Welcome to the third roundup. In the first one I have asked the question “what is the best air mattress for a perfect camping trip” and in my second one I asked people “What are your 3 favorite camping items“. Well, that was great and people shared a lot of interesting ideas and offered their suggestions based on experience.
Now, I thought for my third round I’d change things a little bit and make things interesting. Get this: I asked people what is their most terrifying experience while outdoor.
YOU WILL NOT BELIVE what these adventurers shared. I read each and every one of their stories amazed. It’s just EPIC. I love it.
Let’s just get into it, but first, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite “poison of choice”, lean back and enjoy…. Popcorn will do too.
SO, here we go:
“What was your most terrifying experience in the wild?”
Georgia Frances King from Kinfolk.com
When growing up in Australia, I had an opportunity to help volunteer at a marine biology center just off (what’s left of) the Great Barrier Reef. We’d spend a couple of hours every day out on the drop off counting clown fish and measuring pH levels before swimming back to shore.
You had two choices: take the 20 minute swim back to shore the long way, or swim 10 minutes along the rip until you hit the mangroves, swim over the mangrove roots, then a 10 minute walk back along the edge of the water. Oh, and dodge the deadly stingrays that hang out at the mangroves at low tide while you’re at it. Normally I’d swim, as timing the mangroves could be tricky: if the tide starts going out, you can find yourself climbing across mangrove roots in flippers, which isn’t easy. One afternoon I was tired, so I decided to take the mangrove short cut.
Silly me timed it badly, and I found myself trying to weave through the mangrove roots as the tide was quickly receding. Some I could dive under, others I had to shimmy over: It was like nature’s obstacle course. As I pulled myself underwater to dive under a root, I noticed a flurry of sand below me. As it settled, the speckled back of a huge stingray became apparent two feet below my stomach, its barb drawing a direct line towards my belly button.
With my head and body wedged underwater under a root and my flippers pointing limply in the air, I stopped breathing. In fact, as I tried to stay as still as possible, I realized I was running out of breath. Move upwards from air and risk getting a punctured lung (this is only months after Steve Irwin’s death by stingray barb, may I add), or asphyxiate. I was in a Mexican standoff with a stingray.
Just as I thought I was going to pass out from a lack of oxygen, the stingray began to meander on its way as calmly as could be. I fumbled to the surface for air, ripped off my flippers and jumped across the roots by twos all the way to the shore.
Christy Woodrow from OrdinaryTraveler.com
The most terrifying experience I’ve had in the wild is a tie between almost jumping directly on top of a rattlesnake at Joshua Tree National Park and getting caught in a hail storm/downpour at the river in Taos, New Mexico. In Taos, we ran for our lives, up the canyon to avoid getting caught in a flash flood.
Dave Cornthwaite from DaveCornthwaite.com
I have two.
The first was in the Australian snowy mountains, at the beginning of a source to sea descent of the Murray River. I was required to walk the first 100km or so and shortly before I reached the source to officially begin the journey I was consumed by a snowstorm that gained strength for a couple of days and sadly, apart from a good jacket and trousers that kept me a bit warm, I didn’t have any survival gear to call on.
I waded through three foot snowdrifts for 5 days, back along the same route that had taken me just a day and a half to ascend before the storm. About the only thing of note I could draw on to ease me to safety was a positive attitude, although when suffering from hypothermia and a good dent in ones pride this isn’t easy to control.
The second incident was on a highway south of Memphis, in Tennessee. Just 4 hours into an expedition I was hit by a car, which was travelling around 80mph on impact and was driven by a lady who was concentrating far too much on her mobile phone. The only reason I’m still here writing this down was chance. Ever so lucky to end up thirty metres off the road with barely a bruise to show for the incident. Getting back on my 4 wheel pedal car was the hardest part of the day, but I’m glad I did, it turned out to be an epic adventure!
Russell Ward from InSearchOfALifeLessOrdinary.com
My most terrifying experience was hiking to the top of the Annapurnas in Nepal and watching as my wife started to suffer from high-altitude sickness. Too far along the mountain pass to go back, we had to push on over the crest of the trail (another couple of hours beyond) knowing things would get worse before they got better.
Seeing her start to deteriorate as the effects kicked in, I could do nothing but urge her on, let her lean on me as we pushed on, and ensure she kept her water intake up using sterilised water (thanks to our Steripen). We made it to the peak and carried on, knowing that each step she took on the descent would bring her closer to safety.
Kim Dinan from So-Many-Places.com
The most terrifying experience I had in the wild was getting caught in a landslide on the way to Tilicho Lake in Nepal. My husband and I knew that we were crossing a landslide area and hoped that we would get lucky.
We went one-by-one across the dangerous section of trail, and when it was his turn rocks the size of baseballs started tumbling down at him. He ran and tripped, and I thought for sure that he would tumble down to the bottom of the ravine below. Luckily we made it through but I was terrified and nearly hysterical by the time we reached Tilicho Base Camp. See, we’d made a crucial mistake.
We crossed the landslide are in the afternoon when the rocks had warmed and were more prone to tumbling. When we came back the following day, we crossed in very early morning and didn’t experience a single tumbling rock.
Chris McMaster from Ula-Equipment.com
Late August 1998, attempting to climb the Middle Teton with my daughter and a friend, bluebird day when suddenly a storm roared over the mountain, came in so fast and so thick we couldn’t see more than 10 feet in front of us and lightning was going off like a continuous cacophony of cannons.
We had no choice but to hunker down flat on the ground as we got pounded by hail for nearly 2 hours. When it finally ended everyone on the mountain headed back down, and probably 20 of us in all, shivering, drenched, hanging out at the saddle, telling war stories, everyone too terrified to try to complete the climb.
As we stood there, a fellow came up the mountain in a manner that could only be called ethereal, everyone just starred at the guy, we didn’t know who he was until a few months later when Alex Lowe was on the cover of Outside Magazine
Danielle Esler from BubsOnTheMove.com
We were driving into Arnhem land in Australia’s Northern Territory to attend an Indigenous festival. To enter Arnhem land we had to do a slow water river crossing in our small town car. We waited a while and watched people in similar cars do the crossing with no problems.
As we were crossing, I was really worried the car wasn’t up to the task and was looking out the window to watch the water level. Just in time to see a four meter croc surface and accompany us across the entire width of the river.
I thought – “well if the car stalls now we really are stuffed.” In the future I would always hire or borrow an appropriate four wheel drive to undertake a journey like this one.
When staying at Lake Malawi we were enjoying an evening walk when suddenly a giant monitor lizard strolled out from behind a rock. I’d never seen or heard of one before so a close encounter with a wild reptile the size of a large dog just a few meters away from me gave me a terrible fright.I practically leapt into my boyfriend’s arms. He was brought up in Kenya and couldn’t believe I’d never seen a monitor lizard before. Monitor lizards can grow up to three meters long and of course I love them now but my heart nearly stopped that evening in Lake Malawi.
Alyson Long from WorldTravelFamily.com
You know those movies where the scuba divers become lost at sea, miles from the shore, no boat, in waters bristling with man eating sharks? Well that was me once. I’m still alive, so clearly the sharks didn’t get me, a random boat passed by and found me clinging to a buoy.
I’d become separated from my dive buddy and floated to the surface. It was my first ever deep water wreck dive on the SS Yongala off Townsville Australia. It’s not something I ever want to experience again, but I still dive, I love my marine wildlife too much to stop.
Emma Gardiner from SheGoes.com.au
When I was about 13, my parents took my sister and I on a trip to the central deserts of Australia. I was a moody teenager and after two weeks in a car with my family, I wanted some time alone so I went for a walk near one of our camps in the Simpson Desert.I was about 200m from camp when I came face to face with a dingo. It scared the bejeezus out of me, even though dingoes are mostly harmless, and I bolted back to camp with a pounding heart.
My most terrifying experiences in the wild have always happened underwater.I was once scuba diving at night on the Great Barrier Reef with a marine biologist. I was leading as we went through a deep crevasse, very tight on the sides it was. We had powerful torches that lit up the area a few metres in front of us, otherwise we were in pitch black.Suddenly a shark came screaming right at me… man, it was fast and totally scary. It actually swan under me and away. But I’ll never forget the feeling of having that shark heading straight for my jugular.And the question that immediately followed; what’s chasing it!??
Phoebe Lee from LittleGreyBox.net
I went on a camping and fishing holiday in North Queensland two years ago, a much needed break to get away from it all and recharge. On the morning of the first day we took advantage of the great conditions and went fishing at a secluded little spot along a protected cove, standing knee-deep in crystal-clear blue water.
Not along after casting, I felt a quick, sharp tap on my line followed by a heavy weight. It wasn’t like any fish I’d felt before as it didn’t take off and ‘run’ with the line, but it was definitely moving so I knew I was ‘on’.
Excited, I began to reel it in at a rate of knots. As my catch came closer it rose up to the surface I saw a smooth, shiny skin but still didn’t recognise the type of fish. I reeled it in closer and watched it slide and move again, thinking it must be an Octopus. I reeled it in closer again, about 2 metres away from my body, trying to get a closer look. I saw the long, slippery body winding around, knotting itself around the bait and the line. It was a snake.
I froze to the spot, unable to move, shocked. Snakes terrify me. Out of nowhere I hear a man’s voice yell, “STOP!” He runs into the water and with one swift movement, cuts the line. In a flash, he grabs me by the arm and pulls me back out of the water and onto the beach. “That’s a sea snake, love. It’s deadly. One bite and you’ll be dead. NEVER reel in a sea snake. Got it?” he instucts.
That moment is easily, hands down the most terrifying experience I have ever had in the wild. I didn’t so much as poke a toe in the water for the rest of the trip.
Ok, so these are all incredible. I have one more to keep you captivated:
The 13th story:
Tim Moss from TheNextChallenge.org
My most terrifying experience comes from my first big expedition: a mountaineering trip to Kyrgyzstan.
We were climbing as a three, roped together on what felt like very steep ice. My arms were heavy from swinging axes overhead and my calves were burning from clinging to the ice with my crampons.
I felt a hard and sustained tug at my waist and looked down to see Thom having slipped and hanging from the rope to which I was attached. The extra strain was too much for me and I too lost my grip on the ice and fell.
And, for a moment, the two of us dangled from a rope attached only to our third member, Ben, and looking down over a thousand metres of snow and rock stretching all the way to the glacier below.
Thank you guys so much for getting involved. I enjoyed every word in what you shared. Adventure comes with it’s risks, but man it is worth it!
OK. So, now What was your most terrifying experience ever? Where did it happen? I can’t wait for you to share it in the comments below. Do not forget to share all of the juicy details…
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