There's something really majestic about hitting a trail and backpacking through the mountains or the wilderness. The sights you see? They can be incredible. The feeling of independence as you keep walking, unencumbered by the pressures of everyday life? They can feel fulfilling. The horror stories? Terrifying.
Believe it or not, they happen, especially if you're not careful as we learned after Redditor EinnVon asked the online community, "People who have done a multi-day hiking trip, what is your horror story from the trip?"
I'm a city boy. I think I'll stay right where I am.
"First night out."
Night 1 of a trip at Sleeping Giant in Canada, I believe. First night out, I'm always a little jumpy because it takes a while to get used to the sound of the woods, and this was no exception. It was a solo trip, so just me in a little tent on the edge of the forest, looking out onto a small slope down onto a pebble beach.
I was having some real trouble getting to sleep, the woods were just so loud and my mind kept jumping to 'serial killer' instead of 'normal wildlife'. I was trying to convince myself otherwise when I hear some heavier footsteps. Breaking twigs. My heart is in my throat because I just know I'm going to die all alone in the Canadian backwoods.
Then I hear a crash and some falling rocks directly outside my tent, and I work up the courage to turn on my flashlight and unzip the door to have a look... at which point I catch a glimpse of the very clumsy woodland elk that had just fallen down the slope onto the beach right in front of me.
Thanks for the clarification.
"Spent the whole night half asleep..."
Great Dividing Range in Australia. Doing it in summer, so we didn't take tents - just slept in sleeping bags in the open, under the stars. (We had tent flies with us in case it rained.)
Gorgeous. Except for the one night when we camped near a huge infestation of caterpillars. Fuzzy hairy ones. Spent the whole night half asleep, and peeling tickly fuzzy things off my face.
That's a big nope from me, dawg. Call me a wuss, but I hate dealing with bugs.
"My wife and I had set up camp..."
I was on a canoe camping trip, on a long narrow lake. My wife and I had set up camp about halfway along the lake, and all was well.
After dark, I went to wash my face in the lake, and I see two lights on the other side of the lake! (It was only like 50 meters wide). As I'm watching, their headlamps fade and die. And then something big starting snorting over there. A moose or a bear? It was pretty loud.
It was a still night, and so I called out to them: "Hey are you alright?"
It turns out they had accidentally started hiking from the wrong parking lot (delaying them an hour or two) and then when they got to the lake, they had hiked down the wrong side of the lake.
So I offered, and then went and picked them up in my canoe, and lent them a flashlight so they could set up. I think they were pretty relieved to have gotten away from whatever animal that was. If I hadn't been there, that would have had hours of hiking to get to the next campsite! Without lamps!
"I barely remember the rest of the tour..."
I went out to Muir in CA to see the redwoods. I did one of those old-person tours and that was one of the stops. Everyone in my group stayed on the ground trails, but I decided to take the elevated trail up and around. I was having a blast with my camera and relished the solitude within the forest. I suddenly realized that everything around me had gone quiet. Deadly silent. The only thing I could hear is the ringing in my ears and my own heartbeat pounding because I knew that meant a predator was in the area.
I did the same thing you did, and kept saying to myself repeatedly, "I'm not ready to die. I'm not ready to die," as I slowly made my way down. I didn't want to run because I didn't want to start a chase, but it was HARD resisting the urge to just scream and run for my life.
Suddenly there were birds singing around me again, and I heard a bunch of kids running and yelling up the trail behind me.
I barely remember the rest of the tour. The other people on the bus kept asking me how it was up there so I showed them photos from my camera but I was definitely in shock. The bus driver noticed something was up, I could tell he looked a bit worried. But I would crack jokes to distract him from questioning me.
"As we walk backwards..."
I was doing a one-night backpacking trip with a friend a few years back in some woods we didn't know very well. It was a very popular area for such things, and not particularly remote, so we weren't worried. The sunset snuck up on us a bit, so we were making camp in the dark. I was gathering some firewood by the light of my headlamp when I spot the unmistakable shimmer of a pair of eyes maybe 100 feet from me. My dumb @ss is excited because cool; wildlife! After staring at these eyes for a minute though, it becomes clear this is not a harmless raccoon; it is something big.
I don't have any sort of weapon and don't know how best to scare away my mystery animal. I call out to my buddy, who shines his brighter light in that direction. Turns out our visitor is a mountain lion. Maybe the fear distorted things but MAN that thing looked big. I didn't know much about them but I knew that if they attack you, they are spectacularly deadly. We decide to try and make a fire as quickly as possible since we figure we can't outrun the murder kitty.
As we walk backward toward our campsite, that damn thing kept perfect pace with us and never broke its gaze. The more of it I could see, the more I wished I couldn't. That cat was absolutely pure muscle. Luckily we had supplies to get the fire going very quickly, which had the effect we hoped; our stalker stopped slowly advancing on us. It appeared to think for a minute about its next move and then decided to maintain its current distance but circle us for a while. So now it's a stalemate.
Despite not being very remote, this area didn't have cell service back then, so we had no choice but to play the waiting game. We pitched our tent, made dinner, and tried to make jokes about the situation for the next few hours. The cat circled us for a long time maintaining his perimeter. At some point, though, he stepped behind a tree and we never saw him come out the other side. My friend and I had opposing reactions to this. I took the glass-half-full route and was relieved that it was gone. My friend's view was "well now he can be anywhere you idiot! It's not like we'll hear him coming if he charges us from behind!!" He was probably more right than me.
Eventually we are too tired to stay awake and aren't willing to risk burning the forest down so we let the fire burn out. No sign of our stalker for a while so we're hoping to sleep without being eaten alive. Luckily we did just that and I woke up the next morning well-rested and enjoying the act of breathing. As soon as I sat up in the tent and saw my friend though, it was obvious something was up. He was wide-eyed and looked pretty freaked out.
It turns out just as the morning light showed up in the sky, our feline friend came back to check on us. Apparently there was a funny yowly sound that woke my friend up and got closer to the tent over the course of 10 minutes or so. I didn't know at the time that mountain lions make a sound similar to a scream, which is very disconcerting when you're camping by yourselves.
Not that I cared though, my survival instincts were going strong as I happily slumbered. My friend hoped it was a bird at first but pretty much knew what it was. He didn't want to risk making any noise by waking me or getting out of his sleeping bag, so he just laid still hoping it would pass by. Apparently that harbinger of death got right the hell up on our tent and paused trying to figure out what it was. The windows were zipped shut, but my friend said it got close enough and there was enough light that he could see its shadow on the tent wall. It made another screech or two, sniffed around, and decided to move on.
So anyway, I wake up not knowing any of this, but just seeing my friend doesn't look good. I asked him what was up, and he says let's get out of the tent and he'll fill me in. I wonder now if that was because he didn't want to be the first one out of the tent. Maybe I had made too many jokes about how I could run faster than him, so he would likely be the tasty treat.
Luckily, the hike out was uneventful and this whole event was nothing more than education for us. We always carry a gun while camping now, though we've never seen anything else even close to that scary. Read up on your local predators ahead of time, kids. And definitely bring one really slow runner on every trip.
Why would I want to go somewhere I might be stalked by a mountain lion? I'm cool where I am.
"We found him again..."
Leading a youth group on a hiking trip. Lost a kid.
We found him again but I don't think anything will compare to the fear of losing someone else's child.
This has "horror film" written all over it.
Getting lost in the woods is not my idea of a good time.
"It was supposed to be..."
It was supposed to be a two night stay in the backcountry in Grand Teton National Park, with my parents. The day we hiked out, it rained the entire day and only got worse when we got to where we were camping. Everything was soaked through despite our best efforts (this was far from the first backpacking trip we'd been on), and we ended the day with sleet. I ended up wrapping myself in one of those emergency foil blankets inside my sleeping bag to get warm. We were so miserable the next morning that we threw in the towel and hiked back to civilization... in perfect weather. Every single person we crossed paths with the next day was shocked we'd even bothered going out the day before.
Moral of this story: if you compare your father to Ron Swanson on a regular basis, don't let him make decisions about activities if inclement weather is in the forecast.
"But the worst..."
When I was a kid (like 10ish?) my parents took us on a family vacation, a week-long backpacking trip through the Smokies.
It was mostly fine, I still look back on it fondly. But there were big millipedes everywhere and you had to be careful when packing up otherwise you'd probably roll one up in your tent or something.
But the worst was I went into my sleeping bag for the night and I felt something crawling along my leg. It felt like an inchworm, but it was, in fact, a bee. Somehow. Fortunately, I'm not allergic, but dealing with a bee sting in my calf right before bed some 10 or 15 miles from the trailhead... not fun.
"My only real horror story..."
My only real horror story was learning the lesson that the weather report for the nearest town does not reflect the weather at the top of the mountain where the open-face shelter is. When you pack for a low in the high 40's, sleeping in single digits is rough.
Also grew up in swampier parts of Florida. Wildlife can startle you. Not really "scary" once you know what to look/listen for. A cougar makes a horrifying sound if you don't know what it is. If you are near water in nesting season, always check for gator nests nearby. You don't want to find one while you're mid-dump. That does make a good laxative though.
"Did a miscalculation..."
Kepler Track New Zealand. Did a miscalculation on the number of calories two adults needed for the four-day trek. Had nothing but one jerky stick left and minimal water when we barely caught the last shuttle from the end trailhead back to Te Anau an additional 14K away. Whenever I think of the hungriest I've ever been it's the last half-day off that trek.
When we got back to our rented room we ordered two pizzas and a dessert made of berries, ice cream, and chocolate. I can not remember what the pizzas tasted like or even what we ordered. I only noticed the food going into my mouth at dessert. It was the most beautiful flavor I've ever experienced.
Have these stories put you off of hiking yet?
Here's a life tip: You can be a city boy like me and just not do it. It saves you a lot of trouble. (I'm being facetious, by the way.)
If these stories only further awaken the adventurer in you, then have at it.
Have some horror stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Remember the Dreamcast? If you don't, then you've been missing out. Sit down, sweet summer child, and listen up.
The Dreamcast was a console so ahead of its time that console has been a Dreamcast since there was a Dreamcast. Too advanced to match its competitors, not appealing enough to be considered part of the next generation. I have fond memories of that console. Crazy Taxi was a gem.
Not everything comes out at the right time. We heard about a few other examples after Redditor rentinghappiness asked the online community,
"In your opinion, what’s something that flopped because it was way ahead of its time?"
"It was vastly overhyped..."
"The original Segway. It was vastly overhyped, but now, we're seeing rental scooters and e-bikes change the way people get around urban areas. If the company had offered a Lime-style rental system from the beginning, the product might've become ubiquitous."
The problem with Segway seemed to be that they could not make them cheaply enough to fit into a reasonable personal transportation niche. They were the price of a small, used car. Not great.
"This was before major smartphones..."
"In 2005, two guys tried to create a service called “MyMobileMenu.” The idea was you could order food using a cell phone, similar to DoorDash."
"This was before major smartphones, so When that flopped, they later tried a new adventure and created a company you might’ve heard of: Reddit."
They actually started Reddit from the same code base and haven't updated the video player since.
"Brilliant show that perfectly toed the line between history and fiction. Extremely compelling characters and kick@ss cast. Wasn't very accurate but always authentic."
"Got way too expensive and was canceled after two seasons. If it had been released after GOT or any other epic show in this day and age and it would have been a smash hit."
James Purefoy as Mark Antony is one of my favourite performances from any media ever. What a show. We were robbed of so much further glory!
"An airline called Muse Air failed in 1985 largely in part because it was the first all non-smoking airline. Now everything is nonsmoking. It was purchased by Southwest and dismantled two years later in 1987."
And look at airlines now! Poor Muse Air.
"Those poor bastards waited..."
"Apparently Skype. Those poor bastards waited for the TV Guide channel to slowly scroll for years and just when what they were looking for showed up, they got distracted by the infomercial in the top right corner."
Somehow Microsoft bought it and despite consistently overwhelmingly negative feedback from users, its new director went forward with his own personal vision, and not only put in changes that no one wanted or asked for, but started stripping legitimate preexisting functionality out of the program.
"Sega Channel was such wizardry for the mid-1990s. It was like Christmas every month when they cycled in new games."
I remember this! It was so ahead of its time. It felt like being in the presence of actual magic!
"The movie tanked..."
"Videodrome '83. The movie tanked, but it was so spot on about people being addicted to media, ultraviolence becoming the norm, people adopting online personas, etc."
Truly... David Cronenberg is a twisted genius.
"It was the first commercial film to be shown in stereo and it used an early precursor to surround sound. WWII, high production costs, and the burden of building the sound equipment for showings prevented it from making any money at the time."
This is true! It's a spectacle that was definitely not appreciated at the time of its release.
"Smirnoff has been the laughing stock of alcohol for years. Now all of sudden everyone and their mother wants to drink fermented sugar drinks."
Funny how people came around – seemingly overnight.
"I distinctly remember..."
"The TV show Arrested Development. I distinctly remember the commercials for it and thought, Jesus that looks moronic. Fox chose the more obvious jokes to highlight and tried to make it seem like a zany hijinks type of comedy. They practically added slide whistles and “boing” sound effects to the commercials for it."
"Once I finally watched it I realized it’s brilliant. It was the first American show to do that style of comedy. Hand-held camera work, flashbacks, cutaways, etc. Which is ironic because later everyone would do it."
They made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development is a cult classic, a show made for streaming years before streaming was a thing.
You don't always realize you have a great thing going – and so much of success comes down to timing.
Have some examples of your own to share? Tell us more in the comments below!
Consumers who have money to burn often buy things they don't really need, like travel accessories, specialized sports equipment for an activity they've only done once, or even cookbooks, when plenty of recipes can be found online.
They might be missing out on buying things that could actually make life so much easier because it never occurs to them.
Curious to hear recommendations of items that can improve your life, Redditor icandoitw asked:
"What are some life-changing purchases that are 100% worth it?"
People thought it was worth spending a little extra for a better quality of life.
"Sounds simple but honestly, something as basic as a good pair of shoes that fit you well."
"A good mattress and pillow. We spend a third of our lives lying on it, why not invest in it? Anything that you use a lot, you should seriously invest in, like I have a $400 custom mechanical keyboard. People say I am crazy, but I use it every day, for hours on end, it’s my job."
"If you have trouble sleeping, a weighted blanket. I’ve gone from about 5.5 hrs average sleep per night to 7 hours average which is incredible for me, and I wake up feeling so well rested"
Better In The Dark
"Blackout curtains. Especially in the summertime, they help you sleep so much better."
"Good quality re-useable ear plugs. Soooo much better than the cheap foamy ones."
"They will definitely improve your life if you go to loud concerts. Filter our overtones so you can hear the music better at a loud punk show. Also hearing loss is irreversible and there's no cure for tinnitus."
Clear The Air
"For blind/visually impaired people: A smartphone. They literally are life changing, and can function as numerous separate and extremely pricy accessible devices and can do things like color and money recognition, text recognition, the uses are amazing."
"In general though, if you have allergies, especially seasonal or pet, AIR PURIFIER. When we bought our hous a few years ago, my allergies got so bad, we were almost considering moving, but then i bought an air purifier and it was so life changing, i got one for each floor of our house. One of the best purchases ever."
Life can be made easier with the help of these items.
"A second monitor."
"Suprised i didnt see this yet, but it improves productivity so much as you can have tabs open and type whatever you want on the other or even watch youtube etc."
Taking Stock In This
"3+ gallon stock pot. Boil pasta, potatoes, or whatever without a boil over. No more starch water burning all over the burner."
"a fully functioning computer."
"many people don't have one, they exist in phones or tablets, and holy sh*t they are missing out."
"Washer and dryer. No planning days and accumulating quarters for laundry. Just dump a load in a go about my business."
Save your back and your money by hiring people to do hard labor.
Refrain From Heavy Lifting
"paying for movers to do everything from pack to move all of it."
"never doing that sh*t again."
You Deserve It
"People really underestimate the power of this."
"At least in my social circle, for a long time it was just understood that if someone was moving everyone was showing up that day to lift and lug from house A to house B with the rich reward of beer and burgers after, as if it had all been some fun party everyone loved. This persisted even after people could conceivably afford movers."
"I personally think it is A LOT to expect of friends do that for you. Yeah, when you're young and you have three bags of clothes, two boxes of books, and a futon (and no disposable income at all), it's understandable. But paying for movers and then packers is something I did as soon as I had any money to pay for it. That is what money is for, it's not necessarily what friends are for."
The best pandemic purchase I made that was worth every penny was for several sets of free weights.
Once I canceled my gym membership, I invested in some dumbbells so I could follow YouTube workout videos in the comfort of my home.
They are not cheap; however, I'm saving more money in the long run without having to pay a monthly gym membership fee.
I've seen more gains from using the free weights and following an instructor on a monitor, and my motivation to work out is higher than ever.
If you find yourself plateauing at the gym, you may want to invest in making some changes to your exercise regimen that works for you.
You know, try as I might, I just can't bring myself to bother with The Walking Dead. I quit the show some years ago, probably around the time of that weird fakeout with Glen in the dumpster (and then his actual death right after that), but the truth is that the show was getting on my nerves for some time before that.
Did anyone actually care about all the nonsense going on with Deanna and the citizens of Alexandria? And can we go back a bit further and talk about how ludicrous Beth's death at the hands of some power-tripping officer in a hospital ward was? There was such a noticeable drop in quality after the third season that I questioned why I kept tuning in.
But this show is far from the only one to make people want to throw their remotes at their television screens. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor regian24 asked the online community,
"What TV show was amazing at first but became unwatchable for you later on?"
The Walking Dead
"The Walking Dead."
"First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."
See?! What did I tell you? After a splendid first season – one that could have been a standalone miniseries at that – the rest of the series just failed to live up to its initial promise.
"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."
I just couldn't get into it. I found it grating. And the fact that the quality noticeably slipped afterward did not make my friends happy.
"Heroes: biggest drop in quality after season 1."
To be fair, the writer's strike really hurt that show's future. It never stood a chance after that – and my God, did I hear that that second season was horrible.
"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."
This is the classic answer to this question. Gen Xers like me even use the term "jumping the shark" to refer to things that were once great but now suck.
"The Blacklist. So many loopholes and a never ending plot. I mean, the female hero (forgot her name) was wanted and had her pictures broadcast nationwide live, but a couple of weeks after she can do undercover work."
I couldn't even stand the first episode. I quit right after that. I could tell the quality was questionable.
"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."
This is true about lots of shows. The writers and executives just don't know when to quit.
Once Upon a Time
"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."
People actually liked that show? I know, I know... I'm the worst. I just didn't see the appeal and it heard it got so ridiculous.
"A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable a-holes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."
It started out great but really started to go off the rails with characters making increasingly nonsensical choices. Nancy marrying the Mexican drug lord was the beginning of the end.
That '70s Show
"Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."
Yeah, the way these characters continued to stick together even after that was just embarrassing.
House of Cards
"The first two seasons were amazing. After that it started to get progressively worse."
I would argue that even the second season began to stretch the limits of credulity. I lost interest after the fourth season (and both the third and the fourth seasons were a slog for me to get through).
There is some amazing television out there – I am currently making my way through Six Feet Under again – but there is even more disappointing television that should never make its way into your eyeballs.
Sorry if you've suffered.
Have some suggestions of your own? Tell us more in the comments below!
More often than not, what gets us to keep tuning in to our favorite TV shows, or drawn to certain movies, is to get a glimpse into various professions which fascinate us, but which we wouldn't ever want to work ourselves.
Needless to say, there aren't many people who find the Indiana Jones films to be a remotely accurate depiction of archaeology, or that the Jurassic Park films show what paleontology is really like.
But many people tend to watch iconic procedurals like Grey's Anatomy and Law & Order under the notion that they both give an accurate depiction of the medical field and the legal world.
Only, how accurate are they?
Redditor Just_Surround_2108 was curious to learn which professions have been documented on screen without as much research as one might expect, leading them to ask:
"What profession does Hollywood get completely wrong in films and TV?"
In case you had any doubts about hacking...
"Don't nobody code that fast lol."- lmoore0621
The better question is, what does Hollywood get right?
"Just about anything medical, including deaths."
"Just about anything dealing with space."
"Just about anything dealing with natural disasters."
"Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Hollywood really gets anything right about anything."- Xyrus2000
"Especially in big firms, it’s a lot of just endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."
"Sincerely, someone studying to do endless hours in front of a desk doing doc review."- geeeeeetarSeason 2 Nbc GIF by Law & OrderGiphy
For better or worse...
Don't let them in the operating room...
"Nursing."- buhzkillWake Up Coffee GIF by FOX TVGiphy
Drop that baton!
"Oh my god just take a lesson or two and learn how to hold the instrument right."- soysaucemmm
Crunching those numbers... incorrectly...
Accountants. I'm sorry, but the action Thriller "The Accountant" starring Ben Aff-lack, was in no way a true representation of my job. - User Deleted
Defying all laws of motion...
"It's hilarious how they act!."- Prestigious-Order-62back to the future 121 gigawatts GIFGiphy
At least depending on where you went to school...
If we're being honest, most people tune in to watch films or television shows to escape from reality, and aren't usually looking for a documentary on these professions.
Though, for anyone thinking they want to be a scientist after watching Back To The Future... you might want to really think that one over...