Camping in the Pine Barrens

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Before I get you all started with my experience I’ll give you a little background on me. I spent most of my life hunting and in the outdoors, so I know the various sounds. I can tell the difference between a deer and a person walking. I also am pretty good at tracking and would track my friends while hunting. So the one thing that I never expected was to be tracked in the woods at night.

This happened a year ago to the month while out camping with my grandfather in New Jersey. I had just graduated school and was leaving for boot camp soon, so my grandfather wanted to go on one last trip before I was gone. The beginning of the trip was pretty smooth, lots of hiking and fishing. We went to the last place we were going to camp and already it was pretty eery.

There were almost no people here and we were as far as you can get in. We had set up and already eaten so I decided that I minus well walk down to the wash house about a mile down from us. The park had signs up about bears so I had my knife on me this being New Jersey and having strict gun laws.

I got down there no problem only saw one person and they were getting ready to head out. I take my shower and hygiene by the time that is over it is already pretty dark out. Almost 100 meters down the road the atmosphere goes south fast. It went from bugs making noise to dead silence, something I had never experienced in my time outdoors.

You know that feeling almost like a sixth sense of knowing something isn’t right, well that was going off.

I slowed down my steps to reduce sound and listen. About 20 yards to my right something was parallel to me walking. My first thought was possibly a bird hopping in the leaves, but every time I would stop so would this.

Listening closely I could here it better and could get a better idea of it. I could tell that it had enough size to snap branches and also that it was bipedal. I was carrying a large hunting knife as my only protection and know that wouldn’t do much if it was to jump out at me.

I couldn’t run no matter how much I wanted to because I knew that it would catch me. The only bet I had was to keep the same pace and keep going ready to fight and run. I walked almost the entire way back like this, I couldn’t tell anyone because who would believe this?

I barely slept that entire night expecting to hear it come closer and to see it. I have only told this story to a couple close friends of mine, and they know that I couldn’t even begin to make up a story like this.

To this day I want to go back there yet at the same time never to return. This is all I have to share and concludes my experience.

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