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How to Predict the Weather While Camping and Hiking

Assuming you’re lacking cell coverage and can’t access the Weather Network app, here are six techniques for old-school weather prediction:


Watch your campfire smoke: if it hovers around ground level, it indicates a low-pressure system—rain is on the way.

Look at the sky: cloud layers that move in different directions are usually indicators of worrisome weather ahead.

Advanced cloud reading: high-altitude, wispy-looking clouds indicate a pleasant day to come. However, if you spot puffy towers of clouds, expect rain. If these cloud-towers take on a gray hue, expect thundershowers.

“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” But why? A red sky at night — sunset, in the west — means dry air is headed towards you. (The redness is caused by dry, dusty air.) Red sky in the morning — in the east, sunrise — means the dry air has passed by and moisture is on its way.

If you spot a halo around the moon, expect precipitation to come soon. (This one’s easy to remember.)

Low-flying birds or, on the coast, reduced or lack of seabird activity, can indicate an approaching storm.