Campers Share The Hair-Raising Adventures They've Had In The Wild

Campers Share The Hair-Raising Adventures They've Had In The Wild

Camping is a wonderful way to score a cheap vacation and get out there and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. But sometimes, when you're lying awake in the wilderness, staring at the roof of your tent, it's hard not to feel vulnerable. Here you are, in the wild, with no internet or phone reception, pre-wrapped in your sleeping bag like a human burrito for hungry bears. And in the peace of the great outdoors, your mind can play tricks on you.

These campers recently took to the internet to share the craziest experiences they've had in the wild. Keep that flashlight handy.

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46. Mysterious Voices

We quit camping after this. My wife and I were beginners, and we camped on a lake without scouting the area. In the middle of the night, we woke up to the rumble of thunder. Strange voices and movements encircled our camp. We were too afraid to open our tent. In the morning, we woke up to the sounds of helicopters and police vans. We step out of the tent and we hear "DON'T MOVE!" Police had surrounded us. An officer approached us and said, "You've been missing for 3 days, LET ME SEE YOUR NECKS!" He took one look at us and SCREAMED. We were sent straight to the hospital. After spending 2 nights in Isolation, we were discharged from the hospital and told that they were looking for someone else. It was a sigh of relief, but the fear of those mysterious voices never let us go on camping ever again.


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45. Cubs Win

Girlfriend and I were doing an overnight hike on the north country trail and after hiking some amount of miles, we decided to hang our hammocks and rest. We were hanging about 30 feet off of the trail just snoozing a little when I heard a little noise. I sat up in the hammock a bit and saw that there was a coyote about ten feet away. We locked eyes and it took off. About the same time, something that sounded a bit bigger took off from the other side of us. We packed up our hammocks and kept going. About five minutes down the trail, we came up on a black bear cub and scared it by accident and it took off.

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44. Pony Up

My family went camping every summer when I was growing up. We usually bounced between Virginia Beach, Assateague, and this god awful place called Westmoreland. One trip we were in Assateague, near the beach, and we had two tents set up in different parts of the site.

Some time in the middle of the night my mom woke up, which woke me. She was sitting up straight but completely still, and I looked over at what she was staring at. In the moonlight there was the silhouette of what looked like an old woman looking into our tent. Long wiry hair and everything.

I was young, so it terrified me, and I started asking my mom what that was, who was outside. Once I made noise it spooked the "old woman" and she took off, and that's when we realized she was actually one of the feral ponies that live on the island. We had set up that particular tent on one of their trails, and they were going down to the beach.

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43. Boaring Story, Bro

We like to hike 3-5 miles down a trailhead in deep Georgia. One night the temperature dropped into the low 20's, which is really rare for mid-fall. We got a solid fire going, and the heat mixed with a full belly put us all to sleep.

I woke up to my buddy tapping my foot with a stick. I looked up at him and he nodded toward the fire. There were two wild boars kicking up dirt around the dying fire.

We didn't have any sort of weaponry except a hand axe that was out of our reach. My friend and I laid there completely silent watching these two for about an hour till the fire died completely down and they moved on.

If you don't know, wild boars in Georgia are easily 150lbs, angry all the time, and prone to gore literally anything . We were reaaaally lucky we didn't spook them.

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42. Trash Pandas

My time in the army means that I've spent a ton of time in the woods of upstate New York. I remember many nights waking up to animals reaching into my pockets, pulling things from my kit (body armor). I'd wake up to a raccoon pillaging my things, literally unzipping pouches and such. I still swear to this day they were organized, rallied behind this giant raccoon captain who would sit outside and keep guard and coordinate them.

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41. If A Tree Falls

Went camping in Ginnie Springs in Florida about 10 years ago. At night I heard that sound you hear in movies or on TV of a huge tree falling. Didn't think anything of it. About 10 minutes later I started hearing lots of people talking outside my tent, so I got out and discovered that a tree fell on someone's tent kind of close by and killed them. A helicopter had to come and airlift the body out.

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40. The Phantom Of The Campground

I was around 7 or 8 and camping at a site with my family. I had to go pee in the middle of the night. I'm super scared walking alone in the dark to the bathrooms but I walk into the unlit bathroom with just a lantern. When I get in there, I see an old dusty organ just sitting there. Like what the...?! Who brings an organ to a campground, and why would you keep it in a bathroom?! Good thing I didn't have to poop or else it would've been scared right out of me.

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39. Feel Like You're Being Watched

I live in a rural town surrounded by mountains and forests, so camping is almost a weekly event, even in winter.

The one I can’t shake is when a friend and I broke off from our group of other 16-19 year olds to camp by a better fishing spot about a mile away. We only brought one tent for the group, so we built a lean-to against a large boulder in a clearing. I couldn’t sleep because I had the feeling something was watching us. I assumed it was a mountain lion, which isn’t that big of deal considering their behavior, so I threw some more logs on the fire.

When I looked up from the fire, under the light of a full moon, there was a man standing at the edge of the clearing about 80 yards away. I was frozen and couldn’t take my eyes off him while he -- I presume -- stared back. He walked off in the opposite direction after about a minute or two. I doubt he had any ill intentions, but I sat there holding my friend’s 357 the whole night.

I didn’t wave or call out because I was terrified. Instead I was frozen since I was 16 and inexperienced. Nowadays, I would call out and see what’s going on.

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38. Poor Unfortunate Moles

It was 2 am, pitch dark, low fire. We heard rustling in the woods, so we pulled our flashlights out. All of he sudden a mole comes running towards us and INTO the fire. We could hear it sizzling while we all were screaming! The next day the charred body was buried with an proper funeral.

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37. You Got Beef

I once had to pee and a rogue cow that was roaming the woods stared at me dead in the eyes while I was squatting. Was pretty disturbing and I’m pretty sure it went and told all of its cow friends.



36. Flashing Lights

My wife and I were camping in one of the National Forests in the mountains in North Carolina. We were in a campground but not a lot of people there and the spots were semi private because of trees and foliage.

So we had just settled down in the tent and I was just falling asleep when through my eyelids, the whole tent lights up. I jump up and go out of the tent thinking someone is messing around. Not a soul or any noise, nothing.

I go back in lay down, and just falling asleep again, when it happens a second time. Same routine: jump up, check, nothing.

So this time, I lay down but stay awake and have the tent unzipped ready to jump out and catch whoever is shining a light on the tent when it all lights up again. And I saw what was doing it right away. Fireflies were landing in mass on the tent and then they would all light up at once. I guess when I would jump up, they would fly off, then settle down again after I went quiet.

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35. Thanks For Warning Us

I was on a road trip with a friend, and we hiked into a trail in Colorado one evening to camp so we wouldn't have to pay for a campsite. Found a little clearing by a stream, my friend set up a tent while I decided to sleep under the stars. Right as we were getting ready to go to bed, another woman showed up and pitched her tent in the clearing as well.

I hadn't been feeling well that day plus we had to hike in with all our stuff so when I slept I slept hard. Woke up to a ranger shaking me and asking if I saw where the bear went. Bear? What bear? Then I look up and see the woman's tent just shredded.

Turns out she had left her food in her tent that night (we hung ours from a tree), and a curious bear came by at like 4 in the morning to have a snack. In tearing in to her tent, it ended up raking its claws across her forehead as well. She decided to run, though why she didn't bother waking either me or my friend up to let us know about this very hungry bear nearby, I don't know.

Pretty freaky thing to wake up to.

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34. Assassination Attempt

Buddy and I were hiking at dawn during a camping trip. We were walking along a path when I hear a zing like a bird chirp by my ear. A second or so later a tree kind of pops next to my buddy. It's at this point we realized there was an accompanying crack and we'd been shot at. We informed the park ranger around noon and he ended up finding an old guy hunting illegally. Not sure if he was charged with anything, but seriously... he easily could have killed us.

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33. Jersey Devil

When I was a kid, about 12 or so, my dad would always wake me up in the middle of the night to go hunting. I hate hunting.

A few weeks prior to this night, I saw an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? about the jersey devil, a legendary monster. I was on edge because I knew my dad would make me go hunting soon and we sometimes hunt in Jersey.

Sure enough, he wakes me up one morning at like 3am and we are off to the woods in Jersey in pitch black so that he could be there and all set up before the deer come out.

I'm up in the stand, starting to calm down, when I see a little figure on the ground. It's human, with a face I can barely make out since it's a bit far in the distance, but I know it's human, and it's like 2-3 feet tall.

I'm losing my mind but don't want to say anything because I know my dad will just tell me to suck it up.

I stare at this creature for at least 4 hours until we get down from the stand and walk towards it to leave.

Turns out it's a lawn gnome. Miles and miles into the deep woods. There are no roads for a looooong while and certainly no houses. How in the world did a gnome get there? The stand we were in wasn't even a permanent stand. It was one we out up when we got there.

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32. Pressing Flesh

I was camping with two friends. In the middle of the night, all 3 of us were inside our square dome tent, just chilling out, chatting, lights on.

One side of wall begins to cave inward, as if there's strong wind or something pushing on the side of the tent. Everyone is freaking, but I assume it's the wind. I jump up and punch tent wall... and connect with something or someone -- the feeling of punching flesh is unmistakeable.

Now I freak out too. What/who did I just punch through the tent wall?! I convince my friends it's smartest to have a look outside the tent, but it's 15 minutes later by the time they agree, and there's nothing there.

We never saw anyone, but someone was definitely there.

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31. Never Disrespect Me

Just a few weeks ago we were on a road trip from BC to San Diego and we came upon a campsite just outside of Crescent City, California. When we drove through, one side of the campground was relatively empty. I noticed a few scattered tents but nobody close to the location we ended up picking. We had tons of space.

We wanted an early night so I started a fire while my girlfriend started cooking. Then we ate, had a few beers, and climbed up to our rooftop tent with our dog by 9pm or so. I had a rough time sleeping and woke up a few times but finally fell into a decent sleep.

I was awoken at 1am by someone whistling outside of our tent the tune of "when the saints come marching in". After a few minutes of this repetitive whistling I nudged my girlfriend who awoke and was obviously freaked out as well. The whistling then turned to chanting things like, "When you sleep here you disrespect me, and when you disrespect me you disrespect the Marines!" The person would then start spelling out words like "F.L.E.E". The verbiage and tone kept getting more aggressive so we decided we had to make a move.

I slowly unzipped the tent while our guard dog was snoring and stuck my head outside. I took a few seconds to let my eyes adjust and figure out where the person was. Once I could somewhat see and hear, I climbed down. My girlfriend passed me the dog and she climbed down too. We flipped the tent up without securing it and we jumped into a truck. Then we high-tailed it to a motel in Crescent City.

The next morning we drove back to get the few belongings that weren't in the truck and a family who had been camping a few sites over said it went on for another 2-3 hours and it was the scariest thing their family had ever experienced.

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30. Never Camp Alone

I used to spend a lot of time solo camping in and around the Indian Peaks wilderness in Colorado and experienced some weird stuff. Nothing that was outright supernatural, but just unsettling. I love those woods but they give me the creeps. Here are some notable examples.

After thinking that a particular area under a tree and against a rock looked like a great place to set up for the night, I found a shredded sleeping bag and old (must've been 20 years or more) camp supplies. Found a lot of bones around the site too, ribs and vertebrae -- probably elk, but maybe not. I camped elsewhere.

Another time, I found a deer skull out in the middle of a (recently) frozen over lake/pond. Major snow the night before, and the skull was sitting on top of the fresh powder with no tracks anywhere I could see and no other bones. Odd.

Yet another time, I woke up to a squirrel literally nailed to a tree outside my shelter. I had made camp late, tired, and in dying light, so I might not have noticed it the night before, but I think I would have, which means it happened sometime while I was asleep.

The remoteness of the area is why I go, but it means that when weird things happen they're that much weirder.

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29. Ungrateful Living

In the early 90s, went camping with my girl scout troop. Turns out the Grateful Dead were playing nearby and we ended up camping with a bunch of deadheads. We all shared a common bathroom. We were exposed to lots of new things that weekend.

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28. Footfalls But No Feet

We had two tents next to each other about 5 feet apart, in the middle of the mountains. My 3 little brothers were in one tent and my girlfriend and I were in the other.

It's night time and we have just put the fire out, so its dark. Everyone is in their respective tents drifting off into dreamland. About an hour later, I'm the only one awake.

Suddenly I hear soft human-like foots steps circling our tents over and over. Confused, I ask who's there. I get no response, but the footsteps continue, so I step outside.

No one is there; the footsteps stop. I go back into my tent. Foot steps start again... I make my presence known and go back out. No one, footsteps stop. Of course I check on my brothers but they are asleep. I repeat this same process about 4-5 more times believe it or not. The footsteps always stopped. I ended up just going to sleep.

When morning came I asked my brothers how they slept and they responded with: "Fine, except for you walking, loudly, all around the campsite all night!"

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27. Bear vs. Train

My dad was camping in Canada. He was sleeping naked in his tent in a patch of woods near some train tracks. A bear cub came rustling up and started messing with the tent. My dad, who had long hair and a beard at the time, grabs a long bowie knife and runs outside the tent.

He notices the bear cub and knows that means mama bear is near by. So he backs up near the train tracks just as an early morning freight train comes by. He could see the engineer looking at him in horror, thinking this long haired bearded hippy with a big knife was gonna try to hijack the train.

He got a visit from the mounties later that day inquiring on if he had seen any angry hippies with weapons around.

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26. They Always Seem Friendly

When I was about 18, some friends and I took a road trip about 7 hours or so down to the Apilachicola National Forest near Tallahassee, FL. We were going to do a little car camping, drink a few ice cold Natty Lights. We didn't want to be bothered by any park rangers so we drove waaaay deep into the woods.

Got there, set up camp, one friend and I decided to go do a little exploring. So we walked about 100 yards from our site back to the main road, saw another path directly across from us, and started walking.

Immediately we started seeing signs that someone had lived there for a while: big bags of trash, stuff like that. Should have been a huge red flag. But we kept going. Eventually we get to this campsite where there's an older white guy living out of his van with his dog. The man is friendly enough, so we end up chatting for ten minutes and going on our way. I thought it was odd how well he seemed to know the forest, and he seemed a little off, but I put it out of my mind.

Fast-forward two months. That same buddy calls me late at night and tells me to turn the TV to the news. When I do, I see an old dude with a van and a dog. The man and dog we had met. That man's name was Gary Michael Hilton, convicted of at least four murders committed in national forests. He kidnapped and murdered a girl in the Apilachicola at that camp site not long after we left.

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25. Real Wildlife

Had lions, leopards, and elephants outside my tent. Lions seem to think of tents as solid objects so they're not much of a worry, which is small comfort when one is coughing two feet from your head. Elephants are a real worry and dangerous as sin, but they had no reason to do anything but saunter by. Never saw nor heard the leopards, they're like ghosts, but they leave tracks. Apparently they gave my supply tent some attention but thought better of trying anything. We mostly stay in the tent at night, and if you have to take a pee, you don't go far from the fire.

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24. Good Thing You Slept In The Car

Went camping with my girlfriend last year. We arrived to the camp site only too see the ranger putting up signs stating that this was the last weekend the camp sites were open due to the end of the season. That night we decided our tent was not going to keep us warm enough so we slept in the car.

The next morning we woke up and noticed a huge paw print on the back window right above where our heads were. Thankfully we didn't have any food in the car but still creepy finding the bear paw print.

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23. Sweet Escape

My siblings and I went camping once. An incredibly powerful storm came through and the lightning is just slamming the lake and crawling endlessly through the clouds. The winds got so intense that we considered abandoning the tent for the car, considering the tent was lifting off the ground.

We ended up running to the car and climbed in. Moments later, our tent collapsed and was blown into a nearby tree. The car was shaking so we decided to get out of there and drive about 20 minutes to my grandpa's house to spend the night.

The next day we went back and part of the campground was closed because a small tornado had apparently gone through the campground the night before and trees were blocking some of the roads. From what we could tell, it was pretty close to where we had been. We cleaned up our campsite and left. I have never witnessed a storm so powerful and frightening before. I also never found my sleeping bag.

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22. Dogs Know

My dog absolutely lost it on a nice hike, completely out of nowhere. Like, she was scared for her life, and would have run out into the woods had she not been on a leash. Lucky that she didn’t pull me over and run away anyway. My mom and I are pretty sure there was a mountain lion stalking us, and the dog caught a whiff of it. Pretty scary because we didn’t see anything, and if it had been one of us alone, who knows what would have happened.

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21. He Wasn't Hunting Deer

I was out walking around the bush hunting for upland birds. I walked through a bit of a valley to as a short cut to get to another area, when I came across a guy standing on the trail with an AR-15 at the ready position. Instantly the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, instinctively telling me this wasn't a place I wanted to be. I was trying my best to stay calm.

"Hey," I said, "just out bird hunting, how are you doing?"

"Fine... I'm hunting deer."

Deer season wasn't open, AR-15's are not legal for deer, and he wasn't dressed for deer hunting. As a matter of fact he looked homeless, hadn't changed his clothes or bathed or shaved in several days obviously, and looked emaciated.

"Do you know the best way for me to go to find some birds?" I asked, struggling to suppress my fear.

"Well... I imagine you might find some back the way you came"

His voice got noticeably sharper with the 'back the way you came' and I obviously took the hint. I don't know what was going on down with him, but I was certainly happy to leave. I reported the incident to the sheriff the next day but I don't know that anything ever came of it.

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20. Big Kitty

My wife and I were camping alone in a kind of remote area, but there were little campsites made by the parks dept that were flat and clear. We found a great looking spot, but it was right on a lake which I thought was to be avoided. But we were beginner backpackers and figured the parks dept wouldn't make a spot there if it wasn't safe, so we set up camp mid-afternoon.

I was feeling a little beat so I took a short nap while my wife read a book. When I woke up she told me that somebody was walking around our camp site. I looked around but didn't see anything. There were some other camp sites maybe 500 feet away so I figured it was another camper checking the place out.

Late that night, after we'd gone to bed for the night it was drizzling a little rain and I was sort of half asleep. Then I realized that if I listened really closely I could hear someone walking around our campsite, very quietly.

I carefully woke my wife up to get her ready and we listened together. Then suddenly we heard it: it sounded like a cat cleaning itself, then walking toward the tent. It hung around for what seemed like hours.

The next morning we get up and there are massive paw prints in our camp site. They looked just like a cat's paw print, but more like 8 inches across.

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19. Yikes. Is That How The Aussie Mafia Sends A Message?

I was camping alone in a bit of secluded bushland in Australia. There were lots of sticks and leaf litter so could hear critters and people moving easily. I heard a plopping noise during the night but no other noises. When I  woke up, I saw a severed kangaroo head next to the tent that obviously wasn't there when I had made camp the night before. No explanation. I got out of there as quickly as I could.

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18. The Ritual

When I was younger, around 14 or 15 years old, my family used to camp at a state park. Every night my friend and I would walk through the woods. We called this "the ritual."

This particular night, we decided to walk further into the woods than usual. We had flashlights but we liked to try and navigate through the woods with them turned off. We were about half a mile from the nearest campsite when we heard soft whispering behind us. Obviously we hit the flashlights and spun around. Didn't see anything. So we kept walking and we hear it again. This time we stop and look around a bit before we decided to head back to our campsite.

Then we see what's whispering. It's a lady crawling on the ground whispering random words. She was wearing dark clothes and was covered in dirt. When she sees that we notice her she stands up and declares that she is looking for her campsite. We ended up walking her back to the campground and tried helping her find her group. Turns out she was just super messed and got lost trying to find a bathroom. Her friends didn't even notice she was missing and if we hadn't gone that far into the woods she would have been lost all night. It was pretty creepy.

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17. The Friends Are Multiplying

We had a guy slip in and join our backpacking trip. We went to sleep woke up the next day and he was there in our campsite in his tent. He was friendly, but it was still odd. When we went to sleep it was like 10pm and storming so I'm not sure when or how he got there and set up a tent.

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16. Trust Your Instincts

In the late 80s I was in my early 20s, and two friends and I went camping in central Florida. Two of us were working for the Park Service at that time, so we were able to camp for free in other parks in the state. Both of us had done a lot of camping before, but for the other friend with us, this was her first camping trip ever. We were camping in the youth area, which was empty that weekend and was quieter and more isolated than the regular campsites.

Later in the afternoon on the second day of our trip, we were all sort of spread out in the area of the campsite, being within shouting distance but enjoying a little solitude. I was collecting firewood. Every now and then I'd kind of feel like someone was watching me. I'd look around, see and hear nothing, and then shrug it off.

Later on, around sunset, we had the bonfire started. One of the rangers who lived on-site came over with a truckload of firewood and a six-pack. We all sat around talking for awhile. After dark, we could suddenly hear what was probably a bunch of teenagers fooling around on one of the trails a couple miles away. Since the trails were closed at sunset, the ranger and my coworker drove off to shoo them back to their campsites. My other friend and I were just relaxing around the fire, talking a little.

All of a sudden I had a cold chill go over me; the hair stood up on the back of my neck, and out of nowhere I was terrified. I tried to ignore it, but it kept building. I didn't say anything to my friend. Then I glanced over at her just as she glanced at me, and she said, "Do you feel that?!" I said, "Yeah... I think maybe we'd better go to the car."

We started walking at a casual pace, not wanting to appear scared, then halfway to the car we looked at each other again and simultaneously broke into a dead run. We reached the car, jumped in and locked the doors, and turned on the headlights. I sat there with my pistol, feeling like it was totally inadequate for whatever was out there.

I don't know how long we sat there. It was probably just a few minutes, but it felt like forever. Then it just... passed.

We kind of laughed it off afterward, but I'll tell you, I've never been that scared before or since. I've faced a lot in my life and NOTHING has so completely terrified me like that. I don't know what it was, but I'm still convinced we were in terrible danger.

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15. Whistle While You Work

Just a few weeks ago, we made our way to a very remote valley that is difficult to access -- think walking on one-inch ledges, dropping into narrow crevasses, etc. The valley ends in a sharp drop with a waterfall that is about 100 ft high. We were almost at the drop when we heard a whistle. It sounded a lot like a hiking whistle, but we only met one group of people the entire day, and they had stopped way before we did. So it made no sense. Then we heard another whistle. We yelled "hello!" and immediately we heard a whistle back.

The whistle was coming up from the thick trees up on the very steep slope of the mountains encircling the valley. The only way we could make it up there would be if we were pulling ourselves up by tree branches and roots because it was so steep. Just as we were debating whether the whistle was indeed a hiker's whistle, a helicopter suddenly rose from behind the waterfall. It rose right above us, then turned around and flew away. It was an unmarked helicopter, and the nearest air field is about 100 miles away.

We figured they had to have a search mission out for someone, so that MUST have been a hiker's whistle. However, it was strange that the person would whistle repeatedly, but never yell back. We yelled again -- the whistle recurred. Suddenly, we heard the helicopter rotor again. Not 3-4 minutes later, we saw the helicopter rise above the valley again, hover for about 30 seconds, then fly away over the mountain.

We went ahead and crossed the creek to climb the mountain slope. We scrambled up, grabbing onto roots and branches. The whistling ceased. We yelled a few times but there was no response.

It took us 4 hours to make our way out of there; the bushes were so thick that at times we walked on branches above the ground and I could not see my hand in front of me. I still have no idea who was whistling. It was a VERY mechanical whistle. I've been out in the wilderness quite a few times and have never heard a bird whistle that was anywhere close to that.

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14. All That Glitters

While prospecting out here in the Cariboo region, I came across a set of rock piles known as Chinese piles out in the middle of nowhere. Their presence means someone did a lot of digging back in the old days so I started working. After half an hour, I had found about 10 grams of gold and was doing a happy dance when I noticed the small standing stones on each of the rock walls. Each stone had several Chinese characters on them and in a moment of dread I realized they were graves.

I put the gold in a glass bottle I found nearby and left it behind, I also took down drawings of the symbols to show a local historian who later confirmed my suspicions that, yes, they were graves, and they likely hadn't been seen for 150 years.

Chinese miners believed that if a miner died on site, the ground became cursed by the fallen miner's spirit, so they wouldn't continue to mine the area and would tell anyone they met that the area was worked out. Sometimes they would also do extra work to make the site look finished off so people wouldn't end up digging up their comrades.

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13. Womp Womp

Not a camper or ranger, but an archaeologist.

A few years back we were doing a massive survey in the middle of nowhere in the interior of British Columbia. All the crew had gone home and it was just my boss and myself left for a few days to follow up and confirm some coordinates and finish some mapping.

We head out from the motel an hour or so into the bush. Middle of nowhere along deactivated logging roads. Closest town is miles and miles away. We hike out to this one area we had found a site a few weeks previously. For some reason the whole area just felt... off.

So we get down to business and about 15 minutes after being hunched over mapping, there is this WEIRD deafening "WOMP" sound. Like, I could feel pressure in my ears. I immediately looked at my boss about 20 feet away and he is white as a ghost staring back at me. Then it happens again: "WOMP!" I felt ear pressure and chest pressure something had squeezed me. Chills all over my body and every hair is standing on end. My boss just looks at me and says, "Let's go!" We grab all of our stuff and speed hike back to the truck.

We never discussed it.

No clue what it was but I have never been so freaked out in my life. 10 years later, I still get the chills.

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12. Eyes Everywhere

I'm an Eagle Scout, so I'm very experienced outdoors.


The island is fairly medium size. Large enough to support its own deer population (~40) but small enough to hike the circumference in a single day. The whole interior is up a 20 foot bluff from the beach, and it's Washington, so basically rainforest-dense evergreens and ferns as tall as a person. Our campsite was up in the forest, about 30 feet back from an animal run down the bluff, which we used to access the beach.


Some other kids and I took a trip to this island for the weekend. Chartered a sea scout boat to take us out and pick us up Sunday. We did island-y things like a beach hike, swimming, etc. The usual. I stepped in deer poop barefoot, we made lunch, did some more swimming, started making dinner at dusk and had a fire going. As we're sitting there chatting with our dinner wrapped in foil, I look up from the conversation quickly, just on a whim. If you have ever been camping in dense forest, you know it gets darker faster than in a field. I could see the glow of the sunset over the water, but the trees and everything were all black silhouettes.

And there were eyes all around us.

At least 15 pairs in total, all the way around outside the light of the cooking coals. All of them were yellow. Some of them were up in trees, some were peering between fern leaves, one set was between us and the direction of the tent. I froze and my sudden stop alerted my friends, who also stared for a few seconds at the watchers around us. Luckily, one of them had thought to grab a flashlight before it got dark. He slowly pulls it out, points it at one pair, and flicks it on.

It's a racoon. All the eyes were racoons. The smell of our cooking drew them from all over the island. We ended up spending until like 2:00 just turning off all lights, waiting for eyes to show up, then flashing them with a big 1000 lumen stick I had.

I can explain it now, but at the time it was a terrifying experience.

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11. Really Hope It Was Just Your Dad Messing With You

When I was 12 or 13 some friends and I camped in a clearing in the woods a half mile or so behind my house. It was a heavily wooded area with a clearing about half the size of a football field.

We got there during the day, collected firewood, set up tents, etc. Made a fire, cooked s'mores, talked about hot chicks we were def gonna hook up with soon, and talked smack to each other.

We went to bed and when we woke up in the morning there were these tracks all over the place. Almost like tractor tracks or semi tracks and there were small holes dug to the sides of the tracks like with a small shovel.

The tracks were definitely not there the day before. There were at least 100 feet total of tracks split into 3 or 4 straight lines in the area. None of us over woke up or remembered hearing anything come through.

What's weirder? There was no break in the trees wider than 4 or 5 feet anywhere in the brush surrounding the clearing. There's no possible way anything fit through.

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10. Which Doctor?

A few years ago I was on a mission trip in Kenya, and we were camping out in the bush for a few days. Pretty uneventful. One night, the moon was either full or just randomly super bright, and it made the sides of my tent kind of transparent to the outside, if that makes sense. So if something were to walk past my tent, I would see its silhouette from inside my tent. You might see where this is going.

I woke up some time in the middle of the night to the sound of quiet feet shuffling near my tent. When I lifted my head up, I saw the silhouette of a person creeping past my tent. He was wearing a large, terrifying looking headdress. My group leader later told me it was probably a witch doctor.

Anyway, I didn't sleep that night.

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9. Climbing Angel

My family used to camp in Algonquin Park in Ontario when I was a kid. We used to do a lot of the day hikes with our dog.

The dog was a crazy runner, and would run up and down the trail, back and forth between my parents and my brother and me.

This one trail ended at a lookout. My brother and I stopped to take in the view, and my dog arrived, seconds later, travelling at full speed.

He attempted to apply the brakes, but the momentum carried him right over the edge.

We freaked out. Our dog had just gone over a cliff, and it was a good 50 or 60 foot drop.

I ventured over to the edge to look. My dog had somehow landed on the one ledge that sat about 10 feet down.

Crap. Now what? Any movement, and my dog would fall the rest of the way down. It was a shear face, and no way to get down.

OUT OF THE BLUE, from the trail behind, appears a hiker WITH FULL CLIMBING GEAR. Algonquin is not an area known for a lot of climbing. I've never seen anyone before or since with gear on that trail.

This guy belayed down, rescued my dog, packed up and left. He didn't even stick around long enough to get his name. To all intents and purposes, he just returned to the trail and vanished.

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8. Casting Stones

I once went camping up in Allegheny National Forest. Me and some buddies were all sitting around a fire talking. As it got a bit later, we kept hearing things landing on the ground all around us. There were rocks being thrown at our tents and towards the fire. Nothing too absurd, could've been some hooligans at a nearby campsite. But looking around the area we saw nothing. Anyway, it eventually stopped and we went to our tents. A few hours later we heard this ear-piercing noise that sounded like a woman screaming while running through our campsite, but much raspier. It was a pretty unsettling experience, needless to say, but nothing more came of it.

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7. As If The Fire Ants Weren't Bad Enough

My whole family went up north on a whim. We get there and every campsite in the state park is already taken. So we end up at this family-owned campsite run by this really weird guy. We are the only ones staying there. Also, the entire campground is overrun by fire ants. We go to sleep with plans to leave the next day. That night, we hear the creepy guy having an epic fight with someone, although we never saw anyone else there. All we can hear is him screaming and throwing things. We were all alone there and super freaked out. We were packed and out of there by 6 AM the next morning.

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6. Strange Lights

My family and I were camping on a lake in central Texas on a week with very few people around. Our spot was on the edge of the camp next to the woods and very close to the edge of the lake. We were playing Pictionary by the campfire the first night we were there when I see a light go by over the lake. I didn't think much of it and was still focusing on the game when another one went by at the same speed following the same line. At that point, I felt a little bit strange, but I still wasn't too worried about it. After that another went by and now I point it out and my dad said he noticed it as well.

We walk out past the campfire and campground lights to get a better view of what these were. They continued to fly by over the lake going the same speed and staying the exact same distance from each other. They were reddish yellow orbs and there was no sound coming from them. Now my whole family is watching in awe and disbelief.

We didn't talk about it much after discussing what it could be, but when we got back home from the trip my mom looked it up and saw that people in a town a few miles from our campsite reported seeing the same thing exactly the way we saw it.

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5. Don't Mess With Ponies

Went hiking with a good buddy of mine in the Carolina mountains in the middle of winter. We went way off-trail, doing a full day's walk from where we'd parked. So by the time we set up camp we were miles away from the nearest human. We pitch our tent and cook ourselves some food and we're passing the flask back and forth enjoying the near pitch-black night and the stillness and our little fire.

At first we felt it -- that sudden sensation of being not alone. Then after a few seconds we heard something move in the darkness. We freeze. We hear it again, but the most terrifying thing is that this time, we realize whatever is out there, there's more than one of them, and they're big. My buddy and I lock eyes, too afraid to make any noise yet, and come to a silent agreement that scaring these things off is our best chance. He grabs a thick branch from the fire, and I grab one of the rocks we'd placed in a circle around it. I'm so scared I can barely breathe, but together we yell as loudly as we possibly can and charge into the darkness. And then we saw the eyes, a dozen pairs at least, staring right back at us.

We had charged a ferocious pack of mountain ponies, who didn't react at all to the two crazy men yelling at the top of their lungs in the middle of the night, just stared back at us, totally unimpressed. Ponies.

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4. The Sniff Of Danger

Went on a group camping trip in the middle of nowhere Arizona only to awake and hear something sniffing the outside of our tent. My immediate reaction was that it was likely a bear or some animal that came across our site, and maybe my friends forgot to tie up the garbage.

Seconds later, I heard the sniffing go to the tent next to ours. Everyone in my tent grabbed one another quietly to acknowledge that we were all awake and aware of what was happening outside.

Moments later, a friend in another tent popped out and started to scream and make noise, hoping it would scare off whatever animal was in our site. Turns out, it wasn’t an animal. It was some guy who had gone through our coolers and food and also decided (for some reason) it would be cool to sniff our tents.

Our friend chased him off and we immediately packed our stuff and left.

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3. The Lion King

Safari guide here. Woke up one morning, with something very warm, rather soft and comfy on my back. I realized my back was against the canvas of the tent, and I realized that warm something was an animal. It was a really cold winter night, and temperatures can drop close to zero here in the Southern Africa.

As I moved a bit, I heard the voice of my buddy, coming from his tent. He spoke a bit hushed, and with a definite tremble in his voice; "Hey... are you awake?" Stupid me replied with a strong voice: "Yes". The animal next to me got up, and (luckily) ran away.

Turns out it was a big male lion.

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2. The Diggers

Was solo backpacking and decided to stop for the night as it was right around sunset. Got everything set up and I heard a car on a road about 1500 ft. from my position. Honestly, I didn't even realize there was a road there because it was up a steep embankment and I couldn't see it.

So I hear this car, then it slows, then it stops, then the doors open and close and the car drives off. I hear a group of men talking, but they were too far away to make out what they were saying. By now the sun has set and the men begin using flashlights. They appear to be descending the steep embankment towards me. I'm now a little concerned as nothing about this is adding up. I figure if they get any closer I'll try to quietly escape and leave my gear. They stop about halfway down and then they start digging with shovels.

Now I'm really afraid. They dig for about an hour, then stop, then I hear the car return. They begin to ascend up the embankment, but before they do, they shine their flashlights down on to my position. I don't move a muscle and they didn't seem to notice me. I just sat there, didn't move for at least an hour after they had gone. Once I came to my senses, I packed up and moved about a quarter mile away, deeper into the woods and well of the trail, just in case they saw me and were going to come back for me.

The next day I hiked out, found a park ranger and gave him a map that I had made of the area including where the digging had taken place. He asked me to accompany him to the spot, but I refused.


1. Deer Lord

Went camping with my friends back in high school. We hiked way out into the woods/mountains and collapsed exhausted into our tents. Middle of the night, I hear something outside my tent. Then another something, and another, all around the tent. It sounded so much to me like something stalking up to our tent, surrounding it. I gathered my courage and looked out, shining my flashlight into the pitch black darkness. All I could see in the dark was shining eyes looking back at me. Not little eyes or eyes close to the ground, but almost man height and large.

Turned out it was a herd of deer.

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