COVID-19 Safety Guidelines (Updated August 2021)

Backcountry Journeys has always worked hard to provide our guests seamless travel experiences that leave them with memories to last a lifetime, new skills, friendships, and a plethora of images of which to be proud. As we return to the field in earnest, we do so with every intention to continue to utilize protocols proven to be effective at creating the safest environment possible. 

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue across the world, more and more businesses start to open, and numbers continue to drop, measures put in place by BCJ – utilizing the recommendations of federal, state, and local authorities – will continue until further notice. As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change, we’ll continue with our protocols until further notice. Please note these protocols will apply to everyone, even if you are fully vaccinated until no longer recommended by the CDC.

Backcountry Journeys continues to actively monitor and will implement guidelines recommended by health officials, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Backcountry Journeys will require proof of vaccination or a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before the start of the tour from each guest regardless of regional entry requirements. See here for the testing site nearest you. You can learn more about at-home testing options here.

While our tours generally do not include a great deal of equipment and gear sharing, we will be implementing increased cleaning and sanitizing practices, per CDC guidelines, on anything and everything used during our tours. This applies to any and all communal and shared workplace spaces, any trip-supplied gear, and vehicles. 

All items used in conjunction with any wilderness-camping tours, including (but not limited to) tents, sleeping pads, cooking utensils, and any associated gear will receive increased, and intense cleaning and sanitizing.

Guests will be required to bring any face-covering they prefer and their own hand sanitizer. Backcountry Journeys will have a supply of both on hand in case anyone should forget theirs. 

Backcountry Journeys guides will complete a self-health check before every trip, including checking their temperature and considering any symptoms. Any guide or guest who has been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19, or who has experienced any flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, body aches/chills, the recent loss of taste or smell) within 14 days of the scheduled trip departure, will not be permitted to join a tour.

We will do our best to ensure that individuals’ gear and baggage are handled only by its owner and that items are not passed around or shared. 

Physical distancing (minimum of 6 feet) will be practiced unless direct staff/guest interaction is essential, in which case both the staff and guest will be required to wear face masks, if able. 

Transportation services on our trips in 2021 should resume to “normal,” yet, again, as things change policies might change as well to adapt to any potential new conditions. The use of face masks to cover the nose and mouth required at all times in BCJ vehicles, boats, aircraft, or shuttles until no longer recommended by the CDC.

Trips outside the USA may have different group sizes and transportation protocols due to a destination’s regional laws and/or current rules.

Hygiene, as always, will be stressed. Washing of hands well, and often, will be encouraged and expected of all guests and staff. Hand sanitizer will be available at all times. Each guest will be responsible for the disposal of personal tissues, baby wipes, sanitizing wipes, or any other item of biohazard concern. 

If guides or guests experience any flu-like symptoms during a trip they will be physically distanced from the rest of the group, and from any community spaces or items. Backcountry Journeys will consult with the local managing agency for guidance with suggested management of the situation and potential evacuation of the affected individual(s). If a guide is in the position of providing direct care to an affected guest, he/she will also be physically distanced from the rest of the group for the remainder of the trip.

As previously stated, increased cleaning and sanitizing efforts will be applied to all communal spaces and to all trip gear returning to any Backcountry Journeys warehouse.

All guides and/or guests, who develop flu-like symptoms 14 days post-trip will be asked to contact Backcountry Journeys to inform us of their symptoms. If informed that anyone associated with a trip has experienced any flu-like symptoms, we will contact all other staff and guests from that trip to inform them.

If there are still any COVID-19 related travel issues during any new trip you book – rest assured you will be able to transfer your trip at no cost before your final payment is due. Our peace of mind guarantee to you!

On top of that, we offer one of the most rock-solid guarantees in the travel industry.


Backcountry Journeys’ was awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travel certification for our commitment to an accepted standard of health and hygiene protocols in the COVID-19 era. These protocols are based on medical evidence and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and the World Travel and Tourism Council. With over 1200 travel organizations currently using this badge of safety, it offers travelers an objective, 3rd party verification tool to verify companies have implemented science-driven protocols and are meeting high safety standards.