Ah, camping. Is there anything more relaxing? Sometimes it's nice to get away from the 9 to 5 stressors, log out of social media accounts, escape from irritating coworkers and say "buh-bye" to civilization for a few days. Sure, it can be a great way to recharge, re-energize yourself and feel closer to nature, but it can also be a nightmarish horror show that you may never recover from.
Bears? Hyenas? Aliens? Mountain lions? Crazy backwoods hillbillies with shotguns straight out of divergence trying to kill you? You never know what's waiting for you when you decide to pitch a tent in the middle of the woods, and sometimes it's less than friendly.
These avid campers reveal their most terrifying moments in the middle of the forest. And yes, these stories might make you rethink that camping trip you have scheduled for this summer. But that's probably for the best, right?
"When I was younger, around 14 or 15 years old, my family used to camp at a state park."KMIAOFFICIAL
"Went camping in Ginnie Springs in Florida about 10 years ago and sometime during the night I heard that sound you hear in movies/TV of a huge tree falling."SamURLJackson
"Safari guide here. Woke up one morning, with "something" very warm, rather soft and comfy on my back."
Realized my back was against the canvas of the tent. Realized it was an animal. It was a really cold winter night, temperatures drop close to zero here in the lowveld. WTF?
As I moved a bit, I heard the voice from my buddy, from his tent. He spoke a bit hushed, and with a definite tremble in his voice; 'Are you awake?' Stupid me replied with a strong voice: 'Yes'. The animal next to me got up, and (luckily) ran away.
It was a big male lion. -TheAfricaBug
"Camping alone in a bit of secluded bushland."mareenotmarie
"It was 2 am, pitch dark, low fire."art-is-the-answer
"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 2 wild boars kicking up dirt around the dying fire.
We didn't have any sort of weaponry except a hand ax that was out of our reach. My friend and I laid there completely silent watching these two for about an hour until the fire died completely down and they moved on.
If you don't know, Wild Boars in Georgia are easily 150lbs, pissed all the time, and prone to gore literally anything. We were reaaaally lucky we didn't spook them. -JustThoseBalls
"My time in the Army meant I spent a ton of time in the woods of upstate NY."11bztaylor
"My family went camping every summer when I was growing up."
One trip we were in Assateague, near the beach. 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. -eclecticsed
"My parents were out camping and my mom got miffed at my dad so she decided to take a hike by herself."
She’s walking and down the trail is this pissed-off looking, bare a** naked guy just... hiking? Had no interest in her or what she was doing.
Turns out she was really close to a nudist colony in the area. -WhitePaintChips
"Was driving in the Sierras and found a campground a few miles off the 395."dubstylerz123
"Was up hunting, on my way out to my blind before sun up."
Kept hearing footsteps behind me on the path that would stop when I did. I would stop every 15 yards or so and I would look around trying to see what I was hearing.
Skip forward 20 minutes and I make it to my blind, zip up the door and sit down. Footsteps got super close, so I made a fairly loud noise and I heard it run up the hill behind me and stop. Then I heard a SERIES of different howls.
Wolves. I had wolves stalking me at 4:30 am. Terrifying. -CaptainSk0r
"My mother has a great camping story. In their late twenties, her and my father were teaching in Lesotho."
During the holidays they would go on camping trips in the massive parks in Zimbabwe. They were young and stupid and didn't know the dangers of camping in Africa, and they had my sister with them, who would have been less than a year old at the time.
One night, they were camping in a tent and had my sister between them, when they heard sounds outside. They say it sort of sounded like someone coughing. My sister was making baby noises, and it seemed like it attracted more coughing animals outside. Soon it sounded like a whole pack of something was outside the tent. My parents had no firearms, and no knife or ax close by.
One of the animals then start sniffing the tent, and it seems like it was trying to dig under it to get to my now crying, sister. My parents were trying to find a way to save themselves and my sister, and in a panic-induced rage, my mother punches the snout of the hyena sniffing the tent. To this day my parents swear that the animal screamed in terror, and the whole pack ran off. -Sa-alam_winter
"Went camping with my roommates once."notrandomspaghetti
"My friend and I were walking back to our campsite after a hike that went on longer than expected so darkness had descended."
Armed only with the torches on our phones and the location of our tent, a lonely dot in a region of uncharted green in Google maps, we stumbled through a line of bushes and shone our phone torches ahead. Then we saw them. In the depth of the darkness, dozens of eyes were watching us.
A few seconds of terrified silence passed before we realized we had wandered into a sheep field. -CascadingStyle
"I was with a group of people hiking/camping in the Absaroka wilderness in Wyoming."AffectionateZombie
"We camped in the forest nearby when we were about 10 or so and told ghost stories."
One of them was about a pack of wolves in the very forest we camped in. They didn't believe me because everybody knows there are no wolves in Denmark. I kept at it though, trying to come up with evidence for it. Finally I just cupped my hands to my mouth and howled like a wolf. The others just laughed at me until a few seconds later we heard a wolf howl respond. And another one, and a third.
We ran out of the woods back to the house so fast Usain Bolt would be impressed. Of course, we learned later on that obviously we were not the only ones camping in there and some drunk teenagers had pranked us. -[deleted]
"I was in the army, it was pitch black. My battle buddy and I had guard duty at checkpoint charlie."
The time was around 1 am, and while I was looking through our night vision equipment, I could see what resembled 4 people trying to crawl into our encampment. I follow protocol and call up our guard commander, who tells me that there shouldn't be anyone out there but to keep observing them and report back.
I give the night vision to my buddy and he sees the exact same: 4 shapes, crawling very, very, VERY slowly in the direction of our trenches. So the next step is to stop them. I update my guard commander about the situation and what I intend to do.
I then get up of our trench and go to the edge of the camp, with my rifle drawn and shout at them to stand up, with their hands above their heads and identify themselves. There is no response. My buddy is looking through the night vision the entire time and confirms to me that there indeed are someone out there.
My guard commander comes running down, with his pistol drawn, looks through the night vision goggles. He confirms what I see, and the second he runs out there in anger to kick the shit out of them, they're gone. They didn't get up running, they just weren't there anymore.
I can't for the life of me explain how what and why. -M-Friis
"My brother and I got electrocuted once when we went camping."ccoh
"We arrived to a roadside campground in Canada, BC."
When we entered it was full of other guests and we had to spend some time finding 1 empty spot. We pitched our tent at 10 pm and went to sleep to get up early the next day. We woke up at 5 am and tried to be very quiet when we packed our things.
When we got out of the tent the entire campground was empty. -mahade
"Woke up at dawn from a loud "HONK" and peeked out of the tent."Bhrrrrr
"I’m sure there is a solid explanation, but we were camping and went hiking into the woods and found a cement room with only a hatch in the top."austinmiles
"Set up camp in the woods by a lake. As it got dark we heard pumping techno music that didn't let up so we decided that since there was no chance to sleep, we would join the party and so followed the noise."
"I was camping with my girlfriend, at the time, and her sister and sister’ boyfriend. We made steak and beans for dinner and after sleeping until around midnight, yours truly got the bubble guts."Slavic-Hardbass
"Waking up at midnight to the sound of thunder only to check my phone and see that we are under a severe thunderstorm warning with “quarter-sized hail and 60+ mph gusts" and to seek shelter immediately."TheBiles
"After quite a few drinks and everyone had gone to bed, I was the last one awake."
I decided to go for a pee because alcohol, I find a nice tree, take a piss and realize a nearby tree is dead and me being drunk thought it’d be a good idea to see how stable it was. It wasn’t. I pushed it over and it made a massive bang as it hit the ground. For some reason, I found this exceptionally amusing and was laughing maniacally as I headed back to camp.
Apparently hearing a gunshot-like bang and then maniacal laughter whilst camping in the middle of the bush is actually pretty scary for the rest of the group, they thought there was a psychotic serial killer was out to get them. -ukn0me
"Was tripping acid with 3 friends, and it was all their first time."
We were all in lawn chairs taking turns enjoying the view when an old man rode up on an ATV and asked if we'd seen his cows. He owned a ranch nearby. I said we hadn't seen any of his cows and asked what to do if we saw them, while tripping my face off. The old rancher said 'Just shoot 'em. It's been a tough year.'
Jesus Christ that was weird. -horsetoothrockefella
"Sitting around a campfire in the middle of nowhere in the north Georgia mountains (not designated campground) with 2 girls."chameleons4sale
"I went camping with a group of friends. We never camped before and were not familiar with the campground. We arrived after dark and had our pick of the remaining campsites."Fbyrne
"Last summer I was backpacking in Sierra Nevadas."Nato23
"I was 17, it was a survival trip where you're taught how live off the land for a few weeks in the middle of nowhere."
One night walking to the bathroom area and didn't bring a light. In the pitch black, I see two glowing yellowish eyes, about 10 feet ahead of me. Instant adrenaline and panic, had no idea how to process what was going on. Grabbed my knife and was having a fight of flight moment when...
It was a dairy cow."-Screen_Watcher