Author Topic: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?  (Read 7321 times)

Mr. Green

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I am very abreast of what is going on with coronavirus right now. My wife and I expected to leave this Thursday, the 19th, for a seven month long cross country trip. Given the events of the last week, I'm wondering if we should re-evaluate that decision.

Part of me thinks we would be fine because of the nature of their trip. We will spend 90% of our time hiking, camping, and visiting national parks, and 10% visiting family. Neither of us really like cities and we're perfectly content to avoid crowds. We tent camp or sleep in our car so we are very isolated much of the time.

I suppose my largest concern is a potential shutdown of the logistics chain. We have limited space in the car so we frequently stop at grocery stores to restock. We also rely on libraries for internet access, and YMCAs, hostels, etc. for showers. I suppose if things get so extreme that everything is closed in an area then we could just tuck tail and turn home.

With proper safety practices like hand washing, etc. I really do think our exposure risk is as low as it could possibly be, but perhaps I'm not looking at this objectively because I have a large emotional investment in the trip.

Should we stay home?

AccidentialMustache

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 07:53:57 PM »
Libraries and YMCAs are closing in IL. I expect you're going to see the same spreading across other states as their case loads grow. Also, you may see more people on the trails/parks/etc, because many of us have children who now don't have school and need a way for them to burn energy.

OtherJen

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 07:56:38 PM »
Honestly, I would assume that most things will be closed. In my city, libraries and city buildings are closed. State and metro parks have closed public buildings and campsites. Many other businesses are closing to the public. The local YMCAs have curtailed their hours. Thereís also the risk that regional travel may be curtailed at some point. And if one of you gets sick when youíre out of state, there are the issues of 1) access to healthcare and 2) whether the provider is in-network.

Yeah, it really, really sucks but if it were up to me, Iíd postpone until May.

NotJen

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 08:09:04 PM »
Same here, I just got an email that my local library is closed, even though our county doesnít have any officially confirmed cases yet (maybe they have seen better stats?).

Even being mostly isolated, using hostels/hotels, public showers, and public laundry seem a little risky.  Even if you get a mild case (not needing a hospital or doctorís care), being sick in that situation sounds terrible to me.

Iím looking forward to hearing about your trip, whenever it may happen.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 09:36:54 PM »
I suppose if things get so extreme that everything is closed in an area then we could just tuck tail and turn home.

Would ending the trip early make it not worthwhile?
I'd probably make a comparison list: what I would loose by not going vs what I would loose by ending the trip early.

For internet, would the Redpocket (or equivalent) 1G data package for $15 cover your needs?
If you're going around the Southwest: forest service maps can be downloaded ahead of time and then they only use GPS while you're actively navigating.

Let us know what you decide!

elaine amj

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 10:36:20 PM »
One consideration - what if you pick it up at the grocery store in one community, stay asymptomatic, travel to another community, then accidentally spread it at their grocery store? I don't know the likelihood of a scenario like that or if I am just starting to come up with crazy scenarios....but that is why there is a loud call for a lockdown. And frankly, there is the thought of being so far away from home if you do get sick. It would be a long drive back and that kind of travel is exhausting form someone with flu-like symptoms. Even if it is a mild case.

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FINate

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 11:10:13 PM »
Stay home.

Not because you're at any great risk if you travel. But rather, because it's not really about you and your personal risk. The US is about 1-2 weeks behind Italy, will soon be on a total war footing trying to stop the spread of this virus.

Recommendations, almost uniformly from health agencies across the US, are to avoid all non-essential outings. Especially travel. The last thing we need are people traipsing around on vacation acting as vectors for this disease.

Absolutely DO NOT visit distant family. Do you really want to be the link in the chain of transmission from one cluster of people to another?

I would not be surprised if the US enacted travel restrictions within country, including surface transport to/from hot spots. You may not actually be able to easily get home.

Also would not be surprised if National and State Parks at least partially shut down. Sure, campgrounds are usually spread out, but bathroom and washing stations are often concentrated in small areas. Hostels are even worse!

In California the state is getting ready to commandeer hotels and motels for things like housing the homeless and quarantine.

Wait 1-2 months and the reassess. Again, not because you're in any danger, but because it's the right thing to do.

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2020, 11:48:41 PM »
One of the things I wonder about with regard to staying home and the "flattening of the curve" is how long it will take to see a decline in cases. It could possibly be 3-6 months where there is still risk for people in situations where they gather in groups. That kind of timeline would effectively blow the whole year for us.

Both of us has backpacking experience and have no problem with boondocking and pooping in the woods using proper leave no trace methods if that's what it would take to avoid contact with people and commonly touched surfaces as much as possible. As far as grocery store contact goes, I'm not really sure if there'd be any difference in risk of us picking it up in our own grocery store vs. any other store in the country, provided we not traveling to hot spots. It's easy enough to stay out of visitor centers in parks and choose less populated trails where you're more isolated. Honestly I think we'd have less exposure in that situation than if we stay home since we live with another family, where both adults go to work and children go to school and daycare. I'd be willing to avoid visiting family if there was a concern of passing on illness. I think it's really regional lockdowns that concern me. Grocery stores will have to remain open because people have to eat. As experienced long distance hikers I'm also well versed in focusing of foods that provide the most amount of calories for the least money and weight. It's a very unconventional way of living but anyone who has thru-hiked a long distance trail would know what I'm talking about.

I'm opening to delaying the start of the trip for a couple weeks to see how tight the logistics supply chain gets but it would be really easy for us to have almost no interaction with anyone on our trip. It's a pretty unothothodox way of travelling. Another positive is that our Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance is accepted across the country so seeking care would not be too much of a challenge if it came to it.

It would certainly be different, focusing exclusively on boondocking, but we're trying to weigh the pros/cons of what we're considering a likely last chance at this once in a lifetime type trip vs. the risk of contact in the very isolated settings we'll be in.

FINate

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2020, 12:34:27 AM »
Hopefully it's not 3-6 months. But if it is, so what? Do the trip another time. Sure, this would be a bummer, but nowhere near as bad as the thousands of small business owners who'll lose everything, or those who are laid off for an extended period, or the folks that suffer permanent lung damage or death.

I'm also a backpacker so get what you're talking about. But I also know that the places you likely want to visit require back country permits and/or are subject to closure. The US healthcare system is about to get overwhelmed. It will be all hands on deck for all healthcare workers and first responders. What forest manager in their right mind is going to permit people into their areas with this in mind? Who wants to dedicate extremely stretched resources to rescuing hikers (shit happens to even the best of us) when these folks are desperately needed on the front lines of the coronavirus. What good is it to life flight out someone who's hurt if there are no open beds in any hospitals? I just don't foresee these agencies continuing on as normal, at least not in the short term.

Yes, you could take a trip and avoid people, avoid national and state parks, avoid cities, and avoid places where you may contribute to the spread of the this disease. But at that point are you even taking the same trip that you've planned? As spartana suggested, you may as well go backpacking/camping near home and save yourself a lot of driving and headache.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2020, 04:00:53 AM »
I would postpone it. I think that some very stringent restrictions on movement through states and regions are pretty close. Does the idea of being forcibly picked up and sent to a government quarantine center float your boat?

Khaetra

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2020, 04:50:19 AM »
I too would not go.  Everyone made good points, but don't forget that since you stated that you hit the grocers often many of them are having a very hard time staying stocked and may not have anything you want/need.  No one can predict how long this will last and I wouldn't feel right going to a store to stock up being from out of town when folks who live there will need supplies and food too.

Stay home, take a day hike or visit a local park (if yours are open) and take the trip when things get somewhat back to normal and there's a vaccine available for this thing.

MaggieD

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2020, 06:32:34 AM »
If you think youíll have no issues accessing health care because you have good insurance, I donít think youíre understanding the magnitude of the situation.  We donít have enough hospital beds, ventilators, and medical staff to meet the anticipated needs, especially if people donít take social distancing seriously today.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2020, 06:53:20 AM »
If you think youíll have no issues accessing health care because you have good insurance, I donít think youíre understanding the magnitude of the situation.  We donít have enough hospital beds, ventilators, and medical staff to meet the anticipated needs, especially if people donít take social distancing seriously today.

Indeed, this is the main problem. And the probably want to prioritize locals first. In Europe, the are asking all travellers to go back home.
You can expect libraries and public showers to close. Here in Norway, that is already done. And we also see that our local grocery store is empty in the meat section and the flower section. They did get a good supplynof bread this morning. Vegetables were partly empty.

We are also very disappointed that our first FIRE year means staying at home. We would have preferred being at our cabin, but there are not enough hospital beds and it has been forbidden to visit your far away cabin. I am afraid this might take all summer. But there is nothing to do about, other then changing your plans to go on local, maybe shorter, trips. We are thinking at canoeing in the Oslo fjord.

Omy

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2020, 06:54:39 AM »
"but perhaps I'm not looking at this objectively because I have a large emotional investment in the trip.

Should we stay home?"

Yes. For all of the reasons above. We have no idea what the landscape is going to look like 2 weeks from now or 2 months from now. There are a lot of "me" and "my" statements in your posts that make it clear this trip is very important to you, but that you aren't considering how you might unknowingly infect a part of the country that isn't already infected. Or that you might tax an already over-taxed health care system if you get sick or injured from camping.

The trip can be rescheduled. This is a time when we are being called on to make sacrifices for the greater good.

mistymoney

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2020, 06:58:30 AM »
yes.

FirePita

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2020, 07:06:10 AM »
Echoing what many others have already said. The danger is not in you getting it but in you picking it up from one grocery store and then giving it to others in the next grocery store.


https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2020, 10:43:04 AM »
Why is it a once in a lifetime trip? You are young and FIRE there will be a life time of other opportunities. Hopefully. I've been RE a long time and have had many 'once in a lifetime" trips I've done multiple times. Waiting a bit really isn't a big deal. But if you feel you can be safe and keep others safe and aren't worried about closures, then its a great time as few people will be out and about.
We think it's a once in a lifetime trip because we expect to have a kid after this. We don't believe this trip will be feasible with a child. Last year was supposed to be the once in a lifetime trip, but inexperience and reaggravating my knee put an end to that. After serious discussion, we decided to delay starting a family just a little bit longer to give it a second shot this year. I doubt we would consider delaying another year due to our age.

It seems prudent at this point for us to discuss how we're willing to change the nature of this trip if we want to avoid forgoing it altogether. If national parks close entirely that would be disappointing but there are many beautiful places out there that aren't national parks. The goal of the trip is to immerse ourselves in the amazing landscapes of the Western US that we don't have here on the East Coast. We have a shower bag, water filters, iodine tablets, etc. Stuff any long-distance hiker carries (except the shower bag). If need be we could essentially go off-grid for a month or two without coming up for air. We'd see more bears than people. It's hard for most people to understand what that actually looks like, how little contact you have with people, because they don't travel that way.

I have no problem skipping family visits. They were just a bonus. I have no problem staying away from visitor centers or tourist hotspots like Old Faithful or Mount Rushmore. Quite frankly I'd rather avoid them.

I understand the concerns regarding overwhelming the healthcare system, the possibility of permanent lung damage, etc. I've been following it all very closely. What I'm not so clearly convinced of is whether we're potentially safer in our car on the road than at home, given our housing situation (living with five other people going to jobs and schools and daycare).

At this point, we're strongly considering delaying our departure to the end of the month. We're continuing to talk about it and consider the latest developments.

afterthedark

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2020, 11:12:15 AM »
If you think youíll have no issues accessing health care because you have good insurance, I donít think youíre understanding the magnitude of the situation.  We donít have enough hospital beds, ventilators, and medical staff to meet the anticipated needs, especially if people donít take social distancing seriously today.

Indeed, this is the main problem. And the probably want to prioritize locals first. In Europe, the are asking all travellers to go back home.
You can expect libraries and public showers to close. Here in Norway, that is already done. And we also see that our local grocery store is empty in the meat section and the flower section. They did get a good supplynof bread this morning. Vegetables were partly empty.

We are also very disappointed that our first FIRE year means staying at home. We would have preferred being at our cabin, but there are not enough hospital beds and it has been forbidden to visit your far away cabin. I am afraid this might take all summer. But there is nothing to do about, other then changing your plans to go on local, maybe shorter, trips. We are thinking at canoeing in the Oslo fjord.

I know what you mean, but when I first read the bold part I smiled, thinking of all the Norwegians giving each other big bunches of flowers to cheer each other up. It made a nice contrast to the stories of people hoarding toilet paper.

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2020, 12:00:50 PM »
We we're just discussing things over lunch and my wife casually mentioned giving the Appalachian Trail another thru-hike attempt as an alternative to our trip out west. The thought hadn't really crossed my mind but would be an option that would also have little to no contact with people for a six month period. Might just have to seriously consider it!

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2020, 12:09:06 PM »
We we're just discussing things over lunch and my wife casually mentioned giving the Appalachian Trail another thru-hike attempt as an alternative to our trip out west. The thought hadn't really crossed my mind but would be an option that would also have little to no contact with people for a six month period. Might just have to seriously consider it!

Imagine how weird it would be to emerge from the trail to post apocalypse USA. In Christchurch there's a story of a homeless guy who was sleeping off a drunk during the big Feb 22 quake. He missed the city falling down, the CBD being evacuated and redzoned, and the army coming in to police that. He woke up to a totally empty, rapidly abandoned city - food still on cafe tables, clothing left behind etc. He thought the aliens had abducted everyone and hid from the army etc for a good week or so. It's funny, but imagine what went through the poor guy's head.

patch45

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2020, 12:19:38 PM »
Quote
We we're just discussing things over lunch and my wife casually mentioned giving the Appalachian Trail another thru-hike attempt as an alternative to our trip out west. The thought hadn't really crossed my mind but would be an option that would also have little to no contact with people for a six month period. Might just have to seriously consider it!

I'm planning to thru hike the CDT this year, though also keeping my eye on these public health updates.

Hypothetically, even if you somehow knew that you would never transmit or get the virus, there would still be one thing that I would be nervous about purely from a logistical standpoint. That is getting the supplies you need from the small towns on trail. Dried food, hand sanitizer, etc could potentially be in short supply, and restocked much more slowly than in a city. If you're on a road trip you can take a 10 hour/600 mile detour to the nearest town pretty easily. When you're thru hiking, as I'm sure you know, it's not nearly that easy.

Not discouraging you, just sharing some of my thought process.

There is also the potential to spread the virus to small rural communities without great access to healthcare. On the flip side of this, there are small business owners in these towns who could go under if thru hiker business dries up

kbear

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2020, 12:37:57 PM »
I would definitely go, but that's just me.
I have hiked the AT and PCT. Absolutely love everything about hiking, so best adventures ever. If you are worried about coming in contact with people, hiking would better in that respect. For the cross country trip, my only concern would be parks/attractions being closed, which would be a bummer.



GreenToTheCore

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2020, 10:24:56 PM »
The goal of the trip is to immerse ourselves in the amazing landscapes of the Western US that we don't have here on the East Coast. We have a shower bag, water filters, iodine tablets, etc. Stuff any long-distance hiker carries (except the shower bag). If need be we could essentially go off-grid for a month or two without coming up for air.

I hear ya, there are some fantastic places where you wont see another person unless you want to.
If you can avoid other people/society for 4-6 weeks then I would go.

I agree with others that if it's putting other communities at risk then it's not worth it; however, it seems that you guys are planning to be more socially isolated than most.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2020, 12:36:57 AM »
We we're just discussing things over lunch and my wife casually mentioned giving the Appalachian Trail another thru-hike attempt as an alternative to our trip out west. The thought hadn't really crossed my mind but would be an option that would also have little to no contact with people for a six month period. Might just have to seriously consider it!

Imagine how weird it would be to emerge from the trail to post apocalypse USA. In Christchurch there's a story of a homeless guy who was sleeping off a drunk during the big Feb 22 quake. He missed the city falling down, the CBD being evacuated and redzoned, and the army coming in to police that. He woke up to a totally empty, rapidly abandoned city - food still on cafe tables, clothing left behind etc. He thought the aliens had abducted everyone and hid from the army etc for a good week or so. It's funny, but imagine what went through the poor guy's head.

I read that the German Big brother participants this year have not been informed of Corona.

Omy

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2020, 06:19:40 AM »
Hopefully the tv crew doesn't bring the virus into their bubble. It would stink if family members died without them knowing.

pomegranatemom

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2020, 08:19:56 AM »
Do not go. This is not a once in a lifetime trip. Once your youngest is 7 or so they can handle long cartrips and long camping trips. And it will be so fun to do it with them! Personal experience and the experience of many friends.
As others have noted, itís not just about you catching it and needing medical attention. Itís about you catching it at a grocery store and unknowingly spreading it to other communities when you shop at their grocery stores.
Covid is serious. It is in my Northern California community. It spreads when there are no symptoms. A woman I cared about and respected has died. Others I care about and respect are sick. Some have been diagnosed and some are waiting for test results. They all met when they had no symptoms. I am in self quarantine and cancelled a cross country trip I had planned for April. Even though I will be out of self quarantine by then it isnít worth to put others at risk.

Sibley

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2020, 10:22:16 AM »
Cancel.

cchrissyy

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2020, 10:35:34 AM »
Quote
One of the things I wonder about with regard to staying home and the "flattening of the curve" is how long it will take to see a decline in cases. It could possibly be 3-6 months where there is still risk for people in situations where they gather in groups. That kind of timeline would effectively blow the whole year for us.

Exactly. Everybody's travel plans are blown this year. Stay home.

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2020, 01:31:28 PM »
If we lived alone, staying home would be a no brainier. However, we live with 5 other people, 3 of which are still operating under normal routines. A 2 year old heads to daycare daily and both adults are still reporting to work. If that doesn't change, we may take to the road/woods/something to limit our exposure. I'm concerned  about all the reports of people being completely asymptomatic and still being contagious. Since we're not really self-quarantined here due to our daily exposure to others who are not self-quarantined it makes it a tougher call.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2020, 02:40:53 PM »
We we're just discussing things over lunch and my wife casually mentioned giving the Appalachian Trail another thru-hike attempt as an alternative to our trip out west. The thought hadn't really crossed my mind but would be an option that would also have little to no contact with people for a six month period. Might just have to seriously consider it!

https://wildeast.appalachiantrail.org/explore/plan-and-prepare/hiking-basics/health/covid19/

The ATC President and CEO is asking hikers to postpone their AT thru hikes.
 
I was planning on hiking the AT this year after postponing it two years in a row due to injury then due to the terminal illness of a close family member. It's been a tough 18 months and I was so looking forward to going so I understand you and your wife's disappointment in cancelling or postponing your trip. I truly do.

But please consider doing so. I've decided to wait until the beginning of May to make a final decision but as things are right now, I won't be able to go...again.

Personally, these were the considerations that went into my decision:

1) Somewhere between some to most of the parks will probably close at some point this spring and/or summer and I would be forced to stop.

2) The vast majority of thru hikers depend on shuttles and buses to get to towns for resupply, of which some to most will not be running.

3) If supply chain disruptions continue, it would be difficult to adequately resupply in many towns.

4) If more places in the country move towards a full Italian style quarantine, all non-essential business will close including many that thru hikers rely on such as hostels, hotels, outdoors stores and laundromats. If it was a true quarantine, you possibly would not legally be able to travel through the area. 

5) There is confusing and conflicting information on this, but it appears that "mild" cases of COVID-19 go from asymptomatic to just avoiding needing to go to the ER and be put on a ventilator. A person in the upper range of those symptoms would have great difficulty in hiking back to a place where they could recover. I would consider myself negligent if I diverted medical bandwidth to rescue me on the trail instead of helping someone else if our healthcare resources were operating above capacity.

FINate

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2020, 02:45:30 PM »
And ... all California State Park Campgrounds are closed: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-all-state-campgrounds-shut-down/

I understand you're talking more about off-grid dispersed camping, so this doesn't directly apply. But it's crazy how fast the situation is evolving.

We are now in under a mandatory shelter in place order for the next several weeks. Expect it will go longer. All non-essential travel is forbidden.

Panic shopping continues to clear stores of most staples. Not just TP, but also eggs, milk, rice and so on. Grocery stores are struggling to keep up with demand. I'm not worried about going hungry, there's plenty of food, just have to be flexible in our dinner plans.

Getting reports from folks I know in the healthcare field that Santa Clara Valley hospitals are already running low on supplies and equipment as they see increasing numbers of people with difficulty breathing. They are also having issues with people coming in and stealing N95 masks and other supply.

If you're going off grid, would recommend: stay relatively local, stock up with enough supplies for at least a month, and sorry if this is weird to anyone here, but bring a gun and know how to use it. People are acting weird and panicky.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2020, 02:57:48 PM »
This is an all-hands-on-deck situation. We all have to do our part. Traveling, no matter how isolated from others, is, let me phrase it diplomatically, not thinking of others.

Your first order of business is to work with your housemates on reducing risk. A 2-year-old in daycare is high risk.

I have 1 member of the household in a high risk health category working on the medical front lines (in supply chain capacity). The rest of us are in quarantine.

We can do this, but we must all work together in ways that seem counterintuitive.

I love this image of the collective immune system.  That's what we are trying to be right now.

Also, Earth is getting a much needed rest, even from campers who go lightly on the trail.

zinnie

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2020, 03:47:21 PM »
I'd stay home. This really isn't about you or what you want to do, anymore. You can always wait to see how things go and start your trip at a later date. This is going to change a lot of people's lives and plans, for a while. We were going to FIRE in 14 months, and go to the Tokyo Olympics for a once-in-a-lifetime trip in July. I doubt either will be happening at this point. And honestly, I'm having a hard time even being upset about it. Millions of lives are WAY more important than a temporary disruption in my plans. I can have a sub-optimal year to save other people's grandparents.



OtherJen

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2020, 03:51:42 PM »
This is an all-hands-on-deck situation. We all have to do our part. Traveling, no matter how isolated from others, is, let me phrase it diplomatically, not thinking of others.

This. OP, it is unfortunate that your roommates' jobs are putting them, their child, and you at risk. But if you get sick and self-isolate at home, you won't transmit it further. If you get sick while traveling, you would put people other than yourselves at risk. It really isn't all about you.

Fuzz

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2020, 04:02:01 PM »
FWIW, Moab and other gateway towns have issued requests asking people to stay away and cancel plans.

If you're going to do dispersed camping and longer hikes in National Forests, I think you'd be fine. If the alternative is roommates who are still going to work and living in a city, I am unsure how your moving to a dispersed environment increases the herd risk. Not an epidemiologist either.

On a related note, some of the news about Corona seems like it's more about managing public expectations/mood than providing the most clinical, accurate info.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/opinion/coronavirus-face-masks.html?searchResultPosition=1

Or:

https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-links-speculation-open-thread/ (masks and respirators section)

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2020, 09:10:03 PM »
At the moment it looks like our housemates' situation will remain high risk for the duration of this event. It's an unusual situation that is outside of our control, and it leaves reasonable arguments to be made on both sides that each is potentially the safer option. If we leave, it's possible to interact with literally no one. Self-service gas stations take credit cards at the pump, and grocery stores have self-checkout lines. However, we're still exposed to other people's actions if sick person touched a gas pump or surface in the grocery store. Though, the same thing goes at our local gas station and grocery store.

If we leave, it's possible for us to self-quarantine in one area long enough to know neither of us can still have it before coming up for air and moving on. If we stay, self-quarantine is impossible while sharing a house, though I suppose if we really wanted to get hardcore we could just move into a tent in the back yard and stop interacting with our housemates. I suspect that would seriously damage our closest friendship though.

At the moment it kinda feels like a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing. It's especially difficult knowing that there are asymptomatic people who are transmitting the virus. One of our housemates could give it to us tomorrow or next week and we might never find out if we don't get sick.

It does seem that long-distance hiking is much riskier than car camping. The frequent need to restock increases the likelihood of contact, even if we went out of our way to avoid hostels, hitchhiking, etc. While a novel idea, it almost certainly has to be riskier than either hermit-like car camping or staying home.

For the moment we're just waiting with baited breath.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2020, 01:49:31 AM »
At the moment it looks like our housemates' situation will remain high risk for the duration of this event. It's an unusual situation that is outside of our control, and it leaves reasonable arguments to be made on both sides that each is potentially the safer option. If we leave, it's possible to interact with literally no one. Self-service gas stations take credit cards at the pump, and grocery stores have self-checkout lines. However, we're still exposed to other people's actions if sick person touched a gas pump or surface in the grocery store. Though, the same thing goes at our local gas station and grocery store.

If we leave, it's possible for us to self-quarantine in one area long enough to know neither of us can still have it before coming up for air and moving on. If we stay, self-quarantine is impossible while sharing a house, though I suppose if we really wanted to get hardcore we could just move into a tent in the back yard and stop interacting with our housemates. I suspect that would seriously damage our closest friendship though.

At the moment it kinda feels like a damned if you do, damned if you don't kind of thing. It's especially difficult knowing that there are asymptomatic people who are transmitting the virus. One of our housemates could give it to us tomorrow or next week and we might never find out if we don't get sick.

It does seem that long-distance hiking is much riskier than car camping. The frequent need to restock increases the likelihood of contact, even if we went out of our way to avoid hostels, hitchhiking, etc. While a novel idea, it almost certainly has to be riskier than either hermit-like car camping or staying home.

For the moment we're just waiting with baited breath.

You might already have it, if you house members are still interacting with others. DH got it (selfdiagnosed) after almost no contact with others.

I am wondering if the headache I had half a week before all the warnings started, might have been a symptom. Or whether my FIL's sudden pneumonia a couple of weeks was actually Corona. Hard to know.

Here they put people in caranteen for 14 days. In that period you would get symptoms of you are infected. Maybe you could camp somewhere in your own community now for 14 days? With enough supplies on board to not have to restock.

Omy

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #38 on: March 19, 2020, 06:45:47 AM »
If your household is unable to isolate in place, you are all at risk. Camping in the back yard might be a great option.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2020, 10:32:45 AM »
You're young. I am not trying to be rude or say you shouldn't be disappointed, but I guess when you're older you develop a greater capacity to just say "fuck it" and wait things out. I am sorry you have people in your household that are exposed to so many other people, hopefully you will be able to make the best of your situation. Stay safe.

FINate

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2020, 04:37:33 PM »
And now all of Yosemite NP is closed, all trails, all facilities, all areas: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-yosemite-national-park-closes/

This means PCT and JMT are both closed within the park boundary.

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2020, 05:05:07 PM »
Yeah multiple states have closed parks, the 3 counties around Moab have banned overnight stays for non-locals, states are forcing private campgrounds to close. At this point it would be very dicey for us to try and cross most of the country. There's too much risk at this point. Plus my mom has now been forced home as PA has closed all non-life supporting businesses. Worst case scenario and we're not safe if our own house because of exposure to housemates who can't self-quarantined, we can pack enough food for two weeks worth of isolation in our car and then drive to my mother's or sisters house. All of them are home at this point.

Omy

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2020, 06:59:44 AM »
That sounds like a brilliant idea...start now because the landscape is going to look a lot different in a few days.

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AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #44 on: March 23, 2020, 01:48:28 AM »
Yeah multiple states have closed parks, the 3 counties around Moab have banned overnight stays for non-locals, states are forcing private campgrounds to close. At this point it would be very dicey for us to try and cross most of the country. There's too much risk at this point. Plus my mom has now been forced home as PA has closed all non-life supporting businesses. Worst case scenario and we're not safe if our own house because of exposure to housemates who can't self-quarantined, we can pack enough food for two weeks worth of isolation in our car and then drive to my mother's or sisters house. All of them are home at this point.

Maybe think about that before they shut down travel. That'll happen at some point.

lhamo

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #45 on: March 23, 2020, 08:54:02 AM »
I would go stay with your family -- good time to be there to support/spend time with them. 

Alternatively, Air bnbs are really discounted in a lot of places right now, especially for longer terms.  That would be a good way to get you out of your current germ factory (and the germ factory is a good reason to point to for why you are renting one).

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #46 on: March 23, 2020, 01:37:29 PM »
Yeah multiple states have closed parks, the 3 counties around Moab have banned overnight stays for non-locals, states are forcing private campgrounds to close. At this point it would be very dicey for us to try and cross most of the country. There's too much risk at this point. Plus my mom has now been forced home as PA has closed all non-life supporting businesses. Worst case scenario and we're not safe if our own house because of exposure to housemates who can't self-quarantined, we can pack enough food for two weeks worth of isolation in our car and then drive to my mother's or sisters house. All of them are home at this point.

Maybe think about that before they shut down travel. That'll happen at some point.
Im waiting for the borders of Calif to close now that the National Guard is being called in. I can see how a "stay in your own.state or city" order could happen eventually. I wonder what full time RVers, van dwellers and vagabonds are doing if they are finding it hard to hunker down in one place?

Well as one of the full timers I will say that various places are making it more difficult to hunker down. We have had two sites close down while we were at them which necessitates traveling sooner than planned. We are fortunate that we have a setup well suited to disappearing into the woods for weeks at a time but with news constantly changing we have been prioritizing cell signal more than we normally would so haven't disappeared into the woods yet. Still push comes to shove we still have plenty of options even if undesirable. Some of the people we meet are going to struggle a lot more.

JoJo

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2020, 04:52:44 PM »
Some of the full timers I know have had to head "home" to stay with family.  There's one couple that's been tenting and it's been really rough so they headed to Ohio. 

Mr. Green

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #48 on: March 23, 2020, 06:04:42 PM »
Some of the full timers I know have had to head "home" to stay with family.  There's one couple that's been tenting and it's been really rough so they headed to Ohio.
This is essentially our dilemma. Since we travel in a car with no toilet, we intended to rely heavily on campgrounds and public restroom facilities. At least that's the way it worked out last year. But in many places those are all closed now, and even if they weren't I'm not sure I'd want to use them because you don't know other people's hygiene habits. I'm sure there's places out there on BLM land that's near water and essentially off grid and as long as you didn't mind digging a cathole every time you needed to poop you'd be alright. But it's been our experience that those places are often without cell service, and proximity to a decent size town for resupply becomes important. So that's a huge amount of anxiety to swallow thinking about crossing 3/4 of the country and then finding one of those places. If we already lived in proximity to something like that it'd be less of an issue but that isn't the case. The east coast doesn't have much "free" land.

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Re: Should we delay our multi-month cross-country (US) camping trip?
« Reply #49 on: March 23, 2020, 11:02:03 PM »
Family sounds like a good option.


 

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