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Cyclopath
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PostSun Mar 22, 2020 7:10 pm 
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I want to share some advice and thoughts about how to hike safely during this dark time.  I hope this sparks a good conversation.  If anybody else has good info I'll update the OP.

It's ok to hike, but you have to avoid other people, and you have to not get hurt.

First let's go over some facts: a lot of people aren't working, schools are closed, NPs are waving entry fees "in an effort to aid public social distancing," the media is pushing hiking as a good way to escape the boredom at home, and nothing else is open.  This means: there are a lot of people hiking now who wouldn't normally hike, so expect crowding, and weekday vs weekend doesn't mean that much right now in terms of how crowded it will be.

You can't always get 6 feet away from the trail, there are natural obstacles.  Parking was overflowing at several I90 trails all weekend, lot of opportunities for people to be too close, especially when some of them are breathing heavy from exertion.

1 - Don't do popular trails like Wallace Falls or Lake 22.

2 - The further you drive, the more solitude you'll find.

3 - Don't go to peaks, lakes, or waterfalls, they bring people out.

4 - Hike without a trail, obviously only if you know how to navigate with a map and compass.

5 - Lower your standards, it doesn't have to be the most scenic trail in the state, it just has to get you out and in a natural setting.  Look at the map, find opportunities for nice hikes that won't occur to other people.

6 - Stay within your limits.  It's not fair to ask SAR to come get you during a pandemic, and you don't want to be taking up a hospital bed.

7 - Don't touch hand rails on bridges and other surfaces other people will touch.

8 - Bring enough food and water for the trip, both the hike and for the drive home.

Remember, people are contagious days before they have symptoms, just because somebody did Mailbox Peak doesn't mean they're not shedding virus.
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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aka friendly hiker
PostSun Mar 22, 2020 7:19 pm 
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Cyclopath wrote:
I want to share some advice and thoughts about how to hike safely during this dark time.  I hope this sparks a good conversation.  If anybody else has good info I'll update the OP.

This is awesome.  Thank you.  ~z
.
.
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RichP
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here and there
PostSun Mar 22, 2020 8:00 pm 
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Don't forget there are 1000's of miles of logging roads in the region. When they are snow covered, they are like a wide trail to ski or snowshoe. Not wilderness but away from the crowds and you still get some exercise.

On 3520+.'
On 3520+.'
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CBTalbert
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 5:14 am 
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Washington Trails Association put out an excellent set of recommendations several days back which follow the same theme:  https://www.wta.org/go-outside/hiking-in-the-time-of-coronavirus

--------------
Cheryl aka TreeLady
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thunderhead
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 10:43 am 
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Round up 5 other teenagers and bored UW undergrads.

Drive in 1 car.

Find a dog.

Go to rattlesnake.

Play loud music.

Leave dog bag behind.

Post 46 selfies on instagram.




You mean that's not it?  Weird.
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Cyclopath
Faster than light



Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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Cyclopath
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Faster than light
PostMon Mar 23, 2020 11:14 am 
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CBTalbert wrote:
Washington Trails Association put out an excellent set of recommendations several days back which follow the same theme:  https://www.wta.org/go-outside/hiking-in-the-time-of-coronavirus

Thanks for adding this.  It mostly agrees with the advice here, except for staying near home vs driving further to use less-crowded trails.  Any thoughts?
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bullfrog
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PostMon Mar 23, 2020 11:24 am 
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Great tips. I might add that we had a lot of washouts in December, which means many access roads are closed miles from the trailheads. But this means you can do a road walk away from other people and enjoy the wilderness even if the trailhead is too far away. Check the road conditions posts here on NWHikers.net or the WTA blog for a list of road closures, drive to the barriers, and then enjoy the solitude.
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tmatlack
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PostThu Mar 26, 2020 12:57 am 
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All,

May I assume that it is ok to solo drive to a solo hiking spot?

Tom
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gb
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PostThu Mar 26, 2020 5:28 am 
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Here is an interpretation of the Governor's order at Crosscut. Notice that there is a link to interpretation as to hiking within the article: https://crosscut.com/2020/03/heres-what-washingtons-new-stay-home-order-means-you

I think that driving to the mountains is questionable as to the intent of the order. But it seems that is not yet clearly defined. One thing is sure, if hikers are not careful to follow the intent of the order by avoiding any grouping the restrictions will get tighter.
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Mar 26, 2020 8:49 am 
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tmatlack wrote:
All,

May I assume that it is ok to solo drive to a solo hiking spot?

Tom

Wear gloves when you gas up.  Pick a hiking spot no one else will be at.
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nordique
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PostSun Mar 29, 2020 3:33 pm 
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Definitely!  Nowadays, none of us carpool to hikes.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > How to hike in the COVID-19 era
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