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The recent flooding in Texas is a tragic reminder of just how dangerous a sudden rainstorm can be. Pitching a tent or parking your RV next to a creek or river is one of the most enjoyable outdoor events. Just picture it — you’re enjoying the babble and flow of naturally moving water and you’ve got quick access to fishing, boating, and other water sports. Unfortunately, an onset of sudden rain can raise a leisurely flow into a torrent, with often-devastating results. For maximum safety when camping near water, keep these points in mind.

  • Monitor local weather reports and heed all warnings. Mobile phone applications are ideal for such information, yet you may camp in areas without cell reception. Focus on upstream locations, where a sudden storm could burst a small dam or send a rush of water downstream.
  • Avoid island campsites on small streams and rivers. Should the water rise suddenly, you’ll have no way out.
  • Plan an alternative escape route. In case of a flood, fire, or other emergency, do you have more than one exit? Have multiple options in mind.
  • Park your main source of transportation to aid a rapid exit. Back into parking spaces so that you can start your rig and go.
  • Have emergency lighting charged and ready. Fires and flood situations are often accompanied by power failures, particularly in the mountainous West, and your escape may be necessary in total darkness.

Photo: The Mad Traveler Online

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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.

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