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No Matter What the Weather: Preparation Tips for Campers and Outdoor Enthusiasts

There was once a time when camping was considered more of a summertime activity. Thanks to advancements in weather forecasting, gear and clothing, it’s now common throughout the year. However, Earth’s climate is changing and it’s increasingly possible to get caught in bad weather at any time.

Here are some tips to prepare campers and other outdoor enthusiasts for unexpected weather emergencies.

Stay Updated

The most important way anyone can prepare is to keep up with the weather forecast. Don’t just look at the weather on the day you’re leaving, either. If you’re going to be gone for the weekend, check out the forecast for the entire weekend.

If you have a smartphone and expect to have service in the area, use it to keep up with any changes. Weather can change quickly and blaming the weatherman for an inaccurate forecast is pointless if you have the technology to get the latest information.

While international roaming charges are the reason many leave their phones at home, in the event of an emergency you need a way to communicate with others.


Rains are often underestimated and under certain circumstances, they can become disastrous. You can be far from a downpour and still end up on the receiving end of raging floodwaters. Avoid trying to cross streams that seem shallow.

Even a big sized truck like a Dodge Ram can get carried away in 50-60 centimeters of water, after which steering becomes pointless. Crossing on foot can be even more dangerous. You’re better off waiting until the floodwaters subside.

High Winds

It might seem as though the forestry would protect you from high winds, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Trees located at higher elevations often have shallow roots that can cause them to blow over easily, sending branches and other debris flying through the air at high speeds. Seek shelter in caves or other solid rock formations.

Snowstorms and Blizzards

If you’re camping in a mountainous area, remember than snowstorms can occur as late as June. Wear heavy clothing, but avoid cotton, as it may trap moisture close to your body. Polypropylene undergarments are best, combined with wool clothing on the exterior. Don’t forget to keep food and beverages away from the cold so they won’t freeze.

Winter in France


Never think that you’re too far from lightning to get hit. It may seem like it’s striking far away, but it can travel several kilometers and there’s no safe distance you can rely on. The rule of thumb is that if you hear thunder less than 30 seconds after a lightning flash, you should seek shelter as quickly as possible.

Stay close to the ground and far from solitary trees. There’s no way to tell if lighting is about to strike nearby, so you’re better off seeking shelter in your vehicle or a solid wooden object, such as a cabin.


The biggest myth about tornadoes is that they can’t occur in mountainous areas. Although rare, it’s possible for them to occur virtually anywhere, day or night.

Tornadoes rarely travel more than 100 kph, but their winds can easily exceed 300 kph, causing severe devastation wherever they strike. It’s possible to get away from a tornado by driving at a right angle to the direction it’s traveling, but it’s also possible for the tornado to change direction quickly.

If you’re unable to get away, leave your vehicle and find some form of solid shelter. Avoid sheltering under an overpass, as it can actually increase the the wind speed of a tornado by acting as a wind tunnel. Remember that your vehicle can easily be picked up or rolled, no matter how big or heavy it is.

Your Best Bet

Your best bet is to prepare for all types of weather, regardless of where you’re traveling. Many campers and other outdoor enthusiasts have been caught unprepared, assuming that floods or snowstorms were unlikely to occur at certain times of the year. Unfortunately, there’s no accurate way to predict what Mother Nature has in store for a particular area at any specific time.

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Laura Christenson grew up being a tomboy, and that hasn’t really changed today! She loves spending time outdoors whether trekking, camping or kayaking. When she does need to be indoors in front of a screen she enjoys blogging about her experiences and sharing tips on travel blogs and more.

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