What To Do If Tornado Hits While Camping? Where To Seek Shelter?

Camping allows you to unwind. It is among the most thrilling and relaxing outdoor activities you can do alone or with somebody. If you want to breathe fresh air, camping is the best solution.

It gives you time to spend time with Mother Nature. Meanwhile, there are also unexpected circumstances you may encounter while camping. These include natural disasters like tornados.


In this article, you can learn where to seek shelter from a tornado while camping. Natural calamities may lead to injuries and even death. With this, you must know how to survive in difficult times like this.

Where to Seek Shelter from Tornado while Camping?

1. Tornado shelter

If your campsite is a tornado-prone area, there is a chance that there can be a provided tornado shelter. So, if there is an available tornado shelter, you must get there as fast as you can.

2. Cave

Tornadoes are unpredictable. In case of tornado strikes, while you are on your camping trip, you can look for a cave and stay there. You can also seek ground depression where you can lay face down and cover your head.

3. Basement

If there is a basement in your camping area, you can get there during the tornado.

Now that you discover the potential shelters to seek during a tornado on your camping trip, let us discuss the shelters you must avoid.

Where should you not go during a tornado?

1. Cars and mobile homes

Cars and mobile homes are not advisable to stay in during a tornado when camping. Thus, the structures of these shelters are not anchored to the ground. It can be easily destroyed or thrown by tornado debris and winds.

2. Open fields

Open fields are a very dangerous area to stay in as a tornado strikes. So, you must stay away from open fields during a tornado. Instead, you can go to low areas.

3. Prevent sheltering near the trees

The tornado can easily break tree branches. It can also add to the tornado debris. As much as possible, don’t go to shelters near the trees.

4. Highway overpasses

Highway overpasses must also be avoided during a tornado. Stay away from it to ensure your safety.

Here we go, you know now where to seek shelter from a tornado while camping as well as the shelters to avoid. To help you ensure your safety, the following ideas can help you.

What does Before a Tornado Look Like? [Warning Signs]

Before you go camping, it can be an advantage if you know the warning signs that a tornado may come. With this, you can find shelter before tornado attacks. These signs may include the following:

  • Wall of clouds
  • Loud roar which can be compared to a train sound
  • Dark sky with a greenish tint
  • Big hail in the absence of rain
  • If the wind dies downs and becomes very still
  • Approaching cloud of debris
  • Electrical current in the air
  • Rotating debris and dust rising from the ground
  • Lightening

Information about Tornadoes

If you plan to have a camping trip, you must be knowledgeable about tornadoes so that you can stay safe as tornado strikes. The following are some facts about tornadoes.

  • Usually, tornadoes may occur between 3 pm and 9 pm
  • Storms that can produce tornadoes can happen during summer and spring
  • Tornadoes may happen in higher elevations
  • Tornadoes are weaker close to the ground, and it can increase strength with elevation
  • They usually move southwest to northeast
  • Take note that debris in the tornado can do most of the damage instead of the wind

Helpful Tips when Tornado Strikes During your Camping Trip

The following tips can also help your safety when a tornado strikes during your camping adventure.

  • As much as possible, stay inside a building if there is any in your campsite
  • Stay alert and stay calm
  • Use your arms for your head and neck protection
  • If there is no available shelter, lie in a crouch, or ditch or low-lying place
  • If you are in a vehicle, get out of your car immediately as it can be thrown away by the tornado
  • You must be updated about the latest local weather forecasts on your campsite
  • Know your location, so you can find out if your area is included in the warning
  • You must immediately evacuate into a safer shelter as the tornado begin to strike


You don’t know when tornadoes can happen. With this, you must be ready and knowledgeable to stay safe on your camping trip as the tornado strikes. By considering the tips mentioned above, you have the assurance that you can survive in the wilderness, even under a natural disaster attack.

If you love camping, always remember that tornadoes are among the challenges that you may encounter.

With this, you must have enough knowledge to keep your safety while you’re in danger. Preparation is the best way to handle a dangerous situation on your camping trip. It is also helpful to have a weather alert system that can warn you.

Falling and flying debris during a tornado is the number one problem that may injure or kill you. So, you need to cover up your head, neck, and body.

You can use coats, blankets, helmets, pillows, and other items that can cover up. Armed with the tips and knowledge you learned from this article, you can now handle natural disasters on your next camping.

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