How to Prepare to Go Camping During Social Distancing

RV camping and tenting has always been a popular way to travel but with the pandemic happening and “stay at home” orders slowly being lifted, it’s turned into a safer way for people to get away.

We’ve been camping for decades so we aren’t strangers to preparing and packing for a camping trip but how to prepare to go camping during social distancing?

sandy road in beachside campground

It just takes a little extra time and thought to make it a safe trip for all.

What’s the appeal of RV and tent camping now? Well, you are in your own space, sleeping in your own bed (or sleeping bag), so there’s no need to worry about someone else being in your space and possibly spreading the virus.

If you really want to travel and get away, it’s the best solution in these troubled times. 

dark gray cargo trailer with blue awning parked on campsite at the beach

We had reservations for a weekend getaway in our cargo trailer camper conversion that was made months ago, long before the pandemic.

The campground we were traveling to, just a couple hours from our home, had just opened up so we decided to take the RV out for the weekend.

This trip looked a little different from our last trip in 2019, though. We had to spend more time preparing and getting everything ready so that we would feel safe and still enjoy our trip.

We made a checklist before we started packing so that we could get everything together for our trip. 

Camping Checklist During Social Distancing

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Before you do any planning, please check with the state that you live in, and if you are traveling out of state, check there. Make sure you are not under a “stay at home” order.

We are not suggesting that you  travel when the state that you live in asks you to stay home. 

  1. Naturally, the very first thing we did was to call the campground we were going to visit. We wanted to make sure that they were open and ready for our visit. Tip: Do early check-in if they offer it so that you can drive straight to your campsite upon arrival. You may also want to ask about their policies on social distancing and their sanitizing practices. campground paperwork like brochures and stickers for early checkin
  2. Groceries – The next thing on the list was meal planning and grocery shopping. We didn’t want to have to go into a grocery store in another city with tons of tourists that needed last minute groceries so we made a complete list of meals and bought enough groceries. We like to go out to eat when we go camping but we knew that wasn’t going to happen with this trip so we planned ahead. I also did a little food prep before we even left home. I cooked potatoes to fry and made a tuna pasta salad ahead of time so we had some ready-made food.
  3. Pet food and medicine – We packed plenty of dog food for both dogs and their pet meds. Actually we packed more than what we needed, just in case. I always keep a copy of our pups vaccinations in our car in the event of a pet emergency so we were covered there. 
  4. Medication – We checked all of our current prescriptions to make sure we had enough so that we didn’t have to worry about running out. We also made sure that we had enough sunscreen, allergy meds and upset tummy meds so that we didn’t need to run out to the store if we weren’t feeling well.
  5. Face masks, hand sanitizer – Unfortunately, these have become a necessity in these trying times. We made sure we had a few face masks with us, as well as enough hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes (just in case one of us had to use the public restroom).
  6. Ice for the cooler – We didn’t want to worry about tracking down and buying ice so we made our own. A week before we left we took our juice containers destined for the recycle bin and cleaned them out. Then we filled them with water and put them in the freezer. Free ice for our entire trip!
  7. Firewood – Many states and campgrounds have regulations on transporting firewood so make sure you check with the campground you will be visiting beforehand. We knew we’d want a fire so we just took out electronic fire pit with us (no firewood needed). It runs off of propane so we made sure we had enough propane to run our grill and fire pit.propane fire pit burning at campsite
  8. Games, books and movies – We knew that we would be spending all of our time at our campsite so we brought a few games with us, as well as books. I also downloaded a few movies to watch on my Kindle.

Traveling to your Destination

  • We discussed our trip to and from our destination before we even set out. The goal was to get to the campground without going into a gas station store or grocery store. We have an RV so we were able to use our bathroom in an emergency. Our face masks and hand wipes were within easy reach. We just had to grab them if we need to go into the gas station store or rest area.
  • Speaking of rest areas…check with the states you are traveling through to make sure that rest areas are open. We found two on our way to our destination that were closed. 
  • Snacks, drinks and food were all bought beforehand. We set everything aside so that we could grab what we wanted and eat while driving.  
  • Of course we had to stop for gas so we made sure we had our credit card with us so that we didn’t have to go inside to pay. We also made sure we sanitized our hands after pumping. white pickup truck pulling a dark gray cargo trailer parked at a gas station pump

Our weekend getaway was very relaxing and a huge success! We hung out at our campsite the whole weekend, took long walks with the dogs and ate our meals outside.

Other campers that we encountered were all respectful of the new rules for social distancing, including the campground staff. We felt very safe and we’re glad that we were able to get away.  

Not everyone feels comfortable traveling right now, and that’s ok.

If you need to get your camping fix, just make sure you plan ahead, be smart and stay safe. You can still have a great time.

How do you prepare to go camping while social distancing?

Check out our one-of-a-kind camper…


  1. A true camper is willing to do whatever it takes to get out on the road. You guys sure prove that.
    Now you get to enjoy all the work you put in Minnie. Stay safe💖

    1. Thanks! Yes, these strange times call for safety measures but you can still have a good time. It’s just a bit different.

  2. Sounds you really did your homework, and planned ahead. So many people just brush off this virus as nothing, so glad to see you were cautious. We are campers and do the same thing, as far as not using facitlites at gas stations and fast food, etc. Seems like when we leave home to camp, no one is wearing masks, or distancing, and it’s disturbing. Maybe because we are older, in our seventies, and are more concerned. But still getting out there!

    1. We did do a lot of planning, thanks Linda! So glad to see that you are getting out there! We debated for a week whether it was safe to go or not but we felt like we did everything right. Since we hung out at our campground for the weekend we only saw fellow campers. I didn’t see people wearing masks at their sites but all of the campground workers were. We wear ours no matter where we go, except if we are outside at our site.

      Stay safe out there!

  3. Who would look at you in the gas station and realize how nice that trailer was on the inside!

    1. Ha, yes people are very surprised when they see the inside when we are at campgrounds. There’s always someone interested in it when we go away and they are always surprised. 🙂

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