COVID-19 Guidelines

These guidelines are based on our best judgment and combine the general advice of the provincial health officer and the guidelines from other outdoor groups including the BCMC, the FMCBC, and other leaders in BC’s outdoors industry.


  • VOC Huts are open, with restrictions and limited capacity. See the hut registration page for details.
  • Clubroom and gear rental remains closed
  • No trips in or through closed parks, areas or communities
  • No out of province travel is recommended until further notice
  • No trips to Indigenous communities, territories and lands that are not open to visitors – do not enter unless invited to do so by Indigenous peoples
  • Follow the guidelines set out by BC health organizations and the BC government


Permitted Activities 

All regular club activities are now permitted as long as they follow the requirements set out in this policy document and are conducted in a safe manner that minimizes risks to participants and others. Help protect SAR members and reduce the risk of burdening hospitals with conservative choices, decisions and actions.


Carpooling and social distancing

  • Number of people on a trip
    • Maximum 10 people (trip leaders can also decide on a lower cutoff for their trips)
  • Carpooling: within one social circle or household
    • Bring a mask and gloves for riding in the car
    • VOC members who plan to do trips this summer should find a car group:
      • Each group will give themselves a name on the website, similar to their emergency contact info on their profile
      • Once you have a car group, decide on a group name and post that on your VOC profile here:
      • Based on the survey results (which you hopefully filled out) the exec will come up with general lists of people who may be interested in similar trips. We will then host either a virtual Zoom call or get together in a park for people to find car groups for the summer/next couple months. Stay tuned. Other ways to find trip partners/car groups are:
        • Facebook
        • Sign up for trips you are interested in
        • VOC message board
        • VOC summer picnics
        • Spreadsheet/Survey results


  • Overnight trip guidelines
    • Cooking groups only within a household or social circle
    • Aim to be in a tent only within a household or social circle
    • Space out for camping


  • Socially distance (2m apart) between social circles throughout the day and particularly when setting up camp/eating lunch/snack breaks/etc.


Where do you stop and how often?

  • Limit stopovers in gateway communities
  • Bring coffee from home, meet at the trailhead
  • Avoid bathroom breaks in towns
  • Have a mask and gloves in case you do need to stop for some reason
  • Know communities that have requested people do not stop in them. Plan accordingly.


Trip leader specific guidelines

  • Please consider helping protect search and rescue and take less risk than you normally would
  • Try to choose trails, routes and destinations that can easily accommodate physical distancing
  • Consider doing trips closer to home to help keep smaller communities safe
  • Minimize the impacts of travel as much as possible: be self-contained in terms of supplies – avoid stopping at facilities outside your own community for gas, food, or bathroom breaks
  • Allow for extra time throughout your trip / event, especially during snack and lunch breaks, for thorough safe hygiene practices (remind your trip participants to pack hand sanitizer, toilet paper, soap, gloves and potentially a mask)
  • Know the communities you are traveling through and any travel advisories they may have in place, respect them
  • Do not plan a trip in any closed recreation sites or parks:

Trip leader pretrip guidelines

  • Recommend pre-trip meetings online
  • The trip leader has the right to decline any sign up requests
  • At the pretrip meeting for any non-self-propelled trips make sure all your participants have a car/social group listed on their VOC profile – this is who they will be travelling/camping/eating with
  • At the pretrip meeting, ask your trip participants to try this survey:
    • Warn them if they have any symptoms they should not come on the trip
  • At the pretrip meeting, tell your trip participants specifically the gear required for your trip
  • Trip leaders who want to run a trip that requires somewhat specialized gear (e.g. ice axes, crampons, glacier ropes etc.) can put in a request to [email protected] for the gear they need
    • Please send this request with exact numbers after the pretrip meeting
    • If possible find basic gear (e.g. backpacks, sleeping mats etc.) by borrowing from friends


Gear sharing

  • As much as possible avoid sharing gear or supplies with non-household members or people outside your exclusive “social circle” (i.e. tents, food, etc.)
  • Quarantine any shared gear for:
    • Soft materials – up to 2 days
    • Hard materials – up to 3 days on stainless steel
      • After these times, any virus will be dead


Participant guidelines

  • Each person should have a “clean trip kit” containing hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and gloves – BC Parks
    • For trips without outhouses, bring container to pack out waste instead of gloves
  • No touching! No handshakes, hugs, fist or elbow bumping (instead share smiles and waves)
  • Practice safe hygiene when touching common surfaces or any shared gear
  • Maintain at least 2m distance from trip participants and other trail users at all times, with exception to same household members and groups of exclusive non-household members (exclusive “social circle”)
  • Be mindful that public restrooms and other facilities may not be available at trailheads; bring blue / wag bags as a backup
  • Practise ‘Leave No Trace’ and pack out what you bring in
  • Your trip leaders should give you a list of required gear for your trip. Make sure you bring everything required because sharing gear might not be possible. Ask your trip leader if you are unsure about any gear requirements.
  • You should not attend a trip if you answer yes to any of the questions found here:

If you become ill during or up to 14 days after a trip / event you must notify the VOC exec [email protected] and follow the BC CDC’s instructions.

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