Staying Safe in a Rain or Lightning Storm

by Donna 29. June 2012 21:04

Nature’s Clues

Veteran campers generally know when the weather is taking a turn for the worst without having to listen to the forecast. There are always those telltale clues – such as gusty wind or an unsettling calm. Fishermen often note that fish will bite more frequently before a rainstorm as well. Needless to say, those kinds of hints simply are nature’s way of preparing you for some rainy weather or, at worst, a blowing rainstorm.

Make Use of Plastic Bags

Therefore, it’s always good to be prepared for the rain whenever you journey into the backwoods. Make use of plastic bags—sandwich bags and trash bags. Use them to keep out the moisture from items such as camera equipment, fishing licenses, matches, or any personal documentation, such as a passport.

Carry a Newspaper in your Backpack

It’s also a good idea to take a newspaper in your backpack. Not only will you have something to read if you are caught in a rainstorm in your tent, the paper can be used as a fire starter or placed in wet shoes to remove the excess water.

Be Extra Careful if you are Hiking over Rocky Terrain

If you are hiking in a rocky area while it is raining, be very careful as the craggy terrain can suddenly become loose and slick. Even after a rain, the mosses on such slippery slopes only make walking just that much more of a hazard. To reduce your chance for injury then, make it a point to wear hiking boots designed with good ankle support and a ground-gripping tread. It doesn’t hurt to use walking poles or hiking sticks either. Pack your backpack so the items within it are evenly distributed so you can keep your balance and increase your traction too.

Taking Precautions against Lightning

Lightning often makes an appearance during summer storms as well. Its tines can light up the sky even after thunderheads have made their entrance and left. Should the weather take a turn for the worse and you are in a boat or swimming then, make a quick exit to the shore. Or, if you are hiking in a hilly area, head toward a lower elevation. You also don’t want to find shelter under a tree during a wind or rain storm. While you may not get struck by lightning, you may easily get hit by a falling branch.

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Backcountry Camping: Preparing for Rain

by Donna 15. May 2012 19:45

Wet weather camping is not always something the weather man tells you to prepare for, but be ready anyways.

Get in the Habit of Preparing for Rain even if it isn’t in the Forecast

Come rain or come shine, you have to make sure that you are prepared for all types of weather when you are traveling outside the boundaries of civilization. However, if you make provisions for rainy weather when you pack for a camping trip, you can turn what might have been a bad experience into a tolerable trip.

That being said, before you plan your camping or hiking trip, you should always check the forecast first. Carry a weather radio (and plenty of batteries) so you can stay up to date about current and future weather conditions. If scattered showers are in the forecast, make sure that your belongings and food are stored in resealable plastic bags, including any maps, first aid kit, socks, and especially matches. You’ll also want to place your sleeping bag in a plastic liner as well. In fact, you should regularly make it a habit to place your food and gear in plastic, just to ensure that a rain storm does not catch you by surprise.

Establish your Campsite on Higher Ground

Naturally, rain gear should be included in your belongings as well as a tent that is treated with waterproofing. When choosing a campsite, you don’t want to set up your tent on lower ground as it’s not necessarily the safest place to land, particularly if it starts to rain quite heavily. Therefore, make it your goal to find a site that is in an area protected from floods and excessive winds. Keep a tarp beneath your tent and be on the alert for blowing winds in case of a downpour. Make sure that the stakes and ropes for your backcountry home are set firmly into place.

Protect Yourself from Lightning Strikes

Don’t set up your tent next to tall trees either, as their height makes them an easy target for a lightning strike. Also, it’s not a good idea to fish during an electrical storm as the pole you are holding is not safe and can cause you to get struck.  You might as well wear a sign that says, "Hey Lightning, strike me."

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Camping | Weather

Wet Weather Camping Tips

by Kade 2. February 2008 23:02
Punxsutawney Phil says there are still six weeks of winter. If you are into winter sports this may be great news for you. For those of you who want the warm weather, now is a great time to start getting ready for your first spring campout.

Spring camping often brings with it wet weather and mud. Here are a few tips to think about as you prepare for an enjoyable spring campout:
  1. Visit to find AND share a great place to camp.
  2. Make sure your tent is still waterproof. It is always a good idea to check your gear after storing for long periods of time. You never know what kind of animal may have found your gear during the winter. A garden hose is great for testing if a tent is still waterproof and your children may enjoy an excuse to hose down the tent.
  3. If possible, design a mud room for your tent. Some tents have mud rooms sewn right onto them, but if you are not fortunate enough to have one of these you may want to use a tarp or other plastic covering to create one. Use this room for putting on and taking off shoes and boots to avoid tracking mud into sleeping quarters.
  4. Make sure your pack, duffel bag, or backpack is away from areas that may get wet during a rainstorm. Nothing is worse than having all of your clothing soaked. I have even seen some people use 5 gallon buckets with lids for packing clothes during wet weather to waterproof their gear.
  5. Use a ground cloth underneath your tent, but make sure the tent covers the entire ground cloth. Otherwise the ground cloth will work as a funnel and collect a puddle under your tent.
  6. Bring games that can be played inside of a tent. This will make the time pass while it’s raining outside and can be a lot of fun.
  7. Do not pitch your tent in a gully. Survey the land of your campsite and determine where water is going to build up. These spots are where you do not want to pitch.
  8. Pack meals that do not need to be cooked on a camp stove. This will allow you to stay out of the rain while you eat and prepare meals. If you must cook, bring some kind of dining fly to cook under.

For more tips on camping check out this eBook. Beginner's Guide to Camping

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Camping | Outdoor Sports

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