View Poll Results: What do you do when caught in a thunderstorm mid river?
Climb a nearby cottonwood tree to get a good view of the action. 1 1.85%
Sit on shore and wait for the storm to pass while thinking about the warm clothes you left in the car. 4 7.41%
Keep paddling, you wouldn't be much safer on the riverbank. 49 90.74%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-08-2005   #11
shaunotter's Avatar
Eureka, California
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 57

Should we worry about the carbon we're paddling with and may have wrapped around our brains?

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Old 07-22-2006   #12
Seadog's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 75
good thread, i guess i just won't worry about it next time as long as there are higher things around. ..seems like that's the jist of these articles

To be brave, by definition, one has first to be afraid.
-Robert Harris
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Old 07-24-2006   #13
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
Sometimes shitty weather can improve a run,once on the Idaho spgs. run ,normally II-III,we experienced a torrential downpour with hail and strong wind ,the caps on waves were getting blown sideways and smack you upside the head ,lightening was cracking all around, wind made it more difficult to control the boat.It was at 1100 to begin with and rose during the run,a beginner run became exciting 3+ with very limited visibility.
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Old 07-24-2006   #14
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
I got caught in a storm once with hail and tons of lightening. Got off the river and sat in a concrete culvert while the storm raged. The first wave that came down the culvert was rather small and gave us time to realize we were in a storm drain before our gear and us had washed back in the river. Boneheads for sure. If you get out, check where you are.

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Old 07-24-2006   #15
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Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
I have been in a few scenarios when climbing when the hair starts sticking up, the caribiners start buzzing, and you know its coming... is it going to be the same on the river, I imagine so? If so you'll probably have plenty of warning, I mean its scary when its cracking around you, but everytime there has actually been a really close one (on rock) you can feel the polorization happening. Don't think it is cool when your girlfriends hair starts rising to the sky...
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Old 07-24-2006   #16
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 580
Has there ever been a recorded case of someone being hit by lightning on the river, either rafting or kayaking?
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Old 07-24-2006   #17
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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I know some people who pulled aside in their raft and waited out a big thunderstorm on the Ottawa. There were a number of strikes that hit the river and when they hopped back on the raft, the frame had built up a good sized charge and they got a big shock when they grounded it. Since there were strikes that hit the river, I guess it was good they weren't still paddling. But at the same time, if they had been on the raft touching the frame, they would have grounded the frame after each strike and had a few much smaller shocks. Personally, I keep paddling until the strikes get close enough and frequent enough to really scare me.

Volts jolt, current kills.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 07-24-2006   #18
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,910
Be careful posting these kind of questions - a month after Dan asked it last year, we got slammed by a MAJOR electrical/rain/hail storm Lodore. We were rowing as hard as we could, wearing rain gear wearing our helmets for the hail, all the time saying our hail Marys as the lightning struck all around us.

(very) Fortunately we had a Jones Hole campsite and got the only shelter on the river to have dinner and warm up under, sharing with the ringtail cats, while it continued to rain that night.

Not saying Dan jinxed us, but ya never know...


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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