Cabin fever is taking on a whole new meaning this year! We should be putting storage wax on our snow equipment, packing away those winter layers, and gearing up for our first spring adventure. Instead, we’re being asked to stay inside for the greater good and put a hold on vacations and visits with friends and family. As avid adventurers this may feel pretty limiting but fortunately, getting outside on a hike, run, or bike ride is considered essential for mental and physical health, we just need to make a shift and adventure responsibly in our own backyard.
Tips for biking, running, and hiking responsibly:
1. Locals Only. Although it may be tempting to hop in the car and head out on a road trip, you might be putting smaller communities at risk by bringing something to them. Resist the urge to pack your backpack for an overnight and head out to that “secret” locals only spot – instead, try it out from a different starting point to experience it from a new perspective. Consider adding more distance to your social distancing by leaving from your house on foot or bike instead of driving to a trailhead. We know you’ll crush that hill!
2.Two’s a Crowd. As the saying goes, there is such a thing as being in the right place, at the right time. Avoid crowds by heading out on an early AM run or off-lunch-hour bike ride and only do so with people you live with. If you come to a trailhead and it is crowded, don’t add to the congestion, go somewhere else. Avoid singletracks and stick to wider fire roads. You never know, you might just discover a new route or hidden gem!
3. No Touching! When heading outside, be wary of anything you touch. A good rule of thumb is don’t touch anything that isn’t yours — I know we’re all used to using trail gates as makeshift benches but for now, we should sit ourselves and our gear on the ground. Plan on packing more water than you normally would so you can avoid refilling at public water fountains. Remember, to wash your water bottle after every walk, run, or ride to reduce additional exposure risk.
4. Pass With Care. Keep your distance when you’re outside on a trail, be respectful and stay at least 6 feet away from anyone you approach. If you’re on your bike, you may need to stop for a hiker and get off in order to walk past at a safe distance. Experts recommend not running or walking directly behind someone, stagger yourself behind or run beside at a distance. Consider wearing a buff or mask for an added layer of protection.
5. Kill It With Kindness. This is a chaotic time for the world, and therefore everyone is a little bit on edge. Stay informed by staying up to date with your local closures and restrictions and set an example by following any guidelines. Remember to stay friendly and polite to everyone you encounter — we all could use a good endorphin kick so it’s important to be mindful about ways to get outside responsibly while giving space to those who are trying to do the same!
Luckily, HydraPak’s home in Northern California is surrounded by a lifetime of outdoor adventures, activities, and sheer natural beauty that we’re incredibly fortunate to have access to. Adventure is still open in our own backyard! Now is the time to create a Backyard Bucket List and check off all those places you would have passed up in lieu of a bigger adventure.