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Sometimes it kind of trips us out that humans developed out in nature with the rest of the animals, especially when you consider how defenseless we are, relatively speaking.

Maybe that's why lots of people who have been in deep woods situations say it brings out something primal in them. Things get weird in the woods, and your body picks up in it quickly.


One Reddit user asked:

Deep woods hikers and campers, what is the strangest or scariest situation you have come across?

Things get weird. Things get real weird.

Lets be honest, deep woods adventures were never high on my to-do list ... but these responses just un-sold the idea totally. I'm very okay never believing I was about to be murdered by a wombat.

A Pale Floppy Hairless Thing 

I was a teenager and just up and decided that I wanted to stay at my great-uncle's hunting camp one night. It's deep in the woods, bordering state forest land. There are gravel roads through most of the mountains in my state, and they're very convenient if you want a camp away from people but still have it be reasonably accessible. The last two miles of the road to his camp are totally washed out, so the last bit of my trip would be on foot, but I was in the mood for a wood stove and a late night walk. The moon was out, and though it wasn't full it was good enough to see by. So long as I wasn't under tree cover, it was set to be a beautiful night. I told my dad where I was going and hopped into my tiny 2002 Hyundai Accent and drove off.

I eventually got to the turn-off and started into the mountains. I had about 45 minutes of driving in the darkness left until I'd eventually reach the right fork which would take me to the non-descript dirt road that acted as the camp's 'driveway.' There are dozens of roads that crisscross and connect to each other (and often themselves) in any given section of state forest land. You can very nearly cross my state using only mountain roads and Amish country. Driving is one of my hobbies, and I know huge swaths of forest by memory. And so I knew that when I reached a certain turn that I would begin following a creek down into a narrow valley, the road steep enough that I would need to reduce gear. The Accent only had 2nd gear to help where 1st would have been better, so occasionally pumping my brakes was necessary to keep a safe speed. People tend to go way too fast on these gravel roads and then go sliding off into the trees when they have to evade or slow down. I was going about 24mph when I gently applied my brake and checked my rear-view mirror out of habit. And there was some pale, floppy, hairless thing on all-fours running about ten feet behind my bumper, washed in the red of my brake lights and partially obscured by the trailing column of dust from my tires and the vibration of the rear-view mirror attached to the windshield.


It was like my heart stopped. I almost ran off the road right there. I jerked the wheel as I slammed the brakes and skidded a bit, but that loping thing suddenly closed the distance to my rear bumper in a heartbeat. I released a truly horrified shudder and hit the gas out of reflex, which of course meant that the tail lights were no longer illuminating the thing. I cannot accurately describe to you just how quickly I went from perfectly content to the greatest state of terror I have ever experienced. I was gripping the wheel so tightly I could no longer feel my hands. My entire body was trembling. I was trying to drive with my peripheral vision while mostly glued to the rear-view, only occasionally stealing glances back to the twisting road before me. I could see hints of motion somewhere in the darkness. I almost ran myself off the road again, and I literally had to order myself aloud to look at where I was going so I didn't kill myself. My body was thrumming. I was probably going 40mph now. The road straightened out, and the tree cover thinned a bit, creating patches of pale light. My eyes were adjusted to the brightness of the headlights, so this wasn't much. But it was enough to catch glimpses of that receding fleshy form still behind me. By the next bend I could no longer tell if the creature was still following me.


I did not stop at the road leading to the camp. I did not stop at the next one, or the one after that. I kept driving for another hour, taking an incredibly inefficient and winding route that eventually led me out of the forest on the opposite side of my home. I had chosen roads that were steep, for instance, because maybe it would slow the thing down and it wouldn't be able to catch up as easily. What I did next was truly irrational though. I drove for yet another hour on the interstate, then doubled back home using regular roads through the various towns I had passed along the way, making big loops and redundant turns.

I had not been interested in horror in general up until this point. This experience awoke something in me. To this day I will go on night drives and never not feel scared. I was also a fairly skeptical person by nature, so this was also a deeply disturbing experience on a whole other level.

And like four months later I saw a picture of a bear with mange on the internet and suddenly everything was perfectly clear LOL.

- ValkyrProper

Santa

santa claus smoking GIF Giphy

My family used to go camping with a few groups of friends when I was a kid.

I remember one Christmas when I was about 5 we were camping out in the bush. There were 9 kids in total at our campsite. We were allowed to wander through the bush. The parents would give us a walkie talkie to tell us when to come back to camp and we never wandered far.

Anyway, out of nowhere an unfamiliar voice came over our walkie talkie. It was a man's voice. He said he was Santa and that he was trying to find us to give us our presents and he asked us to look for him.


We all ran back to our campsite all excited that Santa had talked us. The walkie talkie was taken off us and we weren't allowed to go anywhere for the rest of the trip.

We were pretty devastated at the time. But I understand the seriousness and creepiness of it now looking back as an adult.

I still can't be 100% sure if it was a creep in the woods or just one of the parents testing us. But I would think that if it was a test from our parents, we would have been allowed to go for walks in the bush again but we weren't.

And on subsequent camping trips we were never given a walkie talkie again. If we wanted to go for a walk at least 1 parent always came with us after that

- XX_jammin_XX

He Did Some Meth And Then...

This wasn't really deep woods camping, because my friends and I were staying at a designated campsite in a state park. The camp is in what is normally a peaceful valley.

It wasn't peaceful this time. Instead, a crazed gunman did some meth and fired some shots down the side of a mountain into the valley where I was camping.

In the middle of the night (I want to say around 1 am) I'm woken up by the sound of gun shots. Two of the other friends in my tent also woke up. It sounded like the gun shots were getting closer and closer over the course of a half hour.

It went from "that sounds far away" to "that sounds like a bullet hit something in camp."

Like I said, this was a state park. Hunting is illegal, which either meant some reckless hunter was ignoring the law and hunting after midnight, or some deranged lunatic was just walking around shooting into the woods.

Neither were good scenarios.


Friends and I stayed low to the ground, afraid that a stray bullet would come into our tent. Eventually we began to see spot lights crossing over the roof of our tent as some state troopers in a helicopter began searching the area for the suspect.

An hour after we first heard the gun shots we heard some police sirens on the main road above us - remember, the campsite was located at the bottom of a valley. There were shouts of "Drop the weapon! I said DROP the weapon!" A few more gun shots, the sounds of some frantic scrambling and shouting instructions, then eventually silence.

The next morning, we went to ask the campsite managers if they knew what happened last night. It turns out there was a guy who lived in a house that was higher up the side of the mountain, above the main road.

He did some meth that night, and decided that it would be fun to fire his gun at any cars that passed on the main road. The state troopers arrived and arrested him.

There were bullet holes in some of the trees around camp, and in one of the RVs that was parked in one of the neighboring camp sites.

I'm really relieved that no one was hurt or killed by the gunman. Especially after seeing how close those bullets came to going through some of the camper's tents.

- GingersaurusRex

Never Heard A Thing

Woke up after camping in the Rockies to find cat prints the size of softballs encircling my hammock.

I never even heard a single noise that night and the prints were no more than fifteen feet away. Luckily, I didn't have any food that piqued it's interest.

- CukeL18

A similar thing happened to my friends and I while camping and drinking the night away in the Oregon Cascades.

It was somewhere around 1998 so we were rocking a disposable camera taking drunk photos all night long. About two weeks later we got the film developed and there was a cougar in about 1/3rd of the photos.

We were completely oblivious until that sobering moment when we saw the photos.

- Ace-Ranger

I've recently been watching my cat hunt mice, because he's showing me all the holes I need to fill in to stop them from getting in.

He has a bell on his collar, but it's like he can just... turn it off when he enters hunting mode. He'll go from being a big galoot to moving completely silently.

Imagining him being ten times bigger and hunting me is extremely unsettling.

- chinchillazilla54

The Blair Witch Prank (We Hope)

Walking a section of the Appalachian Trail with a couple of buddies when we happened across a bundle of sticks. The sticks were made into a figure, kinda similar to the ones from the Blair Witch Project.

It was obviously placed there by someone, as it was dead-center on the middle of the trail, leaning against a rock. I thought it was cool, so I grabbed it and put it in my backpack.

Anyway, we finished the hike and set up for the night in our camping spot. We were all pretty wiped out from the long day, so after dinner we retired to our respective tents and conked out for the night.

The next morning, I was the first one awake, so I got up to make the coffee, and what did I find? An identical bundle of sticks to the one we'd found, sitting atop the pile of charred wood from the previous night's fire.


First thing I did was check my pack, and sure enough the one I'd picked up was still there.

Each of my friends swore they didn't put it there, and I obviously said the same. It was weird because we were all adamant about not putting it there ... but I can never be sure one of them wasn't f*cking with the other two of us.

The thing that messes with me is the bundle I found in the morning was almost an exact replica of the one we found on the trail earlier.

I find it hard to believe one of the other guys could have made such a close replica without being able to model it after the one in my pack. And it's not like either would have placed the one on the trail beforehand for us to stumble upon, as it was FAR out in the middle of nowhere.

I want to believe one of them pulled a prank on the other two because the alternative scares the sh*t out of me.

- DoItAnyway54321

A Freight Train

The scariest thing I have had happen so far was a Moose came crashing through my campsite in the middle of the night. It sounded like a freight train crashing through trees.

The crashing woke me up in the middle of the night.

In the morning light I could tell that it had ran right by my tent. They don't have great eyesight and I was about 2 feet from being trampled to death by 1,000lbs of moose.

- Minyaden

Yikes! That's scary as hell! Moose will stomp you till you stop moving just because they feel like it. They can be real a-holes!

- SkinnySusan

Death By Wombat

Digging Gold Digger GIF by Brookfield Zoo Giphy

Guide camp in Victorian bushland. Girl guides are a paramilitary exercise in the British tradition.

My troop was competing in a camp competition. We were the furthest from the mother house, down the hill and out of sight of every other campsite.

One night we were all dead asleep in our tent. The group was a total of 8 pre-teen girls. We heard snuffling and loud grunting around the tent.

Then the tent started to move and shake. This was an ex-army 8 person tent built with wooden beams and something was shaking the f*cking tent.


One beam started to come loose and 2 girls made a run to the motherhouse. The rest of us tried to keep the tent up while screaming as pre-teen girls do.

We then heard a louder thud, louder screaming, and someone yelling "get up! get up! get up!"

By now we'd woken half the campsite.

Turns out a family of wombats was upset we were in prime grazing area and was pushing the annoyance away. The thud was one of the girls tripping over a wombat in all the panic.

So that's the time I thought I was going to die by a wombat.

- paperconservation101

Do You Live Here? 

10 years ago when I was a skinny little 17 year old I was hiking the rural side of a levee with a friend who was even scrawnier than I was.

It was a long, long, walk Into the woods and for about an hour or more we hadn't seen anyone else. Just trees and foliage. We finally stumbled upon a huge nest looking area. It was so random and out of place, so we investigated.

There was paper and cloth everywhere, torn magazine pages, old clothes, cans, everything piled into one huge mess. We assumed maybe people drove their truck out here and dumped their trash, so we just turned to leave but in that very moment we saw a tall rugged man wearing all black staring right at us.

He was maybe 6ft3, had shaggy unkempt hair, and looked dirty and disturbed. He stood 15 feet away, and he was just staring and silent.

My friend didn't say something so I said "Hi. Do you live here....is this your stuff?"

And he only nodded yes and then we slowly backed away and left. He just stared at us until we could no longer see him anymore and then we picked up speed to get back to civilization.

- HugoTheCreator

Glad To Miss That Trip 

This happened to some friends of mine in Sydney, Australia. When we wanted to go underage drinking we would buy a case of beer or bottle of spirits and hike about 4kms into the bush to the middle of no where to drink without worrying about getting into trouble. Would sleep in a sleeping bag under the stars in summer and be fine.

So one afternoon my friends, without me this time, headed off with beer to the usual camp spot we'd use. Being young and stupid no one checked the weather forecast otherwise they'd have know heavy rain was on the way.

In the middle of the night 5 drunk teenagers left the camp site to shelter in caves near by. The caves sit high up overlooking a large fork in the Hawksberry River.

Soaked from the rain and cold, they started to dig a fire pit. Unfortunately they dug up human remains, were too drunk to return home and so they spent a miserable night in the rain waiting for dawn stuck in a cave with a corpse.

Didn't dare stay anywhere near the caves after that.

The police investigated and discovered the remains were an very old aboriginal burial site and were relocated to avoid being accidently disturbed again.

- Znarl

A Step Stool

Was somewhere in the middle of the White Mountains in the summer when I walked into what looked like a scene from a horror movie.

A person with zero hiking, camping, or other experience had gotten themselves in trouble - big trouble. It was around 7am when I found the campsite.

First thing that hit me was the eerie stillness, until I noticed the shredded tent under a tree, and the desperate looking human figure covered in blood, whimpering quietly. I put my bag down, grabbed my kit and went over to the person - they looked like they had just lost a knife fight with a 4 armed man.

Deep slashes from one shoulder to hip, single punctures up and down his back, and hands and forearms full of what looked to be defensive cuts. I patched him up the best I could, gave him water, checked my map and high tailed it to the closest road (this was before cell phones were super prevalent and barely worked in the mountains).

Thankfully, the road was very close by - less than 2 miles, and I was able to flag someone down. They took off and I waited for assistance to arrive.


It took about an hour until rescue arrived, and I led them to the still unidentified individual (he was not very talkative when I helped him out) - I was sure he would be dead before we arrived, but was wrong.

I assisted rescue bringing him out, and took them up on their offer to head into town and get cleaned up. After cleaning up and getting myself situated at their station, I went on my way, leaving them my number to call to let me know what was up with the person we helped out.

I got home 3 days later, and there was a message on my machine. The story was that the guy I found decided to go camping one day and heard that he had to keep food hung from a tree to keep bears away.

Well, he did that, but put it almost directly over his tent, and not high enough.

The night before I happened upon the site, a bear had used the tent, and it's occupant, as a step stool in attempt to climb the tree to get to the food. The guy had woken up to four black bear paws sinking into his body, shifting to reach up.

Dude survived, and swore to the hospital staff that he was "moving to the city and never going into the woods again."

- CowboyFleeborg

here.
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