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How To Stay Safe When Camping In Thunderstorms


As all experienced and even novice campers know, the weather is very unpredictable. During a camping trip, everyone is more exposed to the natural elements and it can be very dangerous. At one moment, the sky can be clear and beautiful and in the next storm clouds are approaching from the distance and rain begins to pour. Although it would be best to pack up and leave the campsite during a thunderstorm, sometimes there is no choice but to stay until the storm passes.

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Here are important and potentially life-saving tips to consider the next time you encounter a thunderstorm during a camping trip.

1. Get Inside A Vehicle 

The best place to hide out during a thunderstorm is inside a closed vehicle such a truck or a van. A convertible is not a safe choice because it is open and cannot provide protection against a potential lightning strike.

A closed car is the safest place not because of the tyres as most people believe, but because of the metal frame which allows pure electricity to travel around the area without affecting the people inside. Stay safe and stay hidden inside the car until the storm has passed.

2. Stay Under A camping gazebo, Not A Tent 

Most tents today no longer have metal poles, but they are still not sturdy enough to withstand the shock and power of a thunderstorm. It is best to leave the tent and find shelter under a picnic shelter or a gazebo instead. This is an option worth consider, only if there are no safe vehicles around.

3. Spread Out 

If there is more than one camping gazebo or picnic shelter in the area, spread out when hiding from a thunderstorm. Why? This is the best chance to avoid getting struck by lighting all together. In the event of getting hit by a lightning, the human body becomes a conductor. The less people within the area, the less casualties.

While it might be tempting to huddle as a group, it isn’t the safest or smartest way to survive a thunderstorm unscathed.

4. Move Away From Bodies Of Water 

Campers who are located near lakes and rivers must evacuate and seek shelter away from the body of water. There is a higher chance for lightning to strike near water than on land, be cautious. It is also best to never stand on water during a thunderstorm as water is a natural conductor for electricity.

5. Wait At Least 30 Minutes 

After the last rumble of thunder has passed, wait at least 30 minutes before leaving your shelter. This is the safest time to go out because it means that the storm has passed and you are no longer in danger.

Make Safety A Priority

Stay safe when camping and follow these tips to avoid any serious injuries. Check the weather predictions constantly before heading out just to be extra sure, but ultimately it is best to stay alert and prepared when spending a few days outdoors because you’ll never know when the weather will turn for the worst.

When camping, it is best to make sure you have something over your head to protect you from bad weather. At 4WD Supa Centre, we give you the best deals if you’re looking for a camping gazebo.

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