I’ll say it—fall is the best season for camping. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp and your simple backcountry meals of oatmeal and soup suddenly become not so boring and extremely on-trend. October is the time for camping and it’s the time for all things scary, spooky and slightly exaggerated. Tis’ the season for storytelling around a campfire.
For anyone who has spent any amount of time in the wilderness alone (or with others), you know it can be quite easy to get spooked. It’s funny where our brains go when we remove ourselves from our daily environments. Our imaginations run wild at the sound of a loud crash, quiet fumbling in the night or by the sight of wildlife. In some instances, those moments call for immediate action, but in others and in most cases—they call for laughter.
We asked our audience a few weeks ago on Instagram to share their best spooky wilderness short stories. The moments that made you turn your headlamp on a little faster and listen up a little longer. Below are 11 true, never-before-told campfire stories by you.
Your Never-before-told Spooky Wilderness Stories
“Thought I heard a mountain lion growling when I was on Solo, turned out to be hummingbirds flying around my tarp!” –@emilyzitner
“Waking up face to face with a raccoon.” [email protected]__sorensen
“Our group was settling down for camp on the second night of the backpacking leg of our trip and we discovered that a tree does in fact make a sound when it falls in the forest, and it’s a LOUD one!” [email protected]
“It’s dark, and we’re laying down ready to sleep. ‘Eileen get your hat out of my face.’ My hat was on my head at that moment…” [email protected]
“On a date, having hiked to a mountaintop to watch the full moon rise, we got settled on a large slab of rock to eat our picnic supper only to have a skunk walk out from under the rock.” [email protected]
“Thunder and very close lightning all around my makeshift tent during Solo. I was so tired I just decide to sleep through the whole thing.” [email protected]
“On the third day of our backcountry trip, we ran into a bear ravished campsite from the late 90s. Later that night, Lauren’s brother went across the river to pee (near the bear site) and forgot his headlamp, we all woke up thinking it was a bear. He tiptoed in the moonlight across the river looking like a STEALTH BEAR.” [email protected]_salazar
“Sleeping on Solo and having small animals run right into me in the middle of the night!” [email protected]
“Getting issued a winter sleeping bag and realizing as I was falling asleep in it that I wasn’t alone, I was sharing it with a pink baby mouse.” [email protected]
“Sleepily walking over to my kayak in the early morning without my glasses to retrieve breakfast, only to flip it over and have a family of raccoons scurry out from under the skirt.” [email protected]
“Thinking I heard a bear growling and finding out it was just Dawson snoring.” [email protected]_
From Memories to Stories
A camping trip isn’t an adventure without something that pushes us beyond the ordinary. The thing about stories similar to those above, is they stick with you. They leave a lasting impression on your memory, setting apart an instance and creating it into a lasting story. Those are the tales you’ll tell for years. In other words, you might never remember the route you took or the place you slept, but you’ll for sure remember there was a rat and it was indeed in your sleeping bag.
Did you just have hundreds of your own stories rush through your brain? Circle up with your friends this spooky season to reminisce on your own. Or even better, get outside and enjoy the best season for camping!
About the Author
Charis Nichols is the Content Coordinator for the Outward Bound Services Group. She thrives on four key elements: community, adventure, strategic design and breakfast burritos. During the warm months she can be found floating down rivers and when it’s cold, hiking and skiing in the mountains.
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