Adventure Quickies: Park Service Social Distancing Signs, African Tourism Devastated, and More

My weekly “Adventure Quickies” post is a round-up of stories that I didn’t have time or space to post elsewhere. They are short, to the point, briefs on some items that you may have missed over the past week. Here are a few things to have on your radar as we head into the weekend.

  • National Parks Unveil New Social Distancing Signs: How do you convey the best way to measure a safe amount of space for social distancing when visiting America’s national parks? As those parks continue to reopen, the National Park Service has begun posting some very specific signs to help us understand exactly how far we should stay away from each other. You’ll find an example above.
  • Coronavirus Pandemic Devastates African Tourism: While the rest of the world has been on lockdown and battling the spread of COVID-19, Africa has remained relatively closed off from the virus thus far. That doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been impacted by it however, as tourism to the continent has fallen off a cliff and is likely to have devastating consequences. Thousands are likely to be out of work, businesses are in jeopardy of closing forever, and it could be years before things get back to sense sense of normality. Countries already struggling with poverty are about to get a whole lot worse. Read all about the challenges ahead in this heartbreaking story.
  • Red Bull Illume Special Image Quest 2020: Red Bull Illume is an annual adventure photography contest that draws in some impressive images each year. Obviously, 2020 is making it challenging to capture such images at the moment, so Red Bull is pivoting somewhat to challenge our creative instead. The energy-drink maker has launched the Special Image Quest 2020 during which it is looking for the most creative adventure photos it can find that were shot on lockdown. Some of the entries so far look fantastic.
  • Where to Train for Winter Adventures: Want to know where to go to get the best training for winter or arctic adventures? ExWeb has shared a rundown of the best destinations on the globe to prepare yourself for a journey to the South Pole or some other really hard, cold-weather journey.
  • Rising Sea Levels Could Destroy Mangroves by 2050: As if global pandemics, racial tensions, and massive swarms of locusts weren’t depressing enough in 2020, yesterday we received word that a new study indicates that rapidly rising sea levels could wipeout mangroves across the planet by the year 2050. Since mangroves serve as a defensive shield for massive storms, this could ultimately lead to more death and destruction along the coasts.
  • Russia Declares State of Emergency Following Arctic Oil Spill: Yep! That’s right, more bad news. This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency after a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed, spilling thousands of barrels of oil into a nearby waterway. It is now official, this year can’t get much worse. Righty?
  • Backpacker has a Plan to Make National Parks More Diverse: Obviously there has been a lot of discussion recently about diversity, race relations, and inclusivity. The outdoor industry—while more open than some communities—still struggles with these challenges as well, although there are movements afoot to help change that. This week, Backpacker magazine has shared a plan on how we can make America’s national parks a more diverse place to be.
  • Studies Suggest Being Outside is Low-Risk for COVID-19: We’re still learning a lot about the COVID-19 coronavirus, and every day seems to bring us some new study that reveals both good and bad news about the disease. But one recent research project says that going outside holds little risk, and is probably good for us, provided we take a few precautions.
  • How to Get Mentaller Tough for an Adventure: This lockdown on travel won’t last forever and now is a good time to start planning and preparing for your next big adventure. Part of this is getting mentally tough for the challenges ahead, which may be even more difficult considering our cushy lifestyles over the past few months. To help us prepare, here are some tips to help build mental strength for endurance sports and mountaineering.

That’s all for this week! See you on Monday.