Don’t Set Up Your Tent in a Flood Plain

Camping Tip #127: Don’t set your tent up in or near a flood plain. Even if it hasn’t rained in weeks, even if it looks like it won’t rain in years. They’re not kidding when they tell you that flash floods come on suddenly.

We were camping at Goblin Valley and after careful consideration, I chose the above spot for my tent. There was shade, sandy terrain, and flat ground. I would be fine. Sure it could rain a little but how bad could it be?

Turned out it didn’t have to rain all that bad. Just a torrential downpour for ten or fifteen minutes created flash floods roaring off the rocks. What you don’t see in this picture is my carefully dug trenches because they were all washed downstream. The sand was piled about eight inches deep at the back of the tent. How my $25 clearance tent survived the onslaught, I don’t know but everything inside was dry.

I learned my lesson. Now I only set up my tent in a flood plain if I’m 100 percent sure it won’t rain.

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