Yes! Maybe, I thought, if I delved a little deeper into at least one fear, the others would lift. These 24 real-life creepy camping stories will have you thinking twice about packing up the tent, and heading into the great outdoors. Looks friendly now, but … It will make your mind feel more at ease since you’ll know humans aren’t THAT far away from you. Yes, you’ll still be camping alone, but at least there’s other people around. It seemed anticlimactic. To the north were the Tetons, a mountain range that rises so jaggedly and preposterously out of the plains that it looks like a wall of rock abruptly separating the navigable world—with its roads and people and cell phones and stores—from a realm so wild it seems preternatural. I charged through Death Canyon Shelf, a narrow plateau strewn with boulders. I found your story amusing and insightful. "I made the mistake of reading the forensics report on him," she said. I've spent many, many nights alone in the woods. On the other hand I probably most enjoyed backpacking trips through wilderness with my girlfriend. Point is, after all of that garbage, I was done. Why is camping alone scary and should you be afraid of the nighttime terrors that are waiting for you as the sun goes down just over the horizon? At the top, I turned on my phone—it didn't get reception, but I wanted to take a video of the panorama. But if you know how to handle one and use it properly, then this could definitely work in your favor. That’s why you should tell someone where you are going! I figured about 18. These are my favorite. But on the other hand I actually wasn’t camping alone, ever. These offer even more peace of mind than a tent, knowing no ground animals can get to you. It felt like the trip had been planned by some shadow part of myself, while my conscious mind was watching and wondering, What the hell are you thinking? This felt like that. Is That... a Polar Bear? While I did, she launched into a series of stories about bear attacks. Wonderful article on camping at night! I agree with you, David. It was mid-September, and I was carrying a backpack meant to contain everything I'd need for the next three nights. However, it is important that you know what you are doing in the wilderness before setting out on your own. To answer your question. Honestly what I’d be most worried about is like getting injured and not being able to get to the nearest hospital or something, but I think if you plan right, let people know where you’re at and when to expect you home you should be fine. Camping with Matt, I knew, would never serve that purpose. Whether you’re a camping pro who enjoys a weekend out in the wilderness, or have never before gone camping alone, there’s a few stellar reasons to pack your bags and head out for some solo camping. During a particularly uncertain period in my twenties, I'd sometimes been flooded with anxiety so potent my mind felt like an anthill, a space of frantic motion where all thoughts invited horrifying outcomes. You’re never actually alone. The fight or flight response is a wonderful ability. In some of our most beloved best-sellers, women embark on insane adventures and come back transformed. Going camping with somebody else pretty much ALWAYS gives you a peace of mind. Great story! This website earns a small commission for items purchased through these links with no additional cost to you. A hammock is your new best friend. campingmastery.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Of course, there ARE some ways to make it easier for you until those feelings go away for good. The gun is a great choice if you know how to use one, at least you know you’ll be much safe if you have one with you. It takes a bit getting used to. I will bare the tips you have suggested in mind the next time I decide to go, “Solo Camping.” I’m in New Zealand and my favorite is hands down the Milford Track, which is a 4-day backpacking trip. These help a lot! "You want to know the worst part? I really don't mind camping alone myself. Thanx! Next time you go camping with others, take your own tent and try to be a bit more independent. Especially since the real risks, I knew, were manageable. Your email address will not be published. Don’t know how I would handle being in the woods at night by myself. I'd never been backpacking alone. I wish you all the best in your wilderness ventures! In the summer they fall off cliffs, get hit by lightning, and are attacked by bears—black bears and grizzlies. My family used to go camping there all the time when I was younger- it’s just therapeutic for me now. Maybe, I thought, if I delved a little deeper into at least one fear, the others would lift. The stories and jokes present when camping in a group won’t be there when camping alone. It does reveal quite a bit about yourself being alone. Thanks a bunch for the kind words, Craig. Which feels a little like admitting I watched a romantic comedy and decided that if I followed the same career path as the heroine, true love would magically appear. I was 19 years old when I embarked on my first solo mission into the wilderness, and I was by no means a great camper either. This was probably one of the most gut wrenching and heart pounding moments of my YouTube career! It took me a long time to get to sleep. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 40 Meghan Markle-Approved Health Habits To Try, LA County Makes History With All-Women Board, I Was Sure I Wanted Two Kids. Instead, use a dark-colored green one. You’ll have a much higher chance of being left alone since you won’t be seen from a mile away! When it got closer to nighttime, I started the fire and began cooking dinner. This is the story of my scariest moment...Enjoy this overnight with me and my collie, Maysie! I was afraid to take chances in my work, afraid of being sad, afraid of being numb, afraid of people being angry at me. Women backpacking alone: Scary? The thought of camping alone, though, was daunting. By the time you are deposited at the top of Rendezvous Mountain on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, you are 4,139 feet above where you started, which was already 6,311 feet above sea level. Even a public campground works like a charm! You have to carry all the weight alone. From wild animal attacks to fire disasters, we rounded up some of the worst camping horror stories of all time. Thanks for the comment! Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE editor. There’s a lack of light – so as long as you keep reminding yourself this, you feel so much better. That was where I stayed that night, close enough that I could hear the rushing. Tip 7: Explore Torrey Pines State Beach hiking trail. The more complicated and slightly embarrassing truth was that part of me desired not merely a sliver of Strayed's adventure but the full trajectory, or as full as could be had in under a week. No people to bother you, no one asking when it's time to eat, get up and go when you want to, and PEACE and QUIET. This meant I'd have to spend my first night in the National Forest, where people can camp anyplace they like—and where there was a good chance no one would be near enough to hear me if I screamed. Passing through the same places was strange, like revisiting a nightmare that had been leached of its power. I am thrilled to do it and maybe I will have the chance try it for few days in Yosemite park this summer. When it was over, I was tired and happy, not relieved. Fires are mysterious forces that, at one point, seemed like magic. Just get a general idea about the area, you don’t have to go into exact detail. Personally, I prefer the wooded areas but I have to be safe for my family and myself. I waited until she suggested we go to sleep to crawl into my tent. I was camping. Don’t go camping alone, ever. I'd been working on digging myself out of the hole I'd once been determined to dig into, through therapy and medication, briefly, but also by learning to coexist with ugly emotions that I'd once thought might swallow me whole. Get ready to watch one VERY scary video! "That thing sure makes you freaked out about bears," I said to her when it was done. The Peace and Quiet of … But what you should be doing is taking precautions every time you do embark on your own spiritual journey into the wilderness. Where is your favorite place that you’ve been backpacking at? At least some company is better than none at all. I'd rented a room from a single mom and spent the nights sleeping on her prepubescent son's airplane-patterned sheets—he was staying with his dad—and the weekends hiking with his spastic corgi, Tucker, a dog I only managed to tire out once, on an uncharacteristically hot day, when I carried him home slung around my neck like a towel. Leaving music on will help calm your nervous a LOT. At least, that's what I told people. You can calm yourself down by keeping your mind busy on other things, such as activities! The less you think about the bad stuff that can happen, the easier it is to get through the night. When I watched it later, I got dizzy; I'd whirled around like a dervish in my determination to keep moving. The spark was the disintegration of my parents' marriage; my mother and I fought constantly while my father seemed to be receding into the distance. Here are some true tales of the paranormal reported by campers. I scurried over Mount Meek Divide and down into the bowl-shaped Alaska Basin, dotted with lakes, and caught a glimpse, far off, of another female hiker, her backpack bobbing toward me. Ghosts, strange creatures, UFOs, and mysterious phantoms are encounters that are sure to creep back to mind the next time you're camping. Now what happens when your one and only flashlight falls into the water and you lose it or it breaks, or something else happens to your ONE flashlight? But a year earlier, in 2012, like everyone else, I'd read Wild. Basically, because nighttime offers a completely different environment than daytime, your mind is going to think differently as well. Thanks for sharing your feedback too 🙂 And I know for a fact that being alone in the wilderness reveals a lot about yourself. If you get lost, you will have someone come looking for you. Driving away at the end of August, I already had a yearning to return. If you’re ever in New Zealand, I highly suggest you try it out! Bring along a good book to help keep get rid of the spare time, as well as help you get to sleep! Of course, this all depends on the gun laws in your country. Very easy to follow suggestions and I’ll remember not to watch horror films when out in the dark! Of course your mind is going to play tricks on you. The feelings of uneasiness and anxiety do eventually go away. It may be scary, nerve-wracking, or the most thrilling thing you’ll do all week. In the daytime, you feel safe because you can see everything, the environment is calm, it’s relaxing, and you just know nothings going to happen to you. Without fire, … I passed by one cluster of park campsites and then, as night fell, came to a lake so perfectly still and reflective it seemed weightless. But in reality, it can mean the difference between life and death – literally. Molly Langmuir is a freelance writer and former staff writer for ELLE. Finally she cued up a video that covered all the Tetons' summer dangers—lightning storms, snow-covered passes, but mostly bears. A little, but gratifying, too. Camping alone is definitely not safe, not one bit. However, being relaxed, confident and comfortable in nature is really the biggest secret to all of this. Even though these won’t do much (well the hatchet does), it will make you feel more comfortable, as you have at least SOMETHING there to protect yourself with. For your first solo camping trip, it’s a good idea to pick a spot that’s … I felt almost dazed. I put on my pack to go. Leave a comment below! It felt like being banished into the wilderness, where I'd likely die. Thank you for sharing. And once I did, I lay there letting my body go limp with relief, feeling as if I'd been plucked from a shark tank and deposited outside of the glass—just as close to what could devour me but now invulnerable. You could also consider camping near a town/city, just somewhere that’s close to civilization. The loneliness permeating my existence only subsided when I went into the mountains. It was like fear had burned into the circuitry of my brain, and I couldn't respond to anything without panic. The tram from Teton Village takes nine minutes to travel 2.4 miles of wire, and as it speeds upward, Wyoming's Jackson Hole valley opens up endlessly behind you. Traveling Alone Does Not Make You Sad or Lonely, What It's Really Like to Travel Alone in the Era of Social Media, "Do I Have to Play the Game to Keep a Guy?". Where Can You See Beautiful Fall Foliage While Hiking On The East Coast? Ever since I'd booked my flight, I'd worried this might happen. I was sleeping in a tiny cabin, two friends outside in their tent, friend’s dog sleeping on the ground outside the tent. I soon realized that nighttime is a completely different environment than what daytime is. Lying in our tent as the sky blackened, we'd listen as birds erupted into a cacophony of calls, then quieted. I have camped alone, and I have to agree with you that your mind enjoys playing tricks on you. Then the sliver of the Snake River appears, and Route 191 with its tiny ant cars, and the snowcapped Gros Ventre Range beyond that. The next morning, though, heading out, I was again consumed by dread. After a while, I became so removed from things that seemedto matter to other people—friendship, death, my general well-being—that I often felt like an alien. Next to me was an older woman. Around it were four sites, and the sight of other people—an older hippie couple doing naked yoga, the woman's bare, white ass flashing like a beacon as she raced to pull up her pants—was so heartening, I stopped to rest. Camping alone activities will help you kill time. I agreed with everything she said. I failed to complete it on the same day and ended up sleeping in a food storage shack which belonged to the porters at the campsite. Things have continued to shift in my life since then, and mostly for the better, but this, too, has been gradual, the result of a general muddling through of options. But how long could such acute fear last? To the south, the ski resort's manicured trails, covered in bright-green grass, flowed down to the base. Knowing you won’t be spotted by passerby will make you feel so much more at ease and comfortable. 2 is always better than 1! The next day, for noise, I began narrating what I thought might be happening at that very moment in my office, not because I so loved being there but because I remembered it as a place where I'd never felt like my life was imperiled, which by then seemed like an unfathomable luxury. Sometimes being alone in nature inspires me more than being alone at home. Perhaps the most important way I hadn't prepared for my trip was that I never bothered to research how many miles I could easily walk in a day. And I'd felt that way since that summer at the Jackson Hole News & Guide, despite feeling fairly isolated. But as I grew older, I was afraid not only of the dark and cartoons and the color red (which, for a few years, I inexplicably believed represented the devil, my decidedly unreligious upbringing notwithstanding), but also of drugs and unstable men—and I pursued both with nihilistic relentlessness. Camping alone no matter how long or short is always a good thing. It wasn't, in other words, that leaving everything behind and setting out on a journey allowed me to come back and face my life in a completely different way, like in those books. Do you have any specific flashlights that you could personally recommend? Fear, though, broke through. Even if your back breaks. After a few hours in my tent I heard the telltale signs of another bad night: the footsteps, the whispering, the sticks breaking. ELLE’s Ultimate Guide to Online Shopping, 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Is a Work of Art, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Even though this isn’t completely “solo”, it’s still a great way to ease yourself into solo camping if you ever want to try it out. I'd sought out fear since childhood, if not always consciously. After a few moments, the thought of leaving my fellow humans, naked or not, felt unbearable, so I decided to set up my tent at an as-yet-unoccupied site. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Would be a good idea to listen or leave music on at night while camping alone at night? If you’re afraid of being spotted by other people, try and camouflage yourself in with your surroundings. Camping Alone Can Be Scary But It Doesn’t Always Have To Be Posted on February 24, 2017 by Brandon Why is camping alone scary and should you be afraid of the nighttime terrors that are waiting for you as the sun goes down just over the horizon? Camping in the woods doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Keep reading to see if you should be scared or not, and what you need to do to get rid of that fear once and for all! The problem was, the dangers I courted rarely felt as alarming as the disquiet inside of me, which both put me on a fear-seeking hamster wheel and left my radar for what constituted reasonable risk fairly skewed. There were no wild spikes of fear. At the top of Hurricane Pass, instead of racing through, we stopped, and Matt climbed up to a patch of grainy snow to see if he could use his sleeping pad as a sled (he couldn't, but it was funny to watch him try). I hardly ate. I love backpacking so much, that it is basically the best vacation activity for me. I got in my tent and tried to sleep but every little noise kept me awake. The trail switchbacked around a tiny turquoise lake and down through a deep canyon etched by a frigid river of white-water rapids, waterfalls, and the occasional crystal-clear eddy. Then again, when I'm camping with my family, I tend to be the guy in the know and if anything were to happen I would be the point man for responsibility. 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