I live in Texas and decided to go beach camping for a weekend during the pandemic. Here's how I did it as safely as possible — and for less than $100 total.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI went camping in Texas amid the coronavirus pandemic, here’s how I stayed safe.
  • In June, I ventured out on a beach camping trip to Goose Island State Park in Texas after spending months at home.
  • The coronavirus pandemic is still going on and confirmed cases in Texas reached record highs in June.
  • Experts previously told Business Insider that camping is a relatively low-risk activity for contracting and spreading the coronavirus. They also said beach lounging is riskier due to crowds.
  • From planning ahead to leaving the beach early, here’s how I avoided close contact and enclosed spaces while travelling through Texas during the pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Editor’s note: Before embarking on any travel, consult the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.


In June, a friend and I drove from my parents’ home in Austin, Texas, to Goose Island State Park for a night of camping. The park is near Rockport Beach, where we expected to spend most of the daylight of during our trip.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderTrees next to my campsite at Goose Island State Park.

Because the park was letting in fewer campers than usual to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, I made camping reservations at Goose Island State Park a week before our trip through Texas Park and Wildlife to ensure I’d get a spot.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderCamping reservations can be made online.

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife


The night before I left for my weekend getaway, I checked for coronavirus updates in Aransas County, where Goose Island State Park and Rockport Beach are located.

Google MapsAransas County in outlined in red.

I checked for coronavirus updates in Arkansas County on June 19 before leaving on June 20. At that time, the last update on June 3 read that there were five confirmed cases in the county, none of which were active.

The week after I returned, Aransas County reported three more cases.

I also noted coronavirus guidelines for Goose Island State Park. The park recommends wearing a face covering and bans entering with more than 10 people, unless they are all coming from the same household, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


Since I was going to be sweating in hot weather all weekend, I brought several face masks and bandanas for face coverings and wore them every time I thought I might be less than six feet away from other people.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI brought five face coverings for myself.

I also brought my own food to avoid going inside any restaurants and stores during the trip.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI brought plenty of food.

I left for Goose Island State Park at 6 a.m. on June 20 and arrived at my destination around 9:30 a.m.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderIt took three and a half hours to get to the beach from our home in Austin, Texas.

I didn’t wear a mask the whole car ride, but I slipped one on as soon as I got to the campgrounds and rolled down the windows to ask a park ranger for directions.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI masked-up when I had to roll down the car window to speak with park rangers.

Once at the site, I pitched my tent in the furthest corner of the campsite to maintain distance from other campers.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI pitched the tent in the far right corner of campsite 203.

Source: CDC


Looking back on it, I should have pulled out the anti-bacterial wipes before pitching the tent, but the second thing I did was disinfect all the surfaces that could have been recently touched by others, like the picnic table …

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI brought Lysol wipes to disinfect surfaces at the campsite.

… and the water faucet.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI wiped down everything before I touched it.

I ended up also using the water faucet to brush my teeth and wash my hands to avoid using the communal restrooms on the camping grounds as much as possible.


After I cleaned all the surfaces, it was time to go to the beach, which was about a 10-minute drive from the campsite.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderOur car packed with beach supplies.

I got to the beach at 10:30 a.m. and drove to the far end of the beach, where there were fewer people gathered. I wore a face covering from the moment I got out of the car …

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI wore a mask while setting up on the beach.

… until I was safely settled more than six feet away from other beachgoers.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderMy spot at Rockport Beach.

After setting up the chairs, I headed into the ocean, where it was easy to keep a distance from others.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderMy spot at Rockport Beach was more than six feet away from other patrons.

By 12:30, the beach was crowded, and I wasn’t able to maintain six feet between my chairs and other people’s, so I left.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderRockport Beach on a Saturday.

While driving away from the beach, I scanned the coastline for a six-foot gap between groups, but there wasn’t a spot left.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderRockport Beach around 12:30 p.m. on a Saturday.

Instead, I spent the rest of the trip hiking on some nearby trails, where I didn’t run into any other people.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI went hiking because the beach was too crowded.

Before I left the campsite, I wiped down everything I touched with anti-bacterial wipes.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI wiped down all the surfaces we used in case I was an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus.

On the way home, I had to stop for gas. I made sure to touch things as little as possible wore gloves to handle the gas pump and payment transaction.

Source: Business Insider


Bringing my own food and settling for free activities, I managed to keep costs low — really low. I spent $US30 on gas, $US20 on groceries and supplies, and $US20 on the campsite and entry fee for one night.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderI already owned beach towels and folding chairs.

Although it wasn’t exactly the trip I planned, I’m glad I ventured out for a weekend after months of weekends spent playing video games and watching TV.

Joey Hadden/Business InsiderA hiking trail near Rockport Beach.

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