Coronavirus advice for Appalachian Trail hikers from trail organization: distancing and soap

Coronavirus concerns have led the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to issue guidance for hikers already on the Appalachian Trail – like thru-hikers who started their 2,180-mile treks before or despite guidance on self-confinement and social distancing.

“For Appalachian Trail hikers, distancing yourself from other hikers and maintaining good hygiene is the best defense for reducing your chances of contracting any illness,” suggests a letter by Sandra Marra, president of the ATC, posted on the organization’s website.

“Wash your hands frequently with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet from water sources. When soap is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains 60-95 percent alcohol.

“Avoid sharing food. Do not eat out of the same food bag, share utensils or drink from other hikers’ water bottles.

“If you begin feeling sick, stay away from others and get off the trail until examined and cleared for return to the trail by a medical professional.

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