Is It Safe to Be in a Tent During a Thunderstorm – 10 Tips for Protect You

Published on: April 8, 2022
Written by Camila Avery / Fact-checked by David Rowan

From childhood, everyone must have heard that “When a thunderstorm roars, go fast indoors.” But is it safe to be in a tent during a thunderstorm? No. Because a tent cannot protect you from winds or lighting. What should you do in this situation? Here we point out some tips. If you follow those tips, you can protect yourself from the thunderstorm. 

is it safe to be in a tent during a thunderstorm

As we know, summer means a thunderstorm season. So, there was always a risk in summer camping. In this situation, there are higher chances of getting hit by lightning. That time a tent cannot protect you. But you can reduce it by being adaptive and prudent. First, go away from your tent and go in a vehicle. Fully closed the vehicle.

For knowing more tips to keep safe from thunderstorms, please keep with us. Because here you also know about all the potential dangers and how to overcome them. So, read below.

How Dangerous to Stay Tent During Thunder?

Unfortunately, thunderstorm camping is scarier and challenging for everyone. If your tent stands under a tree, then you may be at higher risk by lighting or ground current and so on. To avoid this type of risk, you should set your tent on open ground. And try to schedule your camping in local weather.

Because thunderstorms do not come alone, it comes with lots of problems for you. When a storm is brewing, the wind is blowing hard against your tent. That time was so scary! Lighting is a key danger of thunderstorms. Lighting and Thunder when getting close together, you will fill the storm with right overhead.

10 Safety Tips for Camping in Thunderstorms

When you plan for summer camping, you should update with the weather condition. And you should know those safety tips for avoiding injury or danger during thunderstorms. In general thunderstorms, we should stay indoors. But it is not possible all-time mainly when you are in camp. So, by following the 10 tips you can reduce the chances of injury during thunderstorm time.

1. Don’t Set-Up Your Tent Under a Tree

We all know that lightning always targets the trees. So, when you set up your tent, ensure to avoid the tallest or isolated trees. Some people thought they provide more shade for the summer hot season, but they are also risky during storm time. And you will need to move your tent. 

To face this situation, you should choose the right type of tent. You can take a pop-up tent or others which are easy to move in a short time. Camping site selection is one of the most important parts of camping. You should select those places which are safe above the flood lines.

2. Select a Lightning-Safe Tent

As we said before, a tent doesn’t protect you from lightning. But most of the tent is made of plastic or carbon fiber poles that can help avoid the lighting attract more than the tent itself. When tents are made with aluminum or metal poles they can have more chances to attract lightning.

3. Go to a Safe Shelter Before Start the Storm

When the thunderstorm or lightning is very close to you, that means you should be alert from the danger. If you have any option to go for a safe shelter, then don’t waste your time. When lightning is crashing down, keep in your mind, don’t touch any metal objects; it will be a risk for you.

As a safe shelter, you can choose a car or nearby building. They are safer than your tent. But don’t choose picnic shelters, outhouses, or gazebos; they are not safe.

4. When You Have No Safe Shelter

If you have no safe shelter option during thunderstorms time then what should you do? In these situations, you should do at first:

  • Leave your tent and put on your waterproof gear. 
  • Find a lower area and stay safe.
  • Get off any high areas as possible.
  • Otherwise, look for a dry ravine.
  • Don’t stay under any tall trees or objects.

5. Take Precautions When Thunderstorm is Brewing

When you have a feeling that the thunderstorm is imminent then don’t waste time taking safety precautions! Always remember that the weather can change at any time. So it would help if you planned trips against the thunderstorms. You should get lower ground. And must keep with your rain gear.

6. Make Distance Yourself from the Ground

Lightning is not hit directly. Do you know the ground can conduct electricity above 10 meters? According to the news report, some people got injured above 30 meters. So it better keeps distance from the ground. Don’t lie down on the ground, and it will be harmful to you. You can use a sleeping bag or any type of insulating material.

7. Larger Group, Spread Out

If you’re camping with a larger group and all stay together in a tent, it will be very risky for all members. Because they have chances of getting struck by lightning. If only one person gets struck, another person can administer first aid and can get help. So, it will be better than all the members spread out from the tent.

8. Mid Size Trees Are More Secure

When you are outside, there are no guarantees about your safety. So you should take steps very carefully. Small trees are less dangerous than tall trees or other tallest objects. Because they are easy to strike, try standing near the smallest trees. That is fewer chances to strike. So, small and medium-sized trees are perfect places for that situation.

9. Low Crouch Down

Are you crouching into a ball close to the ground? If your answer is “yes” then you’ll make smaller surrounding shrubs. It does not give you a 100% safety guarantee, but it can reduce the danger and save you.

10. When the Thunderstorm Is Over

After over, the thunderstorm acts quickly if anyone is hurt. When a person has been struck, they need to be safe. Don’t think there is any electric residue. You should give CPR immediately if the person isn’t breathing. So, check for burns, and keep warm, and seek to help the person immediately.

Which Potential Dangers will face During Thunderstorms?

When you are camping in the thunderstorm season, then many potential dangers may be faced by you. Storms do not come alone, and it also comes with high winds, flooding or lightning strikes. Don’t be scared! If you know how to dill with them it will be easier to save yourself.   

High Winds

Tall trees will be dangerous in high winds because they have chances to break and snap off. So, if you are camping near trees, you could be injured from flying debris.


For causing heavy rainfall there will be flooding. If your camping site is a floodplain, it will be dangerous to stay in your tent. And in the water it is possible to have harmful bacteria with microorganisms. Finally, if you stay in the water for a long time then it will risk hypothermia in that cold environment.

Lightning Strikes

The last and the most dangerous situation you will face during a thunderstorm timing is lightning strikes. According to research, at least 10% of US people are badly affected each year. There are most common lightning injuries are-

  • Ground Current – A ground current means an indirect or imperceptible lightning strike. If any object is struck by lightning then it sends the electrical charge down into the ground. And the current will ripple out from the contacting point through the ground’s surface. Finally electrocuting anything in the vicinity. 
  • Direct Strike – It will happen when lightning strikes an individual directly.
  • Side Flash– It is known as one kind of direct lightning strike. Side flashes cause 31% of lightning strikes. 
  • Contact Injury– When someone contacts an object or metal object, it will have chances to happen to be struck by lightning and be injured. 

What Precautions Should I Take to Stay Safe in a Tent During a Thunderstorm

1. Unplug any electrical devices and put them away.

2. Stay away from metal objects and tall trees.

3. Do not touch the metal frame of your tent during a storm.

4. Avoid using your phone since it can be a conductor of electricity.

5. Make sure your tent is properly grounded.

6. Wear rubber-soled shoes and avoid standing in water.

7. Make sure your tent is waterproof.

8. Stay low to the ground and keep your head covered.

9. If possible, seek shelter in an enclosed structure.

Extra Tips for Protect You in Thunder 

There are some extra tips which will also help to deal with thunder conditions. So keep with us to know those tips. Hope you will benefit from this.

  • Don’t use Bell tents. It can act as a lightning rod.
  • Hammocks can not protect you against electricity.
  • Never stay in the water. Because it will conduct electricity
  • Make sure not to touch up all kinds of metal objects.
  • You should know the weather patterns of the area where you should be camping.
  • Don’t place your campsite on top of the hill.

Closing Thoughts

Don’t sacrifice your safety. Because always safety is the priority. If you do camping during the thunderstorm season, you’ll keep confident that you can make everything possible to stay safe yourself. And make a memorable story to tell afterward.

Weather changes its color continually. If one moment the sky is clear and the other moment it will be dark. So be alert with an update. When you notice any signs of the thunderstorm coming towards your camping area you should retreat to a place of safety.

Finally, always monitoring the weather. If you have an emergency during your camping trip planning in place should the worst happen? Remember you can significantly improve your chances to decrease injuries on the other side of a storm scratch-free. Thanks for being with us. Hope this article will be helpful for you.

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About This Writer

camila avery author

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

Guys, I am Camila Avery and I love to help my mom to do indoor & outdoor activities. As a lady, I have passed my time on gardening, home improvement, and personal or self-care. I have acquired some degrees in outdoor recreation, beauty, and hair care. It is not easy to work with top-level professional beauty experts. But, I got that opportunity and experimented with different hair extensions, hair colors, and cuts.

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