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AnaMaria

Weather & camping - your threshold of ok?

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Our Pack has it's only annual camping trip scheduled this evening. We've been keeping a close eye on the weather, which has trended both better and worse over the week. The current forecast is ok, except 10pm - 12am tonight. We're currently at 65 - 70% chance of scattered thunderstorms. How does that fit with your personal threshold of comfort? I was ok up to about 50%, but am a little leary at 60 - 70%. Camp is close enough to home to do Friday activities, go home to sleep and come back for Saturday morning. Only suitable shelter at the camp during a thunderstorm is the restrooms - cement block and probably large enough for everyone who's signed up to stay over.

 

What's your input?

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You may want to check the BSA's Hazardous Weather training online for some useful guidance. Don't forget, vehicles are also a good place to ride out a lightning storm as well.

 

I would encourage you to go ahead with your places for the campout. Just prepare a emergency plan in case the possible storm is severe. For example, bring an air horn to alert all families to move to their vehicles or bathhouse.

 

I know you are talking about a Cub Scout campout and the boys are young, but possible scattered thunderstorms should not be a deterrent to camping. Our pack has camped in complete washouts. The kids love it.

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I agree. Since the highest possibility of storms is during the overnight hours and they are "scattered storms" Our pack would proceed as planned with the campout. As long as you have somewhere to take cover in the event of severe weather such as cloud to ground lightning or possible tornados.

 

A little rain has never ruined a campout for us! In fact most of the boys think it is cool :)

 

But please go to myscouting.org and take Hazardous Weather training. It only takes about 15-20min. someone needs to be HW trained on every outing to get a tour permit approved.

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Concur with everyone else.

 

I made the mistake of leaving early from an event due to rumors of bad weather headed our way. And I stress rumors b/c while the weather forcast did predict a less than 50% of thunderstorms, somehows rumors started that severe weather was definately headed our way and most packs bugged out. Those packs and troops that did stay said it only lasted abotu 15 minutes and no thunder and lightening.

 

I now have a weather radio and plan on taking it with me to all events now. tehr are some good ones out there, but I don't recommend a certain "shack" as their customer service is extremely poor.

 

EDITED: removed the > sign to clarify. Been too long since I took math.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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I have done Hazardous Weather training. Just rain without the added thunder/lighting element would not be a deterrent. I witnessed a storm last summer that kind of has me spooked. That should settle down in a year or two ;).

 

I'm fishing to see if someone has a NOAA weather alert radio we can take. I have one with weather channel, but not the alert feature.

 

It sounds like my thinking is in line with good sense, which is what I was hoping.

 

Thanks for the input.

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I'm not too worried about scattered thunderstorms. They are a fact of life in the spring and summer. I would want to check with parents on a cub camping trip to make sure they know whether their tents are waterproofed! Nothing like waking up to a rainstorm inside your tent at 2am.

 

 

 

 

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If you are going to get rain on a campout a night rain is the easiest to deal with. A morning rain will delay breakfast and mess up the schedule for the day. An afternoon rain requires ponchos and rain gear. An evening rain requires large rain flys to keep people together while they wait for a break in the weather.

 

I would look for high winds as a big risk, these can really flatten a big cheap tent as seen at many cub scout events. But a 2 hour shower with a moderate cold front behind it, I think I would keep the event.

 

On the flip side. Most people who have never camped in the rain are terrified of rain while in a tent. They just can't see how nylon will prevent water from coming in their tent. Or they will say "we don't want to have to air out / dry the tent when we get back". Poor excuse, I air out my tents after every camp out, rain or shine.

 

I would hold the campout and those that don't want to camp in the rain (or really want to camp two nights) encourage them come up Saturday morning. You and your son can tell the big bad story about how withstood a spring shower.

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by Thomas54)

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Good points by Thomas54.

 

I wouldn't worry in the least about campin' out in da situation you describe. Just be attentive to the worries of other parents and to the quality of the gear. Also remember that the kids will take their cues off of you, eh? So if the parents are all nervous/scared the kids will be. If the parents are calm and having fun, the kids will be. Keep it fun for the kids.

 

One thing I will mention is that the new gizmos are really cool. Saw a fellow with an iPhone on a recent camporee who could pull up da current radar picture for the area. (There's an app for that ;)). Much better than a weather radio if yeh have a signal.

 

Beavah

(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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One of these Strike Alert personal lightning detectors is pretty cool, too.

 

http://www.strikealert.com/ProductInfo.htm

 

We have a lightning detector at Cub Camp, and pull kids out of the water when we need to. We don't get many thunderstorms here, but the occasional strike at 6600 ft. elevation is possible.

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Last weekend we camped with the Pack in a torrential down pour and for brief periods high winds.

 

 

It was no big deal, But camping in the rain is a lot less fun than in the dry. I really enjoy waking up in the middle of the night an listening to the rain on the tent.

 

A little liquid sun shine makes you appreciate the real stuff even more.

 

Everyone in the Troop tents were dry.

 

Everyone in the nylon mansions and the Ozark trail tents were very wet. The ones that were the issue did not have full fly coverage. Or mom left the tarp sticking out to put their shoes on, yes we told them to tuck it in or they would regret it.

 

 

Since christmas we have been trying talk to the parents about camping gear. At the Pack meeting we offered a 10 minute class on sleeping bags, pads and air mattresses, Tents, ground cloths and eating gear. No paper plates please. The cub parents who knew it all and didn't attend the information sessions were cold and wet.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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I can only hope that AnaMaria is enjoying her campout tonight. I can weigh in on this fact. I was on the campout that Eagle92 left early. There were some sprinkles that night and a steady rain in the morning. Nothing too major. Just had to dry out some gear on Monday.

 

As for bad weather, here in the great Eastern NC, we have stopped cancelling campouts because of weather. Anyone from around here can tell you that an NC thunderstorm will be over in 30 minutes. We went camping last year and there was a torrential downpour. The campsites at camp have these nice (EXPEN$IVE) shelters. We could not hold a conversation at 10 feet because the rain was falling so hard. But just as quickly it stopped.

 

Now I tell all my parents, If you do not want to bring you scout out to the campout becuse of the weather, than that is your choice as a parent. A lot of work goes into planning these campouts, as we are not going to cancel for a 30% chance of thunderstorms.

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I pulled the plug on our pack campout last spring after we had golf ball sized hail and the clouds dropped to treetop levels. The storm came in two waves. We left between waves. The second wave was worse and actually spawned a tornado and hit a big city about 75 miles away.

 

It is amazing how a cub cxmp can go up is 2 hours but come down in 15 minutes.

 

But that is how is goes in the midwest.

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Campout went well. The wind settled down during the evening activities so there were no problems with the campfire and Webelos Arrow of Light ceremony. There were thunderstorms overnight, but nothing severe. I heard 2 or 3 families went to their cars during the first round (started maybe 15 minutes after going to the tents for the night). But nobody pulled up their tent and went home and no one blew away. Saturday morning was chilly and back to very windy. But breakfast and flag retirement ceremony went off anyway. Some of the boys even gave a shot at fishing even though the wind was blowing very strongly back to shore. It wasn't the weather I'd choose for camping out, but a very successfully weekend nonetheless. Thanks for all your input.

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I have a different take on this:

 

While I don't mind some rain or occasional gust.. I don't want to camp in a monsoon or hurricane. I totally concur with night rain over day rain. A good rain fly will be worth it's weight in gold!

 

Now here's where I am different: While I don't mind normal weather... I don't want to be stuck camping with a bunch of whiners complaining all day about how the camping was ruined because of the rain. I do not like to hear for ( the 50th time?) about how "I have to dry this or blah blah blah......" :) Kinda like somebody asking you: 'Hot enough for you?" for the 100th time during the course of the day.

 

Rain...I'm cool with that. The other people who are whining and complaining? Nah...Don't want any of that at all! :)

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AnaMaria wrote: "We're currently at 65 - 70% chance of scattered thunderstorms"

 

Most US National Weather Service (NWS) offices cover a vast area. For example we have two NWS offices here in Maine. One covers the eastern two-thirds of Maine (roughly the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut). The other covers the western third of Maine and most of New Hampshire. That territory is then broken down into smaller forecast areas (zones) based on among other things, terrain and/or county lines. Between the two NWS offices, Maine is split into 30 forecast zones. Some are as large as Rhode Island, some as small a couple hundred square miles.

 

The NWS "Percentage Chance of (insert weather type here)" forecasts means that there is that percentage of chance (in this case 6.5 to 7 out of 10) that the weather type (scattered t-storms) will affect one part of the forecast zone in question.

 

So, if a single T-storm pops-up and rains on a single town in the forecast, they got the forecast right.

 

Where am I going with this? I wouldn't worry about your forecast unless they are forecasting for strong (lots of rain/wind/lightning) to severe (see above plus hail) t-storms. As others have said, you could take shelter in your vehicles if necessary.

 

But this is all moot for this past weekend. I'm glad you had a good time despite the weather. Up here in Maine there's a push to change the name of our spring/fall camporees to "Rain-o-rees". :)(This message has been edited by moxieman)

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