The whole point of going camping is to get closer to nature and enjoy the great outdoors. But sometimes, nature can be fickle. Here are a few types of weather to watch out for while camping:
Thirty-six people died in avalanches in the U.S. over the 2009-2010 winter [source: Forest Service]. Here are a few red flags for avalanche risk:
- high winds or recent heavy snowfall
- recent avalanche activity
- cracks in the snow surface
- rising temperatures
Flash floods strike without warning and can be deadly. Here are some things you should know:
- Don't camp in dry river beds.
- A flash flood watch means that flash flooding is possible; a warning signals that flooding is imminent.
- Don't try to outrun a flash flood in your car. Instead, climb to higher ground.
Did you know that nearby forest fires can generate enough dust to create a static charge and cause lightning? Here are some other lightning basics:
- Lightning strikes whatever is tallest.
- Drop any metal objects you're carrying, including backpacks with metal frames.
- Get off bicycles and motorbikes.
- Avoid lakes and rivers.
- It is not safe to be outside during a tornado.
- If a tornado watch is issued in your campground, take shelter inside a sturdy building.
- If this is not possible, find a ditch or gully and lie down.
- Do not attempt to outrun a tornado in your vehicle.
There are other things that are OK to outrun on a camping trip, however. From kites to bikes, find our list of not-so-essential (but fun!) stuff to pack next.