Fear of the dark

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JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
12,679
1,274
Stourton,UK
A couple of weeks ago when it was hot, I was up in the woods in my spot watching the foxes until around 1am. I know the place like my own house, so didn’t use a torch and headed out. I walked really quickly out as I had forgotten the time. After I had passed a clearing a light came on behind me, so I stopped. I must have just been the other side of the torches limit before it reflected back. Whoever had the torch was looking around anxiously in my general direction and looked terrified. In fairness. I had just walked within a metre of him as he was enjoying the quiet night. Total darkness. He must have been utterly pooping himself and it’ll be a while before he ventured out again at night.

I’m torn between feeling slightly guilty, and highly amused. So you can see how something quite terrifying for one person, is just a quick walk back home for another. I wonder how many of us have done what I did, but are completely unaware they passed anyone at all. I wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t flicked their puny torch beam on.
 
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Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
216
127
Devon
A couple of weeks ago when it was hot, I was up in the woods in my spot watching the foxes until around 1am. I know the place like my own house, so didn’t use a torch and headed out. I walked really quickly out as I had forgotten the time. After I had passed a clearing a light came on behind me, so I stopped. I must have just been the other side of the torches limit before it reflected back. Whoever had the torch was looking around anxiously in my general direction and looked terrified. In fairness. I had just walked within a metre of him as he was enjoying the quiet night. Total darkness. He must have been utterly pooping himself and it’ll be a while before he ventured out again at night.

I’m torn between feeling slightly guilty, and highly amused. So you can see how something quite terrifying for one person, is just a quick walk back home for another. I wonder how many of us have done what I did, but are completely unaware they passed anyone at all. I wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t flicked their puny torch beam on.
Got to admit, my wife can be a bit like this with the torch.

One night we camped on Dartmoor, we had set everything up then relaxed, then realised we had forgotten something back at the car which was only a mile or so back, I assured her she'd be fine and I'd be back in 20 odd mins, when I got to the car, I looked back and what I thought was our little hidden spot was glowing like a beacon on the top of a tor hahaha... She's getting better at trusting her night vision, but she can be a bit nervy.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,468
2,212
McBride, BC
The First Nations of our Pacific Northwest hold a legendary belief that there is a giant Wild Woman of the Woods who lives in the forest and eats little children who go there by themselves. Never go unaccompanied into the forest. It is a believe meant to stop kids from wandering away, unsupervised.

Google Dzunuk'wa to see many examples of masks carved of her distinctive face.
 

Scottieoutdoors

Forager
Oct 22, 2020
216
127
Devon
An easy solution is to be the scariest creature around or at least look like you could be one. :ninja::greyalien:
Well dear wifey seems to jump out her skin every time she walks into a semi dark room and I'm unexpectedly standing in it...so I think I tick that box to some degree..
 
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zornt

Forager
Apr 6, 2014
235
87
67
Ohio, USA
I used to have a great fear of the
dark. they were out there and they were going to get me.
My souiltion at the time was a large caliber hand gun, insomnia, large quantitys of alcohol and drugs , and waking up at the smallest sounds..
Funny thing after I got clean and sober all them they'd disappearrd and now I can sleep through nuclear warfare.
Jon
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
8,148
1,929
47
Exeter
Best exercise I think to combat fear of the night is to go out and walk though the night , from sundown to sunlight.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,867
1,082
65
Florida
@
Surely you are the apex predator when you camp in the UK?

I want a solid wall and a door when I go "camping here."

I think it's the silence of the big cats. Black bears and grizzlies can be just as quiet.
Getting blasted by a skunk is a life changing experience. Lynx and Bobcats are no big deal.

At the moment, it's 10:30 PM, pitch dark and quite windy with a cold front moving in. No more +32C, maybe +12C. Too windy to hear anything as it whistles in my big front spruce trees . If I had to get something out of my Suburban, parked on the street less that 50' from my front door, it can wait until tomorrow.

You gotta admit though, they have a better setting for scary stories: centuries old buildings, near ancient graveyards, etc.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,468
2,212
McBride, BC
Yeah, castles and stuff with secret passages and ghosts.

We just have Mother Nature to beat the **** out of any plans you might have had.
Monster spring runoff has closed the Berg Lake trail. Major rock slides are unstable, the foot bridges are smashed to hell and blown away, camp grounds are now under water. It is too risky and will cost a bundle to fix. The last hikers had to be choppered out, they got cut off as the water came up so fast.

Some back country packers are using llamas instead of horses.
They stink, they are aggressive and they can cough up and spit stomach acid.
The grizzlies are quick learners: don't go anywhere near them. Better than dogs with sheep and cattle.

I'd sleep a peaceful night with a couple of them tethered in the camp.
If somebody offers you llama, don't eat it. Maybe once and you will understand.
 
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chimpy leon

Full Member
Jul 29, 2013
469
107
staffordshire
I‘m not particularly phased about camping out in the woods alone overnight anymore.
In the earlier days I’d be lying there, my mind would start to wander and I’d be thinking what nasties could be lurking outside waiting for me to fall asleep before they struck.…
What does concern me more nowadays is being flattened by a falling tree or branch when the wind picks up. Even if it is highly unlikely.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,468
2,212
McBride, BC
I guess that would be it for me = to camp in a forest of deciduous trees that shed branches. Not an issue with our conifers.

Just 7-10 days ago, nice sunny day. Old guy (70) sitting on a bench in a park
in the city to the west of my place.
WHAM!!!! Big branch broke off a big old cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)
and killed the guy where he sat.
 

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