Wilderness Experts Share Their Weirdest Experience With Another Human Being
Lions and tigers and bear, oh my... There are many frightening things that a person can come across in the woods. But none of that is as truly terrifying as another human being can be. Most of the people you meet in the wilds are pleasant enough (hopefully), but there is always the chance that they aren't as friendly as they appear. Some people even choose to live away from other human beings for very good reasons, and these people can be especially frightening to come across unexpectedly. These stories will share some of the most horrifying encounters people have had with another human being while out in the wilds alone together.
37. Forbidden Plant
I'm a geologist. I did my graduate fieldwork in western Nevada. The first time, I crossed a range that I assumed only a handful of humans had crossed and I saw a hand-built shack with a legit mountain man out front I kind of lost my mind. After a while, I became to appreciate running into these off the grid folk.
Then one day I crossed a mountain range, was walking upon what looked like some kind of farm. As I got closer I could smell it. Outdoor greenery farm on BLM land. I immediately freaked out, hit the ground, and tried to scurry out of there. On my way out I was confronted by a man with what appeared to be a large weapon.
I was carrying a sidearm for animals, cougars, and whatnot, but not in a position to pull it. He offered me 10k to not report it and let me go. Never collected the 10k or reported it. Too scared to do either. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
36. I'm Not Creeping, He Is
When I was about 10 of my buddies and I were riding on a BMX trail in the woods with jumps and what not. After about an hour this older woman approached the edge of the track and said "Hey Boys! Can you come over here"?! We were old enough to know stranger danger and said no and started to leave.
She then yelled "Boys! It's okay! I am here to tell you that the cops are on the way. There is a man over in those bushes and has been for some time". She yelled it loud enough that anyone in the area could hear. Some dude got up from the bushes (had no idea he was there) and took off running.
35. Messy, Messy
Hiking in a fairly popular area in Southern California with my wife, we were looking for a disused trail that is supposed to lead to a hidden hot spring a few miles from a split off the main trail. Finding the split was the difficult part. We'd been looking at maps and doing internet detective work to pin down exactly which direction to take, but the info was not at all consistent, so we decided to wing it, being pretty familiar with the area and reasonably seasoned and well-prepared hikers.
Had a bunch of false starts, taking spur trails that looped back, dead-ended or were just way overgrown. The main trail at one point crosses a campground, which at the time was closed for the season. We paused in the campground, to relax at a picnic table and take advantage of the water spigot to refill our camelbacks.
That's when I noticed that the ground under the spigot was wet, someone had let the water run. No big deal except this trail doesn't connect to any others, and we were the only people at the trailhead, hadn't seen any other cars on the forest road going up. Now curious, I looked around the site and start finding signs of a really ill-prepared and messy camper.
An old bed sheet wadded up under a tree, clothing items, empty food cans and part of a mess kit. Did the old cowboy movie trick and found the fire ring ashes are still warm. Kinda odd, but really no big deal. So, we move on and continue looking for our hidden trail.
Start down a path that seems promising when around a bend we find stacked bags of fertilizer, folded tarps, and about ten cardboard boxes full of styrofoam cups with little green plants in them. The messy abandoned camp now makes a lot of sense. We backed out and started to head back to the car.
As we're approaching the campground to cross back, we hear a motorcycle coming up the campground road and watch as it goes directly to the messy site, dude gets off, looks around, then jumps back on the bike and takes off towards the exit. Waited a few more minutes listening for anything unusual, then beat feet back to the car.
Might have been nothing, but just too many coincidences for me to feel very comfortable being around there.
34. Turtle Watching
I work on the beach at night looking for turtles. Most nights you'll see one or two people with a flashlight or a couple up towards the dune trying not to be seen.
And most times the moon or the sky glow is bright enough that you can see at least 20m in front of you. But one night it had just rained so no one was out and the moon was covered and even with pretty good eyes I couldn't see anything.
I was waiting for a turtle to come up out of the water and kept hearing grunting and rustling in the dune. Initially, I thought it was a fox or at worst a coyote, so I figured it would go on its merry way. Nope. That thing sat there for half an hour making an occasional sound and moving around.
The green turtle eventually heard it and was freaked out enough to leave (they're skittish at the best of times). By this time I was by the water and so I started walking away to go find another turtle and the sounds followed me! Only this time it started saying things and shouting at me.
Oh no. I booked it.
Unfortunately, my vehicle was back the way I had come so I waited on the other end of the beach for two hours and then decided it would probably be ok to walk back. When I get back to that spot a guy is passed out and there's a path of cans leading back into the dune.
33. Creepy Photographer
My husband and I hiked the approach trail to Springer Mountain several years back, planning to summit and return to the bottom and camp. It's summer, like 90 degrees, and besides a few trail runners early in the day we really see no one else. It takes a few hours longer than we anticipated and we are beat.
Also because of the way my leggings rubbed I have the worst rash imaginable and just do not want to hike down again.
We set up to cook dinner and a man comes from the opposite direction toward the summit. My husband strikes up a conversation and the man agrees to give us a ride back to the park where we started.
We throw our packs into his trunk but I keep my cell phone in hand, even though it is nearly dead and I have no signal. The guy had said he knew the way to the park and could get us back quickly. But then suddenly he has "taken a wrong turn" and now he has to turn around. Something about his story does not add up during the entire ride.
He says his wife is in labor with their first child but he had to get away for a bit, take a hike to clear his mind, etc. Okay, whatever, maybe he is nervous, it happens.
He just kind of rambles about weird things and then realizes, oh wait, I've taken another wrong turn.
We turn onto a road and there is this old house and he wants us to get out and look at it. Won't take no for an answer. Then it gets really weird. He asks if he can take pictures of us in front of this house, standing on the porch, sitting.
He is in full photo shoot mode. "I want you to look happy. Now I want you to look angry," etc. We get back to the car, I'm thoroughly creeped out. He is Sheldon Cooper, in Ted Bundy form. He tells my husband that his car is running hot and needs some water to cool it down, he has some in the trunk if my husband wouldn't mind getting it for him.
I instinctively hop out with my husband because no way am I getting left in this car if the guy is trying to split us up. We put the water in and away we go.
32. It's A Small World
Was hiking in Grasslands National Park, east block, South Saskatchewan once. A 3-night solo trip in the badlands.
I did not see a single soul that entire first day. After I made it to the water reservoirs, I just kinda hung out, soaked in the sunrise, and relaxed a bit. That's when I heard horse hooves in the distance. It wasn't a gallop, it sounded more like a canter.
The hoof-fall stopped and I looked around. There I saw a bona fide, old rough-n-tough cowboy - boots, hat, leathery skin, and all - just sitting on a ridge. Watching me. So I wave to him, excited to talk to someone who probably knows the land well.
No wave back.
He then started moving his horse toward me, keeping his eyes on me. When he got up close I saw that that guy had a weapon across his lap. And it was not in the saddle scabbard, it was drawn. So I kinda started freaking out.
He then asked me all these questions, like what was I doing out there, where I was camped, what my plotted path was, etc. I answered him honestly and he didn't seem to believe me. Maybe it was the fact that I left my big bag at the campsite and I was just wearing a little daypack that he didn't believe I was on a multi-day trip.
I mean, I had none of the necessary gear on me and my tent wasn't in sight. He repeated the questions and said "you sure about that"? when I told him I was hiking east.
So to try and sorta ease the tension I introduced myself and stuck my hand out for a shake.
He carefully received it and told me his name. Now, this is where it turns from scary to hilarious and bizarre - his name was exactly the name of one of my ex-bandmate/good friend's dad, and that friend had grown up on a ranch in this region.
So I quickly put two-and-two together and asked him if he knew my friend. He cautiously said "Yeah, that's my daughter" so I told him how I knew her and his face lit up like a Christmas tree.
31. Camouflaged Peeper
I used to often spend my summers bouldering with my friends by a relatively large forest that was about an hour and a half away from where I used to live.
We used to spend some of the nights camping out there just to save some travel costs and time.
Anyway, I think this was roughly like the third or fourth time we were out there camping, my friend had left all her climbing gear and her rucksack just outside her tent or we definitely think she did anyway.
The next morning we found her boots, a few clothes, and all her chalk powder had disappeared. We figured that it could have been completely feasible that she misplaced it, although we were quite sure that they were next to her tent we didn't really want to believe that they were stolen.
Anyway, we didn't read too much into this and just stupidly said to ourselves that perhaps she had left it by the boulders and some animal took an interest to it... I know it sounds stupid but it was very reasonable to us at the time
Anyway fast forward a year, we're at the same spot, as usual, sitting by the tents and chilling after having some food. Mind you it's pitch black out, and only the camp area is lit by the fire.
I go somewhere a bit out of sight for a slash and what do I see? A dude in a full-on ghillie suit laying on his stomach looking right towards our campsite. I kinda stood there frozen as this dude clocks that I've seen him and he just bolts it out of there.
30. Must Not Sleep
Was hitchhiking in Greece, got dropped off at a crucial fork in the road for my journey in the middle of the night by a super nice guy (he was going the other way). Had to camp for the night in the middle of nowhere and start again in the morning.
His were the only headlights I saw from getting out of his vehicle to walking a half mile into the woods. I set up camp, had some water, and started to doze off. Before I could, I heard footsteps coming towards me. I am freaking out. I hear someone right outside of my tent.
I yell "I have a weapon"!, and start to open the tent and they bolt. I see a figure running back towards the road. I closed the tent and stayed awake for 8 hours until the sun came up, fighting a sleep-deprived sleepiness the whole night. It was the worst night of my life but I never saw whoever it was again.
29. Clowns Or Cooks?
This is rural Ohio, and the reservoir was off a dirt road about 2 miles from the village it fed, which was a village of about 1500 people. We had fished this spot a ton of times, and we very rarely saw other people during the day, and we NEVER saw anyone out there at night.
We hear a huge SPLOOSH and we see the ripples coming from across the lake to our right. There are maybe 50 yards of water between us and the other bank, and the fog was so thick we could not see the bank or what caused the sound, but we could see the ripples in the water once they got to us.
We explain it away to a tree limb falling in the water, or maybe a beaver jumping off the bank (do beavers jump)?. And we keep fishing.
About 20 minutes later, another huge SPLOOSH. And the ripples come again. And let me tell you, there was no mistaking the sound.
It was NOT a fish flopping, and it was not a frog jumping in the water, it was the sound of a large heavy object. Like, the sound someone makes when they do a cannon ball off the diving board. But, we explain it away as we did with the first.
Shortly after that, we run out of wood for the fire. So we leave one guy to watch the poles, I and a few buddies go out into the brush to find fallen sticks and what not. We all go our separate ways and meet back at the fire shortly after.
One of my buddies comes back to the fire with a white jacket, a pair of rubber boots, and a clown mask in his arms.
This was about the time when there were all the posts about the "scary clowns" who would lurk around towns to scare people, I knew those stories were lies so I figured it was just leftover from dumb kids who had a party out there one night and left it.
So we get the fire going again, we fish for a little while longer when we hear twigs breaking in the woods across the lake, and then another HUGE SPLOOSH.
At this point, we KNOW there is someone out there with us, and the sound has to be someone dropping something in the lake.
As I'm sweeping the woods with my flashlight, I walk over the crest of a hill, and not 10 feet in front of my face is a tent.
This tent had been here for a long time. There was moss growing on the sides of it, and there was trash and stuff thrown all around this campsite.
Most concerning though, was the PILE of propane tanks. There had to have been 15 or 20 of those 5-gallon propane tanks.
So, we all looked at each other, and I said "Welp! I guess this is none of my business"! And we hurriedly made our way back to the fire, threw all of our stuff in the back of the trucks and made our way out of there in a hurry.
On the way out from around the lake, we pull onto the main (dirt road) and pass a little Toyota Camry with 5 dudes in it. Watching in the rearview, they pull onto the service road we just left out of.
So, for those that aren't savvy to rural southern Ohio and haven't figured it out, 5 idiots went out to a local backwoods reservoir to catfish and busted a substance lab in the middle of the woods.
The owner of said lab tried to scare them away by throwing propane tanks in the lake.
I can only assume that when throwing stuff in the lake didn't scare us away, the cook called some of his buddies to scare us out, or worse yet, the cook called his buddies AFTER we saw his operation, in which case, I'm glad we got out of there before they showed up.
28. I'm Not A Deer
In college, I lived near the edge of the city and there was this road nearby that winded through some forest before opening up to some farms. It was rarely used by cars and people avoided walking there because there were no sidewalks and it went nowhere.
Halfway down the road was this abandoned property that had apple trees that produced a ton of fruit that always ended up on the ground.
One evening just after sunset, I passed the property on my way back from a run so I picked my way into the brambles to grab some apples.
After I got a couple I circled back around some bushes to head home and right in the path was this middle-aged man creeping towards me with his hands spread like he was hunting something and I LOST IT. I screamed and kinda flailed my arms so the apples flung towards him.
He also jumped and went OH NO SORRY, SORRY, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A DEER and backed up into the road. He was super embarrassed and apologetic and I was way too happy to not be getting attacked to get mad, but holy crap, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
27. Longest 15 Minutes Of A Cop's Life
My senior year of high school I went on a camping/hunting trip out into the middle of the Arizona desert with my dad and 2 of his cop buddies/coworkers. My dad and I had a large tent with a divider that we were sharing, and his 2 friends had a similar set up about 20 feet away from our tent.
Throughout the campsite, we had a fire pit, ice chests, etc etc etc.
Well, the morning of the second day my father told us he woke up at around 3 am because he heard someone very slowly and methodically walking through camp, occasionally fidgeting with some of the things in the camp.
He knew it wasn't me, and it wasn't either of his friends with us (he could hear both of them snoring quite loudly and confirmed with them they didn't get up to go to the bathroom or what have you). We were in the absolute middle of nowhere.
Nearest civilization was an hour and a half drive away.
He laid in the tent, listening to whoever this was walking through the camp for a good 15 minutes before they eventually left. He said he had this absolutely terrifying sense of dread during this entire situation and didn't dare call out or do anything.
He just listened as some stranger walked through camp in the middle of nowhere
My dad has been a cop for well over 25 years and he's seen some really rough stuff over the years, but he says those 15 minutes, and the hours after that, was the most terrified he's ever been in his life.
26. With A Heavy Sleeper
It was just me and my boyfriend camping up near Mormon Lake lodge with a deaf dog and no protection.
My boyfriend is a heavy sleeper and I didn’t want to wake him up and make a bunch of noise. So I sat there, wide eyed trying to see in pitch black darkness while someone came up to the tent and tried to look inside. About 5 min later they left, I woke up my boyfriend and he didn’t seem to care since they were gone. He went back to sleep and I waited till sunrise, eyes wide open.
25. Well-Intentioned Intervention
In the Spring of 2006, I was out in the boonies by myself, camping for a few days. I awoke at 8 am on the 4th day and was relieving myself when I swore I heard a whelp of pain in the distance, followed by a wet chopping sound that went on for about 30 seconds.
Then more silence for 20 minutes so I thought maybe I was imagining things in my sleepy state. Another 20 minutes goes by and I can hear footsteps, broken twigs and the unmistakable sound of heavy breathing. Thing was that nobody in their right mind would be coming to my location from that direction as it's a very long & difficult hike, and nobody lives in the area anyway.
So now I'm at full alert and I reach into my tent to grab something for protection, then when I stand up I see a man dressed in priest clothes, white collar and the whole bit, bloody, and covered in dirt and mud head to toe. No hiking gear, no water, just a priest with a hunting knife.
I immediately think about the painful welp and wet chopping noises and I think this guy just got done doing something horrible in the woods, got turned around in the woods and mistakenly wandered into my camp. Just as I'm pulling back the hand with a heavy object to defend myself from a wild attack, he speaks.
"You are a hard man to find, Mr. Hominy. Do you have a First Aid kit by chance? I seem to have injured myself trying to cut myself loose of a thicket of bindweed".
Turns out that my aunt & uncle had asked their priest to come to talk to me, as they were worried I was out in the woods to take my own life after having lost my older brother the previous summer.
They had told him where I was and he hiked for 3 hours the previous evening, got lost and slept through the night leaning against a tree, woke up at first light and hiked another 2 hours to my camp. He downed a couple bottles of water and ate some fig bars while I tended to the deep cut in his left arm and right leg, then I told him I was taking him to the hospital.
He did NOT want to make that hike again and seemed to be feeling some despair at that point, but I ignored his attempt at delaying. He felt really stupid when we walked around a grove of pines to find my truck sitting next to a trail, then drove that trail for 5 minutes before hitting a road.
He had driven by that trail the day before but didn't take it because of the 'NO TRESPASSING' sign, and instead hiked through 2 miles of incredibly thick brush & timber, no doubt walking in circles at one point.
A few stitches and prayers later, he was right as rain.
To this day he has no idea how close he was to getting hit by me.
24. Not Alone On An Island
Me and my ex were camping at a camping ground in our local national park. There were like 3 or four other tents on this tiny island connected to the lakeshore by a tiny bridge.
We had been sitting around the campfire for a few hours with the other campers and having a good time. It's late august, pitch black outside, you can't see anything except the immediate area surrounding the fireplace. Everyone else goes back to their tents.
I grab my camera and tripod to go set it up for some long exposure shots.
I walk maybe 150 feet away from the fireplace and tinker with it for a few minutes before leaving it there to do it's thing
When I approach the fireplace I notice a dark figure standing next to/behind the bench my girlfriend is sitting on. I try to make eye contact but this guy is just staring at the ground.
I'm inebriated and starting to get scared so I muster a "Hi" and sit down next to my girlfriend. My girlfriend is even more scared than me because unbeknownst to me, he has been asking her some really sketchy questions; "Are you alone", "Where's your boyfriend" and so on.
We sit there in silence, staring at the fire for a few minutes before I tell the guy to sit down (he was still standing behind us, a bit to the side).
He starts asking questions about whether there are any other campers on the island and whether we all know each other. We are starting to get really scared. He points at my spare camera body on the ground and makes some comment on how it must've cost a fortune.
For the next half an hour, he just sits there, barely speaking, never once showing his face behind his hood. I remember sitting there with a knife clutched in my hand watching his every move like a guard dog. When the adrenaline starts to clear from my head I get up and tell him we're gonna go to sleep.
He barely notices it and when we start packing our stuff into our tent he gets up and leaves.
Fast forward to an hour later, we're laying in our tent, scared when a flash of blue light hits our tent. My gf remembers that he had a head torch.
We are really scared now. We hear some steps. I stick my head out of the tent half expecting to get a hatchet as a forehead ornament. I can't see anyone or anything, no headlamp, no nothing. This repeats itself a few times during the night. We get a few hours of sleep and pack up our stuff to get out of there.
On the other side of the tiny bridge that connects the island to the lakeshore, we see him again. He just looks at us while we walk away, not responding to our friendly waves.
23. Growly Backpack Thief
I go out with some buds up into the Sierra's every summer. One night some dude wandered into our camp while we were down at the river and started to look through our backpacks, I was the first one to spot him.
When I yelled the obligatory "HEY" he looked up at me and instead of saying anything just made this weird growling sound, grabbed my backpack, and charged me. I just got out of the river so I'm only in swim trunks and I got seriously spooked and turn to run, I don't know what happened after either.
I turned around but I never saw the dude again and later found my backpack hanging from a tree totally empty.
22. Kidnapping Interrupted
While camping with two buddies, a man and boy pulled up in a new 3 Series BMW sedan. They were not equipped with any camping gear or supplies.
At first we thought that they may just be new at camping, however, after speaking with the man for a while it was clear that he just spontaneously decided to attempt to car camp with the boy. Being ill-prepared, the man attempted to buy gear and supplies from us, including my buddy's dog.
We let the boy play with the dog during the evening, provided them a few blankets, and a portion of supper. The boy looked sad, the man appeared nervous - something was off... In the early morning, one of my buddies slipped out of camp and made way to the ranger station.
As requested the ranger came back with their sidearm. By then I and my other buddy were treating the man and boy to breakfast. As soon as the man saw the ranger, he bolted for his sedan. Quick thinking, my buddy pulled his sidearm out and stepped in front of the sedan.
While the man likely could have just driven away in the sedan, he instead exited the car brandishing his own weapon. Everyone was now in an armed standoff except for me, as I had grabbed the boy and pulled him behind some nearby rocks for protection and concealment.
The ranger ordered my buddy near the car to back away, asked the man to drop his weapon, asked by his other buddy near her to draw down his sidearm and told me to stay put. Luckily, the man avoided a shootout. It turned out that the man had kidnapped the boy.
21. Backing Down A Dark Figure
Climbed Quandary Peak elevation 14,265′ solo, in November 2016, located in the Ten Mile Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Went through the protocol of doing a solo trip; told people where I would be, approximately the time I would be out of cell range, planned to camp overnight after the climb.
Anyway, it’s pitch dark by the time I make it down the mountain. Pull out my headlamp, it’s dead, I pull out my blow-up lantern, strap it to my chest, head into the woods to hike out to my car.
It. Was. The scariest thing I’ve ever done. No moon, no light from the sky, my lantern kept dimming, and every tall tree stump looked like an ominous figure, looming in the dark.
THERE WERE EYES. I’m assuming animals, but my vivid imagination and adrenaline were pumping. I was so scared, the thought of sitting down and curling up into a protective sobbing ball actually crossed my mind, but instead, I hiked FAST.
Suddenly, I came to a small clearing.
A shadowy, human or tall stump looking figure loomed a few yards on the other side. I stopped cold, feeling the blood drain from my face and hands. My body ridged up and tingled in alarm. I grasped my [pocket] knife, swallowed, made a move toward the figure, because it was standing in my path, and it slowly backed into the darkness of the wooded area.
Passed that spot, could have had a heart attack, I was so wound up. Made it to the dirt road, back to my car, promptly drove back to Denver.
20. Climbing Foreigners
Took a friend climbing at Five Open Books in Yosemite Valley. She’d been climbing a few times before, but not really experienced. I’m leading up one of the mellow routes, when a couple of Euros above us decide that they really need to rappel across diagonally down the face rather than just straight down. Of course, they were arguing the whole time in their language and paying zero attention to what they were doing, and were kicking all kinds of stuff down as they went.
I tried to tell them to be careful, but they were busy pretending they either couldn’t hear or understand me.
They managed to dislodge a not overly large rock that hit me dead top of the head and knocked me out. My partner arrests my fall, but then she sees me just hanging there and starts yelling for help.
While I missed the next part, apparently they totally saw the whole thing and just continued to bail rather than helping her and I. Continued their “we can’t hear or understand you” bit all the way down past us. They hit the ground, pulled their rope, and left us hanging, literally.
Eventually, I recovered enough sense to get us down, but it was high pucker factor endeavour.
I went straight to my local climbing store (this was way pre-Internet anything) and bought a pair of helmets. Haven’t climbed without one since.
19. Illegal Lumber Operation
Out in the boonies about to do some hunting in the woods.
Truck comes over the ridge on a one-lane logging road. Seeing the oncoming vehicle we pull over as far as possible to allow them to pass. They do not pass. They pull up as close to my vehicle as possible. I mean inches if that, kept our rigs from touching.
Two country dudes in ragged clothes drinking with hunting gear across their laps. The back of the truck is full of lumber (this was a logging area).
We say hello, silence. Ask if they are hunting, silence. They do nothing but sit quietly and stare at us.
Then a dozen vehicles come over the ridge in a line. These vehicles are packed with lumber, minivans with the bucket seats full. A Honda civic with the back seat, and trunk teeming with lumber. All of which is being illegally stolen from the lumber company that felled the trees but hasn't transported them.
Literally felonious amounts of lumber being stolen and we are the only witnesses, out of cell range in the middle of nowhere. My buddy has his handgun drawn and low. Mine is pressed to my car door pointed right at these guys. We sit in complete silence till the final car passes.
They drive off without a word.
18. Bless You
Camping at 16 with just my mom and dog. Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan, in a state park that is very much off the beaten path. It's been a long day, we had been shore fishing for most of it. I have bad allergies- I'm allergic to cedar, but as long as I take a Benadryl I'm good to go, as long as I don't rub up on leaves or trees- I get horrible hives.
I make a mistake earlier in the day, and grab a big chunk of it. So ends the fishing trip and we hike back to camp, my hand an itchy red swollen mess, but nothing too concerning.
We make a fire, fry our fish. State park is maybe half full.
On our battery radio, we hear there's a tornado watch. Mom and I are tent camping, so we pack the majority of our stuff inside the canvas tent, drive the stakes deep with spikes of wood, secure a few tarps around it ( You bury them in the dirt around the tent to after you've covered it to prevent wind from getting up under the flaps and carrying it away) and anchor it to the berm we were next to.
We got in the van, ate our dinner and hung our trash in a tree.
Crazy storm, wind whipping trees around so hard they're bending low, screeching against the van and making my dog whimper. It was a long night, we fell asleep after the worst of it and the tornado watch (which had turned into a warning) had passed.
I got up to relieve myself when it was close to dawn, dropped my drawers and squatted. Mid-way I sneeze, and hear, "Bless you"!
??? It's dark and raining. Sounds are muted in the forest in the rain-it's the loudest thing you hear. I freaked out and dove back into the van and locked the doors.
Woke up to birds chirping, sun shining, and our tent....
....completely outfitted with cedar. I mean, it looked like a miniature cabin. All side walls had about fifty pieces of wood leaned up against them, and a flat large piece in front of the tent flap. We are pretty unnerved, so we walk down to the ranger station.
He comes back with us, takes a few pictures and helps us disassemble it. We had to move it (the piece blocking the door*) with a tarp to get it out of the way. It was heavy and took all three of us to drag it.
Apparently, there is a homeless guy who likes to ransack campsites at night who runs around the area.
He must have been watching me in the morning. The ranger thought he'd tried to fortify our tent from the storm, and I'd startled him.
17. Screaming In The Night
I camped in northern California with a couple of friends for 3 months straight in 2012. We're talking way out in the wilderness. The whole trip was a great success until we were heading south again.
We set up camp a few miles outside of a tiny town as it was getting dark. The only things in this town were 1 long road, a gas station, a post office, and a small restaurant. In the middle of the night, we hear screaming in the distance.
We could discern 3 different voices, but they were far enough away we couldn't quite make out what was being said. All of a sudden we hear a single loud noise followed by absolute silence. I opened my tent and looked over at my friends who were looking back at me.
None of us said a word, we laid back down and tried to sleep. Scariest night of my life.
16. A Man And An Airhorn
A trail I like backpacking in an isolated area of Pennsylvania was the setting for this is odd encounter. The trail has a short section that goes over someone’s cabin property and continues on the other side of his yard, it’s marked with an orange blaze so you can see where to go. Usually, it’s an empty cabin, I always do some peering inside since it’s in a pretty secluded spot, probably 4 or 5 miles from a major road. One time I was hiking through and there is a large dude grilling outside with about 15 beverage cans on the ground around him.
I distinctly remember him saying “keep it moving no food here” which I thought was funny since I didn’t say anything about needing food. Fast forward to the following year and I decided to take my sister, my wife and her best friend on a trip that takes us through this very spot.
As we are walking up on it I see the dude is there again which is odd, since I’ve hiked the trail 100 times and this is only twice I’ve seen him. He is grilling again, cans everywhere. I see him start to give the “keep it moving” signal until he sees who I am with. Now, the girls I'm traveling with are attractive so I’m nervous all of a sudden. He asks us to stay for dinner, says he has plenty of extra food.
I tell him no we are good, just trying to enjoy the trail away from the comforts of home. He gets weirdly pushy about us staying and I firmly say no thanks and we are just passing through. I hear the dude mumble to himself as we continue past his house.
This is where things get weird. There is a prominent camping spot not far from this section of trail and it’s late- in my head, I want to keep going because I don’t want to camp near this person. The consensus is everyone is pretty tired so we set up camp.
I’m nervous the whole time thinking this dude knows there are 3 women camping in tents near his cabin. I never get nervous around folk I see on the trail because everyone is usually very nice and wonderful to talk to. This guy just felt off to me though.
Fast forward to the middle of the night and sure enough, I hear someone on the trail outside the tent. I’m just praying it’s a bear at this point. But I hear the dude mumbling to himself, and I panic. I hear him now in the camp.
He’s going through our stuff and is inebriated. Ok, think. I realize I have a blow horn on my pack I use on the trail to scare animals off should I encounter any. So I unzip the tent slowly and roll out. Dude is fumbling around and it’s scary because it’s the middle of the darkness in the middle of nowhere. I start to run towards him and blow my air horn repeatedly and it’s LOUD AS HECK. Everyone in their tents starts screaming.
The dude nearly messes his pants and starts bumbling out of there. Everyone is so shaken up at this point we pack up and night hike out of there. Worst experience I’ve ever had.
My boyfriend our dog and I went camping up this Forest service road in BC, Canada that I've gone to well over 20 times.
Midweek, early in the season for most people. We have the place to ourselves.
Around dusk 2 guys squad up the road on quads, had to go past my car to get to the river, we don't think anything of it. About an hour later one guy left.
The other guy is still at the river, so after a bit I go ask if everything is all good with his quad, thinking maybe he ran out of gas and his buddy went to go get more.
Dude was very surprised by the fact that there were people there, had no idea that they went right past my car and our campsite.
Apparently, his quad was fine, so I head back to our site.
We're peacefully making dinner and hear YELLING over the sounds of the river. Both of us thought it was odd, but hey, people are weird. He's yelling things like "you ruined my life" and unintelligible angriness. About an hour of this and we're wondering what the deal is.
Its full dark, we've got the campfire going strong and Buddy fires up his quad. We're a little bit higher up than the road, maybe 5 feet, and he stops at the entrance to our site. My bf walks over and Buddy is all "oh! There are people here!
"? And starts asking questions about how many people and how long we've been there for. My boyfriend lies and says there's a few of us, and more coming (smart man). Buddy goes off on his quad past my car which is parked about 10 feet down the road on the way out.
About 10 minutes later he comes back, past the car, past our site and has some more strong words with the river. Another half hour of yelling and he gets back on his quad, goes to drive back out, and stops right near my car. We're definitely weirded out at this point and didn't want my car trashed.
Bf takes the hatchet and goes to"get something out of the car". Buddy is once again surprised by our presence. Buddy leaves again, but not 20 minutes go by and he has come back. It's about 11 pm now, we were trying to have a good time but now are stone cold focused.
Buddy stops his quad just below the campsite again. We pretend to ignore his presence and go on with our conversation. I've got 911 dialled on my phone, a hatchet beside my chair and my hunting knife in my lap, just about to press send when he goes to leave again.
I call anyway and let the police know what's been going on and if they find 2 bodies it's us.
Buddy came back 2 more times, finally left for good around 2 am. I don't think we got any sleep that night. I've never been so unnerved in my life, and I do a decent amount of solo camping.
Never heard anything back from the police either. Still freaks me out a bit to this day.
14. Hagrid's House
I was hiking with my wife in Scotland. We spent the whole day doing this one big trail. The idea was to finish the trail and it spits you out by a hotel, from the hotel you could call a cab, the cab would take you to a nearby town and from that town, we would bus to our own hotel.
So we finish the trail and we're at the hotel and we're feeling good. So we ask another couple of hikers, "How close is it to the town where we would catch the bus"?
They say a couple miles. So we figure we can walk another couple of miles, no problem.
We've been walking all day. There is a trail following the road we need to go down, so we go.
So then we hike for probably about.....10 miles. No town. Trail ends. It's raining. We're in the middle of nowhere. But there is a house...a big house.
We can turn back or go ask the people in the Resident Evil mansion where to go.
We get the groundskeeper and we say we're looking for so and so town. He says its another 5 or so miles down the road but there is no trail. He offers us a ride.
This dude is grizzled, but he is friendly. We agree to the ride to town. We get into an old station wagon, he folds up half the back seat and I sit next to a variety of rusty tools and power saws while my wife is in the front.
He says he doesn't want to take the main road, there is a back way. We're tourists, we should see. So we're driving down said back road and he is telling us "This is so and so mountain. There was a battle here. Blah, Blah, Blah".
I'm getting a little nervous.
We're driving down some back road for way too long, I just want to get to town.
"Hey do you guys like Harry Potter, they film part of it by here".
No, No, No, I'm thinking. But before I can answer my wife squeals "YESSSSS!!!"!
Down another even smaller gravel road.
I'm thinking this dude is gonna kidnap us.... I have a small Swiss army knife in my hand now. I'm behind him, the moment he tries something I'll just get him. At this moment, I was literally prepared to attack this man.
But sure enough, he takes us to Hagrid's house.
Drove us to town after too. Offered to drive us to another town on the bus route that had a restaurant so we could wait.
Good guy, I wish I could thank him, haha.
13. Finger Guns
I had a friend who lived in a very isolated area. One road going in and his house the only one on the street.
We we're driving back to his house at about 2 am one night when we see something in the road and swerve to avoid it. As we pass the object (still going about 40 mph) we see that it looks like a person laying down in the middle of the road.
We stop, back up and call out to him. The person stands up, gives us the double finger guns and runs off into the bush, never saying a single word.
Was taking a shortcut through a small field of jungle during sunset when I heard footsteps. Looking back I saw a women who probably was not of great social standing by the way she dressed.
I had been crossing these roads for a few months back then and never saw women like her around there so I was pretty taken aback. The woman seemed to follow me and was picking up the pace. I didn't look back and walked faster myself. She probably caught up to me when I saw a group of locals having a bonfire (it was winter 2016), I approached them and looked back for one last time, the woman stood where I was seconds ago, looking straight at me.
I know it's not possible to word exactly how I felt, but it was scary.
11. Want To Buy Some Fish?
I don't spend much time in isolated places, but a very long time ago we went on a fishing trip to a popular, large lake in Southern Canada. This large lake contained several islands of varying sizes, one of which we camped on.
One day, an older man pulled up to our island in a ratty old boat and asked us if we'd like to buy fish. We told him no, that we're there to catch fish, not buy them, but thanks anyway. He left, but was clearly weird.
Later that night, we're all having a campfire , we hear his boat approaching and see the fishmonger land on the beach, walk up the hill, over to our campfire and proceeds to ask us (with a totally blank look on his face), if we want to buy some fish.
"Uh, no buddy, we told you that we weren't interested in buying fish earlier this afternoon..". so he turns around and leaves. The next day, he comes back and asks us if we want to buy fish, at which point we realize that something weird is happening with this guy.
Dad has our other adult travelling companion stay behind to break camp while he took the kids (myself and our companions young sons) over to a nearby lodge to sort out what is happening with this "ant to buy fish" guy.
Turns out, the guy was an old eccentric who lived pretty much feral on one of the islands, was otherwise harmless but occasionally made a few dollars by (illegally, mind you) selling fish he catches to random people.
So, turned out to be no big deal but there for a minute, it was way creepy.
10. Two Girls Alone
My best friend and I went to Cumberland Island National Park for a day last year. We're both petite girls.
If you don't know about it, it's an island off the coast of Georgia with the ruins of an old mansion, wild horses, and large empty beaches.
Anyways, we get off the boat and hike to the ruins, then decided we wanted to hike to the beach. It's really pleasant where you're under tree cover, but once you're out at the dunes it's powdery sand and no shade. By the time you reach the water, you are absolutely dying.
We would try to stop to catch our breath on the way out, but not moving and having the sun just beat on you is worse than pressing on.
Anyways, we finally get through the dunes and make it to the water, where we just walked into the water in our clothes because we were overheating.
After we chill a minute we go and sit on the packed sand and have a snack and talk about how cool it is to look each way and not see a soul. No buildings. No people. No boats. It was like looking back into a different time.
Then some weirdo wearing all black in July in south Georgia comes walking out of the woods. There's this whole huge empty beach, and he walks up to us, walks in a tight circle around us, and then goes back into the dunes.
The absolute most terrifying happened with my best friend again.
There was a big fireworks show in town and we wanted to find a place to watch it away from the crowds. We went to this parking lot on the hill where several other people were parked to watch. The trees were a little too tall, so we walked about 30 yards down this utility trail to a clearing.
Right after the fireworks started we heard a stick snap beside us. We turn on a flashlight and there's a guy standing just feet from us that had came from the other end of the trail. He was trying to sneak up on us. We booked it back up the trail and he kept saying things like "If I did something to you nobody would ever know it was me. You don't know my name". We got to the top of the trail and saw a couple of guys standing up there and we went up to them and told them we were going to stand with them until this guy went on his way.
9. Technically Trespassing
Around 18 years old I used to go for long hikes into the open countryside, nobody about for miles. Once I had been hiking all morning and was just entering a forest which was one of my old favorites. Thing is it was technically closed to the public at this time of year, the reason being hunters use the land to breed hundreds of Pheasants (large game birds basically) during the winter to hunt during the summer.
They are one of the few groups in the UK that actively carry guns and they hate people being on their land as they think people are trying to steal their birds.
As I'm walking down the wide forest track which stretches ahead I see a white pickup pull out 200 yards ahead of me from a side clearing, the driver obviously clocks me and then slowly reverses back to where he had pulled out from.
I knew this was bad. I immediately started sprinting as far into the trees as fast as I could away from the track. It seems the driver realised I wasn't going to continue walking past his location because I hear a roar from the pickup engline as the guy totally floors it towards where I had just been.
As I heard him get closer I jump flat to the ground and stay absolutely still, I was a good 40 yards into the treeline by now and all the undergrowth would have left me pretty well hidden. I heard the truck slow down, stop and then moments later tear off at full speed in the direction I had originally been walking from.
To escape the forest I needed to be on the other side of the track, so I got up and slowly snuck back across the road, as I was doing this I heard the pickup engine again so I repeated my trick of sprinting and diving into the undergrowth.
This time I didn't get as far away from the road and I could actually see the truck stop and the window roll down, the guy had a farmers flat cap, a grey beard and a very angry expression. I could see him scanning the forest with his eyes but I just stayed absolutely still, thankfully he tore off again at high speed which as you can imagine was a massive relief.
Now I know these woods quite well and I knew the best sneaky route to get out, so this time I just ran full speed through the trees back towards the forest boundary, things became scarier as I heard barks from a large pack of dogs and also either motorbikes or quads buzzing around the paths around me (a lot of people make money from these birds, I think he called for backup).
I kept running and eventually hopped the boundary fence and retreated back towards the village across some fields.
8. Wild Woman
I have a few sketchy stories, but the scariest one is actually from my parents.
They were camping, but they weren’t too isolated. There were other campers in the area, not quite within sight or earshot, but not too far away.
They had fallen asleep in their tent but were woken up by some rustling and footsteps sounds. It sounded too big to be a coyote or a raccoon but way too small to be a black bear. They sat listening for a minute to the quiet rustling and movement and determined whatever it was, it was definitely bipedal.
My dad unzipped a corner of the tent and saw a woman, walking around the campsite, poking around in their backpacks which were covered with a tarp. They watched her quietly, as she started unpacking the backpacks, looking at their stuff, strewing trash about. Eventually, my dad shined a flashlight on her to ask what was going on.
She didn’t reply and just walked off.
My dad went back to sleep, only to hear her come back just minutes later. She walked closer to the tent until she was literally touching it.
She started digging a hole with her bare hands, right next to where my mom was asleep.
She woke up, freaking out, listening to the woman dig her hole right next to the tent. My dad again, shined a flashlight on her and asked what she was doing, if she was okay. She was dirty, and looked alone. She again refused to respond and left again.
She returned once more, and began digging another hole, a few feet from the tent. This time, they let her dig to see what was going on. She dug and dug and eventually relieved herself in the hole, just mere inches from where my parents were asleep.
She then stood up and left.
They went and looked for her the next day and couldn’t find anything. None of the other campers had seen her, and they couldn’t follow her tracks or see any other nearby campsites.
7. Lose Things, Get Lost
Took my current girlfriend on a hike through a nature preserve near where I grew up.
It's located on an island with a few very nice homes and then sections off into a few miles of trails.
While hiking down the trail we run into a middle aged man in a hoodie with his hood up. No big deal, it was a bit chilly being so near the water.
Greeted him politely. He asked us if we were enjoying ourselves. Normal chit chat ensued.
We went separate ways, us heading towards the point of the island and him heading back towards where we came from. I was a little uneasy that I had left my car unlocked but didn't think much of it.
He seemed alright and it was a very rural area.
Somehow the guy ended up behind us again following us out to the point of the island, only he was trailing a ways back. I noticed and politely walked behind my girlfriend just as a minor precaution.
As we made our way to the end of the trail and took in the view I noticed the man was gone. I started to feel creeped out and so did my girlfriend. We ventured all the way back to the car without seeing the man when my girlfriend realized she lost her glasses.
They had been in her pocket at the time, so we ventured back out to give finding them a shot. We didn't find them. But we did see the man standing at a fork in the trail staring at us.
I decided I didn't much care and my Gryffindor bravery kicked in.
So I went and asked the guy if he had seen some glasses laying around. He said he hadn't seen them but people get lost out here all the time. Then corrected himself to say people lose things out here all the time. Then he gave me an odd smile and offered to help us look.
I agreed and told him we'd take one fork while he took the other. As soon as he was out of sight we noped back to the car and left.
6. Chased Through The Snow
My cousins live in North Dakota, and I spent the winter break there freshman year in college.
We were at their friend's house one night, hanging out in her basement with some other girls and it was really late, like 3 AM. I was falling asleep so I decided to walk home. They live in a desolate area, with lots of snow and it gets really cold, especially at night, but the houses weren't too far apart, and when the moon is out it seems light out.
The path we always take is straight behind the house through some wooded areas then more open land, and as I was shuffling home through the snow with my head down, I look up and to the left-my 10 o'clock- and, probably like 75 yards away is another figure walking in the opposite direction.
I saw him a split second before he saw me, and when he did he kind of jerked his arms/shoulders up a little, obviously startled from the sight of me as I was with him.
I laughed out loud for some reason, just from the shock or something, and gave him a little wave like "oh you startled me haha sorry" kind of thing. He just stood there and stared at me.
I thought he was going to say something for a second and so I was stopped too just looking at him. He had a full face ski mask on, and I could tell it was a dude cause he was really tall. But he didn't say anything.
So for what felt like forever its just me and some stranger in a ski mask, looking at each other, in the desolate woods. In the middle of winter. At 3 AM. A huge chill went up my spine and a voice said you need to get out of here, right now. I turned and started walking as fast as I could home.
I have never been that scared in my life, I was a little inebriated and very paranoid. I imagined me walking home from the opposite perspective, and the man is running up from behind, so I literally just screamed and started sprinting as fast as I could all the way home, thinking that this guy could easily follow my tracks in the snow, and I'm gonna get murdered.
Luckily I didn't, but I don't think I'll be visiting them again anytime soon.
5. Unnamed Meat
I worked in the wilderness for years, often solo doing surveys or monitoring. One time, I was headed into the gore range, in CO to check on human damage and erosion. I got to the trailhead late and decided to hoof it as far back as I could that night.
I knew where I was headed, had maps, the whole bit. The nice thing about monitoring, is I had all the maps noting every campsite in drainage, so I could easily find a site. I got in maybe 8 miles in over a couple hours and it was pitch black.
I mapped all the sites in the area in the dark and decided to set up camp. There was no one up there at any of the sites in the drainage, just me. I was not far from a lake and went to it for a while to pump water for the night.
I always love to listen to the quiet as I pump and it seemed there was absolutely nothing, no light, no campers. Honestly, there were only a couple places to camp around the lake and as i mentioned, I had just surveyed them. I had a spot maybe 100m from the lake hidden in the trees.
I made camp and was whittling a stick by the light of my headlamp when a man burst out of the bushes. I was completely surprised and he scared the heck out of me. He was excited and chatty. A big, grizzled guy, but not really the mountain hiker type.
More of a trucker type. He noted I had no fire and no food. I said I was fine (I was not cooking anything on this trip, just cold food) He said he had a bunch of meat he could share. It started getting weird after this, he got really pushy and then offended then threatening about giving me some of the meat he had.
Finally, I relented and he pushed off out into the trees. I grabbed a radio and checked in with dispatch, also asked them to radio me in 30 minutes. Before I knew it he returned with a huge cast iron full of overcooked meat. I tried to find out what meat it was from him but he would not tell me or joked to change the subject.
Finally, I was feeling exhausted and ate some, then thanked him and said I was going to crash. It was well after 11 at this point. He did not take the hint and kept trying to chat and push his unnamed meat on me. I put my foot down and told him to leave as he started to get more and more aggressive.
Saying I was selfish and people like me are whats wrong with the world. Saying people like me should disappear in the woods, no one would know. Luckily, dispatch radioed me back. I don't think he had any idea I was Forest Service and I gave them the situation over the radio.
It seemed to spook him and he cut out back into the woods after. I cut my light, broke camp and headed to camp another mile away. Slept terribly. I never did find his camp in those woods.
4. Out Of Site
My sons and I went on a hike last summer at a small state park by our home.
At the park there is this message board which usually has the rules and certain times a year will say (park is closed till noon due to lottery hunting).. So, of course, we checked the board didn't see anything relevant. About 40 minutes into our hike we're way back in the woods heading to the swamp still horsing around by the trail when I look to my left and see eyeballs.
For some reason the first thing that went through my mind was Bigfoot. ( I know) This guy was so well camouflaged all I could see in the dark woods was his eyes. I immediately grabbed up both boys, And the eyes talked! I know I jumped at least 3 feet off the ground and screamed like my life totally depended on it.
All of this happened in less than 30 seconds. My boys turned around acting as if me screaming was nothing and said ( umm it's just a hunter mom). Hunter dude steps out of his hiding place and really tries to apologize for scaring a few years off my life.
He tells me it's a lottery day , I totally go off about there not being anything posted on the board. Hunter tells me I'm pretty lucky since he had us in his sights for 15 minutes and never pulled the trigger! Thank God I have pretty smart boys who were ready to get the heck out of there.
When we were almost to the parking lot we run into a DNR guy ,who I tell there's no warning on the board about lottery hunting today. He quickly shuts me down saying it's because there isn't any hunting today. Before I can get another word out my 10 year olds tell him" then there's a crazy man back in the woods with a gun watching people with his scope". DNR guy asks a bunch of questions as he walks us to our car.
I have no clue what came of the situation. When we pulled out Dnr guy was heading up the trail.
3. Animal Extinction
When I was younger I had spend weeks on end “going bush” in a particular area of Australia. I then picked up a job. My job was to go out into this same area and track an animal believed extinct, find, log and gather proof of its existence/non-existence.
This wasn’t a government job. It was basically answering a word of mouth advertisement. $200/day for anyone prepared to do this. Funded by a local man who had spent a long time researching its potential existence but no longer well enough to search himself.
After a week in the bushy highlands, I was struggling to find conclusive evidence of either existence or no existence.
I’d lay out non lethal traps, using bait only this animal would take and it would disappear but never trap anything or even trigger the trap. Sometimes the traps would be slightly out of position,
For an entire week I tracked this animal and something just never seemed right. First off, nothing would ever take this long for me to track unless I lost it altogether but there was evidence it was still there.
I heard things going bump in the night that shouldn’t be going bump in the night. Things just weren’t making sense.
Then a thought dawned on me on the 8th day. This guy had been desperate to find evidence of its survival. He was offering generous rewards to whoever could prove it.
I wondered what if I was being setup? There was no way he was going to get conclusive evidence, but what if he got a local guy that knew the woods to come out and say “I never saw it, but I have some really strong inconclusive evidence”! Well maybe he might just get the support he needs from others to search for this animal.
What if there was someone else out in these woods, tracking me? Watching what I do and then planting evidence? Leaving the occasional paw print? Empty out the traps?
So I planned how to work this out. I had four traps laid out each night, I was moving between each trap.
About 90minutes trek to each one. Except this one night, I laid cameras INSIDE the traps and very well secured to the trap and the trap was well secured also. If it caught anything or anyone on film... it was staying put.
About 3am in the morning, I’m tracking back to my 2nd trap and I’m hearing a lot of movement. It sounds like something is in the trap.
Normally I’d make a break for it and get to the trap ASAP. But not this time, I snuck up on the track as quietly as possible with video camera rolling and an IR flashlight.
It was the same old guy who hired me in the first place!
He wasn’t that sick! He was there trying to break my trap free of its lock to the tree! He was sneaking up on the trap to pull the bait from it and when he stuck his head inside, he saw the camera and was trying to steal either it or the trap to remove the evidence of what he had been doing.
I’d been duped the entire time. He offered me triple of his original amount to keep my mouth shut.
I took it. I’ve never gone public with incriminating evidence. He stopped his search for a long time. I believe he has passed away now. But I kept his secret and I will for a long time yet.
I kind of felt sorry for the old guy... he had dedicated about 40years of his life chasing an animal that I believe truly no longer exists and not only did he not find it, but he was constantly made a mockery of because of his beliefs.
.. he just wanted some recognition.
Never been a tracker for hire since then... went into the automotive industry instead! Still like going on long camps away from everyone though.
2. Thief In The Nightime
About a year ago I was doing fieldwork in a pretty remote mountain range (I'm a biology student).
Our team stayed at a small collection of houses and guesthouses at the base of the mountains. After spending the day hiking the mountain, I misjudged how long it would take me to get down and ended up having to do the final stretch in the dark, not much of an issue since I had a torch with me.
Once I had finally reached the bottom of the mountain and walking the final kilometer or so along the road, I hear a terrifying shout from the bushes demanding to know who I was. I couldn't see anyone but the voice was extremely taut and intimidating and it sounded like the person was in a panic.
I explained to the darkness what I was doing there while trying to find the person with my torch. Next thing I know I'm looking at a large, shirtless man holding a longbow drawn at me, standing about 10 meters away. Absolutely petrified I point the torch at myself so this person can see me that im not armed or anything like that.
He asks me a few questions and lets me go once I've explained who I was.
Turns out that the collection of guesthouses has been robbed multiple times that month, and they traced the theif's footsteps along the same trail I took down the mountain. So when this man saw a light contouring along the path down the mountain towards the guesthouses, he felt the need to ambush the "thief" using a bow and arrow. Every time i think about that night Im always glad he didn't decide I was a thief.
1. Raw Squirrel Is Delicious
I was hiking down in the South, I had a rough idea of the trails, but was taking my time and going slow. Some guy walks up to me as I'm checking my map and gets to talking. He is ratty and disheveled and his gear is all skewed, and he smells funky, but whatever, maybe he can't afford new gear.
At first, this is normal trail talk. I decide to grab a snack, so I offer him a granola bar. He responds by saying he is good, he found a squirrel recently, didn't know how long it had been gone, but that doesn't matter, because raw squirrel is delicious.
At this point, I pretty much grabbed my pack, got a move on, and at one point crossing a stream I veered off to some cover 10-15 feet off the trail and waited until he passed me. Dude came back to the stream like 5 times in 3 hours and kept looking at the ground and getting confused.