What do YOU do when it thunders?

(38 Posts)
MeAndMySpoon Tue 15-Jul-14 23:17:24

Despite haunting this topic over several years and forming friendships with a number of lovely camping friends on the basis that I, too, camp, I'm a complete fraud and we're about to embark on our first PROPER family camp - as in, a full week, no going back. (Previously - since children - it's been odd nights here and there, back garden camping and a couple of festivals.) I am about to lose my Proper Camping cherry. Am also bricking it a bit.

We're heading somewhere there's forecast a fair amount of thunderstorms. Bell tent. 5 metre high metal pole, around which we sleep. I know if the thunder's very close you're meant to get everyone out and go and sit in the car, but how close do you let it get? And how do you then calm down the highly strung 6 yo and the 3 year old child with ASD, whom you've woken up in the middle of a scary storm?

Please tell me your reassuring thunder stories. Tales of burnt-out tents need not apply.

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 15-Jul-14 23:20:06

I've never got out of the tent in a thunder storm.

fridayfreedom Tue 15-Jul-14 23:24:54

Me neither. Just snuggle down in my sleeping bag and wait for it to pass, and in certain tents hope they don't leak!!

wheretoyougonow Tue 15-Jul-14 23:28:20

I end up reassuring the dog whilst the children stay asleep!

HexBramble Tue 15-Jul-14 23:30:15

I cuddle up a bit closer to DD's whilst 6'5" DH whimpers and jumps at every clap before finally making a frantic sprint to the car where he spends the night, a complete bag of nerves.

Has happened twice. I kid you not.

yellowdinosauragain Tue 15-Jul-14 23:35:52

Unless the thunder and lightning are simultaneous it's not overhead. So chill. If they are, get in the car, aka Faraday cave. I've only had a thunder storm overhead a handful of times in my 41 years. Never camping. Good luck!

MeAndMySpoon Tue 15-Jul-14 23:37:07

See, I've never heard of any 'Bell Tent struck by lightning' stories, but assume it happens.

We don't even have a fire bucket. grin

yellowdinosauragain Tue 15-Jul-14 23:51:28

Cage not cave thanks dyac aka pissed fingers...

MeAndMySpoon Tue 15-Jul-14 23:55:55

This is true, Yellow. It generally sounds a lot closer than it usually is. I was sure I'd heard/read Slubber saying she once got everyone up and out and huddled in the car during a storm, but perhaps am misremembering. Last time we had a v loud storm (at home) both boys slept completely through, so they'd probably be fine.

Pissed yellow? Surely not? grin

Lovecat Tue 15-Jul-14 23:59:13

The top and bottom of the bell tent pole are rubber, so I think you're insulated from lightning strikes... smile We've had awful weather but never thunder-and-lightning storms when we've been away in ours.

I suppose try not to pitch your tent near a tree? As yellow says, it's rare that thunder and lightning are simultaneous and directly over you. Personally I find the sound of rain on canvas very soothing, but obviously that may not be the case for your DCs (although I hope it will be). DD sleeps through anything when camping, I think the fresh air wears her out...

TheFantasticMrsFox Wed 16-Jul-14 02:22:12

I normally sleep through it blush grin

Slubberdegullion Wed 16-Jul-14 07:39:11

Dh and I commence making love.

Slubberdegullion Wed 16-Jul-14 07:39:49

And/or move to the Faraday Cage.

MeAndMySpoon Wed 16-Jul-14 08:56:28

Would that be 'Angry Thunderstorm Camping Sex' then? [wunk]

So you really do move to your Faraday Cage? How long did it take to get everyone back to sleep again afterwards? (Better than incineration, I suppose.)

I don't think our campsite has big trees and I think our pitch is sort of in the middle of a field. I hope. The one thing all the long-range forecasts agree on is that it'll be pissing it down mightily on Friday, as we're attempting to pitch up...

Reelife Wed 16-Jul-14 09:07:45

Morning mad people !

Theres notter chance I would risk soaking myself and assorted family in order to get in the car.

It will be fiiiine. x

Lottiedoubtie Wed 16-Jul-14 09:17:09

Assuming the top and bottom of your pole are rubber I would make sure nobody is actually touching the pole and then go back to sleep.

Good luck!

Also don't pitch under a tree, but it sounds like you've got that bit covered!

LauraChant Wed 16-Jul-14 09:23:34

We were camping in a thunder storm just last weekend. In the school grounds (they do a campover). It was fine. Also the last but one time we camped there was thunder very early in the morning. Possibly we are thunder gods without knowing it and the thunder loves us and wants to follow us around?

StormsAndLightning Wed 16-Jul-14 09:50:36

We've been in a spectacular storm whilst in a bell in Holland - well, De Waardt, but same principle re pole. It was fine, and beautiful, really - the camping version of a disco. ;) It went on for hours and was very, very loud in the tent, so if I could take one thing, it would have been ear plugs!

Also, like others have said - as long as the light and thunder isn't simultaneous, it's not directly over you anyway.

That and maybe wear diving gear. ;)

I wouldn't get out of bed unless the tent collapsed around me.

Lightning from inside your tent is a spectacular sight to see.

Slubberdegullion Wed 16-Jul-14 10:25:57

Spoony, the only time we moved was when, as others have said thunder and lightening were happening simultaneously. The most amazing electric storm at Lake Bodensee. The dds were asleep so we just lobbed them in the back of the car and they carried on sleeping.

dh was faintly unamused though.

"WHY are we in the car?"
"No one else is sitting in their car"
"We look like crazy English people sitting in the car"
"People are sitting in their nice tents looking at us sitting in the car"
"Is this a mumsnet thing by any chance?"

StormsAndLightning Wed 16-Jul-14 10:30:36

grin Slubber. You should have flashed them a bottom an axe.

GalaxyInMyPants Wed 16-Jul-14 10:33:16

I reckon you're well insulated on a SIM.

Slubberdegullion Wed 16-Jul-14 10:46:30

I smiled my 'I'm in a Faraday Cage and you are not, this is physics this is' smile of safety first smuggery at them.

MeAndMySpoon Thu 17-Jul-14 19:42:45

" is this a mumsnet thing by any chance?" snooort grin

ballsballsballs Thu 17-Jul-14 20:10:45

On a teenage camping trip the heavens opened so we retreated to the car, and lightning struck the car. It was amazing.

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