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Best Practice for lightning

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.

Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby rlown » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:18 am

i'd be in my tent. In my bag, on my pad. Low as possible where ever that might happen, away from trees. Odds are still with you. My tent has one pole. you could just ground it with simple wire.

As a precaution, you could stack your aluminum pots and pans on your neighbor's tent. :D

I'm not sitting outside in a storm regardless. If it happens, it happens. Just don't do stupid and pick a high point or really close to a big tree.



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Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby maverick » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:48 am

Hi Jack,

Welcome to HST! Here is the thread about lightning safety:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=8001&hilit=lightening
Also please check you messages. Thanks
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Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby longri » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:54 am

rlown wrote:i'd be in my tent. In my bag, on my pad. Low as possible where ever that might happen, away from trees. Odds are still with you. My tent has one pole. you could just ground it with simple wire.

As a precaution, you could stack your aluminum pots and pans on your neighbor's tent. :D

I'm not sitting outside in a storm regardless. If it happens, it happens. Just don't do stupid and pick a high point or really close to a big tree.

Grounding the pole probably isn't going to help. If you were unlucky enough that your tent pole was the focus of a lightning strike you'd be too close to the strike. That said, like you I wouldn't go outside and assume that lightning position in the middle of a big storm. The one thing you could do inside your bag inside your tent is assume a position that limits how much ground current you are exposed to. That might be worth doing.

If you haven't seen it already, here's a very good article on wilderness lightning risk, the best I've seen. It's worth reading: http://www.wec.ufl.edu/safety/Backcount ... Safety.pdf
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Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby GreenhornBackpacker » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:04 am

After hearing several rangers talk about lightning strikes at the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon, this is what I learned.

Get away from tall, single trees standing out by themselves. They do attract lightning. However, if you go deeper into the woods, you'd be more likely to be okay. So if lightning storms threaten in the Sierra, I'd get off those granite slabs quickly and try to get into a forested area and lie down in a ditch or ravine.

After reading, Shattered Air, about a lightning strike on top of Half Dome, caves are NOT a good idea. The lightning hits and bounces around inside.
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Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jul 31, 2013 11:48 am

Updated the HST lightning discussion page Maverick linked to with much of a post I'd commented on at summitpost.
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Re: Best Practice for lightning

Postby ERIC » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:31 pm

Locking this thread since maverick redirected to a more in-depth existing thread on the same topic.
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