Northwest RVer: Thunderstorms and camping in mountainous areas: Do you know your lightning safety guidelines?

Thunderstorms and camping in mountainous areas: Do you know your lightning safety guidelines?

The summer camping season brings a lot of campers and RVers into the outdoors and especially to cool higher altitude destinations as the heat increases.

But you may have read recently in the news that two people were killed and others injured in the Rocky Mountain National Park from lightning strikes in areas above the treeline that are prone to afternoon thunderstorms.

If you plan to travel into mountainous areas this season, here are some tips and precautions you can take to insure your safety:

KNOW THE WEATHER: Bright summer days can turn stormy quickly, with lightning, wind, and even hail. Ask rangers about the weather patterns of the area you are visiting.

GET YOUR OUTSIDE ADVENTURES IN EARLY: Start your hike early in the day so you can return by noon. Hike to below treeline or to safe shelter before a storm strikes.

STAY ALERT: If you hear thunder or see lightning it is close enough to strike you. At a high altitude, when skies look threatening, a thunderstorm can develop right overhead.

IF YOU ARE ABOVE TREELINE: If a storm threatens, get inside your vehicle immediately, do not lean against the doors, and wait at least 30 minutes after a storm passes overhead. If you are away from a vehicle, move away from summits, isolated trees and rocks.

BELOW TREELINE: If you are in a forest, stay near a lower stand of trees. Stay away from tall, isolated trees or any tall objects.

WHAT SHELTERS ARE SAFE: Tents, trees, small caves, and picnic shelters are not safe. A vehicle or a larger, enclosed building are. Avoid water and any metal.

You can get more information on lightning safety from the National Weather Service.


About smokeycamping

Well let's see have lived in NY for my whole life, have always loved the outdoors (as long as it is warm out) have always hated the cold, and like a dummy have stayed in NY. But now with my second try my wife, we have been camping now for well over 25 yrs. We currently own a 2010 Cedar creek silverback 35TS and can not wait to get out on the highways and see this great country we all call home. Hope to see every National park before my medical issue becomes too bad to travel. I love my African gray parrot (she is my baby) and have two dogs at the time brother and sister mutts, but love them all the same. Have always been a big Nascar fan, love computers (have a number of certificates to build and work on them) am trying to learn photography, enjoy light hiking, being with good friends and folks. country music, pop music and just being outdoors. So I hope someday to meet some of the great people who like what I like and post out there in some great campground somewhere in the country, till then I will keep posting and I hope you keep liking.

Posted on August 4, 2014, in The world as i see it as a camper and who loves his country and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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