POST COVID GUIDELINES FOR ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

By

Maha Adventure Council

These Guidelines are to be followed only after the present restrictions are removed/relaxed. Please do not venture out for Adventure Activities during Lock-down period and follow all Government regulations/Stipulations regarding various Zones. This is for your own safety and the safety of general population in the areas you may visit for such Activities.

Sr. No.ParticularsRemark
1General Guidelines‘THE MANTRA IS “AVOID CROWD’.Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet distance from others to avoid contracting or spreading the virus.Ensure that each member of the group (participants/leaders/ clients & staff) wears protective mask continuously. Do carry few unused, disposable masks.It is strongly recommended to wear caps, full sleeves shirts and full trousers and shoes for adventure activities. It reduces exposure of your body parts to Covid virus.Frequent temperature check of staff, leaders and participants should be done in case of multiday activity.It should be ascertained from the participants that they are not residing / have not travelled in a containment zone and have not come in contact with any person who was tested Covid positive in last 14 days.Ascertain whether any participant has any symptoms of Influenza like illness (ILI) like fever, dry cough, weakness, severe body ache etc. at the time of beginning of activity. If it is so then he/she should be asked not to participate and be evacuated on medical grounds and should be asked to report to local health authority.Maintain distance of 6 feet when you sleep in the night. If for some reason such distancing is not possible, then try sleeping in criss-cross manner to avoid face proximity.Do carry plastic sheets/newspapers as ground-sheet. (Remember to bring them back!)Strictly avoid eating gutkha, pan masala or sniffing tapkir which induces spitting, coughing or sneezing.Demonstrate and ask to follow safe health practices in case they want to cough, sneeze in public space or during activity.Leader of the group should carry sanitizer, liquid soap, spare masks, few pairs of disposable gloves (in sufficient quantity) and an infrared thermometer as a Covid Protection Kit.Avoid touching external surfaces and touching your face when in outdoors.If the location of your adventure activity is too crowded then be prepared to leave or wait for the crowd to disperse/for your turn.It is mandatory that a participant informs the organisers if he tests positive for Covid within 14 days of returning from adventure activity. It will help the organisers to inform and alert all other persons in the group and concerned health authorities of Government, so that they can follow the medical/government norms in this regard. Here it is absolutely essential that the participant observes transparency and informs the organisers/group leaders about his Covid test results. Organisers should actively pursue this matter with participants as this is a mutual responsibility.
2For  ParticipantsWhile planning any adventure activity, remember that you have been idle at home during lockdown period. Try and achieve a minimum physical fitness.Convey your true medical conditions to organisers while enrolling.Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer (alcohol > 60%) for not less than 20 seconds each time.Hydrate yourself properly throughout the Activity.Avoid junk food on the trail.Do not eat from the same plate or do not share your water bottle with anybody.Wash cooking utensils with hot water before and after cooking.Avoid using sleeping bag of another person.Carry your own personal gear.
3Personal HygieneSpitting spreads several diseases and is BAD for social hygiene in general. So spitting is prohibited and so avoid spitting.Dig toilet pits for morning chores and fill them with soil before leaving the place. While using soil, mix disinfectant in the soil.Carry small shovel for digging your own toilet pit. Do not urinate on the trail; go to a safe distance away from the trail.Always wash your hands with soap / hand sanitizer before touching any food item.
4For the OrganisersKeep group size small i.e. 6 to 10 persons till social distancing norms are in place.Insist on Arogya Setu App and check-up for every participant with negative result.Do not enrol any person who is above 55 and is carrying co-morbidities like hyper-tension, diabetes, heart ailments and respiratory problems.Maintain social distancing at all times while undertaking any Activity.Staff members/Leaders should be properly trained with regards to cleaning and sanitizing procedures. This fact should be properly displayed/advertised to instil confidence in participants.As far as possible avoid popular trails, trekking routes, adventure spots, parks that attract large crowds. Instead, go for relatively lesser visited/explored areas. Explore the possibility of conducting adventure activity on week-days, if you plan to visit popular destinations. It is recommended to go for one-day activities in the beginning. The outing could be easy and non-technical. Once the situation improves (we will come to know through authorised sources), you can go for multi-day and more rigorous activities.It is advisable that all the persons on the trail including leaders have Arogya Setu app on their smart phones.Follow practices based on Leave No Trace (LNT) Seven Principles strictly, especially with respect to disposable masks and gloves.
5SanitizingCarry hand sanitizer (alcohol>60%) in sufficient quantity with you. And it should be easily accessible to all.Sanitize all the equipment frequently; especially which is being touched frequently during an activity (before and after the activity).Necessary arrangements have to be made for frequent sanitization of common touch points, like door knobs, chairs, camp tables, camp stools, equipment during activity etc.
6FoodAvoid eating out and from road-side eateries. As far as possible carry packed food that could last for entire duration of the outing. If any villager is supplying food, ensure that all the social distancing norms are observed while procuring/preparing such food. Also ensure that the food supplied is properly cooked. Specially care should be taken regarding common utensils like spoons, glasses, plates etc. These have been shown as major mode of transmission.Do not exhaust the ration/food from village shop especially from remote villages.
7On The trail  It has been quite a while that outdoor activities have stopped. There are reports that wild life has become more active due to absence of humans in wilderness. Hence when we restart going to outdoors we need to be careful and watchful. The following guidelines should be considered in that context. Do not wander off the trail unnecessarily. While walking on the trail, be vigilant. In the initial days, there is a possibility of wild animals moving around freely and could cross your path.Before embarking on the trail, enquire in the base village about the wild life on the trail and whether they have cited anything that warrants extra precaution.  
8Vehicles UsagePlease follow all the Covid guidelines issued by Govt authorities from time to time about vehicle usage. It is recommended to use a private vehicle as far as possible. Remember taking all the necessary permissions from Govt. Authorities. It will also enable us to avoid crowds.Ensure that the vehicle you are travelling in is properly sanitised/disinfected before the start of the journey and at the end of the journey. Do not touch the door knobs / handles, window panes, window bars, seat bars etc. unnecessarily.If the vehicle has a 2×2 sitting arrangement then the ratio should be one person per two seats, seated behind each other. In LCVs every row should have only two occupants. 5. Use sanitizer while entering and exiting the vehicle. Also carry a spare bed sheet to cover your own seat when you are travelling. 6. Ensure that the driver is following all the norms of social distancing and is wearing masks all the time. Check his body temperature before he resumes his duty.
9Camping PlaceAvoid using local temples, schools, houses etc. for camping, wherever and whenever possible. Those who can carry and afford, should use tents for camping. Sanitise your tents.Carry required number of tents to observe social distancing norms.Tents should be pitched away from crowded places.Local villagers should have unhindered access to the places that we visit – ensure that you follow all Covid-19 guidelines to ensure safety of villagers.If you have to use any locally available structure then: Enquire when it was used last time. If you find the place was unused during lock down period, thoroughly scan it for creepy-crawlies/insects, bee hives etc. before occupying it. It is particularly applicable to temples, caves etc. atop remote forts, mountains.Sanitise the place before you leave so that others can use it safely.Follow practices based on Leave No Trace (LNT) Seven Principles strictly.
10Protecting Water SourcesWhile taking out water from water source, do not dip your water bottles directly into it.  One group member should take water out from the source by using sanitized bottles or use utensils like ograle, danda patele, pohra etc. to take out the water. DO NOT contaminate the water by dipping your hands, feet or utensils directly into the water Avoid bathing during a day activity especially in ponds, small reservoirs etc. However, clean your hands regularly. But don’t wash your hands or feet near the water source.Don’t wash utensils anywhere near the water. Follow practices based on Leave No Trace Seven Principles for this.
11Interaction with VillagersHave minimal interaction with the local village population.Park your vehicle at a fair distance away from the village. When required, only the leader of the group should visit the village.  While in village, strictly follow all the social distancing norms.If you engage any villager as a guide or help, do provide him with mask and guide him about social distancing norms.Avoid gifting things to villagers in the current context.If the villagers are in need of anything or are in trouble, gather all the facts and convey it to the proper government authority or any NGO working locally.If you have to donate anything to the villagers, do it with the knowledge and permission of local authorities.
12Permissions from Govt./Local AuthoritiesConfirm whether government authorities like ASI, National Parks and Forest Offices have no fresh or Covid related restrictions for the place you intend to visit.Confirm from local authorities/Village officials (Police Patil/Sarpanch etc.) whether there are any additional or specific restrictions relevant to the spot/trail that you intend to visit.

“I am happy to say that as per current information on the novel Corona virus, the guidelines are very thorough. As such, they should serve as a valuable resource to increase the safety of people participating in Adventure Activities.”

  • Dr. Deepa Agashe

Assistant Professor (Reader F)

Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance Fellow

Honoured by President’s Medal

National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bangalore, India 560065
Mail : dagashe@ncbs.res.in

http://ncbs.res.in/dagashewww.adaptationlab.wordpress.com

Standard

2 thoughts on “POST COVID GUIDELINES FOR ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

  1. If possible, do not arrange or participate any treks for this year as many villagers have become aware of COVID scare and are not allowing big city residents to enter in village as they might bring the virus.
    Mountains are not going anywhere, so hold on your urges to get back there. Till then cherish those memories which you brought back from last season.

    In Maratha history, there is a well-known sentence… ‘Jiyenge toh aur bhi ladhenge’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s