They are randy little critters and not to be trusted. Search for "Cannibal" and "raccoon" and you'll find my tale of tarp indignity. :D
Originally Posted by HammockDreamer
I've had gators calling less than 10' from my hammock.
I had a hunter take a shot on the first day of gun season without ever seeing my setup. Fun way to wake up! :scared:
I've had a bear immediately on the other side of my tarp snorting around.
I've found coyote tracks under my tarp in the morning...that weren't there the night before!!!!
I've been lullabied by wolf calls in the middle of the night. Course there were about twenty of them up the hill...all in their pens. :D
I heard a sound in the Smokies that I still haven't been able to ID and still keeps me awake from time to time.
I had a dream I was falling, but didn't wake up before I hit. Turned out, I was falling and I dang sure woke up when I hit!
I've had a squirrel stand on my ridgeline, right above my face, and yell at me to "WAKE UP"!
I have pretended to be a lighthouse with my headlamp more times than I could ever hope to count, trying to find whatever made 'that' noise.
But, the thing that scared me the most, was the wind. First time I was tied to a tree of small diameter and a storm came through in the middle of the night, I learned the value of large trees. See, the leaves in the canopy of the small trees act like a kite and trap the wind. When it does that, it moves...a lot! As it happened, it was the head-end of my hammock that was tied to the little tree. When the big gust of wind came, it felt like someone kicked my head from under the hammock. I was bounced awake and on full sci-fi/horror film alert. Probably pretty easily, the most scared I've been in a hammock. It only lasted a moment, but I remember it well.
I was out this past Sunday night with my Jack Russell. We turned in early due to early darkness (winter). Around midnight my Jack Russell alerted to something and she stayed that way for about 30 minutes. I kept listening and looking around but never saw anything. I heard some coyotes in the distance and started to think that if a bunch of them came by or a pack of wild dogs (prevalent in SC) my dog would be killed. I almost called my husband to come pick us up, but I waited it out and my dog finally calmed down and we went back to sleep. I wasn't so scared for me, but I was definitely scared something would kill my dog. :scared:
Nothing as "cool" as some of the folks here but mine was about 3 weeks ago. I was hanging on our Boy Scout Winter Klondike and we had some 40+ mph gusting wind that started dropping 2"+ thick limbs around me. Spooked me enough to pack up and go to ground in a tent by the open field where everyone else was setup.
I just remembered a pretty comical one...
I was car camping back in high school with a group of friends in a State Park, at a pretty 'civilized' campsite (bath-house, picnic tables, tent pads, etc.) and we all went for a hike around the large loop of campsites at one point. We were probably only gone forty mintues, but came back to find our campsite completely wrecked. We had foolishly left a bunch of food on the table thinking we would be gone less than an hour so it wouldn't matter... Well it turns out we were the first people to use any of those sites since the Winter and the raccoons must have had a rough winter. The rest of the night we would randomly shine a flashlight out into the woods and I kid you not you couldn't do it without hitting one. There must have been dozens surrounding us the entire night. Once we retired to our tents, and stored all our food in the car, it became a playground for raccoons all around us. The whole night we heard all kinds of sounds that indicated they were having a lot of fun just messing around.
Now the mildly scary part; in the middle of the night I felt the need to water the trees... I knew it was a zoo out there but had to go. I got just outside of the tent, got to my business quickly and before I could finish up I swear to you a raccoon charged me from like ten feet away. I turned (hastily finishing my intended goal) and ran back to the tent. When I woke up I told the story and found that others had the same experience...
I don't know what it was about those raccoons that night, but they were having a blast messing with us. :lol:
My only real 'scary' moment in the woods was my namesake... I spent a night just below the Old Rag summit in ~25 F temps with the wind howling over the ridge in a hammock (my first night in a hammock) with no under-insulation and only a 20* synthetic bag. I was seriously scared for my safety I was so **** cold. :scared:
Great stories! Especially being spooned, I would have totally lost it!
Well, let me see. How to pick after 55+ years of either camping or wandering around in the woods, in south GA/AL/MS snake country or way up in NW Griz country and all in between? And then there is: whatcha mean by scared? There is the out of the blue extreme, but short lived and maybe unwarranted, startle. And there is the laying in your tent way scared for hours, and maybe in response to a real threat. Frpm people, animals or weather. So it's going to be hard to pick!
One time I am hiking from the car parking spot in northern end of AZ's Oak Creek Canyon, many moons ago. Hopping from boulder to boulder to get to the creek and try some fishing. I have each foot on a different boulder, mid-stride, when I hear the "buzzzzzzzz". I look down to see a good sized coiled rattler on the ground, between the boulders and right between my legs. He looked irritated.
I'm sure my 30 year younger self must have literally levitated. The snake slithered underneath the boulders never to be seen by me again. The adrenalin rush is indescribable. It left me with weak and shaking legs.
I'm not sure if that is the hands down scariest for me, but there's one fer ya!
Too funny,i would have thought that spiders would have gotten some form of honorable mention.
Originally Posted by Cannibal
Speaking of spiders. I was camped along the Manistee with a group of 12 men ending a three day guided trip, last night on the river. Something woke me, I was sleeping in a tent, and my eyes opened and I felt something crawl down my left arm. I turned the flashlight on and looked and realized it was a black widow spider. I scooped her up in my hat and put her outside like the good tree hugger that I am.
A few minutes later, I am not feeling good. Tense, muscles aching, agitated, and I have a funny feeling on the left side of my neck. I put my hand up to it and realize she had bitten me and clear fluid is oozing from the bite. I took 4 ibuprofens and 2 diphenhydramine tablets and started just walking in the woods. It is about 4 AM. Long story short, I was sick for 5 days, the last day I had no feeling in my legs from the knees down.
Black widows are in all lower 48 states. Their venom is 100 times more potent as a neurotoxin than a rattle snake. It was scary. Fortunately my son was with me, he helped get breakfast and everyone packed. I checked my vitals and other than an accelerated heart rate, I seemed ok. I had what the books describe as hypertensive behavior. No matter what I did, I could not get comfortable. We loaded canoes, and I paddled 16 miles to the take out, packed all the gear and drove 4 hours home.
Doc put me on valium to reduce the muscle tension and I just rode it out. I now regularly kill spiders in my house and garage. 0 tolerance.
The really kewel thing about the experience though. It was the last time I slept in a tent. I looked for ways to avoid spiders and discovered that they are primarily nocturnal and primarily ground dwellers. I had left my tent flap open by mistake that night. I think she crawled in before I went to bed. I then converted to hammock camping.
I feel much safer in my hammock and always, always, check my stuff that has been on the ground for spiders. I have encountered coyotes, bears, elk, porcupines, and never ever have I been as frightened for my safety as that one little ole black widow spider in northern lower Michigan made me feel.
Its funny how that rattle is enough to activate every fiber of "flight" instinct that your body has.
Originally Posted by BillyBob58
I was walking on a scree slope when this tail shoots out of a crack below a rock I was going to step on and starts rattling like crazy. Somehow I managed to pivot 180 degrees on the foot that I still had down, without falling, and walk off the other way. DEFINITELY got my heart rate up.
Another time I was walking and a rattler started up about 6ft in front of me. He was a little guy (which are more scary, actually) and was coiled. Again, every fiber of my being reacted instantaneously, and I'm pretty sure that I launched backwards with inhuman speed. We were about a 4 hour hike in. I very well could have died had I been bitten because the terrain was crazy, and the hike out took over 2 hours going down hill. I would have needed to be air lifted for sure.
I went out with a buddy and some of his friends. Woke up in the middle of the night to someone in a ski mask pointing a gun at me and screaming.. Lets just say, I needed a change of pants and that was the last time I ever went camping with those ***holes.
OOHHHH, I nearly forgot about this one, I think I can be forgiven as it happened over 40 years ago.
I was bout 15, maybe younger. My younger brother (13?) & I were exploring a trail at Dale Hollow lake on the Tennessee side & he stepped on a nice looking snake, I was only a step or 3 behind & put my walking stick at it's head. Then I heard that rattle. Had never heard it before but I knew it instantly. Had him come back & pass me, pushed a little more on the stick & ran for my life. Yea, left the stick behind.
Then There was:
The 30 lb log falling from at least 25' up landing about 5' from the tent I was in.
The many many "weird noises" we all hear, most I still can't ID, one was a Barred Owl screaming 10" from my sleeping head. :eek: I SAT STRAIGHT UP from a sound sleep! No transition, I went from laying to sitting instantly.
The 50' tree falling 200' from me.
Digging a cat hole into a ground hornet's nest,,,, yea that was "Fun".
I'm beginning to think that what we do is somewhat dangerous,,, AIN'T IT GREAT!!!! :lol: