May 12, 2014 at 7:44 am #1316729
I haven't had a lot of experience camping near treeline. One of my questions for those that have is how you handle thunderstorms. I have read through many threads about peoples approach to lightening but it's always in general terms. Take a look at the picture below. You are ready to make camp and see an approaching storm. The obvious decision is to avoid the ridge on the left but the real question is would you push down into the forest a ways to minimize lightening risk or would you be secure in selecting a sight near treeline near one of the various cluster of trees seen.May 12, 2014 at 7:53 am #2101599
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
I would get down into those clusters at least, setting up where the trees forms a wind break between me and the incoming weather— the lee side in sailing terms.May 12, 2014 at 8:24 am #2101609
That's what I'd do as well. Would be warmer, too. (But not in the willows. That would be cold! ideally the trees just above the willows)May 12, 2014 at 9:31 am #2101620
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
The tress at center-right seem adequate for lightning protection and wind protection. If I were in Griz country I'd probably go right out of the frame and a ways into thicker forest, as meadows like the above are an ideal place to find a Griz mid-summer.May 12, 2014 at 11:56 am #2101662
@davidadairLocale: West Dakota
Camping down in the valley looks a bit cold and damp and without a lot of windbreak. I would be considering that notch in the tree line up high about center of photo. My shelter tucked back in the trees just enough to get a windbreak but close enough to catch the first warm morning rays. Nice.
That ridge and hump look like a fairly minor prominence in the scheme of things. So unless the coming lightening looked particularly bad I would be inclined to stay up out of the bottoms.May 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm #2101683
… and it's not as simple as it looks on the basis of the picture. I second I would look for wind protection and a bit of warmth. According to the EXIF of the photography, the picture is taken at 0:55pm .. so, as far as I see, sunrise will be left-forward (?) and I would like to see the sun at morning .. the other fact it is essential wherefrom the wind comes – I think I've to get to the place ;-DMay 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm #2101705
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Hollows can collect cold air and rain, so I would prefer to avoid the basin if possible. They are not called 'frost hollows' for nothing.
Assuming the weather is coming from the west, I would like to find a spot on the ridge in the background just a little bit on the lee side of some of the trees. Not too close to the trees – falling branches.
CheersMay 12, 2014 at 3:54 pm #2101745
I like that cluster of trees on the far right of the photo, right in the middle, top to bottom. They don't seem to be the tallest trees, so maybe the lightning will go somewhere else. I can't tell where west is in the photo, but I would want to be on the lee side, on the edge of the trees for some protection from the wind. Then, you want to be sure you don't have any metal objects near you (pack frame?). That's one reason I love my carbon fiber trekking poles for supporting my various tents. I'm not sure how I would cook my dinner though (metal stove and canister, titanium pot). Maybe just wait the storm out, or else eat a Pro Meal Bar, and call that good?
Randy, what many of the posters maybe don't know is that our Colorado afternoon thunder/lightning storms are usually intense, but brief. It's the lightning that we have to worry about, not so much the rain. Mags knows what I mean.May 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm #2101746
Good point Gary about the general brevity of the intense part of storms in our home state. In some cases, perhaps the best choice is just put my poncho on, find trees for short term protection and wait out any intense lightning.May 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm #2101756
@cameronLocale: The WOODS
I'd probably work my way down into the trees a bit too. If I'm that close to the treeline I figure I might as well spend an extra 10 minutes and get down where I'm safer if a storm blows in (yes its happened a few times).
Dave I always preferred to camp in a somewhat open area so I could see better (and so a bear wouldn't stumble on me sleeping). I'm guessing your theory is less bears in the dense forest?May 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm #2101757
In the large grove of trees at the right, well below the ridgeline.
Edit: To refine it, there is a small finger of trees at the right of the frame, leading up to the forest. At the upper tip of that finger, just before the forest looks to be a small clearing. That would be the place I'd check first. If not, I'd follow the lower margin of the forest until something turned up.May 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm #2101766
"And yes, my mother has a PhD. I have a PhD and a clinical doctorate."
My Mom worked retail/was a medical receptionist. My dad is a retired sheetmetal worker.
I DO have a middle initial.
Whadda I win??? ;)May 12, 2014 at 4:53 pm #2101770
Oops I think Tom Ctrl-V'd the wrong quote although funny since I just left that thread!May 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm #2101771
"Whadda I win??? ;)"
A big hug for catching that quote and saving me further embarrassment. It was left over from another post I was commenting on over in CHAFF. Buffer problem with my browser, I think. No PhD's in my family. :)May 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm #2101773
"Oops I think Tom Ctrl-V'd the wrong quote although funny since I just left that thread!"
I guess I could try a CYA maneuver and say I was trying to get Michael L to come over here and talk about something to do with backpacking. ;0)May 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm #2101775
No worries..funnier more than anything. :)
As for grizzlies, no grizzes left in Colorado for while now.
As Gary said, lightning in the summer is the real "fun"!May 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm #2101777
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I was kind of curious because you seemed to be sympathetic on the other thread but it seemed critical or sarcastic on this thread : )
But you edited out the mis-quote so no one will know what anyone's talking about
I guess that's the nature of the internet – no one knows what anyone else is talking about but it doesn't matter…May 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm #2101786
@davidadairLocale: West Dakota
We need to annotate this photo with our respective tent sites.
"Good point Gary about the general brevity of the intense part of storms in our home state. In some cases, perhaps the best choice is just put my poncho on, find trees for short term protection and wait out any intense lightning."
Jeez Martin why are you asking all these imports anyway? You and I are the only Colorado natives in this thread.
Lightning is why I insist on using my Exped UL9 insulated air mattress. It has an insulation value of R=5.9. I am not sure what that works out to in Ohms though.May 13, 2014 at 11:16 pm #2102203
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
This is an outstanding thread!
The best spot is where the photographer is standing. Plenty of late afternoon and early morning sun. Fantastic views. Not the safest spot though… decisions, decisions, decisions.May 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm #2102472
"Not the safest spot though… decisions, decisions, decisions."
If you've ever had a close call with lightning, the decision is real easy. ;)May 15, 2014 at 10:00 pm #2102793
I'd go into the forest as low as time and flood possibility permit. I don't think I small cluster of trees provides significantly more lightening protection than one tree.May 16, 2014 at 9:30 pm #2103219
"I guess I could try a CYA maneuver and say I was trying to get Michael L to come over here and talk about something to do with backpacking. ;0)"
Hey now. I do read all of these. It is just that I'm a novice compared to most so I keep quiet. If I have experience on a subject, I comment!
I can see a series of posts like this. Very fun/informative.May 17, 2014 at 7:15 am #2103294
I would push down into the trees a little way if I was expecting lightning. I agree with the theory that a small clump of trees may not be better than a single tree.
If I expected a storm without lighting, I'd find a spot protected from the wind in the area to the right.May 17, 2014 at 8:07 am #2103309
@ocdaveLocale: Outdoors -MN
This is the most interesting and helpful series of posts I have come across in quite some time.
Thank youMay 17, 2014 at 9:24 am #2103331
@millonasLocale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
This is probably stamped with my usual laziness, but I was thinking (if I'm judging the scale right from the picture) in the lee of one of the bushes in the mid ground. Feeling like the hill itself and the bowl=shaped shelf might provide some protection from strikes.
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