Once the financial side is sorted out the rest is just a case of careful planning plus more rigorous training so as to be ready for the demands I am going to put on my body. The training side is already underway as I increased my exercise levels a few months ago by starting going to a local gym. Last week I also began yoga classes with a private teacher who studied physical education and can therefore help me with all areas of the physical preparation and combine the yoga asanas with strength and cardio training. I believe the increased flexibility that yoga will hopefully provide will help to reduce the chances of pulled muscles, while the improvement in balance should reduce the possibility of falls.
On the planning side I need to decide how far I can feasibly walk each day, where to stay, what photography equipment to take, additional technology to carry such as GPS or iPhone, though possibly both, laptop and backup options for photographs, clothing for trekking and relaxing and a basic first aid kit in case of minor ailments such as colds, blisters, stiff muscles et cetera.
So what should a hiker do if there is lightning in the local area while walking?
I remembered a book one of my brothers had given me once called, “The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel,” by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht, and felt that was the best place to start searching for advice. The book has tips on how to control a runaway camel, foil a UFO abduction, how to escape from a car hanging over the edge of a cliff and even how to navigate a minefield, but nothing about precautions to take in the case of lightning.
In the article I read about the tragedy on the Welsh mountains, it stated that lightning tends to target the higher points in the area so I assume that moving to lower ground may well be good advice. I remember being told as a kid to never shelter under trees if there was lightning and I guess this is based on the same logic, as the lightning could hit the tree and then jump to you as it passes to the ground. But what if you are in the lowlands with no trees or mountain peaks near, does that mean you are safe or are there precautions you should still take?
1) Do not stand near trees.
2) If out in the open try squatting down with as little of your body touching the ground as possible.
3) Do not remain on a beach.
4) Do not shelter in a cave or old mine.
5) Place all metal and electrical objects at least 20 metres away from you. This includes GPS and mobile phone.
6) Sit on your backpack with your feet off the ground.
7) Do not sit close to standing water.
You can read more information on the following two sites:
So even though it may be impossible to guarantee one’s safety while outdoors during an electrical storm it is possible to reduce the chance of being hit. Hopefully I will not find myself in an electrical storm, but being prepared for possible situations is part of good planning.