Is It Safe To Go Hiking? Yes, With Caveats

With so many of us stuck at home self-isolating or temporarily unable to work, people may be thinking about going for a hike.

But is it safe?

“Of course, but maintain a safe distance from others. There is no issue with going hiking with the people you live with,” says Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University.

If you go hiking with friends or in small groups Chi recommends driving in separate cars to maintain a six-foot distance and not going out with a big group. He also encourages people to avoid carpooling for the time being.

Getting outside is just the ticket during these uncertain times, according to Ryan Reese, assistant professor of counseling at Oregon State University’s Cascades branch.

Reese thinks that pretty much anything that gets you moving your body and connecting with the natural world is beneficial.

Chi agrees, with an important caveat.

“It is safe and better to keep it to a very small number in your party, as well as practice extreme hand hygiene,” he said. “Carry hand sanitizer, tissue papers and don’t touch any public place or building’s surface.”

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