Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Weathering a downpour during a day hike with kids

Rainstorms, especially those with lightning, can be dangerous. Avoid them by immediately returning to your vehicle once storm clouds form, lightning is spotted, or thunder is heard. You want everyone to stay dry, especially if you’re carrying an infant or toddler.

Clouds do not necessarily mean rain. Storms are brewing when clouds darken and rise vertically into an anvil shape.

If caught in heavy rain, put on a poncho, head for a low spot or thinly wooded area, and stay low until it passes. Stay away from high ground, depressions where puddles can form, and trees or other tall objects that attract lightning. Never stand in a dry riverbed or wash during a thunderstorm. Floodwater could crash toward you and easily sweep away smaller children.

Read more about day hiking with children in my Hikes with Tykes guidebooks.