The coronavirus may have caused a camping boom

For those trying to abide by travel restrictions and practicing social distancing, vacationing in the outdoors is a happy medium for getting away without going too far. 

Amid the coronavirus, the CDC has recommended not traveling long-distance to keep people from possibly spreading coronavirus from one community to another. But suppliers of RVs and other camping materials saw huge increases in purchasing demand in early-to-mid-May. 

Across the country, people are using the free time created by living in a pandemic that severely limits social activity to explore the outdoors, renting or buying RVs and campers to take local road trips. Whether for a vacation or simple change of scenery, RVs typically include bathrooms, making them appealing options for socially distant travel.

The CEO of Camping World, Marcus Lemonis, said in a May 7 earnings call that purchasing for the summer made the first weekend in May its biggest ever. 

“In mid-March, we did start to feel the effects of the pandemic and saw a slowdown that lasted into mid-April,” Lemonis said on the call, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I’m proud to tell you that last weekend, our Friday, Saturday and Sunday in May was the biggest weekend in our company’s history, period, end of story, in all aspects, every part of our business. And so we feel good about where those trends are going.”

Does this mean I can go camping with my friends?

With social distancing guidelines expected to be in place at least through the end of the summer, choosing who to camp with is just as important as making sure you’ve got everything on your packing list. By keeping to a social bubble or a “quaranteam,” as some have called them, the chances of spreading coronavirus among friends is lessened. If you’ve had consistent contact with a group of people and as a group have minimized outside contact, there shouldn’t be an issue outside of group size with taking a camping trip together. 

Sources: Penn Live, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Tribune

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