I woke to find a _____ in my tent.

3:51 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Alright....a little fun here.  I am starting a new season with a new tent and it has no floor.  So I got to wondering what you have found in your tent that was not invited.  I met a guy once that had a fear of snakes, which is an appropriate story when you consider my name, and he told of his experience.   

He said he woke in the night and as he rolled over he felt his hand touch something. He said that it was cold and round and long.  I asked if he was sure that it was outside the tent. "Wink wink.." He smirked and continued saying that he was sure, in his mind that it was a snake.  He froze...and lay as still as he could, and hours later when the sun came up he was finally able to see. He was surprised to see that his hand was laying on the barrel of his rifle.  I laughed and said that it must have been a really straight snake.  

Then my brother in law woke to find a bear coming in his tent...

So what weird creepy or creature of the night has decided to bed with you during the night?

Snakey  

4:17 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I once found a girl in my tent. 

Back in my college days we had a hike where the group took several cars on this trip.  I was one of the first, a day earlier than the official start date.  I came back from a sunset hike and found another early arrival waiting for me...  Surprize surprize!  No wonder I love camping.

Ed

7:54 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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This occurred all in a matter of seconds. I was sleeping in a bunk, not a tent:

You know how your arm can "fall asleep" when you lay on it (goes all numb from poor blood circulation)?

In the middle of the  night, my arm was asleep. As I rolled over, my numb hand had flopped onto my pillow. When I put my face back down, I suddenly had a cold, clammy hand cupping my face. Since my numb hand wasn't transmitting sensation, I thought someone was in my bunk! Needless to say, it took awhile for my nerves to calm down.

9:26 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Snakey,

I’ve been using a floorless tarp for a couple of years now (off and on) and have only had one incident. I actually had a chipmunk climb up my head while lying down.

 I was lying on my side and had my sleeping bag completely closed up around my head (just my face partially exposed). I was not fully asleep but close (was on a long hike and it was “hiker midnight” aka 8 PM), I heard a close scurrying sound then felt something touching the back of my head and move towards the top.

Yeah, I yelled out in a less than manly fashion and flailed about smacking myself in the head while simultaneously grabbing for my headlamp. The beam of my light soon stopped on a tiny little chipmunk which froze in the light now a few feet away from me. It was shaking more than me.

When I turned off my light it was gone in a flash of October leaves. I had good long laugh but it took a while for my adrenaline to subside and let me sleep.

11:25 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I was camping in southwestern Arizona near Phoenix a few years back, had left my tent unzipped and came back to find a 6 inch long giant centipede in my sleeping bag. A very scary looking creature, luckily I managed to get it out without touching it. Picture shows what they look like.


Centipede.jpg
 

11:45 a.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Growing up in the middle of the Sonora Desert, we rarely used a tent. I have continued that on many outings, including on our descent from summitting Denali. So I have had numerous incidents of critters stumbling over me. It was not uncommon to wake up to discover snakes and lizards wanting to share our warmth. The old tale about laying out a horsehair rope around your bedroll is nonsense. The "reason" is it is supposed to tickle the snake's belly, so they avoid the rope. Reality is that snakes are not ticklish - they just slither over the rope. Luckily no one ever got bit.

One incident was in Yosemite Camp 4 with several of us sleeping out under the trees and stars. I was awakened by Don, one of my companions, yelling something about a bear. The flashlight, however, revealed a raccoon sitting on top of his pack leaned against a tree near our heads. The coon had managed to open the top of the pack and was removing things, presumably in a search for food. He (she? Couldn't tell the difference in the dark) ignored us until we started getting out of the sleeping bags and threatening it.

Another time, I was sleeping in a hammock in the San Jacinto range, and was awakened in the middle of the night by a deer. Seems I had hung the hammock across the deers' favorite trail, and he had just continued under me and bumped me with his back. Luckily for me, he had ducked his head, which had a 6 point rack.

12:00 p.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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@G00SE, I'm cracking up right now. 

12:59 p.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Ed,

That is a tease of a story. You must elaborate. Who was this girl? Did she know it was your tent?

Maybe not for this thread but I once found a girl that had slept in the back of my car...drove like 20 miles to school and didn’t realize she was there.

OK I can’t help but tell:  long story short she was drunk and was "put out" of someone’s vehicle the night before on a back road and seeking shelter, found my car which she thought was abandoned (at the time i was living on a horse farm/ boarding stable set way back off the road in the country with .25 mile long gravel driveway). easy mistake considering the cars condition; funniest part was she didn't know if she knew me or had met me the night before 'cause she was so soused.

I had come out of my first period class for break in time to see her backing my car back into a space (I always left the keys in that old beater: Ford fair lane station wagon that used a quart of oil every other day and sat up with garbage in it for six years before I traded labor for it; never did get all the ants out). I said “hey, why are you driving my car?” she responded “I was thirsty and went to get a Dr Pepper.”. It was a discovery process from there.

1:12 p.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I bet that those hammock people miss all the fun...  :)

4:58 p.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I was sleeping in a hammock last year. To this day I don't know if a raccoon was really up on its hind legs sniffing at me or if I was having a vivid dream. I THINK it was a dream, but I'm just not sure.

6:24 p.m. on May 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Patman said:

..That is a tease of a story. You must elaborate. Who was this girl? Did she know it was your tent?..

I think you can connect the dots...

This was a group of friends on an outing.  As I said we both were a day early to the camp.  She knew whose tent she was in.  It was an impulse, something she wished to remain confidential.  When the rest of the group arrived we acted as if nothing occurred between us.  There was a mutual attraction, yet it was implicit it was not going anywhere.  We had one or two similar secretive encounters later.  I guess it is best described as a senior fling.  We remained friends - as before - for the remainder of the school year, until graduation sent us to the four corners of the globe.

Ed

3:02 p.m. on May 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Apparently a black scorpion shacked up in my tent with me one night. Luckily nothing happened and I was able to get it out of the tent as soon as I woke up and saw it.

4:03 p.m. on May 18, 2014 (EDT)
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I actually had an experience where I found my friend missing from my tent (versus finding something uninvited inside the tent).  A few years back, while playing goal keeper for a municipal men's soccer league, I was kicked in the face after diving for a ball which destroyed my nose.  Upon X-Rays, my nose was broken so severely, the doctor stated: "Woah.. what did you do to your nose?  It looks like a staircase."

Ever since then, I snore like a beast.  So last year, when my buddies and I drove up to Oregon to summit South Sister, I was supposed to share my 2-man Sierra Designs tent with my buddy.  I awoke the next morning to see that he had cleared out of the tent.  At first, I was a little confused as to see that he, and his gear, were completely missing.  Alas, he had resorted to sleeping a considerable distance away from the tent, outside, because he couldn't deal with my snoring. The next night, he jammed into a 3-person Mountain Hardwear tent with my other two buddies on account of my snoring.

10:16 p.m. on May 18, 2014 (EDT)
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macchiolives said:

I actually had an experience where I found my friend missing from my tent (versus finding something uninvited inside the tent).  A few years back, while playing goal keeper for a municipal men's soccer league, I was kicked in the face after diving for a ball which destroyed my nose.  Upon X-Rays, my nose was broken so severely, the doctor stated: "Woah.. what did you do to your nose?  It looks like a staircase."

Ever since then, I snore like a beast.  So last year, when my buddies and I drove up to Oregon to summit South Sister, I was supposed to share my 2-man Sierra Designs tent with my buddy.  I awoke the next morning to see that he had cleared out of the tent.  At first, I was a little confused as to see that he, and his gear, were completely missing.  Alas, he had resorted to sleeping a considerable distance away from the tent, outside, because he couldn't deal with my snoring. The next night, he jammed into a 3-person Mountain Hardwear tent with my other two buddies on account of my snoring.

 Your lucky some bear did not think it was a mating call.   :D

10:18 p.m. on May 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Here is one I found on YouTube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CghIAsX0X7M

1:47 a.m. on May 19, 2014 (EDT)
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I had a incident like patman with the chipmunk. When I was still in the army we were out on the Mantario hiking trail, clear night so we decided to just throw down a shelter half and sleep on top of it. In the middle of the night I could hear this weird scratching noise right by my ear (head was tucked down in my bag) I flipped the bag down to find a mouse standing on my shoulder pulling down out of my bag, we stared at each other for a second then the mouse decided it's best chance for escape was to run into my bag. This lead to what I'm sure was a very manly tactical withdrawal from my bag much to the amusement of my unit.

8:55 a.m. on June 18, 2014 (EDT)
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When I camp with my 4 kids, I usually sleep on a cot under a tarp and let my kids have the tents. Once when camping at a state park, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a foul odor. Looking around without my glasses on I noticed something walking away from under my cot. I quickly put on my glasses and saw by the moonlight that the critter had a white stripe on its back.

1:24 p.m. on June 19, 2014 (EDT)
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Ahhh....that stinks.   :D

8:55 a.m. on June 20, 2014 (EDT)
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TENT FUN

**  Found a scorpion inside my tent and under my pillow as I prepared to retire.

**  Found a black widow climbing in my cook stove.

**  Woke up in my tent and found a large wolf spider next to me, another time a tarantula-like thing (a trap door spider I think) was "hiking" across my pillow.

**  While half asleep a skunk stuck his head in my tent door and we were face to face as he showed a great interest in a sierra cup full of last night's lentils.  Eat hearty my friend.

**  Woke up to a dream of a mouse on my neck and dangit if there wasn't a mouse curled up on my neck and I scared him and he jumped off, leaving little claw marks on flesh.

**  While sleeping in an old campsite used for storage I used a rolled up Army feather bag for a pillow and a mouse had her nest in it and she ended up biting me on the finger.  Little bastardo.

**  In Pisgah my friends Amal and Jodal were camping next to me and in the middle of the night Amal screamed to find a snake in the tent.  And it wasn't Jodal's Alabama white snake either.

**  Another time in Pisgah Johnny B and I were sitting around the campfire and at about midnight he returns to his tent with his minimag light and finds a coiled up copperhead in his tent vestibule.  He freaked but we moved it w/o harm.

**  Numerous ticks climbing the walls of my tent.

**  Several blizzard-induced in-tent Turtleheads delivered on paper towels inside the tent.  Yes, turds.  They have teeth and often snap.

**  Had a raccoon come thru in Pisgah and steal my food bag and drag it down to the creek and he pulled everything out and ate my cream cheese.

**  A pony stuck her head in my tent in Mt Rogers.

**  Countless camp mice invading everything from boots to packs to tents, etc.  Woke up once to find a boot filled with acorns.  Or a pack water bottle pocket filled with dog food (carried for my dog).

**  I carry a small mouse trap on trips and place it inside the tent vestibule.  Once in the Forbidden Zone of Hiwassee River during the terrible heat of summer I woke up when the trap sprung and found a big snake trying to get free---released him without thinking, only later was thankful he wasn't a pit viper.

**  Once in camp I brought a treat to have sometime in the middle of the trip---a can of ginger ale!  So, I opened it and put it by the tent door and a yellow jacket flew inside and I drank him and he stung me on the inside of my lower lip.  Hurt like hades.  I spit him out and he stumbled around in a daze and I didn't have the heart to kill him.  He went his way with a story and I went away with a story.

**  Finally, I was hiking the AT near Hot Springs and was inside my tent and felt something in my goatee in the middle of the night.  I rubbed it and got stung on the chin by a white face hornet---black and white---and it hurt bad for about a minute.  Shined my light and saw him crawling around the tent floor.  Now he had a story.

10:07 a.m. on June 21, 2014 (EDT)
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Lots of memories of intruders in your tent Tipi Walter!

10:27 a.m. on June 21, 2014 (EDT)
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I think I need a floor....

10:35 a.m. on June 21, 2014 (EDT)
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Oh, I forgot the mention the thousands of black carpenter ants who roam at night and who will cover you but not bite until you roll over on them.  This happens most often when bedroll or tarp camping.  Carpenter ants are friendly sorts though and will not usually bite but get irritating. 

The worse are the midges or noseeums.  These bastardos can't even be seen and cause constant itching and small little welts.  Hate 'em.

5:23 p.m. on June 21, 2014 (EDT)
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I am NOT camping with TIPI!

12:29 p.m. on June 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Yeah ants are bad...especially fire ants.   

3:07 p.m. on June 22, 2014 (EDT)
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@Tipi

I'm sure you're a great guy, but you're having more than your share of encounters.  I'm with @second gear

:)

3:34 p.m. on June 22, 2014 (EDT)
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First of all, this Topic is great.  Thanks for starting it Snakey.

I don't have a whole lot of in-camp / in-tent encounters that I can think of.  But there is one that was pretty funny.  I call it the "Bumble Bee TKO".

I was attending a Boy Scout training for Adults that had us setting up tents and staying overnight.

9:00 PM - From my sleeping bag I could hear something that seemed like it was 30 feet away or so... couldn't tell what it was at this point.  There was light plant rustling and some odd animal sound (so I thought).  It had been a long day, so off to sleep I went.

11:00 PM - I'm woken up by a loud "dremel" sound near my head and just outside the tent.  I'm tired and not amused.  I recognize that this is what I heard at 9PM, and I'm starting to understand this is a winged insect.  From the tent window, I can now see it is a bumble bee that is on the ground.  So it took two hours, apparently, to walk over to us and get rowdy like a buzz saw.  I try to ignore it... I don't have much success as I'm now getting irritated; at some point I fall asleep.

2:00 AM - I wake up to the buzz saw UNDER me.  It has crawled under the tent, and somehow under the weight of me.  It's now losing it's bee mind, and buzzing constantly.  I move over to get my weight off it.  Perhaps it was just trying to get to it's ground nest?  If only I get off it perhaps we can all bee happy (see what I did there?).  Nope, this thing is now "off the chain" and won't stop buzzing.  I lose my patience and start punching it.  I'm done being polite.  It keeps buzzing.  I'm now repeatedly punching with full force.  After 10 direct hits (and the ground is clearly getting indented from my thumping), the buzzing stops... then it's back in full force again.  I go back to it with the TKO match... my tent mate is laughing his *ss off at the ridiculousness of the whole situation.  This goes on for 10 minutes ... really, my tent mate was timing it.  Buzz, thump, silence... Buzz, thump, thump, thump, silence.  Buzz, THUMP, silence.  Buzz, THUMP... FINALLY it all came to an end and we got what little sleep was left to us.  Ugh.

When we pulled up the tent the next morning we found the bee.  Huge and furry just like I thought I saw the night before.  We never did find a nest, so the reason for all this remains a mystery.

Bumble Bee TKO.

5:38 p.m. on June 22, 2014 (EDT)
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Herdingcats---As long as the buzzing sound is not a pit viper and you differentiate accurately, (some cicadas sound like rattlesnakes)---well, there's no problemo.

As far as having more than my share of encounters---everyone will have these encounters if they're out long enough.

10:29 a.m. on June 23, 2014 (EDT)
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:)

11:54 a.m. on June 23, 2014 (EDT)
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You should have been playing Pharrel Williams "Happy" song...   LOL

Bee Happy   :)

9:58 a.m. on July 16, 2014 (EDT)
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GaryPalmer said:

I was camping in southwestern Arizona near Phoenix a few years back, had left my tent unzipped and came back to find a 6 inch long giant centipede in my sleeping bag. A very scary looking creature, luckily I managed to get it out without touching it. Picture shows what they look like.


Centipede.jpg
 

Your lucky, I've seen them as long as 12" in AZ. 

September 20, 2014
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