Do Tents Attract Lightning ? – Safely Ways To Camp

Camping is a great activity for those who enjoy the outdoor environment and blend in with nature. It is a preferred activity for many people to bond with their family and friends.

For camping activity, preparation is extremely important as you are separated from civilization for a time to enjoy the fresh air of nature. It would be best if you considered a few things to have a good camping time, such as food, fire source, personal items, a proper tent, and especially the weather.

Summer is usually the camping season due to its warm temperature and sunny weather. However, it is also the season of thunderstorms in some areas. That lightning and heavy rain can destroy your plan easily if you don’t prepare your shelter well.

It is recorded that 65 percent of death and injuries in campers and hikers are caused by lightning. Therefore, the more you are prepared, the higher chance you will have a good and, most importantly, safe time with mother nature.

At this time, you might wonder: “Do tents attract lightning?”

Let’s find out if your safest shelter is a dangerous source or not.

Do tents attract lightning?

The most common signs of a thunderstorm are a cloudy sky, howling wind, cold temperature, heavy rain, and lightning. It is a natural event that most campers are afraid of during camping time.

It is known that a lightning strike can cause a deadly accident up to 10 meters in scope. People can be injured even when standing 15-30 meters from the lighting ground.

Thus, it is no myth that you might have your first and last camp because of lightning. As all campers, we need to ensure that our shelter is safe enough to withstand a thunderstorm.

That’s why we will find out if tents attract lightning.

Lightning is a bright flash of electricity caused by the imbalance between storm clouds and the ground. They usually happen during thunderstorms, with the frequency of 25 million strikes in 100,000 thunderstorms every year.

Research shows that lightning can happen more in the high grounds and tend to hit tall objects during the thunderstorm. Fortunately, lightning is not attracted to any material. 

Therefore, it is unlikely that your tent is an ideal target that draws lightning. However, it doesn’t mean a normal tent can protect you from lightning seasons, especially those with metal tent poles.

Do tent poles attract lightning?

Do you ever notice when you have a mild electric shock when you accidentally touch the metal part of a plug? That happens because of the moving of electrons from electricity.

This is the simplest demonstration of how metal tent poles can be a potentially dangerous source during lightning sessions.

If lightning strikes the ground nearby, metal can provide a path for it to follow. If you happen to touch the metal objects, you can be in major accidents like current ground injuries.

Therefore, we recommend that you should avoid using metal or aluminum tent poles when camping. Other available materials for tent poles such as carbon fiber or plastic can replace metal and still provide great performances.

How to stay safe during a thunderstorm?

So, you have learned that tents do not attract lightning. However, that doesn’t mean it can protect you from a crazy lightning event. On the contrary, lying in a normal tent during a thunderstorm still gives you a higher chance of getting hit by lightning like anyone else.

So, how can you camp safely during a thunderstorm?

Avoid higher ground and tall trees

The closer the area is to the sky, the higher the chance of lightning will hit the ground. Furthermore, trees and other tall objects can provide a path for lightning to strike the ground.

It is also possible that dead branches can be broken and fall on your tent if they are hit with lightning bolts..

Avoid open space

Although this can decrease the chance of getting hit by lightning, it is not ideal to camp during a thunderstorm as strong winds and heavy rain without restraining surroundings will blow all your covers away.

Get yourself a lightning proof tent

Lightning can come randomly at any time and place. Therefore, it is safer to leave the area as soon as the thunderstorm comes.

However, if it is impossible for you to leave, preparing a best lightning proof tent can be your best chance to go through the thunderstorm safely. 

Currently, there are various types of this multifunctional tent in the market. 

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Conclusion

Camping with your family and friends is a great outdoor event to get away from your busy job for a while. However, when camping, you need to keep an eye out for the weather. A lightning season can be a disaster for your relaxing trip if you’re not well prepared.

After this article, we hope you are satisfied with our answer to the question “do tents attract lightning?”. Understanding how to camp safely, you can start to prepare yourself with a lightning proof tent to enjoy a relaxing camping event.