How To: Stay Home, Stay Healthy

On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a stay home, stay healthy order for Washington state. Find out what this means for your recreational life and get ideas for ways to stay connected to your outdoor identity while keeping it hyperlocal.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
March 24, 2020

On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a stay home, stay healthy order for Washington state. The goal of this order is to help slow the spread of COVID-19 to “flatten the curve.”

We are being asked/ordered to stay at home with the exception of essential activities. These activities include going out for groceries, medical care, and approved work in an essential business. We are also being asked to observe strict social distancing protocol and hygiene measures when we do leave the house.

It’s important to note that we are no longer being told to continue with life as usual while practicing social distancing. We are in the midst of a pandemic, and our response needs to reflect the gravity of this situation. The best case scenario from all of this is that we all look back and feel as though we overreacted.

What does this mean for your recreational life?

Getting outside for fresh air is also considered an essential activity as part of Inslee’s order. "This [order] will not prohibit people from going outside and enjoying a walk on a sunny day."

If you do go for a walk, go alone or with people you live with. Not sure if you should go out? Consider this rule of thumb from our friends at WTA: if you have to drive to the trailhead, it's probably too far. Also consider whether or not you have to interact with others, won’t be able to avoid crowds, or will need to stop for the restroom. If you answer yes to any of these questions, change your plans.

Read the full list of what the order does and does not restrict at the Seattle Times.

Everyone agrees, just stay home

We know the outdoors is good for your mental health and we recognize that this is hard. We know it isn’t fun. But everyone in our outdoor community is urging people to stay home right now. Our individual actions make a difference:

  • As WTA put it, “By respecting this order we can help slow the transmission of coronavirus and ease the load on hospitals and their staff, and that's the goal. Flatten the curve. The trails we love will be there for us to enjoy when this is over.” Read more tips for how to cope on their website.
  • NWAC has decided to end avalanche forecasting for the 2019/2020 season
  • Local officials, specifically King County Search & Rescue, are urging people to stay home after an especially crowded and busy weekend.
  • Take a look at our round-up of public land closures related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The resources of our public land managers and first responders are stretched incredibly thin due to this crisis so we urge our community to be patient, stay home, and stay healthy. The best thing we can all do is hunker down while this storm passes.

So, what to do then?

Now is the time to generate those feel-good endorphins in your neighborhood. Load up your pack and walk around your block or through your backyard. Cocoon yourself in blankets and open the windows, breathing in the fresh air. Do some free online yoga, painting, napping, or reading in a corner of sun inside your home.

The most important thing is to keep your impact hyperlocal.

15 Ways to Keep it Hyperlocal

 Another great way to stay connected is to set up a video chat or happy hour with your favorite adventure buddies. Just remember. Don’t touch your face.

Thank you for all the many ways you're supporting our community and The Mountaineers organization during this time. Stay healthy, take care of your loved ones, and be a part of the solution going forward.

As you can imagine, the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are significant. Your generosity is more critical than ever, so we thank you in advance for any support you can provide to The Mountaineers as we continue striving toward our mission. If you are in a position to do so, please visit our donation page and online silent auction to support our continued efforts in this time of uncertainty.


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Skye Stoury
Skye Stoury says:
Tue, Mar 24, 2020 12:26 PM

Wonderful ideas to keep us busy! A huge thanks to the Mountaineers staff for keeping our organization going during this crazy time.

Daniel Steele
Daniel Steele says:
Thu, Apr 2, 2020 1:09 PM

The U.S. Forest Service has closed hiking trails, prohibiting "entering or using a Developed Recreation Site or portion thereof". However, exemptions include:
"4. Persons engaged in essential activities specifically allowed by Governors' orders in Oregon and in Washington."
Governor Inslee's 23 Mar "Stay Home - Stay Healthy" Amending Proclamation 20-25 Exemptions include:
"4) Engaging in outdoor exercise activities, such as walking, hiking, running or biking, but only if appropriate social distancing practices are used."