COVID-19 Pandemic Protocols – as of 6 July 2020

These protocols have been superseded by more recent Public Health Office restrictions and guidelines.

The Outdoor Club held a planning meeting today and decided to resume outings under the provision of the following protocols.  These may be amended over time.  While many feel we have an elevated risk now with increased travel, we hope we can find the balance between staying safe and exercising and socializing outside. In general the Club members are vulnerable due to age, and many have other specific vulnerabilities. There is a wide range of sensitivities to the present risk. We recommend that everyone on a Club outing bring a mask, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Size of the group: In order to accommodate more hikers, we will try to break the group into pods of 2 to 4 people. The pods will start the hike about five minutes apart. This will be done on hikes where the risk of the group becoming separated is very low. On more complex routes, the group will either move as a distanced unit or use family radios to stay connected. Trip coordinators have discretion about the total number of participants on a trip.

Physical distancing: We may want to avoid busier trails, trailheads and times. Advance planning will include recognizing the width of the trail so that distance can be maintained with oncoming hikers, and wide places to stop for breaks or lunch as a group. We will stay two metres apart when stopped. Depending on individual comfort levels, more space may be requested when moving.

Talking can become problematic when the distance is considerable between hikers. We don’t want to bunch up in order to hear more clearly. While socializing is an important component of our activities, it may be preferable to converse at the beginning, at breaks or at lunch, and at the end of the outing, rather than while moving.

Sharing: Sharing of gear without disinfecting is not encouraged. Many people are not comfortable sharing food, so please do not assume that offers of shared food are welcome and don’t take offence, because it’s not personal.

Touching common surfaces: While it’s not the most common method of infection, hikers will want to give some thought to the rocks or trees they hold onto for balance and whether the hikers in front of them have also used those hand holds. You may wish to use hand sanitizer.

Who can participate: For now the Club will not include visitors on trips. Members who are locals or those who have been on the island for al least 14 days may join a trip. We encourage our members to be friendly to everyone they meet on the trail.

Car pooling: Car pooling is discouraged outside of family or bubble members. If it is necessary, the occupants would be encouraged to wear masks and sanitize surfaces and hands.

Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Trail – 8 July 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Shellaligan Pass Trail
Date 8 July, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info; must contact the coordinator by 6:00 pm Tuesday night
Description Shellaligan Trail is a lovely, moderate hike that takes us along a rocky shoreline, to a beach where we can stop for snacks/lunch, then up into the woods to follow trails and old logging roads back to our cars. About 2- 3 hours depending on route, pace (moderate), and breaks.
To reach the trail, take the Hyacinthe Bay Road ( which, for unknown reasons, becomes Bold Point Road at the Granite Bay Road intersection) north to Valdes Road, turn right on Valdes, follow Valdes to the residential area, about one block past Marina look out for logging road access and trail signage on your left.
IF you are carpooling from the South End, as per COVID restrictions as discussed at our organizational meeting July 6, (or phone me for details), meet at Heriot Bay Foods Parking Lot at 10 am.
Otherwise, meet at the junction of the logging road (that accesses the Trailhead) and Valdes Road at 10:30 am. I will be at that junction in a green Toyota 4Runner. We will drive to one of the three trailheads, depending on the weather. If not raining we will do the complete Shellaligan Trail. If it is raining, then we will do only the land loop. As this is a “first of the year” hike for many of us, the pace will be very moderate. Speedy hikers who know the route are welcome to go on ahead.
Meeting Place Logging road access to trailhead
Departure Time 10:30
Costs none
Trip limits 8-9 max, in singles or “pods” as per our Club discussion
Dogs? MUST be in full control, or on leash (deer and fawns)
Notes: As per our Club discussions, we will walk either singly, or with your pod group of 2-3, separated by 6 ft. Our Club decided that: conversations while hiking would be kept to a minimum, even when possible; no sharing of food/snacks; (sorry Les, we will miss your treats!); we will keep distanced during breaks; no sign-up sheet, trip coordinator will keep a record of hikers for the Trip Report; hikers are expected to bring their own simple first aid kits to keep any emergency contact to a minimum; no non-members, family, friends, guests, or Woofers will be allowed to participate at this time; MUST pre-register with trip coordinator. Call or email by 6 pm TUESDAY NIGHT.

COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 1 July 2020

As British Columbia enters phase 3 of the re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be time to consider whether the Outdoor Club should resume activities yet. A few people have mentioned that they miss the hikes and would like to start again.

Just to review what is recommended in phase 3, most of the changes from phase 2 have to do with commercial re-openings. There is currently a very low incidence of COVID-19 in our local area. Nonetheless, “if you are at greater risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of your risk, think through your risk tolerance and take extra precautions.” No gatherings over 50 people are permitted. The bubble size is still 2 to 6 people. For everyone else outside of the bubble, it is important to remain physically distanced, maintained proper hand sanitizing and other hygiene protocols. At this time the general belief is that the risk of contagion from outside activities, while following these protocol, seems to be quite low.

So, how many of you think it’s time to resume activities? Don’t be bashful. If you don’t speak up, it will seem as if no one is interested. If you think it’s a bad idea, you should also comment. Along with people who want to hike and perhaps kayak, we would also need coordinators. One possibility is to have a planning meeting (outside) to discuss what people want to do. This really needs to be a process driven by member interest. Please respond (either by e-mail or by commenting here) by answering these questions:

I think it would be a good idea to resume Outdoor Club hikes and kayaking outings – yes or no
I would attend a planning meeting – yes or no
I would like to participate in the following trips:
I would like to coordinate the following trips:
Here are my other comments about resuming activities: