COVID-19 Socially Distanced Sedona Camping Trip
By Sarah Potter
July 2, 2020
“Don’t travel!” They said.
“Camping is too much of a risk!” They also said.
“Camping is the best travel if you’re going to travel during the pandemic,” I replied.
Back in early June, my husband and I took our kids on our very first family camping trip together – it was a blast. Not to mention perfectly safe and totally distanced from other people.
Before I go into detail about our trip let me just preface with this: My husband is by far one of the most overly cautious, paranoid pandemic reader and researcher I know. Daily he reviews the latest cases, number of people infected in our area, the extra precautions we can take, and how we can limit our kids’ exposure with their other parents. So, when I proposed taking the kids on a quick camping trip, he pumped the brakes real fast and had lots of questions.
We went on our trip and everything went just fine! Now, let’s get into it.
Before we left for Sedona I researched as many different campgrounds as possible in the Sedona area, trying to understand which campgrounds had less people, which campgrounds offered a wide array of activities close by, and what the employees at the campground were doing to enforce pandemic protocols. This drove me to choose Camp Avalon, located in the heart of Red Rock State Park area in Sedona.
This campground was not only very cheap ($22 per night) but barely anyone was there. This might have been due to the fact they only offered porta potties as a place to go to the bathroom or they were very clearly religious AF on their website.
Either way, staying at Camp Avalon, far away from others was pretty great. Day one we arrived and found a nice camping spot over by a deck over looking the creek behind us. We could hear groups enjoying the creek behind us and other people hiking in the surrounding areas.
Ted and I decided on tent camping and purchased a great tent from Amazon. This tent is an eight-person tent, which more realistically fits four people on air mattresses (because we’re those people). The downside to tent camping was the fact we ended up on a slight hill. This seemed to be the norm among the camp sites offered at Camp Avalon which was frustrating to be honest. Sleeping on a slope does nothing good for your back.
We also set up our campsite with some great chairs and cooking equipment from Amazon I had purchased for a previous camping trip Fox and I took to the Redwood Forest back in 2018. I pre-made almost every meal we ate which made cooking easier with there being a burn ban, preventing us from using a campfire.
Once we were able to get our campsite set up we hit the creek. The creek nearby was frigid cold. Like, WAY colder than I remember any creek being when I went camping as a kid. This made swimming ultra refreshing, and ultra short. The kids enjoyed jumping in from a rope swing on the bank and Ted and I eventually warmed up enough to wade in the creek to catch the kids as they jumped in. Despite the creek being so cold, the kids loved jumping in and playing for a short while to cool off in the hot hot Sedona heat.
After finishing up our creek swim we walked back up the bank to our campsite and sent in on dinner. Our first night was a baked sweet potato and hot dogs for the kids. I pre-made the baked potato and in doing so this allowed me to only worry about heating up our dinner, rather than full-on cook it! Here’s a glimpse of our meal plan I created during our brief camping trip:
Kids: PBJ Sandwich, grapes, juice box
Adults: Veggie wraps
Kids: Hot Dogs
Adults: Baked Sweet Potato & Hot dog for Ted
Kids: Waffles, egg for Arya
Adults: Breakfast sandwich
Kids: PBJ Sandwich
Adults: Sub sandwich
Kids: Grilled Cheese
Adults: Veggie Burgers with Grilled potatoes slices
Kids: Waffles, egg for Arya
Adults: Breakfast sandwich
Kids: PBJ Sandwich
Adults: Veggie Wrap
I spent most of Friday, the day before we left, baking and cooking to prepare for our trip and it was worth the crap ton of effort I put in. Here’s a photo of the first dinner meal.
For breakfast I pre made some yummy vegetarian breakfast sandwiches that I could also just reheat over an open flame. Creating easily portable meals for our camping trip was something I did because of my Fibromyalgia. I anticipated that much of our camping trip activity during the day would take most of my spoons and I wanted to reserve my energy for fun during our very first camping trip. Putting in a little extra effort up front in order to reserve energy in the long run is always worth it in my opinion!
Mostly, we hung out around our campsite while the kids either spent time chasing lizards and catching bugs, or enjoying time reading a book or comic book on the deck. A creature comfort that accompanied us throughout our weekend in Sedona was cold brew coffee from Sweetz Cold Brew in Sedona. I had traveled over to their location in Gilbert and social distance style, picked up a growler of coffee for the road! Again, another thing I did to prep drink and food for our trip to mitigate any potential exposure.
We did have to stop by a Bashas in Sedona because we forgot the hotdogs at home. The citizens of Sedona were very well covered and had many social distancing precautions in place which really helped in providing comfort around taking a short camping trip.
Our only other activity we did outside of our camping trip was a hike through Red Rock State Park. Social Distance protocols were also in place here. Upon arriving at the park gate, there is a limit to the number of cars allowed into the park at any given time, the park ranger hands you a COVID-19 guide for the park, and many of the nature programs they had in place pre-pandemic were closed. This left us heading to the creek nearby and hiking.
We packed our lunch in and packed it out, hiked along the creek side, and enjoyed some shade under a tree where we ate our lunch. Social distancing is very easy to maintain when you’re outside enjoying nature and can easily maintain a distance of 20 feet or more.
Aside from visiting the park, swimming in the creek, and general relaxing, we took time to do nothing. Take naps under trees, and enjoy the stars at night. It was a wonderful family trip and we’ll be making an annual Potter family camping trip for many years to come.
If you liked some of the products I featured from our camping trip check them out below:
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