Episode 85 | Backcountry Lightning Risk Management
In this episode of the Backpacking Light podcast we’re going to talk about lightning storm risk management in the backcountry.
What’s new at Backpackinglight?
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- Introduction – Anecdotes from Long’s Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Wind River Range
- What is lightning?
- The seasonality of lightning – June, July, and August in the Mountain West; wider windows in the Midwest and Southeast.
- Mechanisms of injury – ground current, side flashes, contact, upward leaders, and direct strikes
- Pathophysiology – electrical shock, secondary heat production, and explosive force
- First aid for lightning strikes – Scene Safety & Basic Life Support, if multiple victims triage, then assess, monitor, and evacuate.
- Risk Mitigation – avoid travel through passes, peaks, and ridges when storms are nearby; in many situations this is before noon.
- Other risk management tools – flash bang rating system, the 30/30 rule, terrain and environmental features
- Regardless of where you are, executing the crouch position on a foam pad is the best thing you can do in a lightning storm.
- When you can sense the corona of a lightning bolt, then you are at extreme risk of being injured by a lightning strike.
- Backcountry Lightning Risk Management (PDF)
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- Places: I Got Caught in a Sierra Storm, on Purpose
- Masterclass: Lightweight Backpacking in Inclement Conditions
- Forum: Trip Planning & Thunderstorms