This summer is a season of uncertainty, as COVID-19 related restrictions shuttered several businesses, restaurants, bars, and limited travel plans. As those restrictions begin to ease, it is difficult to know which summer activities are open or which are safe to try this year.
Here is a list of socially-distanced adventures to beat the quarantine boredom!
1. Rent a kayak and explore nature
Several kayak rental businesses throughout the country are now open, although some are following new restrictions and cleaning procedures. As an example, Brule River Canoe Rental, Inc., which operates out of Wisconsin, limits groups to 10 people, allows one person in their office at a time, encourages online reservations and payments and is implementing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cleaning guidelines, according to the business’s website. Paddle Boston is in the process of reopening all of its locations. It is implementing a contact-free process, digital waivers, and requiring pre-paid reservations, according to the Paddle Boston website. The business also ordered more than 1,000 new lifejackets and ample sanitizer. River Queen Voyages, out of Nashville, Tenn., offers zero-contact curbside kayak rentals. Customers will pick up sanitized lifejackets, paddles, and kayaks.
Kayaking is a great way to exercise and enjoy bays, lakes, or oceans while practicing proper social distancing. Wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and travel with a small group to stay safe on the water.
2. Enjoy open water with a sailing class
Sailing offers a sense of peace on the water. Experience this for yourself by taking a sailing class.
While some competitive sailing events were canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, some areas are offering adult sailing programs.
The United States Sailing Association offers a First Sail program for beginners, which includes a two-hour long lesson with an instructor at a First Sail Location. The U.S. Sailing Association website offers a list of organizations offering upcoming First Sail programs, as well as information about the U.S. Sailing schools, and education and instruction for small boat, keelboat, powerboat, and windsurfing operation. Find a class near you and get out on the open water!
3. Go Geocaching
For this outdoor activity, geocaching involves a geocacher placing a waterproof container in a public place, inputs the coordinates with a GPS unit, and posts it on geocaching.com, according to the Delaware State Park website. To participate, make an account on the geocaching.com website or app to view the geocaches near you, according to the geocaching.com website. Once you find it, log your finding and share it online. According to the geocaching website, there are millions of geocaches throughout the world.
4. Brew Your Own Beverage
If you've never made your own beer before, now is a great time to try! According to the American Homebrewers Association, beer is made up of four main ingredients; water, malt, hops, and yeast. Once you gather your equipment and supplies, you can be drinking your homemade ale in about two to three weeks! Beginners can easily find homebrewing kits online containing everything they need to get started. The American Homebrewers Association offers articles and video tutorials about the equipment you will need, recipes, how to brew beer, a forum where users can ask questions, and much more.
5. Hang Ten
Coastal residents, or anyone who lives within a short driving distance of an ocean, can rent a surfboard and catch some waves! As with other equipment rental businesses, many companies renting surfboards are taking additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Mission Beach Rentals at Belmont, in San Diego, Calif., stated on its website that their staff wipes down all equipment as soon as it is returned and they have implemented new safety guidelines.
Progression Surf Shop in Encinitas, Calif., stated on its website they are renting surfboards, but not wetsuits at this time due to the coronavirus. Additionally, they offer curbside shopping options, and requested customers wear a mask while visiting and follow social distancing protocols. New surfers can practice standing up on the board on land before getting in the water. Several tutorials for new surfers are available online.
While there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the season, safety is paramount. When visiting a public pool or any natural body of water, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended staying at least six feet away from people you do not live with and to avoid any crowded areas where you cannot do this. Visitors should wear a cloth face mask when not in the water, wash their hands often, for at least 20 seconds, and avoid sharing items, such as food or supplies, with people who do not live with you. Children under age two should not wear face masks. When visiting a park or recreation facility, the CDC also recommended visiting parks that are close to home and checking in advance to see if bathrooms and other facilities are open.
If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, are awaiting test results for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19, the CDC urged you to stay home.