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 the BC’s outdoors industry.


  • VOC Huts are open, with restrictions and limited capacity. See the hut registration page for details.
  • Regular clubroom and gear rental remains closed although trip leaders can request gear for their trip participants by emailing [email protected] 
  • No trips in or through closed parks, areas or communities
  • 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: 60% capacity
    • Cars that typically take 5 should take 3 people (60% of regular contacts)
    • Bring a mask and gloves for riding in the car with anyone not in your household
    • Respect the drivers on your trips
      • They may want the windows down or all the fans on
      • They may not be willing to take more passengers
  • Overnight trip guidelines
    • Cooking groups only within a household – try to cook alone
    • Aim to be in a tent only within a household or with a close friend
    • Space out for camping (E.g. two groups of 5 versus a group of 10)
  • Socially distance (2m apart) throughout the day and particularly when setting up camp/eating lunch/snack breaks/etc.

Where do you stop and how often?

  • Bring coffee from home, meet at the trailhead
  • Avoid bathroom breaks in towns
  • Have a mask, hand sanitizer and gloves in case you do need to stop for some reason

Trip leader specific guidelines

Trip leader pretrip guidelines

  • Recommend pre-trip meetings online 
  • The trip leader has the right to decline any sign up requests
  • Try to group people for cars with roommates or friends they have seen in the last two weeks
  • 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 “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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