The Appalachian Path Conservancy recommends that hikers go away lengthy expeditions for 2022 as a consequence of Covid-19
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the organization responsible for managing and protecting the famous trail, advises long-distance hikers who want to try to complete the entire trail or multi-day hikes to wait until 2022.
“We really base our guidelines on the best information we have,” President and CEO Sandra Marra told CNN. “The guidelines are based on the science, the state, and the federal draft of how we can proceed until everyone is fully vaccinated.”
Marra said the ATC is reviewing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and a pandemic task force they’ve worked with for over a year.
With the Appalachian Trail known internationally, one of the main problems, according to Marra, is that it is virtually impossible to contribute to the spread of Covid-19 unless you live in the area.
“If you’re planning a long-distance hike, you have to travel somehow to get to the trailhead,” Marra said. “Once you start hiking, especially long-distance hiking, you will be more exposed to people as you keep traveling, and all of our stretches of trail are very busy right now because we are still encouraging people to take day trips locally.”
She said that most of the cities that have hiking trails are more vulnerable due to their rural location. When hikers go into town for supplies it can endanger a hiker or the community.
Additionally, most of the overnight accommodations on the 2,200-mile trail will remain closed and hikers may need to carry additional equipment to accommodate overnight stays on the trail, some of which may not be aware that they can cause additional difficulties. If the difficulty turns into injury or stress, local first responders can be at risk.
There are measures for those who want to move on
Marra said the organization knows they can’t stop anyone from long-distance hikes. Therefore, there are various measures for those who want to get on the track in 2021, which currently includes more than 2,600 registered guests.
– The ATC encourages everyone to register so that they know who to turn to if there are health changes such as: B. Another shutdown in a particular state or section.
– Hikers must wear a mask and hand sanitizer to protect themselves and others.
– Since most of the shelters are closed, hikers must plan to camp alone or bring a hammock for overnight stays.
– Hikers must be experienced and know how to deal with themselves on the way
But here too, the ATC strongly recommends it.
“We must all work together and make sacrifices until this vaccine is introduced,” Marra said. “This is just a postponement of something you want to do – we all have a responsibility to make sacrifices for the common good.”
Marra said the organization will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and the Covid-19 situation to ensure the safety and information of hikers.