Lightning safety tips for your guided backpacking trip in Estes Park.When you go hiking during the spring and summer, you should always be wary of thunderstorms. In our last blog, we went over a few lightning safety tips to keep in mind during your guided hiking trips in Estes Park. Unfortunately, we had to cut our list short because we ran out of time. If you have been waiting for the rest of the lightning safety tips, then you will be glad to know that the wait is over:

  • If your backpack has a metal frame, take it off immediately and leave it at least 100 feet away from where you plan to seek shelter. Leave any hiking poles or sticks that your are carrying with your backpack.

  • Don’t stand too close to the others in your group. In order to minimize the possibility of multiple people getting injured. You should all find shelter at least 15 feet away from one another.

  • Protect your eyes and your nose from the damaging noise and light that come from lightning, by covering your ears and closing your eyes tightly.

  • In the event that shelter isn’t available, try to make yourself a small target. Do this by crouching on the balls of your feet and tucking your head. This position minimizes your contact with the ground, while making you as small as possible. If you do get struck by lightning while in this position, it will travel down your back, and cause less damage to your vital organs.

  • After the storm has passed, wait at least a half an hour before exiting your shelter. Once it is safe to do so, do a headcount on the others in your group.

Stay Safe

Keep in mind, that lightning can strike out of nowhere, particularly in the high country of Rocky Mountain National Park. Thunderstorms will develop due to the prevailing winds of the Rocky Mountains carrying moisture from the western part of the country, up and over the mountain. Generally, later in the day thunderstorms will form and can potentially create flash flooding and dangerous lightning. For this simple fact alone, and the unpredictability of the weather, it is critical that you be off of any high altitude peak by early afternoon. This is why we begin our Longs Peak guided hikes at 2 A.M., to keep our clients and our guides safe. The early start is advantageous, not only because of the time frame, but on a clear day, the sunrise from the mountain is a life changing experience. If you have never experienced a high altitude sunrise, this is your year. Regardless of your experience with hiking, Kirks Mountain Adventure has a trip for you. From relaxing strolls through meadows of wildflowers, to multi-day backpacking adventures, we have the trip for you. Our summer is filling up fast, and to book the day you want we recommend planning ahead and contacting us a few weeks in advance. Thank you for reading and next time you are out hiking, take a moment to consider the danger of lightning and keep yourself safe.