youtubeSpring 2020 will be etched in everyone’s memory for many years to come. Kids are out of school for weeks, sports are cancelled, restaurants are closed, movie theaters are shuttered, employees are furloughed or encouraged to work from home, borders are restricted and stores are sold out of toilet paper across the country.

March of 2020 has certainly changed the paradigm for recreation. Effects from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to change daily as we all try to follow the recommendations from the CDC and our state governments. In Washington State, we had been able to get out and camp while still practicing social distancing…until March 25th when the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” policy went into effect.

At some point (hopefully soon), we will get past this health crisis and can begin to enjoy RVing once again. This may be a good time to get yourself ready so you’ll be able to go once restrictions are lifted. Get the RV ready for Spring, clean up and get things organized, plan out the places you’ll want to go to when they become available again.

Those that can see past all the craziness also see potential to make some great memories camping with the family when doable.  State and private RV parks were the last to be closed, they may be the first to re-open.

Let’s take a look at all the good reasons you should plan a camping trip with your family after this unprecedented time:

- While many states have closed their parks to camping most will become available for day use hiking, biking and exploring. Quite often there are private RV parks / campgrounds located near state parks that handle the overflow in summer allowing you to obtain an early season campsite near the park.

Biking is a Great Camping Activity

- Many state parks and campgrounds are located in unique locations providing great learning opportunities to replace what children are missing in the classroom. It’s worth noting that many lessons learned exploring outside or around a campfire can never be taught in the classroom.

- As mentioned above, the kids are out of school through most of April and possibly longer while many parents are temporarily home from work or allowed flexible work hours permitting the flexibility to plan a camping trip anytime during the week, not just a weekend that could very well be a rain out.

- Most employers are happy to let employees (parents)  use some of their built up vacation days.

- Fuel prices are predicted to drop sharply further stretching your budget.

- Hiking and biking (both still permissible on most public land) are great ways to maintain social distancing yourself from others.

Family Memories Around the Campfire


If you have the ability to do some dry camping, short one- or two-night trips are still doable.

Here are a couple of boondocking opportunities in Washington State to consider:

- Buck Creek Recreation Area in Western Washington offers all sorts of outdoor activities and exploration for the kids plus a historic airstrip that their school teacher will appreciate them learning about.

- Liberty Campground on the east side of the Cascades offers large campsites (some creek side) with fire rings and picnic tables.

- NOTE Boondocking is a great option for limiting your exposure to viruses as there are no hard surfaces others have touched (electrical pedestal, water faucet, sewer hook-up, etc.) in the boondocks, no personal interaction with others to check in / out  and no transfer of payment via cash, credit card or check through a pay box, forms or contaminated writing instrument.

Social Distancing in the Boondocks

So, what are you more likely to remember twenty years from now, waiting at home for things to get back to normal or being ready to get out in your RV when it becomes safe and enjoying nature with your family?  The choice is yours, make the one that counts!

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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