Resources for backcountry recreation groups during COVID-19
Are you an outdoor recreation or backcountry group that’s seeking resources to transition during different reopening phases of COVID-19?
The Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC has put together some tips, guides, and protocols that include best practices from outdoor member clubs and have been collaboratively built based on recommendations from health professionals and outdoor recreation organizations:
Recommended actions to stay safe while restarting group hikes, backcountry trips, and club events
When travelling to shared destinations, car-pooling is not recommended.
Maintain 1 to 2 hiking pole lengths (approx. 2 metres or more) between individuals while hiking or snowshoeing. If you are jogging or biking, double or triple that physical distance.
Avoid sharing unpackaged food. Do not share containers, utensils, or hydration packs.
While heading on hiking trips, bring your own supply of hand sanitizer, wipes or tissues, & a seal-locked plastic bag to contain and carry out, and dispose of waste.
Social events and meetings may need to be rescheduled or cancelled depending on presenter preference, location availability, and local situation.
The FMCBC wishes to acknowledge the Caledonia Ramblers for drafting these best practices and tips. Special thanks to Dr. Mark Lysyshyn, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer from Vancouver Coastal Health and the provincial Public Health Office in Victoria for reviewing and providing input into these COVID-19 protocols.
Strategies to keep parks and trails partially, yet safely, open
Parks and trails managers can also consider ways to keep trails or recreation areas partly open during the different phases of reopening in the pandemic.
RC Strategies has put together a visitor management toolbox that looks at site design and infrastructure, visitor education, regulation, enforcement, and evaluation and monitoring. The toolbox includes 8 tools that could be integrated into a visitor management plan:
Temporarily Adjust Site Designs & Permitted Uses to Support Physical Distancing
Actively Disperse Visitors Throughout the Park System
Establish Visitor Carrying Capacities for the Busiest Parks and Trails
Provide Essential Infrastructure that Allows Visitor to Minimize Transmission
Actively Educate Visitors and Demonstrate Appropriate Behaviours
Backstop Indirect Visitor Management Actions with Regulation & Enforcement
If Closure is the Only Option, Keep Residents Connected to their Parks…Virtually
Start Your Recovery Marketing and Communications Planning Now
Please share these resources with other outdoor clubs and recreation management groups. In times of stress, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, people turn to the outdoors and nature for its restorative mental and physical benefits.
If you are not a member, consider joining the FMCBC. Membership benefits include:
Join a Committee or provide a collective voice to advocate for parks, trails, and quiet places for recreationists to enjoy across BC.
Receive tips and resources for outdoor recreation clubs or just to find your next hiking, biking, or kayaking adventure through getting involved in group discussions or subscribing to receive monthly or bi-annual publications.
Add-on optional insurance to provide protection for directors, officers, or club members for claims arising from club-organized tours, trips, and other outdoor activities.