Lightning Scares the hell out of me!

MattEastman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
179
Location
Green River, Wyoming
Grizzlies, Wolves, and Mountain Lions..........big deal. What really makes me shiver like a little girl is lightning! Got caught in a good storm today while shed hunting. 4 miles from the truck and a storm rolled in and it was not pretty. Lightning all around me.........So it got me thinking.

What are some things you guys do while in the high country and a lightning storm hits. Any tips that you guys swear buy? I've heard of several ideas and theories on what to do, (I usually get in my tent, curl up in my bag in the fetal position and suck on my thumb........so far it has worked for me) :)
 
Last edited:

Broken Compass

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2012
Messages
290
Location
Utah
Glad you posted this. I was thinking about asking about this for a while.
Me and my little Brother were sitting on an 11,000' peak,with enough gear to stay a couple of days, waiting for a 170" mulie (that I had seen a few hours earlier) to show himself again.
As we were watching, in the opposite direction lightning was striking about every 5 seconds (probably close to 80 miles away). It took me a long time to tell that it was coming closer.(Stupid! I know.) When the storm was about 50 miles out, I decided it wasnt worth it and a few minutes later we were headed for the truck, as fast as we could go with our too heavy packs!. About 2 hours later it started to rain on us, and 45 minutes after that we reached the truck just in time to witness the craziest lightning storm I have ever seen!
I strongly feel that if we would have stayed on the mountain that night, we would have not made it home.
The whole way home it was raining so hard there were cars pulling off the side of the road!
If I would have been in my tent I would have been crying.
 

Jbirdhunter

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
24
Location
Colorado
Matt, I curl up in the sleeping bag, crank some music. And say a little prayer. If I'm not back at camp, I squat down away from trees and pray. ;)
 

dotman

1
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
Grizzlies, Wolves, and Mountain Lions..........big deal. What really makes me shiver like a little girl is lightning! Got caught in a good storm today while shed hunting. 4 miles from the truck and a storm rolled in and it was not pretty. Lightning all around me.........So it got me thinking.

What are some things you guys do while in the high country and a lightning storm hits. Any tips that you guys swear buy? I've heard of several ideas and theories on what to do, (I usually get in my tent, curl up in my bag in the fetal position and suck on my thumb........so far it has worked for me) :)

x2....if I even make it to the tarp! :)
 

Ironman

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
209
I, too, have experienced such lightning! Very scary. Unless you have ever been on a mountain during a lightning storm, it's indescribable.
Never thought about being scared of lightening, but I have been very scared of it!
 

T43

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
259
I love lightening as long as I'm at home or in a vehicle. Last fall I got caught in a storm while in a scouting trip. Had a bolt touch down about 50 yards in front of me. Lit up the tree like Christmas. I dropped my pack and hunkered down in a somewhat clear gully. Pretty spooky to say the lest. The lightening isn't the only issue either. The 2x4 sized splinters that get driven a foot into the ground like a fence post after a tree gets cork screwed makes me nervous as well.
 

OR Archer

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
2,309
Location
Eugene, OR
Got caught out in a pretty good storm this past fall on our deer hunt in Colorado. Had marble sized hail and everything. Only thing missing was a twister but the clouds were swirling like they wanted to drop one. Had one strike start a rock slide in the basin we were glassing. Little after that a bolt hit about 150 yards from us. Puckered my backside up real tight. I could feel the concussion from that strike. Felt like a bomb going off. The storms were pretty predictable except for how long they would last.
 

Brandon Pattison

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,829
Location
Michigan
I have never experienced it but when Hawker went with me his first time he killed a 6x5 and we had quartered it and taking out the first load with our day packs. My day pack was small enough that the front 1/4 wouldn't fit in it all the way so each step it shifted from one side to the next, dicken up my balance. We decided to go around the other side of a huge bowl hoping to have an easier route. We ended up having to side hill a bunch of draws and ridges to get to a known waypoint on a mapless GPS (and mapless hunters because we didn't have tire chains to get to where we wanted to hunt from and where our maps were for). Well there was this draw that we walked down because of one reason or another and there were boulders about 12" to 24" all over the place and tons of deadfall aspens. When I was in the middle of it a huge wind came up and trees were falling all around me. I just about filled my draws. That is one of my scariest times because I had the teeter totter pack, boulders and falling trees and we had to get to the bottom.
 

>>>---WW---->

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2012
Messages
113
Best thing you can do is hunker down away from anything tall. Squat and balance on the balls of your feet so you will be minimumly grounded.

About the worse lightning strike I ever heard of happened to a muzzleloader hunter in the Lynx Pass area. He got struck by lightning and it blew his powder flask up. I don't think they ever did determine if it was the lightning or the explosion that killed him.
 

icefishers

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Messages
17
I remember hearing the story of San Diego Charger's Doug Miller who was struck by a bolt of lightning in the high country in Colorado. While they were trying to get him breathing again he was struck by a second bolt.
 

les welch

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
2,351
Location
Central WI
I remember hearing the story of San Diego Charger's Doug Miller who was struck by a bolt of lightning in the high country in Colorado. While they were trying to get him breathing again he was struck by a second bolt.

So much for the theory of lightning never striking the same spot twice huh?
 

ckleeves

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
1,253
Location
Montrose,Colorado
I'm exactly the same way lions, tigers, and bears oh my! Don't bother me in the least but lightning scares the crap outta me! I think it's because it's something I have no control over. That and steep loose scree fields I hate them also I will walk a mile outta my way to go around them if they are really bad with large drop off's below them!
 

BroodBuster

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
1,200
Location
Bothell, Wa
I'm right there with you! Lightning is my #1 fear basically anywhere. I'm so bad I wont answer the phone during a lightning storm!

My #1 goal of any scouting trip is to locate and place on my map "bolt holes" where I can safely sit out a storm. My typical scouting trips goes something like this, "bolthole, bolthole, that's a good glassing spot, bolthole, water, bolthole, widowmaker, bolthole, deer, glassing spot, bolthole etc...." This year I'm losing the tent and going with a tarp. One reason is I can set the tarp up without poles, er lightning rods :)

Widowmakers are a very close 2nd!
 

larryschwartz

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
1,099
Location
Annapolis, MD
widowmaker?

Broodbuster,

This may sound like a stupid question, but what do you mean by "widowmaker"? I've heard the term used to refer to a variety of things.

Larry
 

BroodBuster

Senior Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
1,200
Location
Bothell, Wa
Widowmaker=Standing dead tree that will fall over in the next puff of wind.

Might be a northwest thing but it's a logger term. When we get a real good wind many live strong living trees or limbs will also come down.

General gun season success rates around here, especially for blacktails are basically determined by the wind. If a big blow occurs during the general season success rates go way up as all the deer are standing in the middle of fields/clearcuts to avoid all the falling trees.

Nothing scarier then being in a forest with trees and limbs crashing around you!!
 

a3dhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
859
Location
Colorado Springs,CO
I hold my trekking pole straight up in the air for 15 minutes while trying to catch rain drops in my mouth......if after 15 minutes I haven't been struck I calmly continue on my way.




;)
I've always just watched and been aware enough of what is going on that I descend down into treeline.

After that I feel like if it's my time to go then there is nothing I can do.
 

NDHunter

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Messages
110
Location
North Dakota
So basically what we've determined is that we are all afraid of lightning and WW says to crouch down low? (Isn't that what David also said to do in his book?)
 

Lawnboi

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
3,910
Location
North Central Wi
I kind of like sitting in my tent while its storming, as long as its not leaking or folded in half, or im not on the top of a hill. I try to setup camp in a spot where i think would be alright if the shit hit the fan.

Only once during a storm was i really scared. It wasnt from lightning even though there was alot of it. It was from hail. Dang near baseball size hail. I could hear it bouncing down the hills and i cant believe the tent stood up to it. All the aluminum poles were bent up. Just seeing the craters those things created was absolutly nuts, they could have caused some real damage if the tent came down.. Thank got my car 8 miles away didnt get any of it.
 
Top