- Aug 1, 2011
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living near the Great lakes, I get lots of nasty pop-up thunderstorms with winds up to 50-60mph lots of lightening, and hail (some even produce tornados or derechos), and in the winter, lake-effect snow that can dump a foot in an hour. Best you can do is try to set up in a sheltered area with no deadfall, tall trees, or heavy limbs near you, and hunker down. We weathered a nasty one a few years ago when every tree over 30' was topped and there were hundreds of blowdowns, we were stuck there for three days until they were able to reopen the access road. People lost entire houses that day. and a nearby restaurant was impaled by a live high- tension pole- to this day I don't know why there was no fire there.Getting caught at a remote campsite and a big storm/tornado pops up.
So far I’ve been lucky with that with canoe camping but got caught in a tornado while car camping. It was my wife and I. We were holed up in the tent up hearing the deafening roar of the wind and rain. I had my weather radio monitoring the situation. Many times we contemplated making a run for the car but figured the tent’s still holding and we are currently dry, we’ll ride it out. It came in waves and in each lull we thought the worst was over…but then another storm popped up. We eventually had enough and in another lull, frantically packed up camp in the raining darkness and drove back home. That was a storm that did end up killing a camper in a nearby location due to a falling tree.
That’s always in the back of my mind now when camping somewhere remote. Is there a place I can seek shelter if mother nature decides to unexpectedly unleash her fury?