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#273929 - 01/25/15 09:40 PM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: hikermor]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1828
Loc: MINNESOTA
i always thought our Midwest summer lightning storms were impressive until i saw some past over the Petrified Forest a few years ago.just not the crash-boom stuff here but crackling bolt after bolt.
on the canoe trips i have had my share of frights and seen enough struck trees to last a lifetime.

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#273931 - 01/25/15 11:44 PM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: CANOEDOGS]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2015
Loc: NE Illinois
I've always felt the notion of a thunderstorm during primitive camping/hiking (with no real protection) to be one of the scariest things I could imagine. Luckily I haven't had to deal with that.

Besides staying "low" there doesn't seem to be a whole lot one can do ... besides praying.

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#273932 - 01/26/15 12:12 AM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: KenK]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
See this - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15919576 - for good advice. The information doesn't seem to have changed much over the years. I was taught the crouch position - keep your boots on, squat down, lower your head, and keep your mouth open (alleviates ear damage, I believe). Scatter the group so that one strike doesn't take out every one.

I have assumed the position twice, both times in a tent at night, acutely aware that the tent poles did not constitute a Faraday cage. The second time I was taking my darling bride up my favorite mountain. A thunderstorm rolled in and I said, "It's time to assume the position," drawing a puzzled look from my sweetie - she was not sure of the context of my statement. That was twenty-five years ago this November...

Has it struck anyone else that this thread has ignited something of a flame war?
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#273934 - 01/26/15 12:38 AM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1111
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
So did you put out the fire and save suppression costs? Enquiring minds want to know....
Fortunately it started to rain a short time later, which put the fire out.

What made that episode even more unnerving was that unlike being on a peak, there was nothing that would make you think that particular spot would get hit. It was one of those alpine "parks", generally pretty flat ground with clumps of trees and small lakes scattered about. The tree was not any higher or more conspicuous than any of the hundreds of other trees around. It all seemed rather random....

After that bolt hit, we did as the books suggest. We got out away as far as we could from any other trees and squatted on our ensolite pads till the storm passed. After the thunderhead moved out and the rain stopped, it turned into a beautiful mountain evening.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#273935 - 01/26/15 12:40 AM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: hikermor]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1111
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Has it struck anyone else that this thread has ignited something of a flame war?
I think the discussion has been energizing!
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#273938 - 01/26/15 02:07 AM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: AKSAR]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6582
Loc: southern Cal
Originally Posted By: AKSAR
I think the discussion has been energizing!


If not, indeed, electrifying!

The random nature of lightning strikes....Back when the earth had just cooled, I worked as a Fire Control Aide at what is now Saguaro NP in the Rincon Mtns. Got to see a lot of strikes and blasted trees. I, too, was impressed by the random nature of the strikes, very small comfort in later encounters...
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#273976 - 01/26/15 10:49 PM Re: Lightning Hazards [Re: KenK]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: KenK
I've always felt the notion of a thunderstorm during primitive camping/hiking (with no real protection) to be one of the scariest things I could imagine. Luckily I haven't had to deal with that.

Besides staying "low" there doesn't seem to be a whole lot one can do ... besides praying.


I slept under a tarp the very same night that an "all time record high number of lightning strikes" front passed right through the area. Not much by continental U.S. standard, but clearly a night to remember.

When the weather rolled in I assessed the situation, and found that I had pitched my tarp in the perfect spot to ride out the thunderstorm anyway: Slight depression in a slightly hilly area. Most trees had been cut down, so no high trees or anything right by my tarp, but plenty of high threes on nearby hills. I was in the perfect "lowest possible risk" location, and I had a splendid view of the show! So I just lowered the tarp to make it more resistant to wind, then it was just to lie down and enjoy the show! Which I did, and it sure was a hefty show!

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