Wild Camping Scotland - Post Covid 19
The experts keep telling us we are going to have to live with Corona Virus as it is not going away, I don't suppose that is really a shock to most, after all we have lived with various forms and strains of the flu for generations. We do so on the whole successfully by following a series of safeguards and Corona Virus is going to bring with it it's own safeguards. I am sure in time a lot of these safeguards will not be needed and will no longer be common place but for the short term we need to make sure we are doing all we can to give you the best experience possible whilst ensuring your safety when you join us for our wild camping experience.
Now by their very nature our experiences are low risk to our customers, we camp in places more isolated than the norm and don't tend to be around mass groups of people, apart from times when we stop for some sight seeing then most of our time is spent in glorious isolation, as a group granted but with safeguards we can reduce the risks to each other. Some safeguards we already had in place, use of hand sanitiser was common place on our experiences long before Covid-19, with a bottle in every pack or available in our covered toilet. Sterilising eating utensils a given on return from each trip out and obviously washing said utensils thoroughly when out. Indeed when mass panic buying of hand sanitiser became a thing a few months ago we had bottles of the stuff stored, could have made a fortune if we were that way inclined (we did give some away on request).
So how are things going to change for us and how are we going to make sure your experience is as safe as we can make it post Corona virus?
Thermometers......bless you! We have ordered easy use oral (not rectal) thermometers and prior to starting an experience we may require you to take a quick temperature test, it won't be intrusive, you will have your own thermometer which has been sterilised prior to you getting it and will live in it's own container. You can keep it with you throughout the experience if you desire. No sign of high temperature and assuming you have already informed us you have no other symptoms of Corona virus and we will be good to go. You are on the bus and on your way to a fantastic experience. If for some reason the temperature is high we will wait and allow you to relax before re-testing, you may have for some reason been in a rush prior to meeting us. If still high then we will reluctantly have to refuse travel. We would hope that anyone displaying symptoms prior to the meet up would have let us know and we will sort out re booking.
Social distancing in the mini bus will be dictated to us by the government as will a lot of the measures we put in place, exactly how that is going to work we will have to wait and see, personally our opinion is it won't work but what is the alternative? Not using transport is not a realistic option, second guessing them they may insist on empty seats between passengers. That in itself brings a multitude of problems for operators and customers alike, the most obvious one is cost. Anyone that knows us already will be aware we do not charge a fortune for what we do, we don't believe in hiking prices for the sake of it or because we can. Increases in price will be forced upon us and not done willingly, to offset any price inflation we will reduce our profit margin, already low compared to other tour operators. Our goal is not to get rich but to get out there and to give you the best experience possible.
Other changes likely to take affect straight away will be accommodation changes, prior to Covid-19 we used large walk in tents and they were allocated to up to 6 people per tent. This will no longer be the case and we have purchased individual tents for all. The large tents allowed for cot beds to be used and I am happy to say the individual tents will allow room for a camp bed albeit one that is a lot lower to the ground. Where we can we have ensured maximum comfort whilst still ensuring safety.
Families can still use the larger tents if they so desire. The tents will be cleaned after each use as is standard, sleeping bags washed and beds wiped down etc etc. You will each have your own plastic crate, we will write your name on it at the outset. Inside will be your tent, your bed, sleeping mat, sleeping bag and other camping accessories such as tent light and head torch. In the mornings you will be able to pack your hoose into the crate and store it safely in the back of the bus, this way we minimise the risk of cross contamination and the chance of climbing into the wrong bag on night 2 to find someone else' smelly sock. Tents are easy and quick to put up and take down and we have been using them for years now and they are ideal for our weather.
The BackPacker Experience which is already individually packed needs no real changes.
Around the camp fire in the evenings will require a degree of self discipline, to be fair we have never been out on an experience where people are falling all over each other so it shouldn't really be too much of an issue for us or you.
On experiences that utilise our covered toilet we already supply disinfectant wipes which we will actively encourage you to use prior to sitting on the lavvie, yes picture the scene, "Mind and wipe the seat luv", you get the idea.
In short wild camping in Scotland is coming back, our experiences are coming back and our aim is to ensure they are as spectacular as before and take away any of the worry of Covid or Corona or any other feckin virus as we can and we can get out and have a great time.
We can't wait folks, can you?