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Safe to go to cabins?
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3/27/2020 at 11:09:56 PM GMT
Posts: 13
Safe to go to cabins?
In light of the COVID-19 situation, I’ve been asked this question a few times this week. Is this a good time to travel to your cabin? Is there one guideline for all National Forests?

Last edited Friday, April 3, 2020
3/27/2020 at 11:24:39 PM GMT
Posts: 103
Coronavirus & the Cabin Community

I'll offer some thoughts based on member feedback. Guidelines continue to change daily and vary from one area to another. Also, cabin circumstances are not the same for all so I wouldn't expect a single guideline for all Forests. We encourage everyone to practice safe social distancing during these challenging times. For some, the cabin offers an isolated environment which avoids or minimizes interacting with others. For others, the cabin location or traveling to the cabin may not be suitable for practicing good social distancing.

Some considerations include:

·       Will traveling to or staying at our cabin require or encourage us to interact with others?

·       If a number of cabins in your tract are occupied, how feasible is social distancing?

·       Does traveling to your cabin place the surrounding rural community at greater risk?

·       Could being at the cabin impact local healthcare facilities or put them at greater risk?

·       While your cabin stay may accomplish the objectives of shelter-in-place, does it meet state or local government “stay at home” mandates?

Walks outside - with at least 6 feet of distance – are encouraged, however some National Forests trails may be closed. Many developed recreation sites are also currently closed.

I welcome additional dialog from our members regarding this important issue.

Doug Gann
NFH President

Last edited Friday, March 27, 2020
3/28/2020 at 12:35:16 AM GMT
Posts: 1
Communities are asking you to stay away

It’s not a question of “is” it safe to go to our cabins, it’s a question of “should” we go to our cabins. We have a cabin in  Lake Tahoe, which is a resort rural community. They are asking 2nd home people to stay away. The medical infrastructure can’t handle the influx of people who could be carrying virus. We are very fortunate that we have our cabins, but we must not only be stewards of the forest but of our community. Look at the link below to see the situation that is occurring across our country.

Jeff Plant, President

Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe


 Attached Images:

3/28/2020 at 2:00:08 AM GMT
Posts: 3
Speaking directly from my experience and no one else's, I have found isolating at my cabin a perfect solution to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. I arrive here without having to stop in another place, the winter conditions means that in our small tract has few or no other persons present, and if they are, we can have a hearty hello from across the forest. I can take long walks encountering almost no one, and I touch nothing in my daily routine that requires me to fear contagion. The forest itself provides a Thoreaun balm to the anxieties that this threat engenders in all of us. So for those who have cabins with these characteristics, I endorse them as a refuge.

3/28/2020 at 3:25:58 PM GMT
Posts: 1

Thanks for the good addendum to your previous message. I have of course been thinking that my cabin would be a good place to weather out this storm, but I have been worrying about the downsides of that, mostly the risks I am adding to the surrounding communities. Because I live 2-days drive from my cabin I also worry if I would be able to get myself home if I were to succumb to Corvid-19, and what burdens I would be adding to others. I’m glad you raised these concerns.

Chris Brown

3/28/2020 at 3:25:58 PM GMT
Posts: 1
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3/28/2020 at 3:26:00 PM GMT
Posts: 1
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3/29/2020 at 4:05:59 PM GMT
Posts: 3
To give ammunition to the other side, as it deserves, Norway has forbidden people from going to their summer cabins (apparently quite common there) for fear of overburdening rural medical facilities. So again, if your cabin setting increases contagion threat or you are likely to tax poor medical facilities if you get sick, then no. If neither of these applies I think you can use this resource.

4/2/2020 at 4:35:02 AM GMT
Posts: 4

Mt. Hood National Forest recently closed all public recreation spaces including trailheads, but our special use permit administrator specifically stated that the closure does not apply to our privately owned cabins.

My wife and I are emergency physicians in Portland. I was exposed to a COVID+ patient early in the epidemic in late February, and subsequently quarantined at our cabin for nine days. While lonely, having this place to self-isolate was a benefit of cabin ownership that I would never have wanted or expected, but was grateful for.

Personally I think our cabin is the absolute best place for social distancing, as it is only an hour from our home but a world apart.

I wrote a piece on what my current experience in the ED is like. The writing is only a week old but is already feeling dated, as things are evolving quickly. Feel to read it at the link below.

Please stay safe and hunker down. 


Last edited Thursday, April 2, 2020
4/2/2020 at 5:56:46 PM GMT
Posts: 9
Ian, thank you for sharing your story. It is so imperative for everyone to understand how serious this situation is and there are not enough words to thank you and all the healthcare professionals for taking on such a incomprehensible task. Be well, stay safe, and thank you, thank you, thank you!