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Old 12-31-2009, 07:10 PM
 
Location: In the sticks, SC
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Just curious to know about the safety of tents in regards to lightning. Is one safe in a tent or is it better to pack it up if storm clouds are brewing? Thanks for answering this dumb question
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Talmadge, San Diego, CA
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It's better to pack it up.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
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I would go to the vehicle and wait it out...and even if just rain, when you pick your site...put the tent on the high end of the site so it drains downward and away...and look at the park in general for the high side if it's supposed to rain
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Two Rivers, Wisconsin
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I would not stay in a tent with thunder and lightning, I've seen people do it but risky to me.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
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Back in the day when tents were CANVAS, I would love sitting in the tent and watching the storm in my 12 x14 Cabin.

Today, with the tents being nylon and small, I would probably opt for a car or nearby shelter.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:33 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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The car is the safest bet. ('cept I have found myself at 12,000ft and several days from the car...)

Alum and carbon fiber poles and backpack frames should be placed well away from you, then go climb UNDER a big rock and lay flat. If you are hiking / camping on a plateau it can get ugly and come fast. Stay low and away from tall and conductive objects. Even Ranger Bob had to lay down and get pounded by rain on one adventure. Beats crispy-critters, but... It would be fast, unless it just blew your arm off (not uncommon -ouch). Then it could really hurt for awhile.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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It's only dangerous to be in a tent in a thunderstorm if lightning happens to hit the tent..........but then again, it's also not real great to sitting in the metal cage that composes your car or RV if lightning hits it.


Seriously, folks, the odds of lightning hitting your tent are astronomically small; you stand a much higher chance of being injured while driving to your camping site.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Cornerguy, I really think you're downplaying the seriousness of lightening strikes. True, there's certainly a better chance of being killed in a car accident on the way camping, but lightening can and does kill. NWS says there's 1 chance in 6250 of being struck in your lifetime, but if you tempt it, I'm sure it's 100 times that.

That metal cage around your car really does offer some protection. I remember a news story several years ago about someone being in their car when it was struck. All the windows were blown out... maybe the tires(?), but the driver was unhurt other than temporary loss of hearing. And maybe a new nervous condition. LOL


I hadn't thought about the carbon fiber poles, etc. being conductive.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Where there is too much snow!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mongoslade223 View Post
Just curious to know about the safety of tents in regards to lightning. Is one safe in a tent or is it better to pack it up if storm clouds are brewing? Thanks for answering this dumb question
Why challenge Mother Nature on her turf? Lightening does what ever it wants. :~(
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Cornerguy, I really think you're downplaying the seriousness of lightening strikes. True, there's certainly a better chance of being killed in a car accident on the way camping, but lightening can and does kill. NWS says there's 1 chance in 6250 of being struck in your lifetime, but if you tempt it, I'm sure it's 100 times that.

That metal cage around your car really does offer some protection. I remember a news story several years ago about someone being in their car when it was struck. All the windows were blown out... maybe the tires(?), but the driver was unhurt other than temporary loss of hearing. And maybe a new nervous condition. LOL


I hadn't thought about the carbon fiber poles, etc. being conductive.

I'm not trying to make light of the inherent danger, WyoNewk,; just trying to point out that lightning doesn't have a particular affinity for tents and that the mere act of being in a tent isn't tempting fate.

Now if your tent is located on the bare top of a mountain with a carbon fibre flag pole sticking up, that's a different story ---- kind of like walking about the golf course holding 3-iron over your head. Not good.

However, if your tent is set up in a campground, I'd be far more concerned with a tree branch landing on my head than actually being struck by lightning.

There are all sorts of activities we indulge in on a daily basis that have inherent risks of injury that are greater than being struck by lightning: showering, shaving, driving, mowing the lawn.
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