This is a guest post from Mark Clements, who works for McCampbell Enterprises. He invites you to feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding weather safety. If you would like to guest post on CampingBlogger, please contact me or check out our page on guest posting.
Camping is a blast. Since you are here at this website, I’m sure you feel the same way. Camping is one of the most relaxing ways to spend free time, and it’s a great way to get away from stress. There isn’t a better place to spend quality time with family and friends than the great outdoors. While it’s easy to go camping for a weekend and forget all of your problems, this article will detail a few ways to avoid creating new problems for yourself involving weather safety. This summer we’ve seen our fair share of nasty weather, from the wildfires out west, hurricanes out east, storms in the Smoky Mountains, and unbearable heat all over the nation.
Of course the first tip in weather safety is to plan ahead. If you are planning on going out to the lake or campgrounds for a weekend, then check the weather first. If there’s a chance for a thunderstorm or heavy winds, you might revisit your camping idea. What would you guess to be the most dangerous aspect of a thunderstorm? Most people immediately think of lightning, and most people would be wrong. Winds that knock over trees and throw debris are dangerous, as is the flooding that some storms may cause. I’m not saying that if it’s going to rain you shouldn’t go camping. Wearing a rain poncho or using a golf umbrella and braving the elements a little bit never hurt anyone. It’s all about the severity of the storm, and the location of your camping spot. If things start to get out of control and the storm is too severe, you should have an immediate exit strategy for safety. Never underestimate dangerous storm weather, and always have an action plan should things get too intense.
On the other side of the spectrum, many people underestimate heat and the effect that it can have on the body. This has been one of the most hot and dry summers in recent memory, and that presents two problems for campers. The first is the potential for forest fires. Cigarette butts, unattended campfires, and lightning strikes are all forest fire starters. Earlier this year the massive forest fires out west caused over 3,000 people to leave their homes, and killed several individuals as well. The cause of that forest fire was a combination of heat and one of the three items listed above. Typically forest fires are started by campers who just aren’t careful enough with their campsites. While the forest fire may not affect them at all, it certainly affects local residents.
The second problem that heat and humidity present is dehydration. Campers have to be aware of the different techniques to check hydration. Two easy tests are available to campers. The first is checking the color of your urine. If it’s dark then you are most likely dehydrated. The next test is to pull the skin on your knuckle up, and if it stays in place for awhile, then you are most likely dehydrated. If you are properly hydrated then the skin should snap right back into place. We all know that many campers like to drink beer, but alcohol actually helps to dehydrate your body. The general rule is to drink two or three cups of water for every beer that is consumed. Humidity and heat are things to watch for when planning your camping trip, for dehydration and forest fire reasons.
Heat and storms are both concerns when camping. The main thing is to plan ahead, with plenty of water and an idea on what the forecast is going to be for the duration of your camping trip. I want to say a huge thanks to Eric Ridenour for allowing me to write this guest post. Remember to be safe and don’t take chances on the weather when camping!