Touring - Lightning while touring
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I am heading out on my first real tour this week and the weather is hot and humid with thunderstorms everyday this week. What do most of you do when lightning gets close while camping? Stay in your tent or try to find some other shelter?
06-25-05, 10:52 AM
I pulled this info from an Alberta, Canada website:
"Like all electric charges, lightning is looking for the easiest path to the ground. Lightning safety involves avoiding situations where you could become a path to ground. The safest place to be during a storm is inside a house, large building or vehicle. If you are caught outside, avoid standing anywhere higher than the surrounding landscape, or under a tree or other structure that extends above the landscape. If you are in an open area, go to a low place such as a ravine or valley and squat but do not lie down. Stay away from metal objects like farm equipment, motorcycles, bicycles and golf carts. Get out of, off and away from open water."
Thanks for the info. I enjoyed your journal.
06-28-05, 10:02 AM
I just returned from riding my bicycle all the way across Kansas. For several days I experience some very severe thunderstorms that went on not only during these days but but most nights as well. The winds during these storms was horrific also and for two nights my tent totally colapsed on me and fill with rain water. On most of these days the lighting was severe and had a few hits very closed to me as I rode my bike through the countryside. During the night the lighting provided quite a display and it was awesome. To say that I was not concerned would not be true but in the Kansas country side there is not many places to get out of the weather. There was not much I could do about it so I kept on riding and camping.
I have camped many many times during lighting storms. I don't recall while camping that for the most part I was ever near any shelter and so I would just grin and bare it. But I was use safety measures as stated in the other post when it is possbile to do so.
I will say one thing, I will not soon forget my cycle tour through Kansas.
06-28-05, 11:16 AM
Over the past year or so three people in our area have been killed in strange lightning strikes. Two were killed in clear sky strikes. That is the sky where the strike occurred was clear. One was on a beach with a storm passing approximately 20 miles south. The other on a golf course after the storm had passed. The third strike was at a camp ground. Lightning struck a tree and traveled through it's roots to a tent. The camper had set up his tent on the tree's roots. Talk about a one in a million chance!
I don't think you can do much to protect yourself from clear sky strikes. Afterall, how much room do you give these things? The witnesses on the beach said the lightning came out of the clear blue sky. I'm telling you this so that you are aware that where there is a storm there is a risk.
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