COVID Journey Logs: What Your Guides Ought to Do

Here you will find the latest global health and safety guidelines for adventure travelers, from group trekking to cycling to white water rafting.

To curb the proliferation of COVID-19 among exciting adventure travelersThe Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) released its official health and safety guidelines this week. The new protocols are designed to help adventure tour operators around the world reopen safely as they accompany adventurers on hikes, bike tours and rafting expeditions.

While general practices such as social distancing and hand washing are paramount, the Cleveland Clinic (ranked by Newsweek as the second best hospital in the world) has created the guidelines together with ATTA and tour operators, with a particular focus on adventure travel.

The guidelines contain a general manual for guided outdoor activities as well as sport-specific manuals for cycling, trekking and rafting. The ATTA organization develops and protects sustainable adventure tourism around the world. Therefore, these COVID 19 guidelines apply from state to state in the United States and for international travel.

While the guide focuses on what guides and operators can do as an adventure traveler, you can use these guidelines to promote your own health and safety.

General guidelines for outdoor adventures

In general, ATTA finds that outdoor travelers who distance themselves socially and wear masks reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. And as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to impress, people can significantly reduce their exposure risk by staying 6 feet away. People can also frequently wash their hands with soap and water and wear a fabric face cover to prevent it from spreading.

In addition to these common practices, recreational athletes can expect numerous new safety protocols on guided tours from rafting to trekking. Here are the key findings from the ATTA “COVID 19 Guidelines for Health and Safety on Adventure Travel” for outdoor travelers.

Destinations and insurance: what to expect

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When choosing a destination, check the travel restrictions you live in and plan how you probably know to travel. Also, remember to review any restrictions related to returning home, such as: B. a mandate for self-quarantine. And don't be surprised if a contact tracking app is required for some goals.

Unfortunately, some bucket list spots could be a petri dish for coronavirus spread. In popular but vulnerable communities, visitors may be temporarily disallowed. Therefore, follow the recommendations of your guide for less frequented places.

Regardless of the location, ATTA recommends travelers to take out travel insurance. Make sure that coverage covers every goal and high-risk activity like climbing. "However, no policy covers all COVID-19 travel risks," reports the ATTA. Therefore, study your guidelines carefully and understand who is likely to pay for any potential costs.

Guided group tours: best practices to watch out for

Before you can join a guided group, you will most likely need to complete a COVID 19 waiver. The form should include questions about isolation habits, test results, and the presence of symptoms. The guides can carry out temperature tests on site or inquire about symptoms.

For all activities, the number of people in a guided group should be reduced if possible. In addition, families and groups with the same household are less likely to transmit viruses than a group with people of different origins. In a group, other travelers' social distance and disinfection needs may be far greater – or less – than yours. Ask your guide to help you manage these different comfort levels together.

During each group trip, the COVID-19 risk increases during vehicle transportation. To reduce exposure, passengers can and should open windows and sit apart. If food is provided, do not take portions from buffet containers.

Also check that your driver – or guide – is wearing additional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face protection and gloves.


During the excursions, the guides advise on the equipment – such as bicycles, helmets, shoes or backpacks – without practical adjustments. If they show, it's not rude! When selecting your equipment, e.g. B. a personal swimming device (PFD), no other surfaces or equipment. The staging floor can be exciting: slow down and make sure you choose the right size from the start.

Once you have set up your personal equipment, you are expected to transport and maintain this equipment for the duration of the trip. For example, you may need to load your bike onto a luggage rack. Instructions can help you explain if you are not sure how and there are many helpful videos online, directly from the manufacturers.

Do not share or swap your equipment as much as you tend to. If your equipment has mechanical problems such as For example, a bike, your guide will try to help you fix it. And they should provide a clean repair kit. Alternatively, there may be a specific mechanic who handles the tools for the entire trip.

As a traveler, you should expect that all equipment provided will be properly cleaned between uses. For example, equipment that comes into contact with the skin – backpacks, clothing and sleeping bags – should be cleaned. Devices such as straps and helmets must be disinfected according to the manufacturer's guidelines and best practices.

Please note: The more devices are used, the more difficult routine disinfection is like in a high ropes course. These logs are now in the hands of guides, so they should take improved security measures. If you are not sure, ask them.

If you put the gear in before and after a trip, you leave more time. This will help limit the number of people in changing areas.

Bicycle guidelines

Sometimes wearing a face mask while cycling can be challenging or restrict breathing. According to the ATTA recommendations, cyclists should wear a face cover especially when physical distance is not possible. Drivers can also carry one nearby during instruction or support, during breaks, or while bouncing on the transport.

When driving with a group, you are stepping in a staggered formation and not directly behind or next to another driver. Without this slipstream you have to work a little harder.

Rafting guidelines

For rafting, ATTA recommends that companies use two- or four-person boats instead of eight-person boats. On the boat, the rafters should sit as far apart as possible.

Socializing when getting in and out is common – sorry! Keep your gear organized at the boat ramp for an efficient start, instead of lingering in a public common room. Same drill to take away. Multiple boats on a single trip should be close together to minimize exposure to other groups.

In river culture, it can be difficult not to offer or accept help. At the moment, however, the same designated crew members must manage your boat throughout the trip.

For white water adventures, it is good to wear a face mask during lessons in close proximity and on shallow water sections.

However, if there is a risk of falling into the water – for example during a series of rapids – Remove this face mask.

When river traffic is high, the size of the eddies and beaches becomes an important factor for breaks. If there is not enough space to distance yourself socially, you may need to paddle further.

Guides should strive to avoid the loudest lines that people could land outside of the boat. If someone fails, the rescue should be done as soon as possible to limit close contact.

Trekking guidelines

When walking with a guided group, wear a face mask in the immediate vicinity during class. Stop it while helping each other in difficult terrain. Also use face covering on crowded trails and when crossing trails with other hikers. A face mask is also good to use when social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as on single trails through a dense forest.

With every guided group adventure, be prepared to meet other travelers at the starting points or stops along the way. These groups may not know or follow the same security standards as your group. Ask your guide before the trip for the recommended etiquette and communication in these situations.

Ultimately, we all strive to go outside and play again. So don't be afraid of your personal security logs. With these ATTA guidelines, you should feel empowered to also consider and trust the safety priorities of your guides.

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