The Stupidest Place We Ever Camped

It was several months into our world bike tour before we learned what is arguably the most important rule of wild camping. Had we known it, we would never have put our tent here.

wild camping in a river bed - bad ideas!

The stupidest place we ever pitched our tent was….

At first glance, it looks like the perfect spot – flat and hidden from the road by a ridge. This second photo gives you a clue as to why this is in fact a very bad place to camp.

dry river bed

Unfortunately, it was a dry river bed. This is extremely dangerous.

Have you guessed yet? Here’s your answer: it’s a dry riverbed and it’s prone to dangerous flash floods.

The rain that triggers the flood might be miles away. You might never hear a drop of rain on the tent, but a few minutes or hours later the whole river channel can fill with water and sweep you and your stuff away.

Thankfully, we were warned about this danger a few weeks after this picture was taken. We were never swept away, though we did camp next to a dry river once (up on the bank) and watched later that night as it filled with water within seconds. Recently, a Dutch touring cyclist was not so lucky. He lost his leg, and nearly his life, to a flash flood in South America.

The lesson is a simple one: don’t camp in dry river beds, no matter how tempting they seem! 


  1. brenda
    28th April 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Good advice fo those venturing far afield when they haven’t come across such places.

  2. LeeAnn O'Neill
    28th April 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    We had a moment of thinking we might have had a stupid beach camping spot the other night in Baja California… wondering if we had pitched our tents far enough from the high tide line! We had decided there was enough vegetation for it to be far enough but as we watched the water level rise as the moon rose, we wondered. Luckily, we were right!

  3. Annika
    28th April 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    Also bad idea: camp where the beevers live. We spent a night surrounded by trees that could have fallen onto our tent after a bit of wind!

  4. Nick Chapin
    28th April 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    I was raised in the US state of Arizona; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen flash floods kill. I’m glad you didn’t succumb to that fate!

    • friedel
      29th April 2013 at 8:29 am #

      We’re glad it didn’t happen to us as well!

      We grew up in Canada, where the rivers are always full 🙂 If you come from an area where there are no flash floods, then it’s easy to be ignorant of the dangers.

  5. Tom Allen
    29th April 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Guilty of this too on a couple of occasions…

  6. Tammy
    2nd May 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Yeah, coming from Canada I’m not entirely sure I would even recognize a dry riverbed if I saw it!

  7. Liliana
    8th May 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I agree with Tammy. How do you recognise it? I come from Colombia and the rivers near me are always full, furtunately

    • friedel
      8th May 2013 at 10:44 am #

      Others may be able to share tips on how to recognise a river but for us the key giveaway is a relatively narrow, flat spot that is bordered by a ridge on each side. Look at the landscape and ask yourself, if a flood were to appear out of nowhere, where would the water go? Where is the low spot? Then make sure you place your tent a fair distance away from that location!

  8. WizardOfOz
    27th April 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    I’ve known of this danger since I was a child. That goes to show how influential and educational Disney documentaries were. I always remembered seeing the dry wash turn into a raging torrent in the 1953 documentary called The Living Desert.

    I know what you mean about it looking like the perfect campsite though. Dry washes, arroyos and wadis look like terrific places to pitch your tent. They would be too if weren’t for the possibility of a sudden rush of water, which can sometimes have the consistency of wet cement. All I can say is, if you were laying inside a tent it would be an awful way to go…

  9. Brady Mcnutt
    29th December 2021 at 7:34 am #

    I have realized that over the course of creating a relationship with real estate managers, you’ll be able to get them to understand that, in every single real estate purchase, a payment is paid. Finally, FSBO sellers don’t “save” the payment. Rather, they try to win the commission by means of doing a good agent’s occupation. In this, they expend their money as well as time to execute, as best they’re able to, the responsibilities of an adviser. Those tasks include displaying the home via marketing, offering the home to prospective buyers, constructing a sense of buyer desperation in order to induce an offer, arranging home inspections, controlling qualification check ups with the bank, supervising maintenance tasks, and facilitating the closing.

  10. bayern münchen tröja
    10th June 2022 at 1:36 am #

    Thanks for another great article. The place else may anyone get that
    kind of info in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve
    a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such info.

    bayern münchen tröja
    ToneyHagg bayern munchen tröja KimberEll

  11. off white
    23rd July 2022 at 11:31 pm #

    I want to voice my appreciation for your kindness in support of men who really want help on your question. Your personal dedication to getting the message along turned out to be exceedingly invaluable and have really helped many people like me to realize their pursuits. The insightful advice means a lot a person like me and especially to my mates. Many thanks; from each one of us.

  12. cheap giannis shoes
    23rd July 2022 at 11:32 pm #

    I want to express my respect for your generosity for folks who require assistance with that matter. Your special dedication to getting the message all through came to be especially invaluable and have all the time permitted somebody just like me to achieve their pursuits. Your personal insightful instruction implies a great deal to me and much more to my mates. Thank you; from all of us.

  13. off white outlet
    9th August 2022 at 5:44 pm #

    I intended to create you that very little note to finally thank you very much as before about the striking ideas you’ve documented here. It’s particularly open-handed with people like you to offer publicly what exactly some people might have marketed for an ebook in making some profit for their own end, particularly now that you might well have done it if you wanted. The secrets in addition served as a fantastic way to comprehend many people have the identical fervor the same as my very own to realize great deal more with regard to this condition. I’m sure there are many more enjoyable times in the future for individuals who scan through your site.

  14. golden goose sneakers
    9th August 2022 at 5:50 pm #

    I simply wanted to thank you so much yet again. I am not sure the things I would’ve tried without the entire recommendations discussed by you concerning such a area of interest. This has been an absolute daunting concern in my circumstances, but being able to see a new professional manner you resolved it made me to cry over delight. I am just happy for this support and in addition expect you comprehend what an amazing job that you’re getting into educating men and women thru your websites. I’m certain you haven’t encountered all of us.

  15. off white hoodie
    11th August 2022 at 2:12 am #

    Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably wonderful opportunity to read critical reviews from here. It is always very good plus packed with fun for me and my office colleagues to search your website a minimum of three times in 7 days to learn the newest issues you have got. Of course, I’m so usually motivated for the mind-boggling tactics you serve. Some 4 points in this post are definitely the very best we’ve ever had.

  16. off white hoodie outlet
    11th August 2022 at 2:13 am #

    I’m also writing to make you understand of the terrific encounter my wife’s child went through using yuor web blog. She came to find a wide variety of issues, not to mention how it is like to have an awesome giving spirit to make folks without difficulty grasp selected extremely tough things. You undoubtedly surpassed her expectations. Thanks for supplying those warm and friendly, safe, educational as well as cool tips on this topic to Sandra.

  17. supreme clothing
    11th August 2022 at 2:13 am #

    I must convey my admiration for your kindness for men who must have help with in this situation. Your special commitment to getting the solution up and down turned out to be surprisingly important and has continuously allowed people just like me to attain their objectives. The helpful guideline denotes so much to me and somewhat more to my office workers. Many thanks; from all of us.

  18. cheap russell westbrook shoes
    14th August 2022 at 3:11 pm #

    I precisely needed to thank you so much again. I am not sure the things that I would’ve worked on in the absence of the type of advice provided by you concerning that situation. Entirely was a real frightful case in my position, however , looking at the very well-written approach you solved that took me to leap for happiness. I’m happier for your assistance and pray you are aware of a powerful job you happen to be accomplishing training the others with the aid of a blog. Most probably you have never come across all of us.

  19. yeezy 350
    14th August 2022 at 3:12 pm #

    I’m just writing to let you know of the extraordinary experience my friend’s daughter went through checking the blog. She noticed several pieces, which included what it’s like to have an incredible teaching mindset to get others really easily have an understanding of chosen complex subject areas. You undoubtedly surpassed readers’ expected results. Thank you for offering these priceless, healthy, edifying not to mention unique tips on this topic to Emily.

  20. curry shoes
    17th August 2022 at 9:57 am #

    I have to voice my affection for your kindness for folks that need assistance with the situation. Your special commitment to passing the solution all around became wonderfully informative and have in most cases encouraged ladies much like me to attain their goals. This insightful help and advice denotes a whole lot to me and substantially more to my office colleagues. Thanks a ton; from all of us.

  21. golden goose
    17th August 2022 at 9:57 am #

    I have to convey my affection for your kindness for persons who absolutely need guidance on your question. Your personal dedication to getting the message up and down turned out to be amazingly powerful and have always made guys and women like me to attain their aims. The invaluable guideline implies a lot a person like me and extremely more to my peers. Best wishes; from each one of us.

  22. Mankibe
    5th September 2022 at 8:20 am #

    cialis 5mg best price Over the last 10 years, the pathophysiology of lifelong PE has not been clearly identified 12

  23. Jobs in cross river
    29th October 2022 at 2:12 pm #

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog.Much thanks again. Great.

  24. bape shoes
    3rd November 2022 at 5:12 am #

    I want to show my respect for your kind-heartedness for visitors who must have guidance on your matter. Your real commitment to getting the message all over has been amazingly invaluable and has surely allowed others much like me to reach their dreams. Your amazing invaluable suggestions indicates much a person like me and somewhat more to my mates. Regards; from everyone of us.

  25. python web scraping
    4th November 2022 at 1:44 pm #

    Great article. Keep writing.

  26. Kelvin Kaemingk loanDepot
    7th November 2022 at 2:07 am #

    Major thankies for the blog. Great.

  27. pavers livermore
    13th November 2022 at 11:39 am #

    Wow, great blog. Really Great.

  28. Botany At Dairy Farm
    16th November 2022 at 8:00 am #

    Im thankful for the article. Great.

  29. web
    16th November 2022 at 8:58 pm #

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog. Really Cool.

  30. goyard outlet
    23rd November 2022 at 10:29 am #

    I simply wished to appreciate you once again. I do not know the things that I might have made to happen without the recommendations documented by you about such a question. Entirely was a distressing dilemma in my circumstances, but considering your specialised mode you treated that forced me to leap with delight. Now i am thankful for your advice and thus expect you comprehend what an amazing job you are always accomplishing educating other individuals thru your site. Most probably you’ve never come across all of us.

  31. kd 13
    23rd November 2022 at 10:29 am #

    I needed to create you that very small note just to thank you so much once again for your amazing tactics you’ve shared here. This has been certainly seriously open-handed with you to allow extensively what a number of people could have advertised for an ebook to end up making some profit on their own, primarily considering the fact that you could have tried it in case you wanted. Those techniques also worked to be a easy way to comprehend other people online have the same fervor just like my own to see good deal more in regard to this matter. I know there are a lot more fun moments up front for folks who go through your site.

  32. yeezy shoes
    25th November 2022 at 1:34 am #

    I want to express thanks to the writer for rescuing me from this particular problem. Right after browsing throughout the the web and meeting things which were not productive, I thought my entire life was over. Living without the presence of strategies to the issues you’ve resolved all through your write-up is a critical case, as well as the kind which could have in a negative way damaged my entire career if I hadn’t discovered the blog. That understanding and kindness in dealing with all things was valuable. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not come across such a point like this. I can at this moment relish my future. Thank you so much for your professional and result oriented help. I won’t be reluctant to propose the sites to any individual who needs to have guide on this area.

  33. prostate toy
    28th November 2022 at 3:43 pm #

    I really enjoy the blog.Much thanks again. Awesome.

  34. off white shoes
    28th November 2022 at 10:13 pm #

    I want to voice my gratitude for your kindness supporting people that should have help on this important question. Your special commitment to passing the message all through turned out to be astonishingly invaluable and have specifically helped workers like me to attain their ambitions. Your personal insightful recommendations entails a great deal to me and even further to my mates. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  35. goyard outlet
    1st December 2022 at 9:55 pm #

    I wish to voice my respect for your generosity for folks who really need guidance on the content. Your personal dedication to passing the solution throughout was pretty insightful and have truly helped women like me to reach their targets. Your amazing warm and friendly suggestions can mean this much a person like me and especially to my office colleagues. Many thanks; from everyone of us.

  36. bapesta
    1st December 2022 at 9:56 pm #

    I must convey my gratitude for your kindness in support of individuals that have the need for guidance on in this area. Your special dedication to passing the message all over was rather invaluable and has always encouraged workers much like me to get to their dreams. Your own helpful guide means this much a person like me and extremely more to my office workers. With thanks; from all of us.

  37. off white shoes
    5th December 2022 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m also commenting to make you understand what a nice encounter my princess found visiting the blog. She mastered so many things, which include how it is like to have a marvelous giving mood to let many others quite simply know chosen hard to do matters. You actually surpassed my expectations. Thank you for giving those priceless, dependable, informative and fun thoughts on the topic to Kate.

  38. mp3juice
    31st December 2022 at 6:51 pm #

    I quite like reading through an article that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment.

  39. 에볼루션사이트
    14th April 2023 at 4:04 am #

    I’ve learned newer and more effective things as a result of your website. One other thing I’d prefer to say is that often newer laptop or computer os’s are inclined to allow additional memory to be utilized, but they likewise demand more ram simply to operate. If an individual’s computer can’t handle additional memory and the newest software requires that memory increase, it can be the time to shop for a new Laptop or computer. Thanks

  40. flat rate credit card processing
    22nd April 2023 at 12:56 pm #

    One thing I would like to say is that car insurance cancelling is a dreadful experience so if you’re doing the correct things as being a driver you simply will not get one. Some individuals do have the notice that they’ve been officially dumped by the insurance company and several have to fight to get supplemental insurance following a cancellation. Inexpensive auto insurance rates are frequently hard to get after having a cancellation. Knowing the main reasons pertaining to auto insurance cancellations can help individuals prevent burning off one of the most important privileges offered. Thanks for the strategies shared by means of your blog.

  41. London Relationship Therapist
    4th May 2023 at 3:28 pm #

    CPD,ICF,UKCP AND BACP accredited qualified staff members

    11th May 2023 at 7:43 pm #

    then PC is the way to go. We have all the necessary skills

  43. casino
    13th May 2023 at 8:52 am #

    apartments in queens ny rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised madison park apartments

  44. bape clothing
    16th May 2023 at 12:29 am #

    I in addition to my guys were found to be examining the excellent helpful tips from the blog and so all of a sudden developed an awful feeling I never expressed respect to you for them. These young men became as a consequence excited to read all of them and already have truly been taking advantage of those things. Many thanks for genuinely well thoughtful and for going for these kinds of important subjects most people are really desperate to learn about. My personal honest apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

  45. bang gia gui hang di my
    22nd May 2023 at 4:44 pm #

    apartments in wake forest nc rentberry scam ico 30m$ raised luxury apartments in atlanta ga

  46. thanh nhom dinh hinh
    23rd May 2023 at 8:32 pm #

    Gerçek Aşk İçin Aşk Duası 19 Nov, 2021 at 9:47 pm Gerçek Aşk İçin Aşk Duası

  47. ikaria lean belly juice
    26th May 2023 at 10:07 am #

    I do love the manner in which you have framed this particular issue plus it does indeed give me some fodder for consideration. On the other hand, because of just what I have experienced, I simply hope as the responses pile on that people continue to be on point and don’t start upon a tirade involving the news du jour. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and although I can not go along with this in totality, I regard the perspective.

  48. SCn2j4
    30th May 2023 at 6:54 pm #

    第1776章 导航紧接着李长安又回到自己的房间,在自己保护之下,一些长得粗犷的外国人,想对温婉阿姨不利,尽管自己体内深受重伤 牛皮癣疾病的危害是什么 ,但是这些普通人还牛皮癣疾病的危害是什么是伤不了自己的。门外那些鬼鬼祟祟的外国人退去之后,就再也没有回来过,直至天亮,那些人照 白癜风发生有什么明显的表现呢 常起来做早餐早点,然而温婉阿姨母女俩却睡得很死,没有苏醒过来的迹象。早上醒来的李长安,推门而入,也去查看了温婉阿姨母女俩,并没有什么大碍,依旧在熟睡之中。李长安一直敷衍和何大林夫妻俩,在船上说说笑笑的,大概到了下白癜风发生有什么明显的表现呢午的时候,温婉阿姨母女俩才缓缓醒过来,这会睡了太长的时间,有些头昏眼胀的,因为昨天着了什么迷香之类的迷烟。一 陕西银屑病的治疗

  49. yeezy 700
    4th June 2023 at 10:58 pm #

    Thank you for your entire labor on this site. Kate take interest in getting into research and it’s really easy to see why. Most people notice all concerning the dynamic ways you produce both interesting and useful tricks on the blog and improve contribution from other ones on that area then our own simple princess is always becoming educated a lot of things. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. Your doing a wonderful job.

  50. kyrie 7
    7th June 2023 at 3:20 am #

    I’m commenting to let you understand of the perfect experience my princess gained visiting the blog. She discovered many issues, including how it is like to possess a very effective coaching spirit to make folks just learn specific complicated subject matter. You undoubtedly surpassed our desires. Thank you for churning out the good, healthy, educational as well as fun tips about that topic to Gloria.

  51. pretty helpful stuff, overall I believe this is worth a bookmark, thanks

  52. Derek Cole
    10th June 2023 at 11:53 am #

    the right choice for you or not. No hidden fees or subscriptions.

  53. Destiny Houghton
    10th June 2023 at 1:59 pm #

    Her collars, of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams;

  54. ?????
    10th June 2023 at 7:27 pm #

    Lyemvp – teaching how to write an essay Oketiv exdsta

  55. Naomi Bradshaw
    11th June 2023 at 3:29 am #

    Wow all kinds of wonderful facts.essay on why i want to go to college homework is harmful research writing help

  56. reformas suelos centricos
    12th June 2023 at 2:32 pm #

    Today, with all the fast chosen lifestyle that everyone leads, credit cards get this amazing demand throughout the market. Persons from every discipline are using the credit card and people who aren’t using the credit card have made up their minds to apply for one. Thanks for giving your ideas about credit cards.

  57. palm angels
    12th June 2023 at 9:23 pm #

    Thank you for each of your efforts on this site. Kim really likes participating in internet research and it’s easy to see why. All of us hear all about the compelling medium you convey both useful and interesting guidelines by means of the web blog and attract participation from visitors on that issue plus our favorite child is undoubtedly studying so much. Enjoy the rest of the year. You are conducting a superb job.

  58. ggdb
    16th June 2023 at 7:15 am #

    I want to express my appreciation to you just for bailing me out of this type of scenario. Just after checking through the internet and meeting strategies which are not pleasant, I was thinking my entire life was well over. Existing minus the solutions to the issues you have fixed by way of your main short post is a serious case, as well as those that could have negatively damaged my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your website. Your actual capability and kindness in controlling the whole lot was vital. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t encountered such a solution like this. I am able to now relish my future. Thanks so much for the skilled and sensible help. I won’t be reluctant to suggest your blog post to anybody who requires assistance on this problem.

  59. OFF-White
    17th June 2023 at 11:18 am #

    I actually wanted to write down a message so as to appreciate you for those unique concepts you are posting at this site. My rather long internet search has finally been recognized with excellent concept to share with my great friends. I ‘d assert that most of us visitors are really lucky to be in a fantastic network with so many marvellous people with insightful guidelines. I feel truly privileged to have come across the weblog and look forward to really more cool moments reading here. Thank you once more for all the details.

  60. visit us
    18th June 2023 at 2:53 am #

    En yakın hurdacı firması mı arıyorusunuz? Buraya yakın hurdacı firmalar arasındayız. İstanbul hurdacı firmasıyız. Telefonumuzu şimdi arayın.

  61. fajas colombianas
    23rd June 2023 at 8:29 pm #

    Necessary to compose you an extremely little word to appreciate you yet again in connection with nice suggestions you’ve offered here.

  62. 邹芳
    27th June 2023 at 12:07 pm #

    嘿,谢谢你的information – I have certainly 从这里得到了anything.然而,我使用这个web site确实拥有several技术points,since我经历过重新加载site 很多次之前我可以让它加载正确.我一直想知道您的hosting 是否正常?并不是说 Im 抱怨,而是 slow 加载实例时间会very frequently 影响您在 google 中的排名并且 can 损害您的 high quality 如果ads 和 Adwords 营销得分.Anyway I am 将此 RSS 添加到我的 e-mail 并且 could 寻找 much 更多你们各自的 fascinating的内容.确保你再次更新这个很快..

  63. Lawrence Cassidy
    4th July 2023 at 3:43 am #

    protonix vs prilosec prilosec and probiotics

  64. Rosie Crawford
    8th July 2023 at 6:27 am #

    on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I found it for him…

  65. to learn more
    14th July 2023 at 4:05 pm #

    argumentative essay about customer service on writing the college application essay online essay writing service

  66. temporary floor protection for renovation
    14th July 2023 at 5:12 pm #

    I believe everybody went like Ones New website, reason being things like this site without doubt has a article on quality. I loved read A New content. go on To remain a useful article, I will avail Once more by One additional time. Bless you.

  67. Pod vape
    16th July 2023 at 3:42 pm #

    You actually suggested it effectively!how to write an essay for college admission professional writing company customer service writing

  68. it代写
    16th July 2023 at 9:06 pm #

    I really enjoy the post. Really Cool.

  69. yoga nidra for sleep
    19th July 2023 at 3:55 pm #

    hydroxychloroquine vs chloroquine hydroxychloroquine generic

  70. Tarot Reader
    22nd July 2023 at 3:56 pm #

    I just added this blog to my google reader, great stuff. Can’t get enough!

  71. ghe giam doc cao cap
    23rd July 2023 at 4:35 pm #

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these Second Life authors and blogs

  72. ??wallpapers for ios 16 aesthetic
    25th July 2023 at 12:47 pm #

    giving ivermectin to heartworm positive dog ivermectin cvs over the counter

  73. lap mang wifi internet viettel
    3rd August 2023 at 7:04 am #

    azithromycin sunburn bactrim kidney omnicef picture

  74. xe o to dien tre em
    3rd August 2023 at 8:45 am #

    Your mode off describing all in this piece of wriring is in fact pleasant, all be capable of simply be aware off it, Thans a lot.

  75. başakşehir hurda
    5th September 2023 at 11:56 pm #

    Çevre dostu bir yaklaşımla çalışan bu hurdacı firma, atık metallerin ve eski eşyaların geri kazanılmasına büyük katkı sağlıyor. Fiyatları da oldukça adil. BAŞAKŞEHİR HURDACI

  76. beşiktaş hurda fiyatları
    7th September 2023 at 12:02 am #

    Hurdacılar, profesyonel ve işlerine sadık bir ekip. Eski ev eşyalarınızı veya hurda metallerinizi değerlendirmek istiyorsanız kesinlikle tavsiye ederim. BEŞİKTAŞ HURDACI

  77. hurda fiyatları
    13th September 2023 at 2:24 am #

    Adresten hurda alüminyum alımı yapan hurdacı

  78. kd 15
    21st September 2023 at 12:44 am #

    It抯 onerous to search out educated individuals on this matter, however you sound like you recognize what you抮e speaking about! Thanks

  79. curry shoes
    23rd September 2023 at 6:45 am #

    It抯 exhausting to seek out educated folks on this matter, but you sound like you realize what you抮e speaking about! Thanks

Leave a comment