Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Your Scariest Camping Experience?

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Your Scariest Camping Experience?

Old 10-28-12, 10:53 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,771
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1454 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 40 Posts
Those storms sure have a way of making you realise how minute you are in the nature of things. Some great stories being told, storms or not.
Rowan is offline  
Old 10-29-12, 07:29 AM
Senior Member
indyfabz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 36,098
Mentioned: 205 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16622 Post(s)
Liked 11,697 Times in 5,607 Posts
Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
A tornado in the Appalachians near Salisbury, Connecticut. It's hard to describe the sound and nighttime makes it even scarier.
Like a freight train?
indyfabz is offline  
Old 10-29-12, 11:42 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 16,771
Mentioned: 125 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1454 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 40 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Like a freight train?
This is not camping related, but when a huge bushfire was bearing down on me in 2009, the sound was like a very big pack of Harley Davidsons in the distance.
Rowan is offline  
Old 10-29-12, 04:00 PM
Gus Riley
HomeBrew Master!
Gus Riley's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Aegis Aro Svelte, Surly LHT, Cannondal R3000 tandem, Santana Triplet.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A Grizzly Bear while riding in the Grand Tetons National Park on my TransAm summer of 2012.
Gus Riley is offline  
Old 10-29-12, 04:20 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 509
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Touring related:

Solo on the Great Divide Montain Bike Route in Montana. Rolling fast on a long mountain downhill, I saw what looked like a dog loping up toward me on the dirt forest road. I figured a hiker would follow close behind, and I was looking for the hiker to make sure he or she controlled the dog before I got too close, but no hiker appeared. Then I got close enough to notice the abnormally long tail with the little white tip on the "dog". Which turned out, in fact, to be a German Sheperd-sized kitty cat.

The mountain lion looked at me, and I looked at the mountain lion, and then he darted off into the woods by the side of the road ahead of me. It was either ride on past where I knew the mountain lion to be, or face a long climb back the wrong way, with nothing on the other side for miles but more trees. I took a long break, and then proceeded ahead, singing loudly. Never saw the cat again.
corvuscorvax is offline  
Old 10-29-12, 07:00 PM
bicycle tourist
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 2,055

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 357 Post(s)
Liked 137 Times in 102 Posts
If we've expanded beyond camping to touring in general, I would add one here.

It was Columbus Day weekend my senior year in college when I was living in Boston. We had a four-day weekend. I looked at the maps and figured it should be possible to ride to the Canadian border and back, a round trip distance of 525 miles. On the second day as I reached Pittsburg, NH it started to get dark. There were still another 22 miles to the border post and I didn't have lights. However, the US border post closed at night - so there was almost no traffic - and the moon was also out.

So I cycled out through the moonlit and otherwise black road. It was a little cold, but I was bundled up and so not too bad. As I cycled along the road - up front I saw a *huge* moose. At least it looked that way to me. I was cycling right at it but it was mostly lackadaisical, spotting me and mostly ambling along. (Not sure the moose would be that much larger than normal, but somehow outside the water and in the dark, they look larger ). Fortunately, it slowly ambled off the road as I passed, though I had more dark cycling to contemplate these creatures.

I reached the border. The US post was closed, but someone was at the Canadian side. So I briefly went in to greet them before turning around and cycling southbound. After my giant moose, I decided to cycle until very close to Pittsburg before pitching my tarp and sleeping alongside the road.

Next morning, as I came into the cafe for breakfast, I noticed a number of folks out for hunting season. Not sure exactly what season it was, though in hindsight I suspect I would have been more at risk for cycling along the dark during hunting season - than ever was from wildlife I met along the way.
mev is offline  
Old 10-31-12, 04:13 PM
Over forty victim of Fate
Cougrrcj's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 3,890

Bikes: A few...

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 255 Posts
We went on a 8-week sojourn of the US Southwest back in '71 camping with the family when i was growing up - picture anything from San Fran to Denver and south... Can't remember where exactly this incident happened, but... Probably outside of Boulder or maybe Taylor Reservoir...

I was all of 13 years old at the time and slept like the proverbial rock - anything short of a nuke detonation and I slept through it.

We were in an 8-man cabin tent and at 0-dark thirty Dad heard grunting and rustling outside the tent. He shined the 6V lantern out the door of the tent and saw a HUGE grizzly clawing at our utility trailer where we kept our food... The next morning, we got up and were told by Dad about the close encounter. There were deep claw gouges in the plywood of the utility trailer, and even the 'bear-proof' garbage cans were destroyed.

This brought home the 'rule' we had about NEVER bringing any food into the tent - no chips, snacks, even chewing gum. The old canvas tent would hold that scent. The bears would sniff it out.
Cougrrcj is offline  
Old 10-31-12, 08:04 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,608

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 602 Post(s)
Liked 505 Times in 321 Posts
I just remembered a scary night on the Appalachian Trail. I was camping in the Grayson Highlands in VA, where there's a herd of wild horses. It was a full moon, and I could hear the herd galloping in the distance. I thought that was cool, until they got pretty close, then I could see the shadows of the horses passing the tent in the moonlight. I seriously thought I was going to get trampled. My heart was pounding louder than the hooves. I guess there was enough moonlight they could see me.

Another night, about 40 years ago (ugh), I was hitching through Appalachia and bedded down just off a road. It was a cool feeling, being young and dumb and free, and there was even a train whistle in the distance. In a short while, I could see the train headlight bearing down on me, closer and closer. I shot up in the bag and started feeling around for the tracks I was sure I was lying on. The tracks were about ten feet away, way too close to a freight train. My sleeping bag nearly filled up with poop that time. It wasn't for another week or so that I could laugh about that.

Suitable thread for Halloween!
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 10-31-12, 08:37 PM
Sore saddle cyclist
Shifty's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Eugene, OR
Posts: 3,882

Bikes: Road, touring and mountain

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
I waited until Halloween to read this tread...I hope no one comes to the door dressed like an Owl or Bear!!!
Shifty is offline  
Old 10-31-12, 09:23 PM
The Rock Cycle
eofelis's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Western Colorado
Posts: 1,691

Bikes: Salsa Vaya Ti, Specialized Ruby, Gunnar Sport, Motobecane Fantom CXX, Jamis Dragon, Novara Randonee x2

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 16 Times in 6 Posts
Not bike touring, but backpacking. I was doing field work in the Big Horn Mtns of WY with another person, and two llamas to carry some of the gear. We set up camp in a small meadow above a lake. We each had our own tent, placed on either side of the clearing, the llamas staked out between us. I woke up in the middle of the night to a running llama panicking and hitting the end of it's rope as a herd of elk ran through our clearing.
Gunnar Sport
Specialized Ruby
Salsa Vaya Ti
Novara Randonee x2
Motobecane Fantom CXX
Jamis Dakar XCR
eofelis is offline  
Old 11-01-12, 11:58 AM
One legged rider
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Moraga, CA
Posts: 1,390

Bikes: Kuota Kharma, Surly LHT, CAAD9, Bianchi fg/ss

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Backpacking in VA around 1992 or so. I was on the AT about two nights from the closest road. Walking down the trail I see a sign on a tree, from the forest service stating that a few nights earlier a woman had been violently assaulted and ***** at the very trail shelter I had just slept at, stating the suspect was still on the loose and advising hikers to get off the trail as soon as possible.

i was only fifteen or so and only had a Ka Bar knife as a weapon. I immediately turned around and walked all day and through the night to make it back to a road where I hitched a ride to Damascus, VA. That was hands down the most scared I have been in the woods. Of all the hazards, running into the wrong people worries me the most. I know lots of people say over and over again that those kinds of things are rare, but the truth is it happens, and its pretty much a crap shoot as to whether you become the one targeted.
benajah is offline  
Old 11-03-12, 12:13 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Newcastle Aus
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Later I inquired about wild pigs in the area, and was told there weren't any. But I was told koala bears make a really weird noise like a pig, especially when the males are looking to mate. Most of you know what koala look like, and they aren't big at all... and quite timid.

Koalas 1; Rowan 0.
I have had exactly the same thing happen to me. Its a scary noise!
Nitram is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
General Cycling Discussion
09-03-21 05:14 AM
General Cycling Discussion
04-04-20 04:58 AM
09-10-19 06:48 PM
02-06-16 09:46 AM
10-02-13 07:34 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.