Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur


Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. p. 30.

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Summer thunderstorms can form quickly in the desert mountains. At first notice, get thee off the high ridges. Don't be in the open where you are the tallest object. Don't seek shelter under a single tall object, be it rock, tree, or shrub. Avoid both the highest and lowest ground. Don't touch metal, unless you are totally inside of it, like a car (absolutely the safest spot in a lightning storm). If a dry cave is nearby (what are the odds?), use it, but don't touch the walls or ceiling or stand at the mouth. Do seek shelter in a stand of trees or rocks if the trees (or the rocks) are all of similar size (a high one sticking up may draw the lightning). If in a group, spread out, but not out of sight.

Having said all this, the odds of being struck by lightning are really low.