MammothMarch is a rain or shine event, which is why we encourage you to plan ahead and accordingly. There are very few outdoor events that last as long as ours do, so special attention should be paid to changing weather conditions. It can be chilly in the morning but grueling hot during the afternoon hours, then again cooling down when you finish – all with a chance of rain or even thunderstorms. We’ve tackled finding the “proper attire” in a different blog so this time we only want to repeat that you might bring several layers of cloths to adjust to changing weather conditions throughout the day of the event.
Instead, today we want to focus on hiking through thunderstorms. On a side note, please be aware that you need to be extra cautious and double check any short-term forecasts when doing long-distance exploring on your own and not as part of our events.
First of all, we are monitoring the weather forecast closely and are in constant exchange with our hosting venues, e.g. National Parks, Wildlife Areas, State Parks the days before the event. It’s nearly impossible to predict the weather less than 24 hours ahead of time, so our events always remain on schedule up until at least 24 hours before the start. After that, we have several options in case of inclement weather: If there are thunderstorms predicted for/happening at the time of our start, we will postpone it. Those who have already arrived, should seek shelter in their cars or anywhere near the venue. A thunderstorm usually doesn’t have an impact on the exact same spot for more than an hour so once it’s passed, we will proceed as planned.
During the event – especially one that lasts up to 12 hours in the outdoors – you might suddenly experience thunder and lightning. Here’s a few precautions to take:
Don’t panic & don’t run: A lot of injuries aren’t a result from lightning itself, but from people falling, slipping, etc.
Avoid open fields and get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, peaks
If caught in an open field, seek a low spot and crouch with your feet together and head low. If you don’t have any insulation to sit on, stay squatting with your feet as close as possible to each other and with the least contact with the ground
Seek shelter at a campground, house (some of these are usually close to our aid stations)
If you’re in the woods, try to steer clear of the tallest and most isolated trees
Get rid of any metal (hiking poles, some backpacks have a metal frame, etc.)
Space out, at least 15 ft from other hikers
Do not lie down—doing so creates a larger target for lightning
In any case, please monitor our MammothMarch communication closely (social media, website, email) as we will post and send out short-term updates in case there are any short-term changes or adjustments needed.
Stay safe, hopefully dry, and don’t let a little bit of rain hold you back 😉