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Camping: Anytime of Year in All Kinds of Weather
Often thought to be reserved for summer, camping is fast becoming a year-round activity. And while camping trips are planned with hopes of good weather, severe weather always is a possibility, but it doesn’t have to diminish the enjoyment of camping. To make the most of the camping experience, it’s important to consider the weather before packing up the camper or travel trailer.
Lightning Does Strike Twice
Severe weather can occur anytime of year and often with little warning. According to NOAA, lightning is one of the most underrated severe weather hazards because it usually claims one or two victims at a time and does not cause mass destruction.
“You are in danger of lightning if you can hear thunder,” states Weaver. “Seek shelter inside an enclosed structure; if that is not possible squat low to the ground, with your feet close together and your head between your knees.” Maintain minimal contact with the ground and do not lie flat.
It's a Twister...
In the Southern states, peak tornado season is March through May. Northern states are more likely to be hit with tornadoes during the summer. People know that during a tornado warning they should move to an interior room with no windows, or in a basement. When camping, that’s not a viable option. Experts suggest retreating to a ditch or other low area, get as low to the ground as possible and cover your head from possible debris. “Do not seek shelter under an overpass; they act as wind tunnels during a tornado,” Weaver warns.
Author Brad Herzog and wife Amy of Pacific Grove, Calif., have been camping for nearly eight years. During their first trip, Brad authored “States of Mind,” a book, which chronicles their experience. One night, while camping in Mississippi, they encountered severe weather. “There were late-night tornado warnings and we were able to track the warnings by keeping tuned to a local station,” Herzog explains. They were aware of the warnings in advance and took precautions in case of a tornado strike. Fortunately the storm passed without any tornados touching down.
Rain, Rain Go Away
Floods and flash floods also are serious threats to campers. “Most people underestimate the threat of water,” Weaver explains. “Never attempt to drive through standing water. It only takes 18 to 24 inches to float most vehicles.” According to Weaver, canyons are particularly prone to flash floods. She recommends not only paying attention to the weather around you but also upstream. If flooding is a possibility in your camp area, immediately move to higher ground.
Running Hot and Cold
Not only should campers remain cognizant of possible severe weather; they also need to be mindful of extreme temperatures or sudden climate shifts. “Extremely cold temperatures and winds rob heat from the body,” says Weaver. This, increases your risk for hypothermia and frostbite. When camping in the winter, pack extra blankets, food and water to reduce these risks.
It takes planning to handle any weather Mother Nature might throw at your camping trip. Simply following some basic tips can lead to a much more enjoyable camping experience.
When it comes to providing peace of mind and safety while camping, nothing rivals a reliable power source. Onan, a leader in power generation products, recently introduced a generator designed specifically for the smaller, towable RVs. Onan’s Camp Power is the first installed generator to provide power to the towable RVs so popular with millions of campers. Now when RVers are caught in severe weather, they can have the electricity they need to operate communication devices to monitor the storm and signal for help if necessary.
Brad Herzog knows how reassuring it is to have reliable power with you when the weather turns bad. “When the weather is iffy, it’s nice to be able to tune into a news station to know what’s up.” Since weather can change quickly, it is important to constantly keep track of it while camping.
In addition to powering weather devices for travelers, generators can make camping more comfortable by supplying power to air conditioners to cool the RV or run heaters on cold days.
And rain won’t put a damper on campfire cooking for campers with Camp Power installed towable. A generator can power almost any electrical kitchen appliance. Travelers can cook meals in the microwave or on an electric grill when the weather doesn’t allow them to build a campfire.
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Despite all your preparations, sometimes the weather simply won’t cooperate with your outdoor plans. But that doesn’t have to ruin the camping experience.
Herzog recalls when he and his wife were traveling through Kansas and they encountered severe storms. “Other people began to pull their cars over and panic,” Herzog explains. “We pulled over to the side of the road made some grilled cheese sandwiches and relaxed while the storm passed.”
“The great thing about being in an RV is if you don’t feel that the weather is conducive to driving, you can pull over and you have your house with you. With powerful generators in your RVs, you can be anywhere and have the conveniences of home,” says Herzog.
With planning and preparation, it’s possible to camp year round in almost all kinds of weather. Checking the weather forecast regularly, listening to a weather radio and knowing what your group is going to do in the event of bad weather allows campers to have a safe and fun trip anytime of year.
To get up to the minute weather related information, log on to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/. To learn more about RVing and Camp Power, check out www.funroads.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content
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