Campers Describe The Creepiest Thing That Has Ever Happened To Them In The Wilderness
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I have never understood the fascination with running around the wilderness. The wilderness is dirty.

There are bugs and snakes and wild animals that will eat you alive. I've been asked many times to spend the night in a tent.

On the floor. Laying on the hard soil. Does that sound sexy? I think not.

The wilderness is a dangerous place.

There are actually serial killers who take advantage of the forests of the world to hunt humans. Just look up the documentaries on Netflix. Which is safer than hanging out in the trees.

And that is just the tip of the riverbed.

Redditor u/cherrylbombshell wanted hear about all the secrets and dangers that lie in the wild, by asking:

Campers of reddit, what's the creepiest thing that happened to you in the wilderness/ at the campsite?

I won't even glamp. I don 't want to hangout in a cabin with a so-so wifi connection. I'm getting hives just thinking about it. There are better ways to die than to succumb to the darkness of the forest.


max von sydow priest GIFGiphy

"Possum fight in the tree above my tent. Thought all the demons were coming for me."

- boostedprune


"When I was camping I heard lots of rustling and noise during the night. I was alone in my tent but there was 100% something moving outside. I was terrified and I saw silhouettes of an animal in the distance moving. All of a sudden I heard the biggest and deepest MOO you've ever heard. A herd of free-range cows had found their way to me. One cow almost took down my tent but it was all good. They were really chill."

- MrSmellyEvans

In British Columbia...

"Some random guy was shuffling through my stuff at night. I was many hours into wilderness in British Columbia. I stayed absolutely quiet and terrified in my sleeping bag in my tent and he left after like 5 minutes. I had my pocket knife out in case he tried coming into my tent. I didn't sleep all night. In the morning I got out and checked what was stolen. Mostly food and batteries so I thought that he might just be doing this because he ran out of supplies but he also took my $600 camera so I guess not."

- dartfrog11

On the Move

"I used to camp pretty often at a wilderness spot that was a flat ridge on top of a big steep hill. One section had a trail that was steep but manageable, but the rest of this hill is almost vertical and would be impossible to climb without ropes and a bunch of climbing gear."

"Even though the top was flat, it was a heavily wooded area, thick pine trees. Lots of underbrush. Great views of the area, and far enough off the road we never saw other people. That particular trip, my girlfriend and best friend came along, so 3 of us spread out in 2 tents. Sometime in the middle of the night a storm blew through and dropped about an inch of snow on our tents."

"It was a calm night without any wind, and really peaceful all zipped up in our sleeping bags. When we woke up at first light there was a distinct trail of human footprints in the snow that went all the way across the ridge, through our camp, and came about 2 feet from our tents."

"The crazy thing was the footprints started from an area that would be impossible to climb up, and ended at another area that would be impossible to climb down. Let alone in the dark with snow making the rocks slippery. We measured the foot prints and they were smaller than my friend and I's boots, too big to be my girlfriend's."

"Could never figure out how someone climbed up that section in the middle of the night, moved through the thick forest without making a sound, and came so close to our tents without anyone knowing. Creepy enough we packed up pretty fast and got out of there!"

- DieselDown


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"I was on a Search and Rescue training weekend. We specialized in locating downed private planes so we were seriously in the middle of nowhere. Hours into the woods, we found an old abandoned lookout tower. The inside was covered in huge graphic paintings of animal sacrifices. The middle of the room had a pile of animal bones. The whole thing was unbelievably creepy."

- EhlersDanlosSucks

So far, hell no. Bears, possums, downed planes. I'd rather just read about it in a survivor's autobiography. The closest I've come to camping was passing out in my car. That was more than enough. But wait, there's more...


pig sniffing GIFGiphy

"A herd of Javelinas came into our campsite in the middle of the night. As quick as we could we made a run for it to the van and slept there. They didn't do much of anything, but they're big ugly pigs."

- RonSwansonsOldMan

Wild Horses

"This was upstate NY along the Canadian border. I wasn't camping, but I was out fly fishing one evening... It was right about that time when you look into the woods, it's pitch black, outside of the bush you could see relatively well. I was at my favorite spot, about half way in the river when on the opposite side, in the woods I could hear something walking."

"It was slow, somewhat methodical, and it just kept getting closer to me. I started hearing it about 100 feet away, and within 10 minutes it had slowly advanced up to a set of rocks and shrubs right next to the river. All the while, if I heard a particularly loud stick break or leaf crunch, the steps/sounds would stop for a bit."

"At this point, I'd call out a few times, hoping it might be someone but no response... Just this creepy feeling of being stared at. Being alone, unarmed, having recently seen a mountain lion a couple kilometers away (no joke) I was a little on edge so I backed out of the water (never turning my back), fishing was good so I high tailed it about half a kilometer down the river and went back to fishing."

"Wasn't long before I had the same eerie sounds of foot steps in the woods working their way up to me. At this point I got the f**k out of there as quickly as possible. Hell I didn't even change out of my waders at the parking lot, I jumped in the truck drove a few miles down the road to a parking lot in town and changed there. About a week later, local papers reported a horse which had been attacked and suffered serious damage from what the vet described as an attack by a very "large cat" at a farm next to where I had been fishing."

- anacondatmz

Wild Camper

"A few years ago, I loaded a bunch of camping gear onto my bicycle and spent the better part of the next seven months riding 5,300 miles (8,500 km) around the US. Most often I preferred to wild camp. An hour or so before dark, I'd start looking for somewhere to disappear into the woods for the night, somewhere people were unlikely to find me and even less likely to care that I was there."

"A remote forest makes for far from a silent night's sleep. Think of all the crickets in a suburban neighborhood on a summer night, and amplify that by about a thousand. There were always so many crickets and toads, and even the slightest breeze would stir music out of the tree leaves."

"Maybe I'd camp near a babbling creek. And it was always a highlight of the night —though not particularly uncommon— to hear the yips and howls of distant coyotes. I can recall one night where I fell asleep to the sound of two nearby owls, one on either end of my tent, calling back and forth."

"One night in late September or early October, I was camping somewhere in the mountains of western Montana. And it was dead silent. There was not the slightest sound to be heard, not a single cricket, no nearby river or faraway coyotes. The dry leaves of autumn surely wouldn't've required a strong wind to stir their song. And yet, there was only silence."

"It was terrifying. I can only describe it as the loudest silence I've ever heard. It felt as though the entire forest was hiding from an equally silent predator. Suddenly the occasional snapping of a twig —a common sound normally lost in the cacophony of the forest— was like a gunshot. I slept terribly that night, and morning could not come soon enough."

- MasteringTheFlames

Spawning Season

"I was camping in British Columbia just across the boarder to Washington. We set up camp next to a river had dinner and went to bed, while trying to sleep I could hear splashing in the river on and off, sounded like something trying to drown another thing and we'd hear this every couple of minutes but didn't go and check as it was terrifying and pitch black. Well morning comes and we go check outside the tent and we realise we'd just heard the salmon working their way up steam for spawning season."

- pidgechef90

Wile E?

wile e coyote GIFGiphy

"Coyotes. Coyotes surrounding my tent while I was 2 hours away from any sign of civilization."

- That_sarcastic_bxtch

How many people are wondering around the woods robbing people? Goodness, there are more thieves than bears. And I know for a fact real coyotes are not as funny in person as Wile E. I'm telling you, just watch the cartoons.

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