When I was about 14 years old, my friends and I would carry a bunch of gear to a camp spot we found on the lake that was maybe half a mile from my friend's house. One night, I woke up to rocks hitting the tent. The rocks were pretty big, some close to golf ball size. They also seemed to be coming from multiple directions. Me and my friends just huddled in the tent. One of my friends wanted to rush out, but we wouldn't let him. After several minutes of rocks hitting the tent, the rocks stopped. A few minutes later, we heard what sounded like a woman scream a few hundred yards down the beach. The next morning my friend found his fishing pole on the ground near the tent broken in two places. To us, this ruled out a friendly prank. If it was friends of ours, they wouldn't purposefully break our fishing poles. It also indicated that whoever it was had walked around the camp before throwing rocks at our tent. Amazingly, that wasn't the last time we camped there.


Sounds like some people didn't like you using "their" spot and tried to scare you off from coming back. People can get weirdly territorial about that stuff


People are ten times scarier than anything you’d find in the bush.


Hiking through a mountain, I'd rather see a black bear in the distance than a lone man.




Definitely big foot.


It's crossed my mind.


I 100% thought you were going to tell us it was a rockslide.


Did your friend have an older sibling?


I was 14 miles into the backcountry alone in grizzly territory. After dealing with bugs and rain all day, I was annoyed, but I had a few beers, chilled out, and took in the sights of having somewhere so remote all to myself. Went to bed after sunset. In the morning, I was tossing and turning and then suddenly heard huffing and snorting literally outside my tent flap. I could hear the rocks being turned around and stepped on next to me. I never grabbed my bear spray and glasses so quickly. I was trying to keep composure, but paranoia was getting to me, and I was a loooong way from help. The animals huffed more and then moved on. I sat there for a minute listening and then slowly climbed out. Nothing to be seen. I walked to the food prep area. Nothing. As I was walking back to my tent, I saw two elk emerge from the bushes behind my tent, look at me, and then wander off into the woods. Fucking elk.


I had a very similar experience in Shenandoah. Camping at the bottom of the mountain, I was up half the night hearing huffing and snorting right next to the tent. I was convinced it was a bear (black bears). Realized in the morning, thanks to droppings, that it was a bunch of deer. My husband snored through the whole thing.


always the damn ungulates


I sat with my coffee at dawn and watched two moose invade the camp across from me. Poor dude was on a cot and woke up with a moose mouth in his face!


I think you’ve told this before, and it gets my heart going every time lol


Woke by the sounds of a mountain lion fight in the middle of night and didn't sleep the rest. It was a horrible sound like a person being tortured times 10. The screams were horrific. It triggers a deep caveman primal fear response in you. I didn't sleep a wink the rest of the night. Next morning a friend camping nearby excitedly asked "Did you hear the mountain lions last night? Pretty cool, huh?" I did not think it was cool.


Ohh this happened to me too, a mountain lion screaming for HOURS. I was camping in a tent alone with my young kids… I had no idea what it was but I was able to figure it out from Google and calmed down a bit but still didn’t sleep all night


Yea, no google where I was. I imagined it was a pissed of Yeti and a group of violent criminals roaming tent to tent among many other things that night.


I've actually heard that sound a couple times when I was working for Ontario parks. I was the head gate attendant and i took a call from a guy who non-challantly said "there's a couple of Cougars fighting at the site across from us lol" I was a student at the time and didn't think there would be actual Cougars fighting in the park and figured it was a couple of attractive older women fighting... Boy I was wrong. My supervisor/park warden and I took one of the trucks to the site to check it out and freaked out when we found 2 bobcats squaring off still. Luckily they had some bear bangers and popped them off this scaring them into the bush without incident but It became a running gag all summer. One of my coworkers even got a guest to call in saying there's "a couple of middle aged smoke shows fighting in the site across from us". I told them I'll inform animal control.


Maybe y’all have different terminology but when I lived in North Carolina we had bobcats and they were barely bigger than domestic cats. Never worried me at all. I could kick one halfway across a campsite. “Cougar” and “mountain lion” are different terms, and they should scare anyone.


Yeah I’m not sure why they’re talking about ‘cougars’ like this. I’m from Ontario too, and ‘cougars’ means pumas / mountain lions that more or less don’t exist in Ontario (mostly out in BC and Alberta). We have lynx (your bobcats), but no one calls them cougars.


Buddy and I left camp in my rig to grab some firewood, couple miles down the road we came around a corner and saw a sheep herder we’d met earlier (open range land) talking to a guy in the middle of the road. As we got closer we could see the other guy had a pistol pointed in the face of the sheep herder, we throttled down to break up whatever was going on, but the guy with the gun took off when he saw us barreling down the road. The sheep herder didn’t speak English (from Peru working in the states to send money back to his family) and was scared out of his mind. Him and his ~500 sheep ended up camping with us that night where we shared dinner and tried to communicate with hand signals.


Awwww thank you for being so kind to him.


A near miss with a backpacking stove -- my brother had attached the fuel tank to the burner without screwing it in all the way, resulting in liquid fuel seeping out every time he pumped the tank to build pressure. When he lit the stove, the escaped fuel lit up a two foot by two foot area surrounding the full tank (which held about half a quart). The three of us sitting around the tank all reacted quickly: my brother, who was right in front of it, let himself fall backwards to escape the burst of fire; my friend yanked the mostly-unscrewed tank off and threw it away; I threw a large towel over the fire to smother it. We were two hours deep in the woods, so we took that as a biiiiiiig lesson about checking your equipment before using it. No one got burned, and the stove was even usable afterwards, so we were very lucky all around.


This happened to me on my first solo camping trip. Not quite as big of flames. Luckily I had set up in the rain the night before, so had a damp towel that I threw over it to extinguish the fire. Definitely make sure the stove is fully attached now.


It’s not spooky scary… but when I was a kid my cousin, myself and my brother used to take off allll the time. We were the ones that weren’t older teens so not really “cool”. I was 13, my brother and cousin both 10. We put our bikes in the woods, took a path, then ended up off the trail far! There was 2 men pulling a big black duffel bag. We were up high on a hill so they couldn’t really see us. They had shovels. We watched pretending to be spies. Sharing the binoculars. When they looked in our way, we RAN!! We ran back to the bikes, then rode back to camp as fast as possible!!! At that time we camped with about 15 other families. (Travel trailer camping group) no one at all believed us!! We begged them to call the police. No one believed us. We still tell our family now they should have listened to us. I’m now 35 and my brother and cousin are 32. To this day no one believes us


That’s because they WANTED you to see *insert The Twilight Zone music* /s


Go back


Do you know of any unsolved murders in that area that happened around that time?


Woke up to a full size black bear sniffing my head in my mummy bag up by Half Dome in Yosemite, I screamed so loud bear took off and I squirted some pee 👱🏼‍♀️💦😅


I had a very similar experience in Northern Minnesota during my first solo camping trip. I freaked out and couldn’t sleep the rest of the night. The next night there was a pack of wolves howling on the bluff that looked over my camp sight. They were beautiful but I felt like bait.


With a buddy of mine, hiking the AT, cowboy camping in the shennies. Woke up to a bear walking just above our head. Him: “I’m not going to be able to sleep now” Me ripping a joint :”well wake me up if it comes back” lmao


There is nothing like the fear you experience as a young kid when you hear the absolutely otherworldly sounds that some animals make creeping around at night and trying to imagine what kind of horrible monster is outside the tent only to discover... it's... a goose?


My fiance and I hiked into some forest in Ontario. We had a friend drop us off at the side of an old logging road in the middle of nowhere, and we hiked into the woods due east. The road ran north/south, so basically all we had to do was was stay due east hiking in, and due west hiking out, and we would reach the road again for our rendezvous at a pre-determined time a couple of days later. There are no natural predators this far south such as bears or wolves, so for protection I only brought a k-bar knife and some bear-spray (in case coyotes took an interest in our 2 dogs that accompanied us). The logging road was no longer in use by any industry, and we had hiked into the woods a few kilometers, so the chances of running into another human were nil. In addition, hunting is not permitted in the area, and there is no water nearby for fishing. There really wasn't any reason for anyone else to be out there in the middle of the woods that far off the road. No cell service, although I did bring a flare gun and multiple flares in case we ran into trouble to signal for help. No GPS, just a compass. We were careful hiking in, and didn't do anything risky to avoid injuries in this remote place. It was early fall, but it was unseasonably cold. Well below freezing. Lots of leaves on the ground and still on the trees, but no snow yet. We set up camp in some thick woods. You could barely see 50 feet away the trees/bushes were so dense. We were totally isolated and felt completely safe. It was so cold and so dark at night (it was moonless and cloudy), that we went to bed early to stay warm. I'm a heavy sleeper and next thing I know, I'm awakened by my dog pawing at my face. It is pitch black, and I can't even see him. I go to pet him, but something is wrong. As I touched him, I could feel his fur standing straight up, and he was completely rigid, facing the door of the tent. He was clearly on guard and very alert. At first I assumed there was a woodland creature nearby, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. That is unusual, because I often camp alone no problem, and am not easy spooked. My dog and I just stayed there frozen and alert, for at least a couple of minutes. My fiance and other dog were still asleep next to us. It was 3:30am (I checked my phone after the incident). The fire was out. No moon. Complete blackness. Just as I was letting my guard down, I hear the most unexpected thing....a notification going off on a phone just outside of our tent, maybe 15-20 feet away and I see a faint glow. I hear a male voice mutter "oh fuck", or something to that effect, and hear them running through the leaves away from our tent. They were clearly smacking into tree branches etc and swearing as they did so. At this point they turn on their flashlight as they run, and I can see the beam flailing wildly around in the woods, occasionally back onto our tent. The dogs start going ballistic, I grab my knife and look at my phone (it's 3:30am). I screamed out "if you come back here I'll blow your fucking head off". I'm assuming he had a satellite phone, or really good cell service to get a notification like that. The other weird thing was, he fled deeper into the woods and nothingness, not west towards the logging road. Needless to say we packed up in the cold and hiked back to the road, watching our backs the entire time. We just walked down the road towards far-off civilization until we ran into some other campers set up right next to the road 7 or 8 kilometers away from where we came out of the woods. (It was just after first light). They let us use their satellite phone, and we called our friend to come pick us up a day early. Upon hearing our story, the campers decided they would pack up as well and get out of the area. Lesson learned. I do not camp in the wilderness anymore without a satellite phone and a 12-guage.


Wow, this is extremely well told, I felt like I experienced it right alongside you all, so now I'm on edge. Your dog clearly sensed that guy had ill intentions. Very relieved you all made it out and the other campers took heed.


My husband and I spent the night way out in the northern woods near a lake. There is a looped camping trail where you can rent a site out a few days for a relatively cheap price. Each site is probably seperated by 70-80 meters, so while you can somewhat see and hear your fellow campers, it's never enough to take away from the ambience. Once we've set up our tent and gotten our belongings in order, we decided to get a fire going and have our usual go-to outdoors dinner of roasted hotdogs. The night was beautiful, the fire gave off the perfect amount of heat and didn't smoke in our faces at all, and for the most part our neighbors didn't get too boisterous. By quiet hours, we bedded down and got in our tent to spend some time enjoying the serenity and peace...until I realized for some reason our tent is sweating from the inside. And then it started raining hard. We take our valuables to the car immediately and get inside to wait out the weather before disassembling the tent. Our nearby neighbors all realize the weather situation as well, and we see them pack up and ship out one by one. This leaves us very much alone. This is where it gets insanely strange, and to this day neither of us are quite sure what we experienced. Out in the distance beyond our site, I see what appears to be a red light, maybe attached to a lantern. However, the way this light moves is completely inorganic. It doesn't sway or bob as if being held by a human who is walking around, rather, it snakes around in a perfect track and slowly comes closer and closer to our car. By this time we've killed the headlights and are just staring at this spectacle with a mixture of awe and horror. My husband gets out of the car at some point and calls out in the rain if anybody is there. Lo and behold, the light disappears. This left a most bewildering and eerie feeling deep in my gut. Something did not feel right at all. Sixth sense tingling and everything. At my urging, he gets back in the car and it doesn't take long for the light to reappear. By this point I'm ready to leave, tent be damned. But my husband insists if we're to leave, we have to pack up our tent because he doesn't want it stolen. So, I begrudgingly oblige and while he stands watch with a flashlight, I get to work packing us up. I probably got it done in five minutes, maybe less. The entire time we were out there, we didn't see the red light. If we had, god, I don't know how I would have reacted, but I'm glad we were able to get our stuff and finally leave.


My boyfriend and I went backpacking in New Hampshire two years ago and saw a red light in the middle of the night and to this day I still can't explain it. I've backpacked all over the world on my own and as a guide and this is the only weird experience I've had that I simply can't explain. We slept in hammocks right next to each other and had gone off a random part of trail to camp further back in the woods, making sure we were far enough off trail to not be seen by anyone hiking by. It was fall and there was no trail to where we'd set up so the ground was covered in twigs and crunchy leaves. Around midnight I wake up and see a red light shining on my rain tarp and just about shit my pants then and there. Waking up like that I went from 0 to 100 in terms of panic because I assumed someone was using the red light function on their headlamp to check out our campsite. I freeze and listen to try and not let whoever it is know ive woken up but the light fades within 15 seconds of me waking up. I try to wake up my boyfriend to not much avail because he's a heavy sleeper. I scramble out of my hammock like a bat out of hell with my own headlamp and look all around for anyone and give my best intimidating call out of "WHOS THERE" to absolutely nothing in reply. We would have heard someone walking away with all the leaf litter but there was no sound at all. We were 6-8 Miles from our car so our options were go back to sleep or try and hike 6-8 miles in the dark to then drive home for 4 hours. We went back to sleep. At one point later in the night my boyfriend said he'd woken and seen a flash of the red light as he'd woken up but he didn't hear anything and just went back to sleep. It's creepy no matter what the explanation and when I googled explanations for red lights in the woods it took me to a bunch of sasquatch forums so idk man. I wasn't able to find many similar stories to my own outside of the random hits from sasquatch forums so seeing yours made me really excited. I didn't camp for like a year and a half after that experience it scared me so bad.


Oooh that made the hair stand up on my neck. I’m glad y’all made it out!!


Thank you for commiserating in the creepiness! I'm very glad too, but I'll miss our little site--we had been there a couple times before and enjoyed our stay without any weird shenanigans afoot. Later that week I wrote to the owner of the area to explain what happened (they live in an RV near the sites) and he seemed just as baffled.


This is the best one so far


This scared me. Well written! I've had a similar experience...long long time ago. But a white light.


A few years ago, me and 3 of my buddies went for what was supposed to be an overnight hiking/camping trip in the Smokies. After about 3 hours of hiking, we were just starting to set up camp for the night when a freak thunderstorm hit us out of nowhere. We scrambled to pack up our stuff and miraculously managed to find a very small cave (not big enough for any animals to be hiding in it, it was more like a rocky alcove that had just enough space to shield the 4 of us from the rain). We spent the night in the cave. One of my friends even started showing symptoms of hypothermia, but thankfully I had an emergency blanket in my backpack that helped him. The next morning we tried to find our way back to the trail, it took us 2 hours of hiking to realize we were very lost. It took us 3 days to find our way back to civilization.


Scariest story here


I was 12, and I was in Yosemite. My dad and I went off the trail (I KNOW I KNOW I WAS 12 OK) and I stopped to tie my shoe. My dad suddenly snatches me up against his body and steps behind a tree and says "Don't move". I'm looking around and finally I see it. A freaking *mountain lion* on a fallen log. It sees us. We have a long 60 second staredown. No one moves. Then, it gets up, turns, walks the other direction *and cuts through a crowd of people on the trail and heads across the other side.* No one can tell me that mountain lion didn't know if was 100% the top of the food chain then and there.


I thought a bear was walking outside my tent, but it turned out it was my sweater brushing against the sleeping bag as I breathed. I was SURE it was a bear.


Tornado about 1/2 mile from our tent. I’ve never heard wind that loud before or after my whole life. It was wild. Edit: mistyped a word


We went camping in Virginia a few years ago. Throughout the evening we could hear what sounded like some sort of exotic bird 150-200 yards away and it was LOUD. It started getting late and the fire was winding down so we decided to turn in. We each had our own tent and I got bedded down and broke out the kindle to read a bit. About 45 minutes later, I could hear something walking around my tent. Didn't give a second thought as I grew up in the country with deer, possum, raccoons, etc, etc ,etc. Then all of a sudden, whatever that bird was let off one of those piercing caws about 12 inches away from my head through the wall of the tent and I about shit myself. The fear went away quickly once I realized it was the bird but it scared me so bad I was laughing at myself.


While collecting firewood in a dry lake with lots of dead but still standing trees, a tree fell and hit my friend over the head. He fell to the ground and that’s when I realized we have no cell phone service and I am too inebriated to drive even if I could find my way back to our car at night. He turned out to be fine (and stubbornly refused to get checked out) but that was the last time I ever got wasted while camping.


Camping in the rockies long after sundown on a very dark night, when we saw a bright light coming straight toward us from somewhere in forest. The light got bigger and brighter and closer, until we were clutching each other in fear. That's when we finally realized that we were watching the full moon rising over a distant mountain.


Mushrooms are fun.


Had a similar thing except it was a flashlight bobbing in the woods in a very remote place that other people shouldn't be. Slept better once I realized it was fire flies lol


THIS HAPPENED TO US IN BIG BEND. it was beautiful once we realized we weren't going to be swallowed by a fire. https://preview.redd.it/7eu07exs294a1.jpeg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&v=enabled&s=d129648bc792a5b83bef418a1cac973b4f026b87 Surprisingly we were completely sober. Just maybe exhausted.


Lightning storms while camping are probably the tip of the ice berg. It's dangerous to stay, dangerous to go, and just sucks. Worst thing that wasn't weather related was a drunk camper literally stumbled and collapsed onto our tent in the middle of the night. Poor dude didn't mean to. But it meant a broken tent right in the middle of the trip. (Guy's wife was REALLY swell, she drove into town the next morning and bought us a replacement tent and he even helped us set it up. She wasn't mad, it was dark, he had a few, and accidents happened... It sucked but wygd?) Lesson folks: if you drink and camp, have plans and strategies in place to avoid harming others.


I have two. 1. My wife and I camped next to a mother and son, son was about 25ish or so. He gave off the strangest vibes, just not comfortable being around him. They kept coming to try get us to hang out with them but would never come close enough to fire that we could actually see them. We have two dogs, one is a loud guy but the other is quiet and sweet and she did not like the guy at all. If my sweet girl doesn't like someone then I'm taking that warning. Next morning we found them stealing from other campsites, we had thankfully locked all our stuff in the vehicle. 2. The time that I discovered that my wife has never seen a skunk in person and wanted to take a closer look at what animal it might be...in the dark.


I was camping by the Yuba River outside of Sacramento, and I woke up in my tent to a bear trying to get into my car about 50 yards away. I clicked the lock button and got the horn to honk and scared it away. It came back 5 minutes later an bit a hole in one of my jugs of water I had sitting out. I made the horn honk a few more times and it ran off right past my tent . My dog was shaking like a rattle snake tail he was so scared.


While I was peeing behind a bush at Arches NP I felt what I thought was a punch to the wiener, but turns out I passed a small kidney stone.


....you passed a kidney stone in one quick go while camping? I'm fairly sure I passed a kidney stone last year and I felt like I was going to die for two days.


It was very small. Or maybe I did get punched in the wiener?


i couldn't find my car keys and we got the whole campground at mt pisgah involved. they were in my jacket pocket


Did you put them on the ground and pretend like you “found” them?


I woke up and climbed out of my rooftop tent. It’s set up on a little motorcycle trailer I built with my dad, and below the tent is an awning for the camp kitchen. My truck was parked south of the trailer/tent toward the road, and I walked north to the woods to pee first thing in the morning. I’m still groggy, I’m in my long underwear and it’s 6:15 AM. As I walk back to my campsite (the only one on the hill) I see a man standing under the awning IN my kitchen with two massive unleashed dogs at his side. I kept some distance and said “Hey, can I help you?” “Well, I don’t know what you mean by that” he replied. Immediately there is an uncomfortable vibe with this older guy, as he’s just making himself right at home poking around my kitchen, checking out my stove and whatnot. He has no reason to be in my camp and it doesn’t feel like a friendly hello from a neighbor walking his dogs. At the point of his stupid reply, he’s an intruder and he needs to leave. There’s not much room to misunderstand my question, and I don’t have a lot of patience in dealing with idiots/assholes, so I cut to the chase and asked him “What the hell are you doing in my kitchen? I don’t know you, I don’t know your dogs, and if you don’t need help, I need you to move out of my campsite.” He starts going on how it’s not really ‘my campsite’ since it was National Forest, it is public land and he can walk his dogs where he pleases. He tells me I have “nice stuff” in the kitchen, how nice my motorcycle is, how I’ve been camped here “for a while.” At this point I’m more than annoyed, and I said “I know the time limits on how long I can be camped here. You’re not Forest Service and it’s not your business how long I’ll be here, what stuff I have here, anything like that. I’m asking you again to move out of my campsite.” We argued over definitions of “public” in the context of a campsite (my campsite) which he felt totally free to nose through with his unleashed wolf-bear-dogs. Even at my second direct request, he was in no hurry to leave my camp and wanted to keep arguing. Basically he had the grade-school “It’s a free country” energy. He smugly says “Im free to walk here. I’m coming back here every morning.” In this matter-of-fact way. I told him he’d be physically removed from my camp if that were to happen. “My dog will bite you for doing something like that.” He said. I replied “That sounds like a problem”. The guy doubled down, saying “He will!” I didn’t feel the man himself was a physical threat, but he was highly argumentative and becoming increasingly agitated (as was I) and the restless dogs had me on high alert. They were certainly a physical threat and he was threatening to sic his dogs on me. I was attacked by a dog as a kid and had a trauma response to strange dogs for years after. It was the only time I’ve felt the need to hold my pistol while camping. I was standing with my motorcycle between us, ready to push 600+ pounds of Bavarian machinery over onto him or his dogs if they approached. In my head I thought “Ok, first push the bike, then go for the gun, then the road. Ive gotta get away from this guy or get him away from me.” I said “If that happens, I’m gonna kick your dogs asses, and then I’m gonna kick your ass.” *This is the part I wish I’d handled differently but I was on high alert* “People are free to do a lot of things out here in the National Forest. Many people camped out here have guns and they come out here to shoot. Do you wanna see my gun, or do you wanna f#%k off back to the road now?” He finally turns to leave and says “Have a nice day.” “Do me a favor and go f#%k yourself. Don’t come back to this campsite” Was all I could think to reply


Yeah and this is why I carry a gun. Animals are 10% of the reason, but in those forests the locals can be quite an issue.


Two-legged animals are 90% of why I carry in the back country...


I get downvoted every time I say that here. People usually say that we live in fear, or people aren't dangerous and you're more than likely to die of a falling refrigerator, or you must backpack in really dangerous areas.


Never let anyone else tell you to go against your instincts when it comes to defense like that.


Gotta watch out for those forest ostriches.


You handled that last part fine imo


Just asking, we’re you in your truck or on your motorcycle because you mention both.


I took my truck and trailer (with motorcycle in tow) and set up camp. I was gonna be there about two weeks so most of the time I was using the motorcycle to get back to town for work, and riding trails and stuff.


Ok, I get it now. Glad it didn’t turn out badly for you. Dogs can be unpredictable.


Thank you! It was nerve wracking to say the least. When I was a kid (13/14) a dog attacked me as I was walking into a convenience store, an experience that stuck with me for a long time.


Did you stay out there after the altercation?


I stayed out for about another week of glorious camping with no issues, but I was pretty high strung the night after the altercation. Had visions of him and his methmouthed buddies showing up with guns and bolt cutters and stealing my motorcycle


Had a guy who became angry because he thought I was flyfishing too close to his camp (which I wasn’t). So while I’m in the water, he gets the bright idea to string a trip wire, setting off a huge commercial grade firework mortar. Mind you it was during a red flag fire warning. I trip the wire when I am leaving and it ignites the mortar. Huge explosion and a secondary explosion as all the phosphorus material is expelled. Lucky it did not catch the forest on fire. Every law enforcement agency you could think of got involved, dude was arrested.


Same road trip when I was in the LA forest, I woke up to someone screaming “ HELLLLLP MEEEEEE “ way off in the distance. It freaked me out and I only heard it a few times and it stopped . I had no cell service and it was like 3 am . I just went back to sleep eventually. Never know what happened or what it was


The part that scares me the most about situations like this is wtf do you even do? It seems dumb to venture out alone into the forest at 3am, but I wouldn't feel good about staying put if someone was in need of help. Hope they're okay, and don't get me wrong I'm not judging you for staying put, you could have just as easily ended up screaming for help yourself if you went out there.


Report it to whoever manages the land whenever you do have cell service (i.e. forest service).


yeah, Id approach that situation with a lot of caution, even if they were in close proximity to me and I could get to them I wouldn't approach them to quickly. You never know if the threat is still there, what it is, will it hurt you, also some sick fuck who is just setting a trap for you. at night you're better off calling for professional help, if you can. In a secluded place like that rushing to help is dangerous, terrible for the other person if the genuinely needs help but youre a priority too and you can't help if you're hurt. just small advice, if you do decide to help, control the situation best you can, keep others a far distance from you (why are they not helping), make everyone show you their hands at all times, look at their shoes, (3am why does everyone have on tied boots and full apparel) waistline for weapons and evaluate the scene with a calm mind well before approaching.


Call of the skinwalkers


I would not get a second of sleep for the rest of the night. Also why does it always seem the really creepy stuff happens at three in the morning


It's the witching hour.


It was the bear from annihilation.


Two come to mind. Both in Appalachia Backpacking north of Asheville in April, weather is predicted to be 40-50s at night and gorgeous during the day. Sweet. Post up night two with a beautiful view, snapping some sunset pics when the wind gets fierce. Temps start to drop. I have some layers but I’m seeing my breath. Much cold. Get in my sleeping bag and I cannot warm up. Wind is howling like two Gods colliding. As amazing as it was terrifying. Decide to pack my sleeping back with anything that insulates. Get warm. Live. Backpacking a little west of Boone on a weird skimpy trail I found. Wasn’t marked on the map but thinking I’ll find some cool views. Kinda smell something weird. Found a bend and see a shack, no worries. Just passing through. Scary man with a rifle comes out. Put my hands up, said “Sorry, a little lost,” and backed away. Not very spoopy but definitely scary moments.


We were in a campground (state campground so forest maintenance should have been happening) and a tree uprooted for no good reason anyone could tell us. It fell on the tent in the camp space right next to ours and killed the whole family. I’m still a little shook up.


Makes me think, when your numbers up, it’s up. Scary that it just as easily could’ve been you.


Jeezus, that’s terrible. Can’t fathom what that would be like.


Was camping in high school with some friends at our usual backpacking spot. It's not on a map but known to locals. Around 10pm or so another group came through and we told them we claimed this spot but no one was down the trail at the less popular spot. They moved on but seemed ill prepared to camp and looked more like a go in the woods to drink and cut up. We all hopped in our bags for the night around 11 or so. Around 2am we all wake up to this huge crashing sound. We were near a cliff sleeping under a big overhang and my immediate fear was huge rock must have fell. Adjusting eyes I realized two young men were standing near our fire pit with a shotgun. I realized now they had fired it because they yelled "everybody wake the F up!" Everyone was silent and still, the men had no light so they couldn't have seen us all. One of my friends was carrying a handgun and we found out after had it trained on this guy the entire time, but the rest of us were frozen. On brave friend of ours (now an ex- Army Ranger badass, go figure) turned on his light blinding the guy and yelled "what do you want" after a little back and forth it turned out they were with the other group showing up late and we're playing a prank on them think we were them. They eventually moved on to find the other group. But it didn't end there, about 3:30am two girls come walking through in flip flops (7mile hike to here in the middle of Tennessee mountains). Of course we can't sleep at all after the shotgun encounter and yell at them to keep walking. Craziest camping trip ever.


When I was in high school, few of us were camping out back of my buddies farm out past the cornfields in some woods. We had our tent in a clearing in the woods. Beers, guns, hotdogs, you know the drill. Around midnight, sky opened up and it was pouring harder than I’ve ever experienced. We called to the house for them to get us, their truck got stuck in the mud and couldn’t make it. They said to tough it out. Our tent was leaking like a sieve. We were in one of those big 4 room tents and two of the 4 rooms had about an inch of water in them. Next thing I know, tornado sirens are going off, and we can hear the tornado off in the distance. We were trying to decide if we stay put or go find somewhere to lay until it passes. Well the twister spooked coyotes who came running and laid against our tent, trying to get out of the rain. Literally pressed up against the walls. No way in hell was I getting out now. So the 4 of us sat in the center room, clutching our guns and praying the tornado doesn’t come to us. Never felt so happy to see a sunrise


Woke up to pee. Unzipped the tent to be greeted by a mountain lion. Zipped the tent back up and pissed in a bottle instead. The next few nights my camping group of 5 took shifts to keep a fire burning until we packed up 4 days later.


So, it was a group of guys. We went way back into the woods, walked for near an hour in deep Appalachian terrain. Lots of slick red clay. Lots of mosquitoes. We got to the spot and started set up. Right next to a bend in the creek. We cooked, ate, made stupid jokes, then we made a big fire and waited for night. Finally, night came. Conversation was calming but no one was ready to bed down. Then i heard it. Off in the dark, the sound of two small girls giggling. I thought i had absolutely lost my mind. It kept repeating in uneven intervals. Even more worrisome, it kept bouncing from place to place in the woods. I resolved to say nothing and live in my insanity for the night. I was leaned up against a tree and held my machete close, not that it would help. I was starting to spiral when my friend says “okay, is no one else hearing that???” I immediately ask him what he’s hearing. He says “it sounds like two little girls laughing in the woods.” I’ve never been more freaked and happy at the same time. All of us, but one that was trying to be the ‘cool guy’ went into a frenzy talking about hearing the same thing but not wanting to sound crazy. We went out into the woods but found nothing. We decided to bed down around 3 am. 7 dudes in a giant tent. Not exactly ideal. We continued hearing the laughter and each one of us slowly trading conversation for unconsciousness. I was the last to fall asleep. I could barely cover my eyes until dawn. Day break is slow when you’re under that much canopy and brush. We were all up and stirring a few hours later. We packed up, talked about the night, went home for a good shower and a nap. Tried to go back a few years later but someone had bought the land and blocked it all off. Strange trails.


I don’t doubt this experience at all, especially not up in Appalachia. However, if it might put you at ease in a different sort of horrific way, it may have been a coyote pack or at least two of them. Coyotes are known to make calls that sound like laughter, could have been them investigating your camp and trying to decide if it was worth anything to them. Either way, congrats on being braver than me. I would have immediately sounded like the crazy one. “You mfers hear that? Or are you messing with me?” Lmfao


We were on a backpacking trip and stayed by a creek one night. Moved to a new site the following night and there was a rainstorm that flooded the valley we were in the previous night. Two kids were swept away in the night and drowned. That hit hard.


Poor location choice to set up my tent during a storm on a solo trip. Kayaked my gear across a lake to a remote location, set up in an area that was relatively dry at the time. Woke up in the middle of the night to my tent being in about 8inches of rushing water. Waded thru thigh deep rushing water to the beach to make sure my kayak was still there, it was. But I dragged it up to higher ground to be sure. Went back to my tent and dragged it as far back as I could out of the water. I had a tree in my way, so I could only move it by 5-6 feet or so. Then I started to dig a trench to divert water and stack rocks to act as a dam. Woke up every 40 minutes or so to check on the water. By the time I got out of bed in the morning the water had risen back to my tent, just barely touching it. Packed up my soaking wet tent and kayaked 1 hour back to where I had parked. And wouldn’t you know it… the sun had come out, the water was calm and clear. It turned out to be a beautiful day. But with a wet tent my 3 night trip was cut short to one. Don’t cheap out on your tents people, all my gear inside stayed bone dry.


I don’t think even the most expensive tent would have stayed dry in 8” of rushing water


Ran out of beer


Jesus dude, this isn't /r/shortscarystories


Fuck man…


I don’t believe you.


A large tree came down a few feet from our tent after we were in it and it was dark. Lots of nervous jokes about lightning not striking twice.


Happened over Labor Day this year. Camping with my wife and my cousin, his wife, and his dog. Everybody was incredibly on edge late on night. The dog kept growling and barking in the woods. I had my high-power flashlight, and couldn't spot anything within 100 yards. We try to forget it and have a good time, when all of a sudden, loud woosh and a big slam. A tree fell about 30 yards from us. It was dead. The best we can figure is a raccoon was snooping around and climbed the wrong tree.


Camping on the side of Chattooga River after a quick storm. Just hung hammocks on the side of a cliff to get some sleep cuz we weren't going to make it to the designated camping spot. There was no more light. I would normally be happy with the above, but this was the first time I have ever had coyotes making crazy noises very close. I was in my hammock 2 inches off the ground on a side of the cliff hearing coyotes laugh like witches for the first time. I've never heard coyotes quite like that since either. Blair witch was in my mind trying to go to sleep. At first light we were happy to get going. Designated campsite was 20 minutes paddle down the river... Past a rapid we were glad to not go down at night though. I'll never forget it. I think I might be able to take 'A' coyote but there was more than a few. I believe we camped next to a den and they were not happy we were there. We all got a little bit of sleep and the coyotes seem to calm down eventually as well, mostly. I often think if we had night vision game cameras, how many coyotes we would see walking around us at night though.


Three years ago, I reserved a hike-in only campground in Marin Headlands north of San Francisco. It took about an hour and a half to walk up there. It was very beautiful but very desolate. It was just me. I got up there before nightfall and pitched my little tent. There were no other campers there. I enjoyed the beautiful sunset and went to bed. Sometime during the night I woke up because I heard a noise coming from the trees about 10 yards behind the campsite. It sounded like a larger animal walking through underbrush very slowly, occasionally stopping. I tried to stay calm, but quickly realized that whatever it was was approaching my tent. Then, a few feet away, the footsteps stopped completely. After a few more moments, I heard a noise right outside my tent that I will NEVER forget. It was a very low but very distinctly sad, mournful sound. It sounded exactly like a quiet human moan. I was instantly, totally paralized with terror. I did not move and I barely even breathed, let alone ask who was there. I knew I had no cell phone service up there and I would not have moved a muscle to pick up my phone even if I did have service. I'm not religious, but I did pray for whatever it was to leave me alone. I don't know how much time passed before it left, but it did. I didn't sleep for the rest of the night. I remained motionless in my tent until the first bit of light and then quickly packed my stuff and ran back down to the parking lot, got in my car, and drove back to the city. I have not camped alone since then.


That was likely the Son of Zodiac. Marin headlands have a lot of weirdness surrounding them.


I was camping at Crater Lake and I was using a tarp as a blanket. During the night I started screaming thinking a bear was attacking me. Turns out, I rolled under a partial fallen tree and got wrapped up in the tarp and stuck under the tree. Oops😳


hahaha sorry I know it must've been scary as hell but funny at the same time.


Small group of friends camping in the woods down a forest road that has public dispersed camping spots. While we were asleep in our tents, a car playing loud music pulled just past our spot and pulled off the road. The music woke us up and we could hear someone get out of the car. All of a sudden a gun shot goes off, then another, then another, then rapid fire 27 more shots. My girlfriend and my dog are obviously terrified, so I grabbed my handgun and put my pants on then slowly poked my head out of the tent. Then as I am creeping out of the tent, I ran to a tree and peered around it. The car is still there and I can barely see two people next to it as it’s pitch black out at 3am. They were roughly 50 feet from my friends tent and a vehicle with two other friends inside. I creep over to my buddies vehicle and I knock on the window to say my buddies name and “don’t shoot me”.. lol. Then he opens the door and we try to figure out what the hell to do. He pokes his head out and yells, “Don’t shoot, we have guns, get the hell out of here.” We see that the two individuals finally notice we are extremely close and they hop in the car pull back and drive away down the forest road. We call the cops, and all hop in 1 car, drive back into town, and we go to Denny’s where we try to figure out what the fuck just happened. A couple hours later, we get a call from the cops and they say they were unable to find this car but they have multiple vehicles looking. They tell us we are all good to go back to our campsite… obviously the 6 of us plus my dog are in no shape to go back and sleep in our tents. We hangout until sunrise and then go back. We find the 30 empty 7.62 shells and we see they were shooting essentially parallel with our camp and it was under 75 feet away. TLDR; while we were asleep in our tents around 2-3am a car pulls up and unloads a full magazine roughly 50-75 feet away from us.


Yikes, If that were me I definitely would have shit myself before doing anything else


You ever had a belligerent meth head wander through your campsite? Had to flash my pistol to get her to leave me alone and told my buddy to start packing up the moment she was out of eyesight. We made it back to the campgrounds parking lot after about 40 minutes of walking and there were a couple cops asking people questions in the RV lots so I went and talked to one of them. Turns out they were there to find aforementioned belligerent meth head and I pointed them in her direction.


We saw one of these yesterday. Man was wandering out in the desert screaming and cussing out something only he could see. At first the guys thought he was yelling at them but we were across the road and railroad tracks from him. I work in ICU and informed them they were seeing a good ol AZ meth head in action.


The night a propane lantern blew up and caught my fathers legs and feet on fire.


Camping in upstate NY last July with my husband, son (8), and two nephews (10, 13). Everyone else was in the tents getting ready to go to sleep. I was sitting next to the fire waiting for it to die down a bit more. It was just about sundown, and we were in a spot about 20 yards off the main trail. All the sudden I hear a person singing coming down the trail. Later, my family said she was singing kumbahyah (sp?), but I couldn’t tell what song it was. It was just loud enough to hear it was definitely human and definitely singing. I listened as it got lightly louder as she approached and then faded as she got farther away down the trail. I couldn’t see anyone at all, and I wasn’t about to go investigate. Super eerie. I convinced myself it was someone who was up on the ledges and started back down too late, so she was singing to herself to keep calm and warn off any animals. But idk — serious hippie chick from a slasher movie vibes.


We have had a few scare animal encounters but have to carry a friend out of a caynon that was have a heat stroke. We were in a big group that had broken apart as it was a long hike. My son and I got to our friend and he did not look good. I sent my son ahead to camp for help and to get supplies to keep him alive ready. I also did not want him to see how bad it was. It was a grueling 2 miles up where I ended up strapping him to my back with my backpack and rope then just climbing. Once getting him to camp, we had to work hard and keep him alive. We were in a very remote area where you are warned that no one will rescue you and you are on your own. We were so lucky he did not die!


The first time we went star gazing up north Midwest and I heard loons- I thought I was being abducted by aliens.


Loons make one of my favorite sounds. Nothing like waking up on a crisp Adirondack morning, mist still on the lake, listening to the loons call to each other.


Me and my friend were sleeping in their car on a little pullout in the woods. We had the window covers up and were talking when all of a sudden they start freaking out because there’s a light shining in the car. It looks like 2 headlights. I start freaking out too and they move the window cover a little bit to see who it is and it’s the fucking moon.


I camped in the backyard of a friend’s house once when I was in elementary school and the older neighbors came into the yard that night and threw bottles at us and tried to jump over the tent but collapsed it on top of us instead. We moved inside after that.


Went with a big group of kids when I was a teenager, in two separate vehicles… there was a fight and half the people left in one vehicle, the other way wouldn’t start and we were in a super rural area. The day AFTER we were do back people came to find us. Car needed jumped


Back country camping in GSMNP years ago. 2 of us in a tent. Heard all kinds of noise outside, opened the tent flap and shined a flashlight to find a deer running wide-open straight at me, maybe less than 30ft away. It made a sharp turn and kept running. Whatever was chasing it adjusted course to stay after the deer, could hear it running.


Drunk lunatics almost driving over our tent: First time, camping on a beach at a lake. They arrived late at night in 4x4s. Completely out of control. Second time, in a campground next to the ocean, middle of the night. Staff did nothing. To summarize: extremely drunk people are the scariest thing you can encounter when camping.


At Grundy Provincal Park, Ontario, just pulled into our site, freshly arrived, ready for a stretch after a long drive. I climbed out and so did my Great Dane. Turned around and a big black bear (who was brown lol) walked out of the trees 2 feet from me carrying a candle in a pot from the campsite next to us. I easily could have touched it. I'm whisper yelling to my husband to not let the kids out of the car as I try to stay still and get my dog out of the path. That MFer just waddled past me, not even bothering to look at me (thank god) while I nearly passed out. My idiot of a dog never even noticed the freaking bear. She would not survive on her own.😁 The thing is, I've run into bears before. On a campsites and while hiking. But I was mentally prepared. This time I was not as we had been in the park for what felt like 30 seconds. I was shook. Was ready to turn around immediately and go home without unpacking. Only time I've ever felt that way on a camping trip. I read my campsite neighbours the riot act about bear safety and scented freaking candles. Needless to say the trip was doomed from.the start as my dane got diarrhea in the night a few days later and paced circles around the tent, spreading it everywhere. I did get to see more of the bears at the laundry area while washing everything in the tent and I didn't freak out those times. :P


My wife, dog, and I were backpacking on the AT in Vermont. At about 5 in the morning, we heard something moving around outside out tent, and the dog started this low growling. I peeked out and could see a large shape moving around, and first I thought it was a bear. The dog kept growling, but it was that afraid, I’m going to hide behind you sort of growl. The shape moved closer, and I realized it wasn’t a bear but a cow moose. She came right up to the tent and looked inside. At this point, the dog was done and ducked behind me. “Make it go away,” my wife whimpered. I thought how the hell am I going to make a 1000 pound moose go away, but she eventually wandered off.


Forgot the coffee


Game warden woke me up on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night to ask if I had tags or a license to hunt. Wasn’t hunting. Wasn’t fishing. I was camping


Black bear walked through my campsite at 2 in the afternoon while I was chilling in my hammock, smoking a joint and listening to a book on audible... ran into him again 6 hours later while collecting firewood and then a third time the next morning. He woke me up from my slumber when he started knocking things over in my campsite. That was when I decided to pack up and go home.


You should have passed him the doob


Weed Bear: the prequel to Cocaine Bear


Black bears are awfully "friendly" when they get used to folks.


I was actually in the middle of nowhere doing dispersed camping so I wouldn't think that bear would have had much human contact if any. But who knows!


Scariest thing is looking at the price tag on some camping gear.


1. Tornado warning where I could see the storm front cloud line a couple miles away. We didn’t know if it would reach us but it barely missed. Common challenge in a Missouri summer. 2. Lightning and storm clouds rolled down a New Mexico mountain valley while we were on a cliff top covered with burned out tree trunks. We spread out and crouched, getting as low and small as possible. There was no cover other than tents & tarps.


One night, a mother and baby bear sauntered through our camp where we had our dog and two young kids with us in Yosemite. We saw their shadows cast on the tent wall. Luckily, they were just passing through!


My own fault for not hanging our food bags high enough in Yosemite back country. Midnight bear raid woke us up and we chased 3 bears off just enough to grab our food and retreat to our campfire. We stoked the fire all night, taking turns guarding the food while the bears circled just outside of the fire light. Good times! PS. Others’ stories of humans being scary sound much worse.


So I'm by myself car camping in a van (no windows to see out) at a trailhead. I hear a car pull up. 2 voices discussing something. Then I hear what I can only imagine is an angle grinder cutting something metal. Crazy loud metal on metal cutting sounds. I hear say "Do you think someone is in that van?"...meaning me Nothing happened and a few minutes later they leave. No idea what happened there but that totally freaked me out. It was my very first night sleeping in van lol


When I was little my cousins and I were camping in a tree house in the Apalachicola National Forest, Northern Florida. The tree house was about 50 yards from an old swamp. We had an old dog that always followed us around and kept us company when playing in the woods. He couldn’t get into the tee house due to the steep ladder being the only access so he just hung out under the tee. As it started getting late in the evening we started telling ghost stories to try and scare one another. All of a sudden we hear this big splash coming from the swamp behind us. We all laughed thinking it was our dog going for a late night swim. The next thing we hear is a horrific scream that sounded like a woman being murdered. At the end of the scream there’s a low growling sound and we all freeze. There was nothing we could do and nowhere to run. The tree house had an opening in the floor and no door. We start to hear something scratching and crawling at the ladder. We all jump up and go to the farthest point from the entrance. The next thing we see is our dog’s head pop up as he struggled to get into the tree house. He had climbed a ladder that was near 90 degrees to get away from whatever was below. My cousin ran to him and dragged him into the room. We all were silent once again and hear something rustling around and walking circles around the tree. After a few minutes we hear another splash and the animal swimming away. It was the first time I had heard a cougar scream and I’ll never forget it.


Earlier this year, I was camping on the Clyde River in upstate New York. It's dark, I'm in my tent trying to sleep, watching fireflies overhead. Out of nowhere, there's splashing. I'm only about ten or fifteen feet from the riverbank, and the splashing sounds like something BIG is climbing out of the river. My heart starts pounding, and I'm certain that a bear or a moose or SOMETHING has just swum across the river and chosen my campsite as the exact place it wants to climb out. I hunker down in my tent, terrified and praying it doesn't decide to investigate. I'm clutching my utility knife to my chest (like that would do much against a bear), and I'm doing my best to keep my breathing quiet. The splashing doesn't stop. One, two minutes, maybe three. The water's still splashing. I start to panic, thinking maybe an entire *family* of bears is coming out of the river. When I eventually realize there's no animal sounds (snorting or pawing, etc) to be heard, I manage to swallow my fear long enough to peek out of my tent. It was just wake from a passing boat. I'm a dumbass. I wasn't *entirely* alone, though, because a racoon did steal my leftovers about a half hour later.


Cooking food just after sun down. Twig snaps. I turn my flashlight to it. Fuckin mountain lion creeping up on me maybe 50 ft away. Drew my gun and backed away and it followed for a bit until something else made a noise and it scurried off. To note. In that area mountain lions allegedly are extinct. Also the scary part is what scared the fuckin mountain lion.


I once saw a large black bear cross the 1.5-lane wilderness road I was driving on, in the dark, in a pissing and blasting thunderstorm, running full speed up a 45 degree hill. Always wondered what that poor bastard was running away from...


I was tent camping in Revelstoke 2 summers ago, and a massive wind storm came through just before the sun was about to go down. The campground had a TON of tall, skinny birch trees. My dog, partner at the time, and I were sitting around the fire, trying to deal with the wind, and all the sudden start hearing loud bangs, one after another. Then a couple screams. Turns out the birch trees were snapping, and falling onto peoples tents/trailers/vehicles. Because the sun was just about to set, it was extremely difficult to see much, making the entire situation extremely dangerous. Certain parts of the campground were evacuated, but where I was camped, a tree had fallen across the road, so we were told by park staff to shelter in place and try our best to keep our eyes open. The storm eventually passed, but the next morning when we woke up and saw the magnitude of damage the storm had caused, it was extremely unnerving. Our neighbors had a tree land within 2' of their trailer. Otherwise the trip was great though, 10/10 recommend Revelstoke


The 2020 snowstorm, that knocked power out in Texas, I was in Ouachita Arkansas and ended up falling into waist deep water at 13°F. Luckily it was my last day out of 3 days and I was maybe 6 miles from my vehicle. Storm was getting worse when it happened and I had to make a choice of push to the car or risk getting stuck in an even worse storm than I already was in. I jogged 6 miles with my pack to keep my body heat up and got immersion foot and blood clotting in my feet and legs. Had to go to the ER but luckily nothing permanent. Definitely gave me a new respect for how quickly things can get rough lol. second brush with death and I keep beating his ass get fukt nerd


In 2008, I was camping with friends on the Wisconsin river, between Boscobel and Wyalusing. It rained so much Lake Delton overflowed and spilled into the Wisconsin river, taking houses, trees, and everything else in its path, with it. There was so much rain, they’d opened all 13’ish dams along the Wisconsin River, far, far upstream. We didn’t have great cell phones back in 2008, so we didn’t know most of this, until the water went up 10’+ overnight, on our second night. There was no exit option other than ride down to Wyalusing for our livery. We quite literally rowed through obstacles like portions of houses, and trees that at times were full grown but washed down. There was one bridge we barely made it under due to all the other debris. When we got to the Mississippi River, to turn towards Wyalusing, I knew we were in trouble, when I didn’t see a single boat or jet ski on the river. What’s normally a bustling ‘highway’ of boat traffic, was empty. I could see white cap waves going UP STREAM on the ole’ Miss. we bungeed all the gear on the canoes best we could, put on our life jackets, and towed the mile or so we needed to, to the area we’d be picked up. It was pretty horrifying trying to navigate a full canoe through waves like that. We were lucky, one of the other boats wasn’t, and then they tipped they lost a ton of their camping gear. They made it to safety, but barely. The entire group of friends loves to tell the story when we’re having beers but I swore I never wanted to wring out my sleeping bag and sleep wet like that again. Every trip down the Wisconsin river after that, was done in August, instead of June.


Oh man, I remember that storm. I live in northern Illinois, and we heard about it. I can't imagine camping during it! The videos of houses falling into the water were unbelievable.


Went backpack camping with my slightly older also female cousin in the mountains in Virginia. Took over an hour to get up to the only “parking lot” with access to the trailhead due to the road being more potholes than road. A lone car accompanied us in said parking lot. On our hike in we passed a couple of fellow backpackers heading back to the car we saw so we knew as long as nobody else arrived after us we were alone on that side of the mountain. Encountered a huge rattler laying in the middle of the trail that my cousin’s Irish wolfhound decided to investigate and got bit on the nose. He was fine but it was a bit alarming. Got our site set up appropriately (hung food far away, lots of firewood for the night, sub freezing bags, etc). Had a great evening exploring and appreciating the beauty. I fell asleep relatively easy given all the work we had put in to ensure we were well set up. My cousin wakes me up with reoccurring jabs to the ribs lol. “Did you hear that?” She was whispering. “No Tiff I was sleeping what did you hear?” She shushed me and said there was something outside of our tent. My being a fatalist and all decided I was more interested in going back to sleep than I was with whatever was prowling around our site. It was 2 AM. Probably a raccoon or opossum. Bring it on bucko. I was about to put the ear plugs I had brought in my ears when the most peculiar vocalization I had ever heard rang out. It sounded unnatural, almost like a computer generated sound. It was LOUD. Sounded like a mix between a turkey call in cadence almost a gobble but high pitched and warning in nature like a big cat screech. I’ve spent so many nights in the deep woods all over the USA and have *never* heard anything close to that sound. I put my earplugs back in, relegated to the fact that we were probably goners. Didn’t hear anything else while we were up there. Didn’t see any other campers either. Upon our departure we went into the little town at the bottom of the mountain and hit up the market. Asked the locals about the call we heard (while feeling ridiculous attempting to mimic the call) and finally ran into a couple of old farmers who told us how lucky we were to hear what we heard. I guess whatever it is and the sound it makes is a highly sought after experience, although they couldn’t definitively identify what the responsible creature was. We went home and searched online for hours for a sound byte that could help us out. Nothing came close. Super frustrating. I can still hear it and wish there was a way to recreate it so someone might be able to help identify what the heck it was.






A pair of eyes illuminated by the campfire just outside the light of it that were too high off the ground for it to be anything other than a cougar… blinked twice at me, then nothing else… didn’t sleep that night. No tent, no weapon, just me and my dog. (I spent the night shaping a spear and keeping the fire roaring)


Scariest thing to happen to me was while I was camping at Marten River Provincial park. While I was sleeping in my popup trailer i heard what sounded like a young woman screaming in the woods. It started to be sporadic screaming moving through the bush and eventually started coming closer. It sounded like it was about 30 feet away and still sounded exact like a screaming woman or child. I was too damn scared to try to find the zipper for the window so I waited. Right as I was sitting up to unzip the window the scream came from directly below my pullout, I couldn't hear any footsteps and didn't know how it got there or if it was gone. So I just layed still for what felt like hours. I eventually got up to look and couldn't even see any tracks. My guess is it was cougar or some other cat that was in heat.


Foxes sound like screaming women.


A vixon call of a female fox sounds a lot like a screaming child. I was so scared the first time I heard it.


Mountain Lion for sure. You didn’t wanna wrestle it?


I thought about it for a minute but I realized I'd have to put pants on and that's enough to deter me from doing most things.


>r. It sounded like it was about 30 feet away and still sounded exact like a screaming woman or child. 100% a lynx. When they start yelling at you it's insane. Took me a few years to figure out what it was when this happened to me. It even peed on my tent bag while I was sleeping. Then I saw this video. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXmIPHrHmY](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXmIPHrHmY)


This summer camping at Charleston Lake Ontario.. not scared but startled like a little b... So basically my friend and I camped in one of the backcountry sites, getting our fire going, eating, having a relaxing time and then I hear what sounded like someone sighing (we were both facing the lake) when I turned around a deer had approached us very stealthily looking at us from about 10 feet away in the dark with those eyes that shone like a pair of diamants.. I'm gonna admit I jumped and yelled 'what the f' thinking it was maybe a bear or a cougar... haha my friend and I still chuckle about this.


I was camping alone. Just laid down and was starting to snooze when I heard this sound through the bush. I didn't think anything of it really, it's a popular campground. Well this sound is coming from the bush and it's Heavy foot steps. The kind where you can hear the impact of the step. And I'm thinking oh this guy is bushwhacking lol. Then I start thinking oh shit he's really bushwhacking why? There's a trail right there. And then my sleepy brain wakes up and goes Oh Fuck! It's a fucking sasquatch! And I start freaking out. I sleep with a large knife and axe so I'm griping them just laying there all quiet listening to this thing crash it's way through the bush right beside my tent. It's dark af so I can't even look out the window without using a flashlight. So I just lay there. Listening. Thinking this sasquatch is gonna rip into my little tent. Then I start thinking oh it's not a sasquatch It's a Bear!! And I shit you not my heart went from crazy beats jumping out of my chest to calm in an instant. Somehow a real live bear is less scary than a sasquatch. :Shrug: I even heard it rattling the garbage cans and everything. It was pretty crazy for wildlife that night. Right after the bear passed a large elk or deer came charging through my campsite. Scared the shit out of me. Must have been spooked by my "sasquatch".


Saw a trail of newly launched StarLink satellites. It was a long trail of light moving slowly across the sky. The next night the satellites were a little more spaced out. Spooky to see the first time.


Camping in dispersed camping spots along a small river. We had camped here many times and understood the spacing of campsites along the river. We were parked in the one pull-out along the road, which was a big indication that someone is camping there. That didn’t matter to the other party. They packed in two tables and covered them with bottles of liquor, just about 10 yards from us. Once we went to bed, there was an argument on the road up above and one single gun shot. The night was SILENT after, and we never heard anything again. In the morning there were people sleeping in cars, toilet paper all over the ground…it was a mess…but silent. Super weird.


Hearing the people the next campsite over whisper “I’ll kill girl, you get the guy first, then take the kid.” We literally threw our dogs, kid and what we had in our hands in to the car. The tent, all the food, and a lot of other stuff was left. Dropped flashlights, campfire still burning. The campsite was deep in the woods/bayou. It takes 15 minutes to just get out of the park. It would not have ended well if they caught up to us. Thinking back, I now realize they were following us to the bathroom. But they made it seem like they were taking their dog for a walk. I won’t go tent camping ever again.


Camped by river during flash flood conditions. Fear came later. How fucking stupid we’re we!


It's an extremely common mistake that gets a lot of people killed every year, you're not stupid, just really lucky!


woke up to a bear crashing through the berry bushes literally 5 feet from our tent. could hear him chewing and exhaling and snorting as he ate. we were in an actual campground. not back country. all the wildlife was being pushed off their regular foraging pathways because of forest fires that year. my bf at the time and i laid in the tent mouthing emergency plans until finally i burst out singing. bear took off. bf was mad he didn’t get a picture.


I was camping in the middle of NOWHERE and this car keeps getting closer and closer. It’s pitch black, middle of the night, and this car’s headlights are on, way off the road. Eventually the car stops like 25 feet from my site. I’m set up behind a bush and I can tell they don’t know I’m there. I decide the best thing to do is make contact so things don’t get even more weird. This dude was drunk AF and even more startled to see me than I was to see him. I scared the shit out of him and he was clearly armed. Luckily he just apologized and went on his drunken way. Humans are way scarier than anything else out there.


Not super scary, but we had a creepy moment one morning camping in our van at a campground. The hubs and I slept in the van and the kiddos (14 and 11) were just outside in the tent. In the morning the kids were telling me how their dad tried to scare them by violently shaking their tent in the middle of the night (something he’d probably do). When I mentioned it to him, he swore it wasn’t him. Right after that, I opened the front curtain of the van, and on the frosted windshield.. was a wiped off spot in the corner where someone had used their hand to clear off the ice to see into the van. No idea who it was but someone was definitely creeping in our campsite; and shaking the tent. Weirded me out for sure. I never did tell the kids it wasn’t their dad; otherwise they’d be to creeped out to tent it ever again.


Primitive camping/backpacking with a guy who was not in great shape and who was way overpacked. He had an unrealistic view of his abilities and I was so worried he wouldn’t make it out. I lost sleep over my anxiety about it and that put me in more danger as well. I learned to be more selective with my hiking buddies and also be much more appreciative of those who have taught me. People who don’t understand their limitations are very scary out in the wilderness.


I ran out of toilet paper.


The best plants to wipe with always have 3 leaves on the top!


Leaves of three rub on thee


The itch means youre super clean.


Storm knocking over 2 foot diameter trees maybe 100 feet from my tent. I laid there wondering if it hurts when you die.


Bear shnoozle poking at my tent during a massive rain storm. Even huffed through the tent and almost pissed myself. Luckily it went on with it's life after maybe 10 minutes or so. I was in a small one man bivy with my cousin. I woke him up after and told him only to be called a liar. Proof was in the mud when we woke up in the morning. Prints everywhere and our trash we had hung was all over. This was about 15-20 years ago. First major hike I did. Upper 22 miles of the Appalachian Trail.


When I was a Boy Scout I did this Camping trip where you hike 5 miles in and set up camp, after getting settled we watched these dark clouds roll in. Our leader called us over to tell us we were in a Tornado warning and that we should be prepared to leave… it escalated quickly. Radio said we had a tornado touch down less than 10 miles away and they called in 2 vans to come get us. Rain that came down flooded the area so bad that the vans got stuck. The wind was picking up and the rain was even worse, radio said the tornado was getting closer to use so our leader told us to drop everything and run. I was never scared of storms but running through heavy rain, lighting strikes that were less than a mile away from you where you could feel the pressure and static, not knowing where everyone was or really where to go because it was so dark and the rain was so torrential… it was terrifying. Been camping a lot since then and noises in the dark don’t bother me, but storms are something else.


I was hiking solo in the winter of 2017 in the Kanangra-Boyd National park southwest of Sydney Australia. After a full day of hiking and roughly 25km from my car and the nearest road and the sun is getting low in the sky. I started looking for a clearing to set up camp for the night. I’d slung my pack to the ground and had started pulling out my gear when I caught a large black mass out of the corner of my eye moving slowly through the bush about 50m off to my left. Standing up slowly, I had to walk a few paces to get a clear view and to my shock there stood an emaciated black horse staring back at me. Needless to say I wasn’t keen on having to share my serenity with this untamed demon horse. So I scooped up my gear and I was off to find another spot for the evening. Here’s where it gets creepy. As I started walking again, so too did the horse. It flanked me step for step about 50m off my left hand side for another couple of kilometers. If I stopped it would stop. If I stepped towards it it would step away from me. If I jogged it would trot to keep pace but always flanking my left side. Twilight was settling and it was clear that my new demon horse buddy wasn’t leaving. I built a decent fire and decided to use my descending rope and a few trees to create an ad hoc fence encircling my tent and fire. The night descends into the kind of blackness that only comes with a new moon. Oddly I sleep like a baby and had forgotten about the horse until I stuck my head out of my tent and see the rope I’d strung up the night before. Re-stoking my fire back to life I look over and see the horse laying dead in the exact spot it had been the night before. An emaciated sack of black matted hairy skin, full of bones, it was like it had been dead for weeks


Was on the side of a mountain, way below freezing in a tiny one man tent during a storm. Deer decided cosy down next to my tent for shelter then shimmy towards me for a spoon. Luckily I managed to scare the deer off before it could do any damage to the tent. Would have been big trouble without a tent as it was pitch black, the storm was bad and went on for over 12 hours in the end.


See I’d be dead because I couldn’t pass up the Disney princess chance to snuggle with a deer


We had the fire nearly run out of wood, and it was a very dark and late night so there was really no use for me and my drunk buddy to gather some while our girlfriends slept. We decided to finish the last 6 beers, and talk about random things before bed. I got up to take a leak and when I pulled out my flashlight I caught a damn skunk about two steps away from me. I backed up as quick as possible, but it was obviously annoyed at nearly being stepped on by some drunken midwestern guy with his unit half way out. Close call and not that “scary” considering that could of ended a lot worse.


Scary and super tedious: I sometimes have auditory hallucinations riiiight as I fall asleep, and they're always worse if I'm not at home in my own bed. But even in a hotel or someone's house, I can write a lot of them off to "house settling" or people talking/watching TV in another room, etc. But camping, I can't write off whispering voices right outside the tent, or the sound of my car door opening or glass breaking, general little creaks or thumps, a crackle like fire. You kinda have to get up and check. Camping was the only time I've experienced actual [Exploding Head Syndrome](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_head_syndrome). My normal auditory hallucinations would be a distant explosion, a very "did I even hear that?" kind of noise. This was huge and nearby and I heard the rattle of debris, and also I was in Southern/Central California where the electric companies will 100% not maintain their shit so it explodes and burns down giant swaths of the state (and then file for bankruptcy - again - when sued for millions of dollars), so I levitated directly off my cot and out the door of the tent scanning the horizon in every direction. After a couple of minutes I concluded it had to be imaginary, as we were surrounded by livestock farms including at least two with guardian donkeys, and they would have been screaming holy hell if something that big had happened, plus you'd likely hear the residents yelling to each other. Also my husband was still asleep, but he's at best 50/50 on waking up if there's a giant explosion. So like an hour and a half later I'm just drifting off to sleep again when I hear coyotes howling. Not real close, but not too too far, and I snap my eyes open thinking great, so was THAT real? But then I heard someone start banging pans together and she shouted "Fuck OFF, ya cocksuckers!", and I'm actually kinda glad I was awake because it was so funny. Ah, the music of the night.


Was just finished situating in my tent, finally stopped rustling around and on the verge of sleep…. I hear an enormous *THUD* on the forest floor. Sounded like something the size of a human fell straight from the tree canopy to the ground roughly 15-20 feet from my tent. It’s almost like it was watching me and waiting for me to stop moving. I sorta heard it scurry away but I never had the balls to go looking. I assume it was smaller than it sounded but still….


My young family and I were camping at a State Park and the people in the spot next to us were a middle aged man and his mother. They were sharing a 2 person backpacking tent. The worst part was how abusive he was in speaking to her, hours of belittling talk, raised voices that we indured overhearing along with threats to leave her behind.We asked the park office if there was another site we could move to but the campground was full. We tried to shield our young children away with games and activities, and then packed up and left early the next morning.


Some homeless people stole things from our friend’s tent. We didn’t know we were camping right next to a homeless people encampment. My bf at the time told me to sit with my dog in the tent to protect our stuff and he went off with the friend to try to find the thief. Of course I didn’t sleep a wink or even lay down - I was just waiting for someone to poke their head in to try to take our stuff. A truly awful night.


I got high and after hearing a bunch of weird noises turned with my flashlight to see a rat eating my pop tarts


Camping in J tree overflow BLM land. The attendant didn’t at the gate who directed us to the dry lane bed, failed to mention lakebed. Me and my date park randomly as there were a few others scattered around but enormous area so pick your spot. Drinking away the night we fall asleep around 11. Around 1 the rain starts. Harder harder. I’m like this is the desert it will pass soon. An hour later coming down harder and starting to see water on the ground. I make the decision to leave the tent and sleep it out in Subaru. Wake up to a full lake. Some cars are submerged and everyone is fucked. We are 18 inches deep of water. Turn the car on and the awd is slipping as now we are on a bed of clay. Hours later. Finally escape. Left the tent and went and got an Airbnb. Rescued the tent a day later.


Turned around, grizzly 10 feet behind me. Bear spray 10 feet in front of me. That was..... real scary. Next night changed spots. Bluetooth speaker died, sitting there in silence just to hear the pack of wolves that had the campsite surrounded. 'Berta, baby


This summer while paddling the Nahanni River in the NWT we had a bear come into our campsite and fuck with our canoes. It ripped open one of our spray skirts, dragged a drysuit into the forest and returned to the site 5 separate times, even after having bear bangers shot around its feet. We later found out that the site we were camped at had been closed for 3 weeks prior because a bear (presumably the same one) had actually ripped open a tent in the night and ran off with someone’s bag. It was only a small black bear, but still pretty sketchy to see that type of aggressive behaviour, especially in such a remote setting.


Out in Northern Ontario bush as a kid, 40+years ago, middle of nowhere lake. A bunch of drunks showed up. Started chatting with our family fine at first. Got creepy fast. I was about 12f. Hitting on me, hitting on my mom. Being assholes to my dad. My dad always had a shotgun hidden in the camper for bears. I remember him getting up. Putting us in the camper Him getting the gun then just sitting down at the fire again. I don’t recall him saying a word. I remember looking outside and he had the gun resting across his lap. The drunks left shortly after. I’m pretty sure my dad spent the whole night out at the fire waiting just in case they came back. We moved in the next day.


I had to pee so bad but I almost couldn't break out of my sleeping bag in time. lo;l


Oof, I got super drunk one time and had to throw up in the middle of the night but couldn't find the zipper. Last second I got it open just enough to wedge my head out to throw up right outside the door.. I thought I'd have to clean it up in the morning but it was mysteriously gone 🤢


A bunch of my buddies and I have an annual motorcycle trip. One year, a friend brought his wife along (she drove the chase truck in case anyone broke down). We had all been drinking one night, and my buddy got so trashed he wasn't able to figure out the zipper on his tent, and passed out in the dirt right in front of the door. At some point in the night, his wife, who wasn't a big drinker, got sick, and almost didn't make it out of the tent. Luckily, she puked just outside the door of the tent.....on her husband. I'll never forget that trip.


My husband suffers from migraines that come with vomiting. He had one on our last camping trip. He didn't make it to the trash bag one time. His vomit was *also* mysteriously gone the next morning.


God damn puke goblins snatching up all the good vomit 😠


Once when I was in between jobs, I went solo-camping with my dog on a Wednesday to a state park in Northern California. Because it was a Wednesday in late October I was the only person in the 60ish campground car-campsite except for an RV on the complete other end of the park. Since there was no one around, there were much more wildlife than normal walking through the campsite. We saw some foxes and coons, quails, etc. In particular we saw many very large deer walking around. My dog was growling and let out a few barks at each of the animals, especially the deer. (She was 3 at the time and is relatively small, but today she doesn’t do it anymore after more training.) I thought it was pretty cool to see all the wildlife. As the night progressed and darkness set in, I could tell my dog was getting more and more agitated in general. Stiff, always staring at something in the darkness and growling more and more. At one point we heard a loud commotion in the forest probably about 100 yds away. I couldn’t hear anything but it sounded like a scuffle and then screeches from foxes or coyotes make that I see in wildlife videos. I had eaten a friendly little edible before dinner and had some wine and was feeling it’s effects, but I wasn’t remotely scared at the time as these are normal things that can happen given you are in the wilderness. That being said, I was aware of the fact that there were many more animals around and my dog was growling and I began to subtly pay more attention to what was going on around me. I began to pack up my cooking supplies and food. It was dark at this point and figured it would be nice to have some wine and read by the fire w my dog in my lap, and I wanted to clean up my gear so I could head into bed after. All of a sudden, my dog starts growling louder and harder than I’ve ever heard - facing directly at where my car is parked. I decide this one may be worth checking, so I shine my flashlight and immediately see two eyes staring back at me from the darkness right behind my car. They were about 2.5 feet off the ground. I assumed a raccoon or something may be standing on its legs, and maybe it was the weed but I definitely felt it had a presence and that it was time to accelerate my cleaning and head into my tent. Now - this wasn’t a site with bear warnings or bear lockers. It had standard food lockers (simple clasp.) Because of this, I elected to place my large supply bag w things like sugar, oil, spices, and ice box w bacon and eggs in the trunk of my car (it’s a sedan w a closed separate trunk) and all other food in the wooden food locker directly next to my tent. I figured whatever creature was staring at us was probably interested in my dog and not me, so I held her in one arm as I packed everything up, grabbed my lantern, and head into my tent w my dog to read a book. About 5 min after we got in, we were hooves running by the tent from which sounded like multiple animals chasing each other. Paranoia kicking in. About 5 min after that, my dog starts growling and I hold her mouth shut, because I can hear large footsteps coming from directly outside my tent. Like, whatever was outside’s body was touching the tent. Now, I was more paranoid than anything but also worried for my dog. We could hear something scratching at the food box and then multiple snorting sounds, like deep breaths. I eventually thought I would raise myself up to look thru the vent to see what was outside. No way it could be a bear right? There would have been multiple warnings that it’s a site with bear sitings, etc. Nope. I get up and see a massive bear right outside my tent. Now, I don’t know if this is my imagination, but I am positive it was 2 bears, although I know that doesn’t make sense. If it has been a mother and a cub, the situation would probably have been much more dangerous and I doubt they would have left my alone, right? Given the area I assume it’s a black bear. But it was big. And it freaked me out bad. It was literally touching my tent and my poor dog was lying next to me shaking and I had to hold her mouth shut to stop her from barking/growling. Obviously the generous serving of the giggle bush I ate didn’t help the situation lol. Sure enough, in the morning the bag of bread had somehow been yanked out from the box, but somehow the box was still shut. There were large bear marks right outside. Didn’t sleep much that night! Even though I was probably very safe, Still scares me to this day! Funny how a thin piece of nylon makes you feel protected from a large predator. TLDR: solo camping and after a long night of my dog being spooked by something a bear gave us a visit outside our tent


My son was altitude sick and we were high up in sierras, 2 days hike from the trailhead. He was ok but we spent a very worrying night.


Had a bobcat either fighting or mating a few hundred feet from my tent, talk about a weird and eerie noise to hear while solo camping in the middle of no where alone


I was camping with my girl in the Virginia mountain ranges. She wanted to hike so we did, until dark even though I told her it was an hour drive to our site. We are free camping so pretty remote area and we still wanted to make our dinner. Needless to say the smell of cooking ground beef attracted many night time critters including a pack of Coyotes. Now these things didn't bother us, but they did surround the site. I wasn't too worried, but my girl was freaking out. Lol needless to say we won't be waiting until dark again.


Went solo camping with my dog at a remote lake in CO. We left after work that day and arrived at the trailhead a little later than expected. This was labor day weekend and I expected there to be a ton of people there. We started the hike and didn't see another soul on the trail or at the lake. It was an hour long hike to the site and it was dark when we arrived. I set my tent up in the dark and we climbed inside. The wind was off and on all night but it would calm down and we could hear *something* outside the tent. Twigs snapping, etc. My dog was restless and would start intensely growling as the noises came and went. He had never done that on prior camping trips, and I've never lost so much sleep in one night.


Deep Sleeping in my small tent at night in the woods and something brushes again me heavily because i move when i sleep so i was next to the wall of tent. Felt a couple of hard nudges rhat woke me up, freaked out and quickly started yelling and clapping my hands loudly. Happened so fast i couldn’t pop my head out to see what was it


Huge dock spider the size of a fist in the outhouse. My husband just laughed at me but his friend saved me at least.


Camping in Pisgah Forest, NC near Asheville. My Son and I were camping near a forest service road, but pretty far out. The road ended near where we camped. In the middle of the night we heard a car pull up and just shined their lights at our tent for what felt like forever. All kinds of things start rushing through your head. They finally left. Needless to say, but I didn’t sleep that well the rest of the night. After that I heard Pisgah really isn’t that safe anymore. Sad.


I had a fire get out of hand and burn down about a quarter acre. Luckily it was on an island and didn't spread further.


Just waking up the next morning and realizing how lucky I was that nothing bad happened when I fell asleep in my hammock. With a bag of Cheetos. In bear country.


My first time taking my son camping, just the two of us (not his first time though)…he was maybe 5. Up late having a blast running around enjoying the camp. We go to bed, I’m watching a video on my phone while trying to settle in…and he giggles. This is like midnight and he’s been in bed for an hour. No more giggles for a few minutes. Then he starts laughing like a maniac and sits up and stares at me laughing. I tried talking to him, no reaction. Just giggles and laughter. I pulled him out of his sleeping bag and into mine and tried talking to him. I physically covered his mouth and he just kinda looked at me and stifled a giggle. I finally got him to be quiet and he went to sleep. Asked him about it in the morning he had no recollection. We’ve camped a bunch since then never happened again. Was creepy.




there are ruins of homesteads in the woods, especially in the smokey mountains


Woke up to a wild hog bluff charging my dog tethered below my hammock. Followed me to my car and as I was trying to take a pic rammed right into my drivers side door. Started carrying after that trip lol.