Wear your mask properly.
While nobody likes the restrictive feeling of wearing a mask, many towns and parks request that all citizens mask up. Even if the transmission rate in the area is low, wearing a mask is usually recommended. Be sure to properly dispose of your mask after use if yours is single use. Discarded face masks are too often found hanging on trees or littering trails. Besides contributing to waste, contaminated masks can transfer the virus.
Bring a first aid kit.
Every year, thousands of volunteer search and rescue crews are deployed in the backcountry to locate and evacuate injured or lost hikers, some who end up in the emergency room. But since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it’s wise to avoid the ER as much as possible. As a safety precaution, make sure to bring a first aid kit with you. It might not spare you from injury, but at least you will have something to patch up those scrapes.
Yield to other hikers.
This sparks tons of arguments between hikers. Who stops and who gets to pass? With COVID-19 spreading incessantly across the country, taking that 10-15 seconds to stop, stand aside, and let them amble by is doing yourself a favor.
Simply nod or wave.
One of the best parts of hiking in normal circumstances is striking up a conversation with fellow hikers. Sadly, in this pandemic, we need to practice social distancing. The best we can do is a quick nod or wave, knowing we are all in this together.
Until a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19 is invented, we need to embrace this new normal. Hold on. We can do this together.