10 Campers Share Their Scariest Experiences

For the most part, camping is an exhilarating experience filled with fun, adventure, and memorable moments. However, there are occasions when camping can be scary….

For the most part, camping is an exhilarating experience filled with fun, adventure, and memorable moments. However, there are occasions when camping can be scary. Whether you’re an experienced camper or a first-time van lifer, the woods and wilderness can be creepy.

On Reddit, campers recently shared their scariest camping experiences. Campers have seen it all, from hearing strange noises in the middle of the night and seeing strange figures to close encounters with bears and potential alien sightings. Today, we’ll share ten scary camper experiences that might keep you awake at night on your next camping trip!

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1. Close Encounter With a Bear

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Coming face to face with a bear unexpectedly is pretty terrifying. Now, imagine coming face to face with one when you wake up at night. Well, that’s precisely what happened to one camper.

The camper in question told Reddit that he had the fly off his tent because it was too warm. After turning in for the evening, he woke up in the middle of the night to see an outline of a bear on the other side of his tent. It just stood there, staring at his tent. 

Luckily, the bear moved on after a while, and the camper lived to tell the tale.

2. Mysterious Lights In the Sky

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As if encountering a bear in the woods isn’t bad enough, some campers have seen mysterious things when camping that might suggest aliens are real. One camper saw mysterious glowing orbs in the sky weeks after his brother saw something similar.

The camper shared that he was out walking with friends in Northern Virginia when he saw what he described as rainbow lights the size of a globe flashing in the sky. At first, he thought the lights were coming from another campsite, but the lights started moving closer to the edge of the woods before flying at him and his friends. 

Understandably, he ran away and never looked back.

3. Mistaken Identity 

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In the dark, it’s easy to see something and think it’s something else, especially when camping somewhere more remote or eerie, like in the woods. One camping enthusiast found this out the hard way when she woke up one night to see a silhouette of an older woman looking into her tent.

She was sharing a tent with her mom at the time, and both froze with fear. The older woman didn’t move; she stood staring at their tent. However, the truth was revealed when a noise spooked the older woman. 

The “older woman” was actually a wild pony passing through the campsite! Nevertheless, we can understand why these campers were so scared.

4. Tree Killing a Fellow Camper

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Sadly, one camper in the r/AskReddit community shared a tragic experience in which a fellow camper died after being hit by a tree. The harrowing ordeal started when the camper woke to the sound of a huge tree falling. 

At first, the camper was just spooked because the noise sounded like something from a horror film. However, when they heard shouting outside, they knew something more serious was happening. 

Unfortunately, when they left their tent, the camper discovered a tree had fallen on a nearby tent, killing the person inside.

5. Laughter In the Trees

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This next camper’s scariest experience was hearing maniacal laughter and screaming coming from the middle of the woods. According to the Redditor, he and his brother were tent camping in the woods when the strange noises woke them up.

What bothered them most was that nobody else was around, as they chose a remote location to camp. After hearing the laughter, the brothers also heard what sounded like coconuts falling from the tree, but that was impossible. 

When asked what he did, the camper said, “We freaked out and stayed in our tent until ‘it’ or ‘they’ went away. We never found out what it was.”

6. Strange Carvings In Trees

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One couple lived a scene from a horror movie when they returned to their tent during a camping trip in an ancient forest to find a stick figure hanging from it. Things got worse when their friend started acting strangely. He disappeared for most of the night before returning shaken up. 

The group decided to go to bed and forget about what happened. However, things got worse. The following day, the couple woke up and realized that all the trees around their tent had the same figure carved into them.

The camper told Reddit they quickly packed their things and ran out of the woods. Let’s face it: that’s what any of us would do!

7. Stranger Jumping On the Tent

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When he was just ten years old, one Redditor’s parents bought him a tent. His family lived in a rural area with a beach, so his first camping experience was sleeping in the backyard.

On the night in question, the boy spent the night with his three closest friends. At midnight, out of nowhere, someone jumped on the tent’s roof, trying to wrestle the boys inside it. The stranger didn’t make a noise or stop the boys from running away.

The terrified campers made it in the house and returned with his parents to find the tent, and all their gear was gone. They discovered their tent in a bush further up the road.

8. Severe Storm

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Not every scary camping experience is mysterious, menacing, or tragic. Some are scary because campers are exposed to the elements, which aren’t always favorable. 

Take this story for example. One camper told readers he was caught in severe rain and wind storms. The storm wasn’t forecast, and it tore through his campsite, knocking down trees. A tall tree was blown over, almost hitting the camper’s tent. 

When asked how he felt, the camper said, “I was honestly scared witless for the first time ever while camping.” He was so scared he even kept a chunk of tree trunk to remind himself of the power of nature.

9. Sleeping With a Lion

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A safari guide sleeping in a tent in Africa might just win the contest for the scariest camping experience. One morning, the camper woke up with something warm and soft rubbing against his back.

He quickly realized that an animal was sleeping up against the canvas of his tent, but he didn’t know what it was. Then, he heard his friend nervously say, “Are you awake?” to which he responded, “Yes.” 

His voice scared away the animal, but things could easily have gone wrong. When he left his tent, he learned the animal he was lying against was a male lion. Lucky escape, eh?

10. Being Watched On the Toilet

man sitting on trelino composting toilet by fire
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Camping in the wilderness can sometimes lead to uncomfortable toilet situations. Going to the toilet in the bush is never fun, but who’d have thought it could be life-threatening?

One unlucky camper nearly bit the dust when going to the toilet in the woods when he encountered a mountain lion. The Redditor who shared this story said, “Saw a mountain lion looking at me from about 100 feet away while pooping.”

Can you think of anything worse? We certainly can’t. Luckily, the lion decided not to attack, and the camper lived to camp another day. He even saw the funny side of the situation, telling Redditors that the encounter helped him go to the toilet faster.

These stories show just how scary camping can be. What do you think? Would you be scared, too? Have you experienced something similar? Or have you experienced even worse? We’d love to hear your stories, too!

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