How to Survive a Thunderstorm in the Woods?

How to Survive a Thunderstorm in the Woods?

Thunderstorms in the woods can be a great hassle if you do not know what to do. Especially when you are out on a leisure camping trip on a warm summer day. You never know when it will start to rain, and you want to make sure that you are prepared for one. The article below presents everything you need to know about what to do when a thunderstorm hits the woods.

Signs of a Thunderstorm

Thunderstorm in the Woods | Image Source Pexels

There are a few things that indicate that a thunderstorm might be close. The clouds get darker, and there is a lot of lightning in the area. Birds start coming back to their nests and animals go into hiding for safety reasons. However, if you want to make sure, or you simply want a little more information about what weather conditions to expect, look out for these following signs:

Puffy Clouds

If you come across clouds that are surprisingly puffy and fluffy, this is a sign that there could be a storm. You can use these clouds as your indicator of an incoming storm, but you should also start looking for shelter right away. Other signs you must look out for are dark clouds or large raindrops on the ground.

A Drop in the Temperature

This is another great sign of thunderstorms in the woods. If you notice that the temperature has gone down, this means that a storm might be coming to the area soon. If you are in the open, the chances of being struck by lightning are way higher than if you were in a shelter.

Lightning

The most obvious sign of an upcoming thunderstorm is lightning. You should know that it does not necessarily mean there will be thunder or rain. However, if there is lightning in your area, but no other signs followed, this could indicate that it will be only a shower and nothing more serious. Interesting fact: The sound of thunder can’t be heard during heavy rainstorms because of all the noise from the rain hitting the ground. However, if you see blue flashes or hear buzzing sounds when there is no rain, this means that lightning could be near.

A Drop in the Atmospheric Pressure

One of the most interesting signs of an upcoming thunderstorm is a drop in atmospheric pressure. If you notice that there is a difference between the morning and early afternoon levels, this can indicate that a storm might come. However, this is not always 100% reliable and it does not mean that there will be a storm.

A Sudden Darkening of the Sky

The best place to hide during thunderstorms in the woods is under trees or inside caves. If you are quick enough, these places offer the best chance of avoiding lightning strikes. However, if there are no trees around and you find yourself close to a cave entrance, this can be your only option.

Preparing for a Thunderstorm in the Woods

If you cannot guarantee yourself shelter from a thunderstorm in the woods, you should prepare for one so that it does not affect your trip too much. Of course, there is no such thing as being 100% prepared for a thunderstorm, but doing the following can make things a lot easier:

Tripod or Umbrella

In case there are strong indicators of an upcoming storm and most likely thunderstorms, you should bring a tripod with you. Something small like this can be very useful if there is no shelter around. In case the weather becomes windy with driving rain, you can use it to keep yourself dry while continuing on your hike/trip/adventure. If you have an umbrella with you already, make sure to bring it with you. The last thing you want is for it to turn inside out during a storm, so if possible, bring one that can handle lots of rain and wind.

Charged Phone

If the lighting is too strong for your camera’s sensor, make sure to charge your phone before heading out on an adventure. This way, if the weather becomes too bad at any point and you need to take shelter or wait things out until they improve, this will keep you entertained and occupied. A charged phone with emergency apps like a compass and maps can also be helpful in case something goes wrong while you’re enjoying yourself outdoors. Even though we cannot always predict thunderstorms in the woods, we should at least know what to do when we face one. Hopefully, the information provided in this article will help you stay safe and unharmed during a thunderstorm in the woods.

Surviving in the Safe Spot

Hiding behind a Tree | Image Source Pexels

Finding a safe spot during a thunderstorm in the woods might be a real challenge. This is because if you cannot find any shelter, your best bet is to hide under a tree until the storm passes. However, this only works if you are close enough to be able to make it or if there’s one nearby and it does not break off during the storm.

If neither of these options works out for you and the thunderstorm in the woods is too dangerous, your final option is hiding behind a rock. Since this does not offer much protection from lightning strikes and the strong winds that go with thunderstorms, this should be seen as a last resort and something that should try only when other options have failed.

Although we cannot always predict thunderstorms in the woods before they happen, we can prepare ourselves that we know what to do when we encounter one. By bringing extra charge for our phones and a tripod with us, we can enjoy ourselves outdoors even if the weather suddenly turns sour.

Although we cannot always predict thunderstorms in the woods before they happen, we can prepare ourselves that we know what to do when we encounter one. By bringing extra charge for our phones and a tripod with us, we can enjoy ourselves outdoors even if the weather suddenly turns sour.

More Tips

Do not Kneel Down

If you’re kneeling during a thunderstorm in the woods, not only is there a chance that lightning might strike near you but you will also get wet from the rain. If possible, try to remain standing up and if there’s no shelter around your best bet is to make yourself as small as possible and keep your arms and legs close together (or behind your head).

Of course, we cannot always predict what we might encounter outside while we go on our adventures, so it would be best if we had an umbrella or tripod with us just in case something like this happens. Remember to stay safe and unharmed by following these tips when you’re enjoying yourself outdoors.

Squatting Low on the Ground

This is not advisable, since it leaves your vital organs exposed. This might increase your chances of survival should lightning strike you but you will also get wet from the rain unless there’s a solid layer of rocks above you to protect you from that.

By bringing extra charge for our phones and a tripod with us, we can enjoy ourselves outdoors even if the weather suddenly turns sour.

Of course, we cannot always predict what we might encounter outside while we go on our adventures, so it would be best if we had an umbrella or tripod with us just in case something like this happens. Remember to stay safe and unharmed by following these tips when you’re enjoying yourself outdoors.

Thunderstorm in the Field | Image Source Pexels

Conclusion

Thunderstorms in the woods can make or break your outdoor experience. Since it can be dangerous and you never know when or where one might happen, it’s best to bring an extra battery for your phone, a tripod, and something that might keep you warm in case of an emergency. By doing so, you can enjoy yourself even if the weather suddenly turns sour.

Everyone knows how much damage lightning can do during a thunderstorm in the woods but not many people know what they should do if they encounter one while spending time outside. If this is something that might concern you, just remember these simple tips to help you stay safe and unharmed during such events. Also, remember to make yourself aware of how to use a compass while camping outdoors.

Luu Duc Hoang

Luu Duc Hoang

I am just a simple man, carrying around his laptop in a backpack. “Traveling combined with volunteering is always what I aim for”

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