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  1. #11
    3 Feet High and Rising's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkaminka View Post
    I think it depends on the environment:

    Attachment 189087
    Thanks inkaminka for this info.
    To much chat, not enough hang.

  2. #12
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    I checked Whiteblaze for any discussion of it there... none through 2019, didn't look further back as I'm considering if its an annual issue, there would be recent discussion of it. My take from this very unscientific approach to anecdotal info is that its not an issue really. Kind of like bears. Yeah, its there and and if you're out there you're in an environment where it has to be considered a risk. If you're on the trail despite weather (you're not a fair weather hiker or can't be as a thru hiker), it would seem that lightning is something that is not affecting the population of hikers that are out there - on the AT anyway. Same with bears.

    So that's east coast rolling hills, lots of trees, not much flat area without trees environment. I presume yours is different. You can probably access some info for trails out your way and do a similar thing - the presumption is that people would be posting about it if it was an issue, so I'm hypothesizing that its not. Now, clearly the NJ balloonist is an example of it happening, kind of like bear attacks - not all of the very few attacks are due to stupid people, sometimes its just a weird thing.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  3. #13
    peeeeetey's Avatar
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    I love a good storm. Nothing like rain on the tarp!

  4. #14
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman857 View Post
    In case anyone needs proof that lightning strikes can kill you in a hammock, check out this article and scroll down to the segment about the daring balloonist...

    https://www.nj.com/weather/2021/06/l...torms-hit.html
    Seventeen people died from New Jersey lightning strikes in the last 20 years. With 9.25 million people living in New Jersey, 17 people is barely measurable! I'd say the odds of getting hit by lightning in New Jersey are .0001% or less.

    Although, I must add, I have been within 20 ft. of two lightning strikes in NJ. One was just a house away and scared the crap out of me.

    The other, I was hiking with my beagle Joey in the Pine Barrens when we spotted a deer, a nice eight-point buck. I pointed the deer out to Joey, then a bolt of lightning hit the ground between us and the deer. The deer absolutely freaked out and ran off, but beagle Joey was calm as he took it all in. And then it started raining torrentially.

    I'd say we were within 10 or 15 ft of that lightning bolt. I felt the tingly stuff they say you feel right before a nearby lightning strike.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #15
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    One more lightning story: When I was about 12 years old I spent the summer on my uncle's farm in south Alabama. One afternoon my cousins and I were working in the yard when a torrential rain storm just exploded. We barely had time to get in the garage, though the house was just 30 feet away.

    As we stood at the garage door, watching the rainstorm, a bolt of lightning came down and split a 100-year-old oak tree in half, then struck the front porch of my uncle's house. My cousins and I looked at each other: we knew that the lightning bolt had struck the very place where our bird dog kept her baby pups.

    The rain stopped and when we checked on the dog and her pups, they were all toast. That's something you don't forget - the smell of burnt dog.
    Last edited by SilvrSurfr; 08-16-2022 at 22:29.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #16
    It's not always possible to just go inside. I once got caught out in a thunder storm when I was out hiking in the middle of nowhere. I was actually on my way back to the car but I still had a way to go, nothing around me, no tall points like trees or anything.
    I threw my rucksack away from me and crouched down. Didn't get hit by lightning.. Then I ran like hell back to the car
    https://archzine.net/

  7. #17
    FLTurtle's Avatar
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    Several years ago, an unlucky dude out scuba diving offshore surfaced and was struck by lightning.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna19917324

  8. #18
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    Before anyone else pontificates about how they think they're going to protect themselves from lightning, think carefully about these photos.

    You say you think you're going to be safe hanging from a small tree or in the bottom of a valley because the lightning is going to hit the tall tree or ridge? Even NASA didn't have it figured out and the lightning went right past the high point of the lightning rod to hit the base of their billion dollar investment.

    You'd think that a tall steel structure (aka skyscraper) should be a much better conductor than damp air. Yet the lightning bolt bypassed the metal and continued through the air to the ground. You think a little bit of amsteel is going to make you safe? Hah!

    The last photo is a tree I hiked past a few weeks after it had been struck. The middle of the tree looked like a stick of dynamite went off in its center. That's the top half of the tree laying on the ground. 20 foot long chunks as large as my thigh were blown 30 feet away, with smaller shrapnel as far as 100 feet. The path of electricity isn't the only danger related to a lightning strike. I've seen three trees like this in the last few years. All were on flat mesa tops; none were anywhere near the cliff edge.

    I say, lightning is going to go wherever it wants and do whatever it wants, and that it's fairly unpredictable. Lightning is only one of many risks we take every time we step outdoors and honestly, it's probably one of the smaller risks. The only way to stay safe is to stay home. Stop worrying about it. Get out there and enjoy life.

    Lightening Shuttle.jpg Lightening Sears Tower.png Lightning Tree 002.jpg

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Rat View Post
    The last photo is a tree I hiked past a few weeks after it had been struck. The middle of the tree looked like a stick of dynamite went off in its center. That's the top half of the tree laying on the ground. 20 foot long chunks as large as my thigh were blown 30 feet away, with smaller shrapnel as far as 100 feet. The path of electricity isn't the only danger related to a lightning strike.
    I've seen the exact same thing in the BWCA. Many years ago, my fellow scouts and I were hunkered down for the night during a storm when a flash of light, followed *INSTANTLY* by the loudest clap of thunder I've ever heard, nearly sent us into a panic. The next morning we got up to survey the damage and about a quarter mile away found a tree that looked like it had been felled by dynamite. It had been about 3 feet in diameter. Chunks of wood of every imaginable size were strewn everywhere.

    I have no illusions about how powerful (and deadly!) lightning can be. Had we been camping around that tree on that night, the only thing that could have saved us was a concrete bunker.

  10. #20
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