It’s all about domestic travel now. As an alternative to what used to be a jet-setting weekend to Bali or even Paris, visitors are now turning to explore the great outdoors right in their backyard. And hiking is seen to be a favoured activity for the many.
Despite the reopening of local tourism, it is important to note that we have not yet won the battle against COVID-19. Sadly, some countries including Malaysia are currently facing the third wave. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to take precautionary steps when you choose to go on a hike.
Go early to avoid crowds
There’s only one solution to avoid running into congestion at your choice of hiking spot, which is to go early as possible.
By going ridiculously early, you’ll be able to enjoy a hike free from crowds. Plus, who knows, you might even catch the morning golden hour at the top of the summit which makes the best photo for the Gram!
Don’t take unnecessary risks
This common sense practise should be observed at all times during hiking, regardless of what season it is. However, it is more crucial than ever to avoid areas that pose a certain degree of risk right now.
For instance, the next time you go on a hike and saw a cliff or a slippery boulder located at the edge of a pool, think twice before you step onto it. Because if you get hurt, you’ll only putting unneeded strain on the already limited amount of emergency medical responders.
Keep your masks (and sanitisers) on hand
Hiking means braving into the unknown. Entering the jungle is full of uncertainties. In the great outdoors, your map apps don’t have the ability or cellular connection to notify you whether there’s a human traffic way ahead of your trail.
Hence, it’s best to have your masks and sanitisers on hand, in case you bump into a large group of hikers somewhere along the trail, or at the picnic site of the jungle.
So, consider putting your mask on when you’re passing by others on trail and sanitise your hands after holding a rope.
It’s best to choose hiking locations that are within close driving distance to our homes. When you choose to stay local, you’re limiting the risk of spreading the virus to other areas, and rural communities.
Do your research before you go. Make sure the hiking trail you’re planning to visit is open to public, as several of them might still be closed.
Know the ins and outs, their rules and regulations, and double check whether local authorities in charge of national parks allow the public to hike at a specific trail.
Do bear in mind that this is not the best time to hike off-trail, especially without the guidance of experts.
Practise social distancing on the trail
Social distancing in the jungle is just as important as it is when you’re in the mall.
In efforts to stay safe and curb unwanted contagions, it is important to always keep your 1-metre distance from others. If you encounter other hikers in a narrow trail, do step off to the side to allow plenty of room for them to pass through.