While we all imagine sunny weather for our camping trips, that’s not always the case, and that’s why you must be prepared for capricious conditions just as well. Here you will find some great tips on how to handle all kinds of weather, and how to prepare in advance for natural phenomena.
Maybe you’re even the type of person who doesn’t feel daunted by weather forecasts that predict fewer sunny days. No matter to which category you belong, you will discover that it is ideal to have a plan and be prepared to face adverse conditions.
Be aware of climate change
Whether we like it or not, it’s happen
ing as we speak. We’re talking about climate change, which is pretty much a reality, and not just a thing self-important people talk about on TV. With climate change, a lot of things go through dramatic changes, as well, and what you might know from other trips to the same location may no longer apply.
Summers can become hotter than you know in some areas, while in others they can be wet and capricious. Winters can get colder, and large amounts of snow are surely enough of a deterrent for the most courageous camping enthusiast.
So, the first thing you should do is to verify carefully what happens in the area you want to go camping. After all, you want to have a good time, and that would hardly be the case if you only face bad weather.
Check the weather forecasts
When you go camping, it is a good idea to check the weather forecast beforehand. There are various types of services available online, and you can always use a weather radio which can tell you when alerts are on for the areas you intend to visit.
Weather forecasts usually cover up to two weeks, so a good idea would be to consult them right before you want to embark on your trip. This way, you will be adequately prepared. As for weather radios, there are various models on the market, some operated by batteries and others that can be recharged by turning a crank.
What to do when there are rain and floods
Some weather conditions might not appear too extreme at first glance, but the truth is that you should never underestimate the power of nature. Experts recommend campers to be extra careful when there are rain alerts. Even if it doesn’t rain precisely in the area where you are, floods can appear out of nowhere.
You can get stranded, and if you didn’t pack enough food and water, that could become a real issue until help can reach you. Don’t attempt to drive your vehicle over what appear to be shallow streams. With rain and floods, water levels can rise fast.
Also, don’t try to go to the other side on foot. Fast-moving water that flows underneath can sweep your feet, and you may end up injured or worse. As long as you pay heed to the alerts in the areas and you steer clear of situations that could put you and your family in danger, you will be fine.
Find shelter fast when heavy winds blow
Even if you are camping in a forest, you won’t get proper protection from heavy winds. Trees that grow at high elevations usually have shallow roots, and that means that they can be pulled out of the ground and thrown haphazardly around.
Branches, twigs, and debris flying through the air are all common causes of injuries when heavy winds are blowing. To make sure that you stay safe, it is crucial that you find shelter. Stable structures such as rock formations and caves are preferred.
Minimize risks when there’s a thunderstorm
Lightning bolts setting the sky on fire may be impressive and appealing to watch, but, in a thunderstorm, you can be at grave risk of being struck. That is why the rule of thumb is to find shelter and fast. Another thing to bear in mind is to stay away from tall trees and to avoid altogether to be the tallest target around.
Tornadoes and associated risks
While tornadoes are not common everywhere, should you decide to camp somewhere such phenomena can occur, it is best to understand the risks and what you should do for your protection. A standard recommendation is to drive at a right angle to the tornado’s direction and drive at speeds faster than 60mph.
However, you should know that tornadoes can be unpredictable and change direction fast. The flying debris is one of the biggest threats so you should have as a priority to find shelter. Don’t think, for one moment, that you can hide in your truck tent as the tornado passes by.
Even a massive SUV or truck can be pulled off the ground and thrown around. Another piece of advice to heed is to stay away from overpasses, as these can act as tunnels for winds to become even faster.
You should be prepared for hot weather, too
While most advice you will find everywhere is focused on what to do in bad weather, you should be prepared for hot weather, too. For instance, you should have proper clothing, and pack a sleeping bag that will keep you cool enough at night.
Be prepared to deal with mosquitoes, too. Also, it is essential to stay hydrated. Many people don’t realize the impact of dehydration on their bodies as they hike or climb steeper hills. You should have a water bottle with you at all times. Be aware that beer and any other alcoholic beverages will do more harm than good, and cause further dehydration.
Don’t ignore how important it is to have proper shade. So, when you park your truck, make sure you find an area that’s not directly exposed to the sun. Your truck tent may protect you from UVs, too, so that’s another idea to bear in mind. Ideally, you should find a shaded patch for camping.