Get Outside: Your COVID-19 Hiking Checklist


Quarantine seems to be having a similar effect on people across the world, fostering a new appreciation for the outdoors as people become creative with ways to get active outside. In many cities, there is a mileage recommendation providing people with a certain radius to stay within when they’re leaving their homes.

To get your cardio in and to see some views you can’t quite get to by car, hiking could be the best quarantine activity that still allows you to social distance while outside. This article can serve as your guide for how to get started, specific to your area if you are new to hiking and wondering how to get started. With general tips, hopefully this inspires you to get out into the great outdoors!

The pandemic hasn’t stopped hikers from venturing into the wilderness through trails in California.

1. Check your local COVID-19 precautionary guidelines:
● See how far from your house you’re recommended to go, and see if the trails you’re familiar with fall into those guidelines.
● Check if pets are allowed, and bring a furry friend if you can!
● If you want to hike with a friend, take two vehicles and bring a mask if mandated.
● Especially if the area you’re headed to is known to be really popular, remember to practice social distancing!

● Depending on your elevation, your necessary amount of water will change.
● If you want to keep your hands free, bring a Camelback—it holds more water than you could alone.

3. Bring more snacks than you think you need!
● Fuel for the trip is important, and food is necessary to keep you going.
● Some recommended hiking snacks are dried fruit, Clif Bars and trail mix.

4. Get out in the sun when you can! Protect yourself from it, too!
● SPF is crucial in the coming summer months. Make sure you’re keeping yourself protected with sunscreen.
● Bring a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face.

Having a hard time trying to figure out where to go? If you’re still in Seattle, Seattle University First-year Psychology major Monique LeBaron has some tips.

Anne’s trail is a favorite among residents of Davis, CA.

“If I was still at school, I think I would want to hike Mount Si. I went when it was cold, and that was really pretty, but I want to see everything flourishing and all grown,” LeBaron said. “Discovery Park is a great place to walk around, and it’s a beautiful place for a sunset. You could have a picnic, just walk and spend the day there—it has a great view of Puget Sound.”

LeBaron thinks taking a step away from your phone is a good way to connect with nature and limit distractions.

“Try to bring a camera that isn’t your phone. I like to bring a camera so that I can take photos but not have to be on my phone so that I can be completely disconnected, but still remember it and capture everything I want,” LeBaron said. “I try to bring as little as possible, but I also haven’t gone on very strenuous hikes. If you’re not going on a very long hike or overnight trip, you don’t need to bring much besides the essentials: food, water and a camera.”

COVID-19 has undoubtedly impacted everyone’s mental health in one way or another over the past few months in quarantine, and getting outside to connect with nature can be grounding and a welcome distraction from the constant news updates and anxiety. Make sure to take some time for yourself, no matter where in the world you are.