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When we were kids our family spent almost a whole summer camping in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Some of our adventures including swimming, hiking and bear encounters.
Once a friend of ours was camping near by and felt something rub against his tent.
He swatted at the movement and the result was quick. A great bear paw swatted back and almost flattened the cooler inside the tent. He was glad it was the cooler and not him.
Another time my mother went out to the car to get something and almost ran into a bear that was looking for something to eat. She was so frightened that she ran for our tent and left her sandals behind.
Bears were quite a nuisance at the campgrounds but were fun to see from a safe distance.
As an adult I would sometimes go camping by myself. One time my dog Spotty (seen here in the photo with me In the same general area where this story takes place) and I were sleeping in a tiny tent, when Spotty woke me up with a loud bark and continued to bark fiercely for about an hour. Her hair was standing straight up and she was acting terribly frightened. I just knew we were going to be eaten by whatever was out there and started to pray. Spotty would turn toward whatever was out there and intensify her barking as the creature outside moved around. I wasn't able to peer outside much, as there was only a window at the front of the tiny tent so could not see what it was.
I wished that I had brought a larger tent to give me more space between me and outside.
The top of the tent was barely a couple of feet from my head when laying down and I waited for big teeth to come down but happily whatever was out there must have been nervous about a barking and shaking tent and left after a while. And of course my prayers would have alerted my Heavenly Father to keep back whatever creature it was.
The next morning I could not find any tracks to indicate what may have been there. Spotty was used to deer and other types of animals and would not have got so upset if it hadn't of been something dangerous. I wish she could have talked and told me what it was.
Next time I went camping in the same area I brought along a larger two-man tent for Spotty and I and it all went smoothly. No barking at night and the days were spent swimming in a nearby lake and hiking the beautiful trails.
This camping area was in Oregon and it took five miles of hiking to get to the lake area. No road access was available so a person could be totally alone out there.
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