How To Survive A Tornado While Camping

This may sound like something extreme, but these days you can never be too ready for anything. The weather is not respecting regular patterns and disaster may strike when you least expect it.

You can enjoy the sun and a blue sky, just to see dark storm clouds gathering around in just a few minutes.

While a tornado is a phenomenon that occurs rarely, you should know what can be done if it does happen. When you’re in the city, there are numerous possibilities to take cover. But, when camping, things change and possibilities appear to be limited.

How to survive a tornado while camping? Here is some extremely useful information:

1. Prep well before every outdoor expedition

To stay safe in all conditions, you need to be well prepared. When exploring the outdoors, remember that you are the intruder. While the wilderness can be breathtaking and fascinating, it can also be very inhospitable in certain circumstances.

Nature goes by its rules, so you should be ready to face anything. Don’t treat hiking and camping lightly, no matter how enjoyable they may be. Plan well and make sure you cover everything as you prep.

Start by checking out the weather forecast for the area you are about to explore. See what’s about to happen and prepare accordingly. Always be ready to stay safe on rainy weather and have extra items to stay warm if the case.

Up in the mountains, it can be rather cold even during summer months, especially at night. Besides checking weather forecasts, study the area’s map.

You should know how the terrain looks, where are the closest landmarks, refuges, and other clues that will help you orient yourself well. Having proper knowledge that will help you orient regardless of outdoor conditions can save your life.

2. Check the weather while camping

Even if you start your camping adventure in great conditions, things can get ugly on the way. This is why it is recommended to keep an eye on the weather at all times.

Having access to this kind of information will allow you to make the best decisions. A weather watch is useful, but you should have at least two sources for weather-related information.

This way you can check the validity of the information you have. So, consider having alerts on your mobile phone, as a second method.

Weather warnings or alerts will let you know if things are about to get bad, so you can take cover promptly.

3. Learn to read the signs preceding a tornado

A tornado occurs when specific weather conditions are met. So, they can occur almost anywhere, if these conditions take place simultaneously.

This is why tornadoes occurred in areas where they never did before. The good part is that tornadoes don’t occur instantly. It takes time for a tornado to form. So, if you learn to read the signs preceding a tornado, you will have time to look for a safe spot.

Believe it or not, one of the signs that could precede a tornado is still air. Usually, before a large storm, the air appears like not moving at all.

This is quite unusual, so you should be able to notice it. Analyze the sky and check to see if it has a greenish hue, even if it’s dark green to black. Are there any loud noises in the sky? Noises that are similar to a freight train coming from the distance are indicating that a violent storm is approaching. 

Are the clouds swirling? Tornadoes form by the force of rotation, so if you see clouds rotating in circles, a tornado can develop. An advanced state of the tornado is when a funnel is visible up in the clouds.

The funnel will appear like descending from the clouds toward the ground. Debris can also be spot rotating in the air, as they are lifted and carried around by the powerful wind.

What to do in case of a tornado hits while camping

Do not seek shelter inside your tent or camper. So, get out immediately as they are not sturdy enough for protection. Don’t get inside a car or any other kind of small structure either. A tornado can throw them over long distances.

Tornado shelters may be available in camping areas located in regions prone to tornadoes. If you are in such a region and a tornado is coming, get to the shelter as soon as possible.

Look for a cave, ditch, or depression in the ground. In the absence of proper shelter, these are your best options. A cave would be ideal, but a ditch or depression in the ground will do as well, as long as you can fit in them. Get down as much as you can and position your face toward the ground.

If it is possible, take your backpack or sleeping bag with you. These types of items will provide good protection against flying debris. Cover your head with any of them to avoid injuries from items being airborne at high speeds.

Stay away from pieces of equipment or areas where the trees are down or appear to be broken. Anything that can be lifted from the ground by a tornado can be turned into projectiles. 

Try to determine the direction of the tornado, so you can move away from it. But, keep in mind that if a tornado doesn’t seem to be moving to the left or right, it could come toward you. So, move in a different direction of the tornado appears to stand still. 

It can be scary to face a tornado, but with these pieces of information, you will know what to do. This is what it means to be well prepared.

Knowing how to act in emergencies or when natural disasters strike will significantly increase your chances of survival. If the weather turns to be very bad, don’t waste time packing the tent and your belongings. Seek shelter immediately and return to the campsite only when the hazard has passed.