How To: Mask Hacks for Recreating Responsibly

Now that we're all wearing masks on our adventures, we gathered tips and tricks to share with you for the next time you hit the trails. Reply in the comments with your own!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 15, 2020

As we adapt to the new normal of COVID, a face mask has become everyone’s 11th Essential. We bring masks on every trip, and they’re required on all Mountaineers programs. We’re proud of our community for the commitment you’ve shown to recreating responsibly, and to celebrate you and your knowledge, here are your best adventure-mask-wearing tips developed this spring and summer.

Our Youth Programs team follows robust COVID-19 guidelines. Our committees and volunteers are coming up with amazing, creative solutions to alter how we educate to fit new requirements. Our youth programs have still enjoyed many pandemic-adventure trips with the kids in the clubs and summer camps. Through all of this change, our staff team has come up with a variety of mask tips you may find useful on your next adventure:

 Wearing a Helmet

Carl Marrs, our Associate Program Manager of Youth Clubs, said it’s important to have your mask clipped or attached near your face at all times. Similar to other equipment while climbing, your mask is something you don’t want to lose, and you need to be able to use it properly at the right moment.

Becca Polglase, our Operations Director, has an easy trick if you’re wearing a helmet: Hook one mask strap under your helmet strap, and the other one over your helmet strap. Hook your helmet strap to hold the one earpiece in place. That way, you can take the other side off, but the mask will be secured to your face under the strap.

Trail Running/Hiking/Walking in town

Betsy Robblee, our Conservation Director, spends a lot of time trail running. She developed a hack that helps her stay on pace while staying responsible. “While trail running the other weekend, some sections of the trail were really busy and I had to find a way to keep my mask close at hand. It was too hot to wear a buff around my neck and I kept pulling the mask out of my trail running vest and then stuffing it back in. That was annoying so I decided to attach one loop to my trail running vest and one loop around my ear. When I passed someone, I used one hand to pull the other side of the mask up over my face.”

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Other members of our community chimed in with useful tips as well:

“I find wearing a mask that ties around the neck and on top of my head is best, because I can easily pull it down when I’m alone and then put it back on with just one hand when approaching others.” – Katt Greaser, member.

“A buff is great for the quick pull up and over the nose while hiking past someone.” – Jenna Schardt, member.

“I wear a tube buff with an adjustable elastic at the top. I pull it up (and it stays) when passing people. Added benefit of keeping those pesky mosquitoes off my neck!” – Tom Eng, 2019 Super Volunteer.

“I tend to use less popular trails, so I see fewer hikers. My mask is attached to the front of pack strap, easily grabbed if necessary.” – Sharon Dietrich, 45-year member.

On your next climb, try clipping clip your mask near your face like Carl or wearing it with your helmet like Becca suggests. Or perhaps tie your mask around your head or keep it around your neck for when you need it. What matters is that you develop have a mask and a system that you like to be a mask-wearing pro.  

Have a tip we missed? Add it in the comments.

lead image by karen wallace. 

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