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Multiple Campers Recount Bizarre Behaviors Witnessed in the Backcountry

Multiple Campers Recount Bizarre Behaviors Witnessed in the Backcountry

We’ve all heard about strange stories from the trail. In fact, you may have your very own.

In a recent Reddit thread posted on WildernessBackpacking, campers and hikers share the strange encounters they’ve experienced.

This thread comes on the heels of many recent articles we’ve posted about safety and security when enjoying the great outdoors. In addition to learning about these Redditor’s stories, we’ll also share safety tips along the way.

Let’s dive in.

The Original Reddit Post

The Reddit thread began when u/lanqian asked, “Hi folks, share your tales of crazy/strange/dangerous stuff you’ve seen others do (or you’ve done yourself…) in the backcountry…”

And what followed was nothing short of entertaining and horrifying. (Read the entire thread here)

A Questionable Professor 

The user, Celtic_Oak, shares one of the most uncomfortable stories. Here’s what they said:

“I was taking a group of friends hiking in Big Sur in grad school. 3 miles in, out of nowhere, some naked person with bare feet comes sauntering down the trail wrapped in sleeping bag like a shawl. Didn’t say a word…just kept on walking…

An hour or so later, somebody else comes down the trail with blood all over their face. Happens to be one of our professors…he declined help and kept on walking…we never spoke of it back at school…”

While we can’t help with the uncomfortable nature of this situation, it does offer a great reminder to carry mace on the trail to prevent any potential camping nightmares.

Also, here’s some info on the best free campsites near Big Sur.

Pro Tip: Stay safe while camping by making sure you pack everything on our Ultimate First Aid Checklist.

Persons leg bleeding while camping.
Crazy injuries can happen while camping turning a fun adventure into a camping nightmare.

Long Term Camper?

Reddot, njp9, has a story about a fellow camper. He says:

“I frequently visit the same campsite in Maine. Everytime I’ve been there there’s a man always camped in the same spot. He is always alone and spends the whole day in his campsite listening to recordings of what seem to be articles from medical journals describing surgical procedures. 

The volume is loud enough to be heard throughout the campground. He packs all of his things into his car and leaves at night, but always is back again in the morning.”

It’s important to remember that most public campgrounds have stay limits. Whether they’re enforced or not, that’s a different story.

Here are some details about camping on BLM land.

Friends standing around campfire.
Help Smokey Bear fight forest fires and camping nightmares by not lighting campfires when there is a fire ban in place.

Fire Ban

Not everyone follows the rules. That’s obvious by not. However, The_Nauticus told a pretty upsetting tale. They say: 

“Campers lighting a camp fire 25 miles south of a large wildfire. There were many visible signs that made it very clear camp fires were NOT allowed.

Forest service came up the mountain, told them to put the fire out. As soon as they left, they lit it back up again.”

Is Boondocking (and backcountry camping) A Safe Camping Option? 

Yes, boondocking is safe.

Boondocking can even be safer than camping in a campground. This is because boondocking usually takes place in remote areas with very few people. Crime typically happens in populated, busy areas. The main threats you might face while boondocking is severe weather and vehicle breakdowns. 

Granted, there is buzz about spotting feral people in National Parks. We think it’s more myth than fact.

Pro Tip: Still not sold on if boondocking is the right option for you? Read more about Is Boondocking a Safe Camping Option?

RV parked in the desert for boondocking.
Boondocking might sound like a camping nightmare about to happen, but it is perfectly safe!

Security & Safety is a State of Mind

We’re big believers in the idea that security & safety is a state of mind.

No matter where we may be, unexpected situations are always possible. From sketchy hiking trails to the worst boondocking sites imaginable, we’ve seen our share of trouble!

Rather than focusing our energy on the unexpected, we like to follow our instincts and use a little common sense when traveling & setting up camp.

Hiking and Camping Isn’t That Dangerous

Hiking and camping isn’t any more dangerous than anything else we do in our lives. But, the dangers are different. 

Just like with anything, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. 

When camping in wilderness areas, always be mindful of wildlife, and never leave anything accessible for them! 

When choosing a boondocking site or staying in a parking lot overnight, read reviews. While you should always trust your gut feeling about a place, you should read reviews from other campers as well.

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

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  1. Bob says:

    Too many over decades so the latest one. Boondocking along the Rio Grande I had this really fat guy wearing nothing but a red speedo walk over every day and sit under the tree at my site. Then one day he came over nude. On my walks I saw he was camped in the worst spot there while I had the best spot, so maybe he was trying to get me to leave 😆 so I did something that I guess good be considered weird too. I let my pee jug fill until a full gallon, then poured it at the base if the tree where he was sitting. He only sat there one last time 🤣