Tips for Surviving A Lightning Storm | Canoeroots Magazine | Rapid Media
Lightning Photo: Flickr user snowpeak

Use this pro advice next time you're caught out during an electrical storm


Lightning strikes down more people than tornadoes, snowstorms and hurricanes and remains a top offender in storm-related deaths. According to Environment Canada, nine to 10 people are killed and 92 to 164 are severely injured in Canada each year. And if you’re a guy, the stats don’t point in your favour. NASA says you’re four times more likely to be struck. So here’s how to avoid this 27,760°C bolt.

  • Head to shore as soon as you see a flash of lightning or hear a rumble of thunder.
  • Avoid being the tallest thing around. Stay away from tall trees, hilltops, cliffs, open water and caves . Find a level spot of terrain.
  • Adopt the lightning ready position. Crouch down with your feet close together, preferably on an insulated Therm-a-Rest or PFD, to wait out the storm.
  • Remove any jewellery and stay away from metal objects—this is not the time to be fiddling with aluminum tent poles.
  • If you’re in a group, spread out—it’s your best chance of survival.


Discover 21 more survival tips in the Canoeroots and Family Camping's Late Summer 2010 issue. To read it, download our free iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch App or Android App or read it here.


This photo is by Flickr user snowpeak and licensed under Creative Commons. 


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