What You Should Consider Before Planning Your Next Camping Trip

Willamette Valley RV park

As more parts of the state continue to reopen, it becomes easier for campers to visit our Willamette Valley RV park. Oregon summers make for a great time to take the RV out and spend some quality time with the family. However, the lingering presence of COVID-19 makes this particular summer a little different than most. Safely vacationing in 2020 will require making some hard decisions about the type of activities a family can participate in and which to avoid.

Let’s take a look at a few things we should all consider before scheduling a trip to a Willamette Valley RV park.

Know What’s Open

While many of the day-use areas and hiking trails around the state have finally reopened, some state parks and campgrounds located along the Oregon coast will remain closed throughout the summer. A number of state campground sites reopened to the public on June 9, but these could end up closing if a spike in infections occurs. To keep your trip from ending before it starts, always make sure to check the status of your destination before loading the family in the RV and heading out.

Make Room for Social Distancing

Health officials across Oregon and the world continue to recommend staying at least 6 feet apart from anyone not in your immediate family when out of the home. When enjoying time on a large beach or park, observing social distancing is easier than when trying to navigate narrow hiking trails, especially on busy weekends. Some parks, such as Silver Falls, actually state on their website that visitors should be prepared to turn around if they arrive when the park is busy. For more popular destination like Smith Rock, Crater Lake, and Silver Falls, you may want to consider visiting during the week when crowds should be smaller.

Stay Closer to Home

Even though owning an RV offers the chance to freely travel in comfort and style, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown continues to discourage any nonessential travel that takes people far from their homes. State health officials continue to request that people who live in crowded parts of the state travel no more than 50 miles, for now.

If you plan on staying for an extended period of time at an RV park, you may feel free to disregard this recommendation if you’re willing to stay inside your vehicle for at least two weeks should you get sick.

Don’t Wait to Buy Your Supplies

Even though trails and campgrounds have reopened, many of the services that surround Oregon parks remain closed. Don’t automatically assume that the small shops and convenience stores you’ve grown accustomed to shopping at while on the road will be open, fully stocked, and welcoming of out-of-town visitors. Better to prepare in advance and stock up on all necessary supplies before heading out of on the road.

Have a Backup Plan

As mentioned previously, many of the most popular campsites and attractions in Oregon may place a limit on the number of people that can visit the site at any one time. If you arrive at your destination and see that it’s packed, you should have a backup plan on where else you can go. A single backup may not be enough. Simply heading down the road to another nearby park and you may end up going to the same place everybody else selected as their backup, leading to more overcrowding. Having several options to choose from will increase your odds of finding a place that’s not too crowded you can enjoy.

Get Out on the Water

Activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and rafting give you the opportunity to spend time outdoors while still keeping a safe distance from others. Instead of heading to a crowded trail, consider spending time out on a river or lake in a kayak or paddle boat instead.