Is It Safe To Go Camping in Stormy Weather?

Is It Safe To Go Camping in Stormy Weather?

Feature Staff

Are you a brave, adventurous soul that’s itching to try stormy-weather camping? If you want to know whether it's safe to go camping in stormy weather and how to go about doing it, you can find the information you seek here.

Can You Camp in Stormy Weather?

That's a complicated question with a complicated answer. Yes—but also no.

As long as you act cautiously, the likelihood that you'll be injured during a stormy-weather camping trip is extraordinarily low. The odds of getting struck by a bolt of lightning, for example, are 1 in 15,300. Good odds, right? But what if you wind up being that unlucky one? Sitting in an open field surrounded by metallic tent poles already raises your odds of getting struck exponentially.

Ultimately, the answer to the question "Is it safe to go camping in stormy weather?" requires you to as yourself a follow-up question. Is the risk worth the reward?

What Are the Risks?

What are the risks of camping in a storm? There are a few that are more common than others.

Falling Trees

During a storm, tree branches—or even whole trees—can timber and strike you. Ouch!

Flying Tents

Have you ever wanted to fly? If the wind is strong enough, it can pick up your tent while you’re still inside it. It sounds fun until you hit a hard surface at who-knows-how-many miles per hour.

Getting Drenched

Getting soaked may not seem all that bad, but damp clothes and skin put you at a higher risk of hypothermia.

Lightning Strikes

The good news is that 90 percent of lightning strike victims survive. The bad news is that you'll look and smell burnt for the foreseeable future.

That said, camping out in a storm has its rewards. For one, the campgrounds won't be very crowded, allowing you to snatch a prime spot. And a forest in the middle of a stormy evening is a sight you won't forget; the trees rustling in the wind, the waterdrops pitter-pattering on the surface of the lake, and the overcast sky looming above combine to create a chillingly beautiful scene.

Essential Stormy Weather Camping Tips

If you want to camp in stormy weather, it's essential to know how to do so safely. Here are a few bad weather tips to help you survive and thrive when it’s windy and pouring.

  • Pitch your tent in a low-lying area away from trees and bodies of water.
  • When it's thundering, stay inside your shelter.
  • Don't lie directly on the ground. Sleep on a foam or otherwise insulated pad.
  • Leave metal objects at home.
  • Bring warm, waterproof clothing.
  • Have a first aid kit on hand.
  • Plan an evacuation route in case the storm gets particularly bad.

Camping in stormy weather isn't the safest thing you can do, but it's not the most dangerous thing you can do, either. If you plan to camp in raging weather, just remember to follow the tips above to protect yourself.