What was the scariest experience you had while camping? Did you ever go camping again after it happened?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 19, 2020 05:02 AM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 19, 2020 05:02 AM

Originally Answered: What is the scariest thing that has happened to you while you were out camping?
When I was 18, I dated a boy who was the eldest of 8 kids, just as I was. We desperately wanted to go camping and thought our parents would let us go if we took all the younger siblings as chaperones. I think a couple of kids wisely stayed home, but we ended up as a party of 14, in 2 station wagons, heading up to Sequoia National Park in California.

We had gotten a late start, so we arrived at our reserved campsite pretty late that night. We had been warned about bears, so were surprised when we found that the previous campers had thoughtfully left the campfire ring full of reeking, open tuna cans. I’m sure they just meant to be generous, but it certainly left us in a difficult position.

With a herd of kids ranging from age 6 to 16, and the night cold setting in, we lit a fire to burn out the cans and quickly made sandwiches for dinner. It was just too late and too cold to do anything else. After hustling 14 people into 1 big tent, 1 small tent, and a couple of brothers in my family’s new station wagon, we were finally all bedded down in our sleeping bags. It was dark, very dark, and quiet. I heard the sound of something bang into one of the trash dumpsters about 40 ft. from out campsite. I knew it was a bear.

Just then a small voice piped up. “I can’t find my peanut butter sandwich!” I bolted up and whisper-shrieked, “When did you last see it?!” “When I was getting into my sleeping bag!” came the reply. So now, with a fading flashlight, amidst a sea of sleeping bags, I frantically searched for the damn sandwich. I couldn’t find it, but I noticed something new. I could now smell the bear – it was in our campsite! There didn’t seem to be anything I could do; I could smell and hear the bear wandering around, so we would have to stay in the tent. I found myself regretting burning the tuna cans in the fire ring; perhaps they would have drawn the bear away. I spent most of that night imagining a bear entering our tent and eating our legs. And I was supposed to be the responsible big sister! What would Mom say?!

It was only when I heard the honk of the horn from our station wagon (hours and hours and hours later) that I heard the bear dash off and was finally able to sleep. When I awoke in the morning and walked outside, my 2 brothers were standing by our station wagon, now covered with a number of scratches in the paint. While sleeping in there, they had left the sunroof open. Since our food was stored there (to avoid attracting bears to our site), the bear had naturally climbed on the car and attempted to pry the sunroof off. It was then that my brother awoke and honked the horn, driving the bear away.

After an incredibly eventful week, we finally returned home and I had to show my mother her scratched car. Even though we’d only had it for about 6 months, she was amazingly understanding. She could see that this trip had been no picnic; we even had one car run out of gas right as it was driving through the tree that the road passes through. (No problem; we had enough kids to push it to the side of the road, then I settled them into an assembly line to make “emergency sandwiches. We might have to stay here for a while, you know.”

Anyway, my mother took me to lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel within days of returning. She felt that I deserved some luxury after what I’d been through!

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