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Zero Waste Pandemic Trail Tips

Covid 19 Hiking Social Distancing Tips

BYO Everything. Leave No Trace of Virus or Waste.

Nature’s tonic beckons for many of us who are sheltering in place to stay safe during the Covid pandemic. The rules allow 10s of millions of residents to go to the grocery store, the bank and seek medical services - plus exercise outdoors so long as health precautions are followed. It’s a huge blessing to be able to spend time outdoors with boots on the ground.

Studies show outdoor activity benefits physical health and helps reduce stress and anxiety. But we’re writing a new playbook when it comes to spending time outdoors during the Covid pandemic since we’ve never experienced a health emergency like this before.

Here are a few tips to help us safely share trails and parks with our neighbors while staying as healthy as possible. Scroll down to see graphic!

Before you go!

  • Bring your own water bottle since water fountains will be closed. 
  • Go to the bathroom before you arrive because the bathrooms will be closed. 
  • Pack a trail map and your own snack in a reusable container since welcome centers and cafes will be closed.
  • Before and after your hike, wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer as frequently as possible.

While you hike!

  • Maintain at least a six-foot social distance from other individuals at all times. Walk single file if you need to pass another group of hikers.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands)
  • Due to minimal staffing, follow leave no trace principles, which means you won’t use the trash cans. Implement zero waste practices.
  • Regularly clean high-touch surfaces, including water bottles, snack containers, car door handles, pet leashes and other accessories
  • Don’t congregate in parking lots or at trailheads.
  • Don’t shake hands or hug (obviously!)

ECOlunchbox developed these tips based on information from the National Recreation and Park Association and East Bay Regional Parks. These Covid 19 Trail Tips are also available as a PDF POSTER DOWNLOAD in case you’d like to post them as a public service announcement at your local trailhead. ECOlunchbox is a certified California Green Business since 2008.


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