Lightning can kill, and those caught outside far from shelter are the most vulnerable. Now a lightweight super tent promises to protect hikers and campers from deadly voltage.
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Polish designer Kama Jania developed the Bolt tent after seeing that most people struck by lightning were caught out in the open. Her goal: Increase safety for hikers and campers who find themselves far from shelter during nasty storms.
Her Bolt tents are made from ultralight materials and can be set up rapidly. Currently her design calls for three sizes, from a one-person version down to a half-tent that can be erected in tight spots too small for a typical tent. They each offer varying degrees of protection.
Each one has components you'd expect to see in a tent like connectors, clips, waterproof fabric, and a groundsheet. Only Jania's version directs voltage away from the inside of the tent, and the special groundsheet protects from "step voltages," the ground currents that are a common source of injury.
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Last fall Jania used a high current generator to test the tent's durability. She directed a series of electrical discharges at the top of the frame and filmed the result. Watch the video of what happened: