Many outdoorsmen dream of having that elusive cabin in the woods, with a lazy stream meandering by so that drinking and cooking water is always just a few steps away.

Unfortunately, a meager mountain flood2!cid_image004_jpg@01CF8932stream can become a raging torrent in today’s crazy succession of extreme weather. The picture above shows the remnants of an unnamed stream so shallow it can’t support fish and becomes barely a trickle by mid-summer.

On June 14, 2014, five inches of rain fell in less than an hour in the mountains that feed the stream and the results were nearly catastrophic. A rugged road once paralleled the stream bed, but has become so eroded that it is now impassable, even by 4×4. Thankfully, no one lived along or camped by the stream or the results could have been fatal.

Streams are handy to camp beside for the ambiance of the babble and maybe a brook trout or two, yet be vigilant to sudden weather changes, as flash flooding can inundate your camp in minutes and turn an outdoor adventure into tragedy.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Photos: Alex Shifler

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Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.