Why People are Turning to Camping Right Now
The travel industry has taken a hard punch during the COVID 19 pandemic, and although vaccinations are about to roll out across Australia, getting "back to normal" is predicted to take a while.
A year ago, visions of spring break and summer holidays danced in our heads. But authorities say it could be mid to late summer at best to reach a point where we are all safe. So, for now, camping is likely to continue to be the hot getaway it was over the spring and summer of 2020.
If last year is any guide to how things are going to go this year, then campsites will be very busy. In Western Australia, back in May 2020, just as the restrictions were lifted, things were booked very quickly. This article from the ABC shows us exactly what happened - "Campground and holiday park owners in the region have reported people coming down in droves to get out of the house and go camping - even if they have never camped before."
It stands to good reason that camping and related activities have increased in all other states and other countries as well. Australia has six Commonwealth National Parks and 58 Marine Parks, and it makes sense for camping getaways to increase during a pandemic. Like "being country when country wasn't cool," outdoor recreation was social distancing before social distancing was a thing.
Once again, this upcoming season, people are likely to be turning to camping vacations as it's the best solution for the COVID weary. Campers can bring their own food and drink from home for the trip and avoid gas stations and restaurants. Campsites and recreation areas are focusing on keeping showers, restrooms, drinking fountains, and other facilities sanitized. Families can stay together and stay socially distanced from other campers. And, staying six feet or more apart comes naturally with hiking, fishing, boating, and bird watching.
When planning a camping trip, it pays to be aware of all the current rules because if 2020 taught us anything, it was that things can change very fast. Especially in Victoria! Different states and territories have different requirements, so be sure to check out the local regulations where you are heading.
Maybe masks are required? Perhaps the borders are about to be closed? Be prepared for the worst, like my parents who got stuck at the SA border just as it closed a few months ago. They had to quickly rebook everything and take a trip along the border instead. The times we are living in are tough, but you have to be flexible to keep your head above water.
And, what about all those things you need to pack? Well, in addition to all your other camping gear, make a list of the extra things you'll need to stay COVID-safe. To cut down on exposure, get all your supplies in one trip. Extra drinking water will help you avoid drinking fountains. Include plenty of hand sanitizer, wipes, and lots of those disposable surgical masks. They're likely to get wet, soiled, and dropped. (You've seen them laying in the supermarket car park.)
Another item to consider is a lightweight tarp for camping as they're invaluable for the outdoors. If it's raining when mealtime comes around, you'll have protection for your cooking area. Should you get rained out, you won't have to worry about another store run or be tempted to seek out a restaurant.
Happy camping, and stay safe!