By: Blonde One
(I know the picture isn’t lightning, but it’s a good weather picture generally!)
Walking in lightning is never a good idea. The best advice we can give is to get off the hill to somewhere safe as soon as possible. Checking the weather forecast before a trip will help to make decisions.
If it’s impossible to get off the hill when you’re caught out then these points might help …
Measure the time difference between lightning flash and rumble of thunder. A 3 second delay means the storm is approx. 1km away. A 6 second delay means it’s 2km away, etc. This is due to the speeds of light and sound being different. So the longer away the storm the more time you have to get to safety.
Lightning strikes are frequent on summits. At the first sign of a lightning storm you should evacuate to low ground.
Do not shelter under a tree, tor or any form of overhang.
Put your waterproofs on. Sit upright on top of insulating material such as your rucksack and/or sleeping mat. Keep all body parts off the ground. Keep hands on knees.
Throw walking poles away from rucksack. Make sure they are not stood up.
Other metal items of equipment apparently do not significantly increase the risk of attracting a strike but if it starts to hum and spark throw it to the side.
The Met Office website has some interesting information about thunder and lightning.
It’s very rare that we advocate staying indoors but this is the one occasion when our Get Outside mantra doesn’t apply!