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Horror Stories
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Hector Luevano
Horror Stories on 01/18/2014 22:44:34 MST Print View

I have never had anything terribly bad or dangerous happen in the great outdoors. However, I would love to hear some of your horror stories! I just think it'd be cool/interesting to hear what sort of experiences you all have had. Snakes in your sleeping bag? Forced to amputate your own arm? Blizzards? Mauled by a bear? Stalked by a mountain lion? Chased by a yeti? Lions? Tigers? Bears? Oh my.

Ready.. Go!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
My Horror Story of Arctic Cannibalism and Survival on 01/19/2014 00:10:34 MST Print View

My story was a tough one, its only recent I can talk about it...

When I was a little guy we went packrafting with an early version of the Alpacka. Our plan was to packraft to a small island on the coast of Iowa (its not commonly known but Coastal Iowa is notorious around the world for its treacherous coast).

As we neared the shore my boat sprung a leak and I barely made it to the shore in a hypothermic state. My family was (and still is) nowhere to be found. I started a friction fire using braided dental floss and pocket lint and barely warmed myself up. I succumbed to heat exhaustion as I made my way across the frozen island. I was rescued by a tribe of Vegetarian Cannibals. I then spent the next couple years living with them. During that time I was chased by a rabid fox, fought off a Carnivorous Whitefaced Deer with a tent stake and lost a toe nail in a vicious Iguana attack. Then a National Geographic photographer saw me and arranged for me to be flown back to the mainland USA.

It was all pretty traumatic but through it I gained confidence in myself and learned the value of positive thinking. I used these lessons to good effect when I entered the cut-throat world of Beachfront Real-estate Sales in North Arizona. I took a struggling partnership of four agents and turned it into a successful solo operation making tens of dollars in the process (before losing them in a Red Bull fueled poker game at 3 AM).

My adventures in the wilds have taught me a lot but there have been some downsides. I suffer short term memory loss and struggle with making self contradictory statements, also sometimes I believe things that are not true... not sure if that's relevant or not.

Edited by Cameron on 01/19/2014 00:19:51 MST.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 01/19/2014 01:10:56 MST Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/06/2015 10:03:49 MDT.

Eric Jahn-Clough
(ejcfree) - F

Locale: off grid
Horror Stories on 01/19/2014 06:08:08 MST Print View

My then woman friend and I were sleeping peacefully in our tent when I awoke with a start as she grabbed something off the pillow between our heads and threw it to the wall. I lit the headlamp to find a frantically scurrying 14 inch centipede, the Alacran.

excerpted from this report

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Horror stories on 01/19/2014 08:24:46 MST Print View

On my recent Adirondack traverse, I had fixed myself a celebratory drink for the final night on trail, using the last of my everclear stove fuel. When I got up to tend my fish cooking over the campfire, I accidentally kicked the mug containing my drink. I watched in horror as it ran across the duff in sticky pink rivulets, never to be seen again.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Horror Stories on 01/19/2014 13:36:45 MST Print View

My god, Ike -- that IS a horror story. Hope it never happens to me! :~)

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Ike's horror story on 01/19/2014 14:35:40 MST Print View

Actually, Ike, the horror part of the story is that somebody secretly scooped some Sterno into your cup, then you unknowingly spiked it with EC, stirred it up, then proceded to kick it over. And they all lived happily ever after (except maybe the ants that scurried over to those sticky pink rivulets...).

If someone in the woods ever offers me a sticky pink cocktail after dark, I hope I have the sense to kick it over and act like I didn't mean to.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Horror Stories on 01/19/2014 15:28:19 MST Print View

Seeing that life in the infantry is basically backpacking in Hell, here's mine:

I was on a recon patrol (training) in Panama in 1996. Night vision goggles rely on some sort of ambient light to work and in triple canopy jungle, they were pretty much useless and stayed in our rucks.

I was on point and fighting my way through waist high wait-a-minute vines. Our forward momentum was pretty slow as I had to raise my boot very high to stomp down the vines. We reached a spot in the jungle where there was a break in the canopy where the moonlight could shine through. I took my millionth (citation needed) exhausting step through the dense brush and vines only to see the furry back of an animal who was not only close enough that I could touch it, but more concerning to me, didn't give a crap that I was standing next to it. I whispered/whimpered to my team leader, "There's something right here!" "Ok, slowly back up."

When I stepped back, apparently lifting my weight off of some of the vines did something where a branch hit me. Assured that I was about to become disemboweled by the Chupa Cabra, I lost my military bearing. More accurately, I lost my S%+ and screamed like a Justin Bieber groupie.

Animal noises are constant in the jungle but we could hear something circling around us as we completed the patrol. Could have been just a jungle rat but the M16 filled with blank ammunition did little to comfort me. I of course received gold medal ball busting when we returned to garrison; fortunately I was scheduled to PCS to Ft. Drum a few weeks after this incident.

We had a couple patrol bases raided by wild boar in Germany but other than destroying our rucks, they didn't seem all that interested in us.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Most dangerous moment on 01/19/2014 17:17:55 MST Print View

I have hiked many thousands of miles with over 5000 miles on the PCT and AT. Over all of those miles the closest I came to death was on the AT in northern Va. There is a short road walk section and as I was walking I nearly got run over by a police car flying around the turn. Wish it was a better story.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Seems like it always involves humans... on 01/20/2014 11:43:16 MST Print View

The only horror story was when several heavily armed guys (AR15, shot gun, etc.) showed up. They were there to "protect" their mining claim. It was in dispute, and we happened to know the other party to the dispute. Not that we volunteered that information. It all ended well as we were not who they were looking for.

No, this was not in some foreign county. We were in the sierras. The worst stories not involving humans is having some animal eat some of our food.

Kevin Burton
(burtonator) - F

Locale: norcal
Yosemite flash flood. on 01/20/2014 12:14:02 MST Print View

I was in Yosemite a couple years back.

They had a historic hail and electrical storm that weekend and a woman was actually hit by lightning on half dome.

Anyway. I was a few miles east from there up past the Little Yosemite Valley down past Clouds Rest.

The sky was insane. It was impossible to predict what was going to happen. I kept hearing lightning and seeing thunder but it always seemed a few miles away and it wasn't raining.

Eventually it caught up to me and started to rain, a bit. But the sky looked reasonable.

I just ducked under a very large/massive redwood tree.

This was a short shower... maybe 30 minutes. Didn't even put away the Kindle. I just chilled and read my book. The tree completely protected me from the rain.

So now with the false assurance, and the rain stopping, and the clouds clearing up, I decided to keep hiking.

I'm hiking for about 45 minutes when I come upon a clearing of granite. I wasn't TOO concerned about thunder at this point. If I was I wouldn't even have taken any risks.

I was at about 8k feet... there was still tree cover so with that I felt safe from the thunder at least. And I didn't get struck or anything so that was good.

However, the storm started getting worse and it did start to rain a bit.

The clouds looked the same as before so I just ducked under a fallen redwood. It was horizontal and made a GREAT barrier from the rain.

Except it kept getting worse. And worse.

Then hail.... then more hail. Then hail the size of a dime. Now it's ALL hail... now the hail is the size of a nickel....

and it's coming down HARD!

What I didn't expect was that the canyon walls were all granite so ALL of the water, hail, etc was being directed to my spot.

Pretty soon a wall of water and hail is coming my way and I have to bail...

I had to pack up all my stuff in like 2 minutes as it's getting wet and then run up the canyon while I"m getting pelted by hail and rain HARD... I'm soaking wet...

I manage to setup the tent and keep MOST of the water off me.

I was somewhat cold but don't think I was near hypothermia. My biggest concern was setting up my tent without getting anything wet.

The biggest issue was the hail as it REALLY hurt and one errant piece hit me in the corner of my eye and I had a little bruise there the next morning.

On the upside, the tree across the canyon caught fire from lightning and was burning the whole night.

It was like a second sunset... I'll never forget it. Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture or get to it as it was across the river.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
scary furry encounter on 01/26/2014 22:35:04 MST Print View

I was peacefully sleeping in my tent on a fall hike, when I was awakened by something touching my face. Holy crap, a mouse was in my tent, and he had just run across my face with his filthy little feet I sat up excitedly, scanned the tent with a flashlight, and couldn't find the bastard. No sleep the rest of that night.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: scary furry encounter on 01/26/2014 23:49:11 MST Print View

Bob, you nailed it. That's the one I really don't like - rodents scampering over me in the night. Even if it is only psychological (what isn't) if I'm worried about it puts a damper on my slumber, to say the least.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: scary furry encounter on 01/27/2014 01:45:13 MST Print View

We stayed in Signature Tent Cabin 936 in Curry Village for a hike up Half Dome with our (then) 7 and 12 year olds. 2 weeks later the NPS calls to say there has been been a second round of Hanta illnesses and fatalities. "Which tents were the fatalities in?", I ask. XXX, YYY, ZZZ, and 936 she says. I got examined by a physician every day for the next month.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: scary furry encounter on 01/27/2014 09:02:21 MST Print View

"I got examined by a physician every day for the next month."

Wait a second, isn't your wife a physician?

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Re: scary furry encounter on 01/27/2014 16:15:52 MST Print View

>> "I got examined by a physician every day for the next month."

>> Wait a second, isn't your wife a physician?

Exactly, Jerry -- it was the most "fun" month of their marriage! ;~)

Edited to add: Since I moved to Arizona, I have been "buzzed" SEVERAL times by rattlesnakes (buzzed = being within striking range, with the coiled snake rattling its tail, and hissing at you). Of course this always happens when you're least expecting it (the snake is hidden under a bush by the side of the trail, for example), and -- honestly, after that happens, I am shaky for at least an hour afterwards, and I imagine that there's a rattlesnake waiting for me at every bend in the trail. Sigh. I've been buzzed in Grand Canyon (more than once), the Sierras (Rae Lakes loop, believe it or not), and in numerous places in Southern Arizona. I very much doubt that I'll ever get used to it.

Edited by Wildtowner on 01/27/2014 16:22:05 MST.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Rabid Bat on 01/27/2014 17:19:16 MST Print View

I forgot the time me and a buddy of mine were "dive bombed" by a rabid bat. We both swung our fishing poles as the bat reached us and hit it where our poles crossed. The bat was dead after that. Apparently crossing the streams is good for fishing poles. ;^)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Bizzard on 01/27/2014 17:59:49 MST Print View

Back in the 80's I started to do winter snow trips. It was time to retire my old army gear and modernize. I bought new snowshoes, ice axe, shovel, a down parka and pants, and a winter tent. I couldn't wait for the next big snow storm.

Well it came. Forecast was for a lot of snow between Christmas and New Years; I headed up to the San Jacintos. Told the wife I would be back in a week.

The rangers really, really tried to discourage me. But they finally relented and gave me a permit. Well, it started to snow, and the wind started howling. I finally had to camp a few hundred feet below the peak, the visibility was so bad and it was difficult to stand. I thought about going to the emergency shelter, but I was too difficult to go further. Besides I had me a new winter tent.

I was in a blizzard. Pinned down for close to 48 hours. But this isn't the horror story. The tent was great, and the shovel was handy to keep the snow load off the tent. I was having a grand time.


I had taken some freeze dried food from a new company that is no longer in business. I suppose I should have tasted it before a trip like this, but I didn't. The food tasted awful, but I ate it. The second night, it must have been past midnight, the food went to work. My stomach gurgled and gurgled. Then it started to ache. It was bad. And I had to poop even worse than I felt. Outside the weather was awful. But I had no choice. I bundled up and ventured out into the blizzard. No time for a proper cat hole or to scout a proper location, I had to go NOW. Pulling down my pants, I ran out of time. No log to deposit, but a liquid projectile of which I had no control. When the deed was almost done, I noticed I had gone all over the outer bottom of my new down pants. Egad!

Well, I cleaned up as best I could, and pulled up my pants while fighting the wind gusts and snow. And then to my astonishment, I saw the liquid stuff had completely frozen, and it was just a matter of flicking it off my pants with the snow shovel. Everything was nice a clean. No residue. No smell.

I did wash the down pants when I finally got home though.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Horror Stories on 01/27/2014 18:34:29 MST Print View

Camping in a lean-to in the Catskill mountains in the 1970's, on top of a small ridge that dropped off to a stream. Started raining mid-afternoon pretty hard. At dusk a very large tree next to the lean-to just fell over making a tremendous noise, fortunately it didn't hit the lean-to we were in (we would have been crushed).

Now we were a bit spooked, especially when my girlfriend (future wife) started talking about the reason the tree went over...the ground we were on was too soft, and now the lean-to was going to slide into the ravine! Needless to say we didn't sleep too well, and it didn't help that some mice ran across our faces in the dark, and we thought we were being attacked by bats.

Even worse, an errant M&M was sitting at the bottom of one of my pack pockets and a mouse chewed a hole in the pack to get at it.

Kevin S.
Scorpions in Tn??? on 01/28/2014 05:45:15 MST Print View

I once was caught in a series of tornados while camping at Red River Gorge in Ky. Trees everywhere down everywhere, had to find an alternate route out, as suspension walking bridge had trees over it.

But that is nothing to my experience in North Eastern Tn. (Big south Fork area). I was camping, and the weather was perfect (early fall) to sleep out under the stars. Woke up to something crawling on my face. It was a small scorpion. I didn't even know they were in this area. I screamed like a 5 year old girl waking my friends up that were with me. I didn't really go back to sleep, and have not sleep slept outside without some netting/tent since.