, 2020 at 10:46 a.m. (EDT)

Some more thoughts and advice below on the continuing "should I go?" question. While most of these center on skiing, the same questions apply to all outdoor recreation (should I go? can I do it safely? do I risk making the situation worse?).

Outside Magazine:

Powder Magazine:

From the first Outside article above, I thought this was a good highlight of the thought process:

So how do you decide if it’s OK to go backcountry skiing? There are a few things to think about before you go. Can you safely ski near your house, or would it involve nonessential traveling? Can you choose terrain that’s ultraconservative to reduce your chance of injury? Do you already have avalanche training, a partner who wouldn’t be increasing your risk of exposure, and the proper gear? If you’re thinking about skinning at your local resort, check in on—and respect—its current policy about uphill travel.

“We all want to go outside,” says Matt Hansen, communications director for Wyoming’s Teton County Search and Rescue Foundation and the former editor of Powder magazine. “There’s still a ton of snow, and we want to go skiing. But we need to respect the current situation. Embrace the casual. Now is not the time to get after the gnar. We’re all in this together, and it’s imperative that the backcountry community do its part to not further stress the system with preventable accidents.”

balzaccom
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March 26, 2020 at 11:11 a.m. (EDT)

Very helpful posts, Alicia  Thank you.

BigRed
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March 26, 2020 at 11:23 a.m. (EDT)

I did a couple peaks with daughter and son in law last weekend, but that may be the last real outing for a while. Today Harley and I went and did a lap at a local, closed downhill ski area, nice weather lots of people around the base area, mainly families with kids, but I saw only a half dozen or so up on the mountain. All well-distanced, from me at least. Harley thought it was the best place he'd ever been in his whole life, but then dogs always think that whenever they're outdoors.

We've been through a melt cycle, so I have to run 2km in microspikes over xc ski boots to get decent snow on the local xc trails. Snow this weekend.

One thing we've been doing to stay sane and connected is playing an eboard game, Ticket to Ride, with daughters and son in law, with a separate video feed so we can enjoy each other's company as we play. Zoe is up in Tromsø, Molly and Audun moved back to Trondheim in February but are on the other side of the city. I've already broken the distancing with them on the ski trip last weekend, so we're going to stay at their place Sat night and do a video dinner/lunch date with Zoe and my two sisters, one near Albany NY and the other in Newport VT. Should be fun!

schifferj
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March 26, 2020 at 3:56 p.m. (EDT)

Washington state outdoors is completely shut down per our governor. mt Rainer and Olympic National parks are both closed. All DNR lands closed. All state parks closed. All campgrounds closed. Idaho followed suit yesterday. Fortunately for me is they haven’t closed the highways and byways (yet) and Ive been able to ride nearly 1000 miles in March. What baffles me in all of this is the fact that Marijuana stores are considered “essential” and remain open. I’m a qualified as a “senior“ and went to senior hour at a large warehouse distributor Tuesday morning and found a line about half a mile long and very few seniors in that line. Social separation non existent. These folks were lined up for toilet paper when the store opened at its regular hours. 

FlipNC
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March 26, 2020 at 5:05 p.m. (EDT)

Its sad that folks can't calm down and approach things rationally.  We went out yesterday for groceries AFTER senior hours.  We are not buying into the mayhem - deep breath and stay calm everyone...plus we're not on social media (except here I guess:) and limit the news to one hour a day.

My trips are off for the duration of this.  Local area is under shelter-at-home starting tomorrow.  This is their outdoor policy:

"To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, golfing, running, cycling, or using the greenways. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas. However, playgrounds may increase spread of COVID-19 and, therefore, shall be closed."

I'll stay local and comply although the idea of getting on a greenway with a bunch of other folks vs driving without stopping to a wilderness area and hiking doesn't seem to make a lot of sense (barring the SAR issue).  Walking the neighborhood 5 miles a day, and planning to sleep in the backyard to test out a sleeping pad this weekend!

Hang in there everyone - my son is in Madrid and has been cooped up for weeks.  The rumor is things are beginning to crest and they may loosen up as the tide turns.

Old Guide
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March 26, 2020 at 5:20 p.m. (EDT)

Here in NYS Liquor stores are also considered essential.

ghostdog
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March 26, 2020 at 6:17 p.m. (EDT)

Old Guide said:

Here in NYS Liquor stores are also considered essential.

 

Oddly enough and to many folks bafflement golf courses and predatory Pay Day Loans are considered essential in Arizona. I don’t see golf courses essential but don’t see a lot of harm either. The game has built in social distancing. 

FlipNC
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March 27, 2020 at 6:11 a.m. (EDT)

As a proud Scot, I consider liquor stores an essential service...we are rationing TP in the house but I have a good stock of single malt at hand. 

I never inherited the golf gene...I assume folks would be walking not riding in carts. 

BigRed
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March 28, 2020 at 4:20 a.m. (EDT)

Robin Williams on golf, with his version of Scotspeak. You're welcome.

FlipNC
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March 28, 2020 at 10:02 a.m. (EDT)

That's a classic...he hung out a lot with Billy Connolly (a hometown favorite of my family) and it shows.

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 30, 2020 at 1:04 p.m. (EDT)

The number of brands shifting their manufacturing to Personal Protective Equipment keeps growing.

I've been updating the info above with more of that news, recommendation, and other initiatives. It's far from comprehensive (and will likely be out-of-date momentarily). However, I think it's worth noting how brands and organizations respond to and lead during a crisis.

LoneStranger
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March 30, 2020 at 1:20 p.m. (EDT)

Not sure if this was posted elsewhere here on Trailspace, but here is a look at what SAR looks like in the current world.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2411094/backcountry-accidents-coronavirus-colorado

Non cadunt in montem

Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
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March 30, 2020 at 1:29 p.m. (EDT)

LoneStranger said:

Not sure if this was posted elsewhere here on Trailspace, but here is a look at what SAR looks like in the current world.

https://www.outsideonline.com/2411094/backcountry-accidents-coronavirus-colorado

Non cadunt in montem

 Great article!

ppine
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April 1, 2020 at 11:09 a.m. (EDT)

The outdoors is the safest place to be except for your house.  Just stay away from other people.  A lot of do this all the time.

whomeworry
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April 3, 2020 at 3:21 a.m. (EDT)

The Eastern Sierra region is strongly compelling out-of-area visitors to stay home.  For example: Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center is no longer publishing snow conditions to the public, to further discourage visitors, in addition to the closure of non-essential businesses.

Ed

whomeworry
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April 7, 2020 at 6:21 p.m. (EDT)

This link contains an approach to the pandemic I have advocated from the start, for all the reasons stated in the article.

Ed

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