Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#203085 - 05/26/19 04:51 PM Strange sound at night, what could it be?
jMulberry Offline
newbie

Registered: 05/26/19
Posts: 1
Loc: ON
Hey guys, I just had my very first camping experience, and some strange sounds at night bothered (somehow scared) me, so I'm posting in the hope that someone can tell me what it might be.

It was at a campsite in Bruce Peninsula national park (Ontario Canada), not sure if geographic location really matters but whatever.

The sound woke me up twice at night (def. after 12am but not exactly sure what time).

It sounded like someone (or something) stomping hard on the ground while passing by near my car in which I was sleeping, I could even feel the car shaken slightly on each step.

I thought it might be some large animals (maybe a bear from my newbie mind), and then I did some Google research today, realizing bears don't make that heave sound when walking.

So... what could it be if it wasn't something from my nightmare?

P.S. I'm already scared so please, don't say Bigfoot.


Edited by jMulberry (05/26/19 05:28 PM)

Top
#203086 - 05/26/19 04:56 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: jMulberry]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
Moose? Horse or cow if farmland is nearby?

Top
#203087 - 05/26/19 07:07 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: jMulberry]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6752
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Could even be a deer stomping, which they often do if curious or alarmed.

Carnivores (like bear or cougar) walk very softly, so most likely it was a herbivore.

Strange noises in an unfamiliar place often sound much louder than they really are, at least to me!

I generally wake up for a lot of noises my first night out (actually, I often enjoy listening to them!) but I sleep through them after that.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#203088 - 05/26/19 07:57 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1979
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Moose was also my first thought.

Another possibility: were you camping with friends who knew this was your first time camping? It’s not unknown for new campers to be “initiated” their first night out. (It might be helpful to know that the bag limit on snipe is 5, at least in Ohio. Your chances of limiting out are very slim.)

My most memorable such incident involved some brand new Scouts. The trop went to summer camp, and they were assigned a campsite near the edge of the property, on the other side of the fence from a pasture full of cows. About an hour after they were all snug in their tents, I saw some of our older Scouts headed into the woods, circling around the camp to the fence. All of a sudden they came running through the camp, mooing at the top of their lungs and ringing a big cowbell. Never will forget the chaos that followed...


Edited by Glenn Roberts (05/26/19 09:37 PM)

Top
#203089 - 05/26/19 07:57 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2078
Loc: Napa, CA
Something with hooves. We spent a few hours in the Backcountry of Yosemite one night listening to a few deer thumping around our tent. Very noisy.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#203090 - 05/26/19 08:17 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: OregonMouse]
Lonerock Offline
member

Registered: 12/10/15
Posts: 55
Loc: Southern Oregon
No matter how many years you camp or backpack unusual sounds at night can make you take notice. It's very normal and simply part of our survival instinct, which is a good thing. It's important that you understand that the odds of that noise turning out to be a hostile animal are very rare. I've backpacked and camped for several decades and the most common culprit for those noises usually turns out to be deer.
If you still have a difficult time sleeping without knowing the source of those noises I would suggest getting a canister of bear spray and keeping it next to when you sleep. It's not a bad thing to also have in your pack when you go hiking. I've had many encounters with bears over the years and also cougars (one as close as 125 feet) but have never found a need to use my spray but you may find it gives you some comfort.
As noted above, stay calm and enjoy the wonderful sounds you find while camping.

Top
#203092 - 05/27/19 06:16 AM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: jMulberry]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 933
Loc: Michigan
Through the years I have observed that mice grow to at least 50 pounds and have feet the size of dinner plates when they stomp around your tent at night. Every sound is amplified when you are in a tent in the wilderness at night. After a while you just adjust and ignore the sounds. Seriously, mice, squirrels, and deer are the most likely night visitors.

Top
#203093 - 05/27/19 10:01 AM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: GrumpyGord]
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 2078
Loc: Napa, CA
Ha! I remember one night about 12 miles in. I'm sleeping soundly and my wife wakes me up:

"Wake up. I think I hear a bear over there..."

I listen for a minute and reassure her. She promptly goes back to sleep.

I spend the rest of the night listening for bears over by our bear can...
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#203094 - 05/28/19 10:04 AM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: balzaccom]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 873
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
My wife and I were camping as newlyweds, when she nudged me awake and frantically whispered "Do you hear that!"

"Yes" I said, barely awake at this point.

"See what it is!" I blearily unzipped the tent and stumbled out, then stood and peered over the tent in the direction of the noise.

"Can you see it?" she said.

"Yes."

"What is it?"

"A skunk."

"Get back in the tent!"
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

Top
#203095 - 05/28/19 10:08 AM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 873
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
On a couple occasions, these guys have kept me awake too:

They're not big animals, but they're kind of oblivious and make a lot of noise.

EDIT: OP, I'm pretty sure that's not what's keeping you awake in ON, though, as they don't venture further north than the US lol.


Edited by 4evrplan (05/28/19 10:13 AM)
_________________________
The journey is more important than the destination.

Top
#203096 - 05/28/19 12:05 PM Re: Strange sound at night, what could it be? [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6752
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Which is why it's a good idea not to venture out at night without a headlamp or a flashlight! Skunks do not get off the path to the restroom to let you get by!

Speaking of stomping deer, one time a curious deer actually started pawing at the back of my tent! Fortunately the tent survived, and when I yelled I heard the deer bound away!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Boiling Water?
by Hey
01:03 AM
Shoes! UGH!
by Hey
12:10 AM
The Cheapest good Quality Trekking Pole available?
by walkingnatur
06/19/21 05:17 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
FYI - Hydrapak failed me very early on during a 40
by a_gunslinger
06/06/21 01:25 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Just testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 57 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Hey, twistedm, Benj, JuddOutdoors, irishmp
13027 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum