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HomeKids and FamilyCamping in the Time of COVID-19: Safety Tips & Other Info

Camping in the Time of COVID-19: Safety Tips & Other Info

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As the weather has warmed up, it’s a great time to explore the outdoors. Many people are trying to find safe and responsible ways to get outside while preventing the spread of COVID-19. When done safely, camping can be a great social distancing activity that allows you to benefit from the positive mental and physical effects of the outdoors.

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Most Tennessee State Parks reopened for day-use visitation on April 24 and on May 1 many facilities, such as visitor centers, park offices and restrooms reopened. For those who had reservations at a cabin or campsite between May 1 and May 14, those reservations are honored. Tennessee State Parks will allow new reservations for cabins and campsites with arrival dates of May 15 or later. Online reservations are available for trips with arrival dates after May 15th. All of this is subject to change as the situation evolves.

To help you plan a safe camping trip, Tennessee State Parks has put together a list of safety tips to consider.

Camping Safety Tips

PRE-TRIP:

  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home.
  • Make sure to do a wellness check before heading out. If anyone is feeling sick or recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19, it’s best to play it safe and stay home. If you need to cancel your reservation, please call the park office.
  • Don’t plan to travel long distances.
  • Book your next camping trip at a park that is close to your home.
  • People living in the Nashville metro area will have a hard time finding weekend campsite availability at nearby parks. Instead, consider camping Sunday through Thursday when occupancy is lower.
  • Bring the gear you need.
  • Trash pickup and restrooms may be limited, so come prepared. Bring extra trash bags and hand sanitizer. Create a camping gear checklist to make sure you’ve got what you need before you leave.
  • Get gas and visit the grocery store in your hometown to reduce trips to the store in park communities.
  • Pack a mask. Bring a mask and wear it when around others or when using public facilities.
  • Bring only certified heat-treated firewood.
  • Stay Informed. The most current information about having a safe visit is found on on the TN State Parks Keeping Visitors Healthy page. Some parks, facilities or areas may be closed. You can find updates on our COVID-19 Closures page.

DURING YOUR VISIT:

  • If you need to reach park staff or need assistance from our Rangers, Visitors Centers will be open at limited capacity. You can also call the park office.
  • Find phone numbers on the park’s page of the website, in the mobile app, or posted on Visitors Center doors.
  • In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
  • Practice social distancing. Maintain at least six feet of separation between you and other visitors at all times. Stick to your campsite and refrain from gathering at other campsites.
  • Follow all park rules and regulations. You can find our rules and regulations here.

Andrea Hinds
Andrea Hinds
Writer. Avid coffee drinker. TV/Movie Junkie. Taco fanatic.
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