14 True Strange and Quirky Stories From Hiking Adventures

Hiker woman applying sun cream to protect her skin from dangerous uv sun rays high in mountains. Travel healthcare concept

Hiking adventures are full of entertaining stories, but the ones we are sharing today aren’t necessarily exclusive to normal events. From doppelgängers and animal remains to an eerie cage with a mattress inside, the woods are full of unexpected encounters.

Here are 14 quirky and strange stories shared by outdoor enthusiasts in an online forum.

1. A Scary Wake-Up

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The first story is from a person who recalls a family camping trip from their childhood. They recall going to bed in a sleeping bag inside their tent, only to wake up later in the middle of the woods. It was still nighttime, and they were still in their sleeping bag.

Fortunately, after calling out, the commenter’s family responded from about 100 yards away. But to this day, they still can’t explain the incident.

2. Flaming Marshmallows


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The next story is another childhood tale involving a s’mores incident. The person was only four years old and, having never roasted a marshmallow before, stuck the entire thing into the fire. It caught on fire, so they started waving it around wildly.

Suddenly, the flaming marshmallow flew off the stick and smacked another person in the forehead. They had to be dunked head-first into a cooler to put out the molten goo. Ouch!

3. Discarded Clothing

Hiking in Japan Alps

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Next, something a little less foreboding. One hiker stumbled upon a ripped-apart shirt and some undergarments that were cast off-trail. The result of a moment of passion, accidental droppings, or something more sinister? We’ll never know.

4. Campsite Armageddon

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One user said they found a destroyed campsite alongside a cut-open tent. Should one report these things, they wondered innocently. Say you had discovered this scene deep in the forest, would you?

5. Missing Wallets

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Another user traversed the Australian outback with a friend. At the bottom of a cliff, they found a plastic bag filled with five or six wallets containing cards with women’s names—aged between teens and early 20s—from different areas of Australia. Other commenters posit that the wallets could be the stash of a serial killer or missing persons.

6. Avoid the Clink

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A simple sentence can be both cryptic and informative. One hiker discovered a note written in French. After translating it, the line cautioned “Marcel” to remain silent, or the unknown party faced incarceration for twenty years.

7. Doppelgänger or Skinwalker

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One individual was in the woods with three friends when they and another detoured to a nearby friend’s home for food while two remained outside. Later, another friend entered, looked at the friend beside the user, and immediately raced out, screaming, “That’s not Kevin.”

After everyone gets inside, the pair explain that someone Kevin’s height walked beside them in the darkness, then suddenly ran away. Worried, they gave chase.

The friend yelled to warn their last pal not to continue searching. Several users shared similar chilling stories, and one mentioned tales of skinwalkers luring people away from campfires.

8. Collective Animal Remains

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A hiker discussed the “tar pits” deep in rural Ohio. The pits are so deep and akin to quicksand that a person needs “hooking chains” attached to an excavator arm or bulldozer to get out if they get stuck.

After a particularly bad drought in the summer, the tar pits dried up, and what remained at the bottom were the skeletal remains of various animals.

9. Trapped

Hiking North Cascades

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One person’s story is about when their boyfriend was out in the woods with a friend, and they discovered a cage with a mattress inside it. They reported it to the police, who asked if they heard any screaming because others heard screams in the area.

10. Unnatural Silence

Woman tourist shocked and surprised

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Some shared accounts about sudden silence while hiking through the woods. A silence that no sound, be it animals or birds, permeates. A couple assumed the likely cause was a big cat stalking the hikers, but there was no way to be sure because none of them found the source. What you don’t know can haunt you. Maybe they were in the presence of a Bigfoot.

11. Homemade Toilet

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One commenter discovered a recliner on a hill. Upon closer inspection, the seat had a hole dug out with a collection of water bottles scattered about like a port-a-potty.

Someone jokingly replied, “Those were the days.”

12. Save Your Soul

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As a few people posted, time and location do not matter when it comes to saving souls. Religious recruiters apparently frequent hiking trails, eagerly searching to convert despite it catching nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts off guard.

13. A Canine Savior

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A person veered off a trail to a watchtower, but they misread the map, so a five-mile trip turned into ten miles. After leaving the tower and out of water in the August heat, they fell asleep on a boulder. Waking up as the sun set, they struggled in their dehydrated state to find the trail when a dog appeared.

After petting it, the dog walked off, and the person followed, assuming the dog was going to their owner. After a while, the hiker steps onto the trail at the spot they veered off to the watchtower.

The dog looks at them, heads into the woods, and quickly disappears. The hiker is unsure if the dog was real, but several believe a guardian angel in the form of a dog came to the rescue.

14. A Deadly Den

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One commenter discovered a 17th-century mausoleum in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately, they were not the first discoverer. A black bear was there before them and “chased them out.”

Other people asked if the hiker was playing a video game because they doubted the bear would chase and not attack.

One thing is sure, I wouldn’t want to find out!

“Once Is Enough!” 12 Travel Destinations Travelers Don’t Want To Return To

Tourist man with hat riding on camel background pyramid of Egyptian Giza, sunset Cairo, Egypt.

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The “Most Popular Tropical Travel Locations” lists are so played out. Let’s flip the script. How about travel destinations frequently serving as a visitor’s final destination? These are the one-hitter quitters of tourist spots, leaving a sour enough taste in enough travelers’ mouths to discourage any return trips.

While many of these locations attract millions of tourists yearly, you rarely hear about the poor experiences. When evaluating potential vacation spots, the harsh reviews are as critical as the glowing ones. Here they are according to some travel stories (in no particular order).

“Once Is Enough!” 12 Travel Destinations Travelers Don’t Want To Return To

15 States in the U.S. Perfect for a Colorful Weekend of Leaf Peeping

woman holding autumn leaves

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Who wouldn’t want to capture the trees changing color, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot, and a pumpkin-spiced latte in hand? 

“Leaf peeping” is an informal term to describe the activity of visiting areas to see the fall foliage, and these 15 states in the U.S. are perfect for this kind of activity. 

15 States in the U.S. Perfect for a Colorful Weekend of Leaf Peeping

15 Travel Destinations So Difficult To Visit They’re Worthy of Your Bucket List

Antarctica penguins

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Sometimes, you have to “risk it for the biscuit” (as we say in South Africa), which travelers often do to get to a beautiful or bucket-list destination. These 15 off-the-beaten-track destinations are so challenging to get to that it’s an achievement when you reach them. 

15 Travel Destinations So Difficult To Visit They’re Worthy of Your Bucket List

15 Bucket List Hot Spots To See the Northern Lights Starting in September

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One of the most enchanting natural phenomena in the Northern Hemisphere is the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis. On the proper night, with perfect weather conditions and peak solar activity, you can see the stunning lights that paint the night sky. Here are some of the best places to view the Northern Lights. 

15 Bucket List Hot Spots To See the Northern Lights Starting in September

Visit With Caution: 14 of the World’s Most Dangerous Forests and Jungles

Woman Hiking

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Do you consider yourself an adventurous traveler? Does the thought of exploring deadly places fill you with adrenaline and energy? From the thick canopies of the Amazon Rainforest to the man-eating tigers that call Sundarbans home, these are the world’s most dangerous jungles and forests.

Wilderness warriors — this breakdown of scary nature spots is for you!

Visit With Caution: 14 of the World’s Most Dangerous Forests and Jungles

Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.

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