Episode 25 | Covid-19: What Does it Mean for Backpacking?
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep the world, Andrew and Ryan take a hard look at responsible backpacking in 2020. They are joined by Jeff Garmire: repeat guest, elite long-distance athlete, author, and FKT holder – and Maggie Slepian: thru-hiker, climber, freelance writer, and Managing Editor of the Trek.
Also in this episode:
- Are group trips possible once the pandemic begins to recede?
- Resources for managing your non-backpacking time
- Thoughts on how to stay sane in a year of social distancing and too much indoor time
- Where do things stand currently with Covid-19
- Updated March 27th, 2020
- The global outbreak of the coronavirus is a little more than 3 months old
- There have been 530,000 cases worldwide that have resulted in 24,000 deaths
- The United States is the most infected country with 85,000 cases and 1,300 deaths
- Particularly devastating epicenters in New York, Washington, California, and New Jersey
- 15 states have now reported more than 1,000 cases of infections.
- Updated March 27th, 2020
- Canceled Plans
- Why is social distancing impossible on a thru-hike?
- The Bubble
- Shared resources
- Trail towns
- Asymptomatic carriers
- Stay-at-home orders
- Most have an exception for outdoor activity where social distancing can be maintained
- Is it possible to backpack ethically in 2020?
- Jeff’s suggestions
- Ryan’s suggestions
- Crowded trail-heads – are more limits on backcountry recreation coming?
- Gateway communities are begging people not to come in
- It’s hard to cancel your plans
- The pros and cons of getting into remote areas
- Maggie’s suggestions
- Don’t go – this isn’t a necessity
- Ryan’s final thoughts about taking a trip
- Keep it within your family group
- Jeff’s final thoughts
- Stay within your skillset – don’t get over your skis
- Suggestions on how to get through the next few months
- Jeff – take a break from your training plan (run for the fun of it)
- Maggie – take some intentional time and do some yoga (agrees with Jeff, remove some of the performance-oriented pressure)
- Ryan – find some new routines and do intentional thinking about finding life satisfaction in this new scenario
- When can we return to group trips?
- We have a model ahead of us…
- When we do return to group trips (but before there is a vaccination)
- Travel in your own automobile to destination
- Don’t share pre-trip accommodations
- Each household should have its own shelter systems, cooking gear, and communications device
- Intentional social distancing
- Don’t go if you are sick in any way whatsoever
- Avoid backcountry latrine facilities
- Final thought – err on the side of caution and respect local requests and guidelines
- Backpacking Light Covid-19 Information Page for Our Community
- BPL Forum Threads
- Ripstop-by-the-roll DIY mask making kit
- Online Film Festival
- Online Education
Feedback, Questions, Tips?
- Backpacking Light – Executive Producer
- Ryan Jordan – Director and Host
- Andrew Marshall – Producer and Host
- Jeff Garmire, Maggie Slepian – Guest Interview
- Look for Me in the Mountains – Music
- This episode of the Backpacking Light Podcast is supported and kept advertising-free by Backpacking Light membership fees. Please consider becoming a member which helps support projects like this podcast, in addition to a whole slew of other benefits!
You can contact us at [email protected], or follow us on social media –
- Backpacking Light – Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
- Andrew Marshall – Instagram | Twitter | WWW
- Ryan Jordan – Instagram | Twitter | WWW
- The BPL community discusses Covid-19
- Andrew’s article about backpacking and long-distance hiking during the pandemic