What’s the scariest part about camping?

It’d been a long day full of fun outdoorsiness. We set up camp by the river, as we usually do. It was a long walk from the park’s welcome center, carrying all our gear and swatting mosquitos away for what felt like 600 years, but we finally made it to our favorite site in the late afternoon. I dipped my feet in the cool river as my best friend fished downstream. She had chided me for sitting downstream of her before, saying “I’m going to hook your foot, you idiot.” So I moved up.

We made a fire, cooked our dinner, and made s’mores. The day had caught up with us though, and we decided it was time to turn in. Our tent was, for lack of a better word, kickass. Nice and roomy, cool, and no bugs ever got in. When it rained, it never leaked. It might sound like I have low standards, but I’ve been burned (or bitten/soaked) before. Crawling into the tent, we zipped up, muffling the noise of the crickets and katydids screaming for attention. Out of habit, I swept my sleeping bag til it was totally wrinkle-free, until I was unceremoniously shushed.

Someone was out there.


As I’ve mentioned before, I loooove scary stories. And I don’t know many things that are more terrifying than being out of your element, in the dark, with only a tent between you and who-knows-what. A person? A bear? A mountain lion? BIGFOOT??? I wouldn’t be prepared for it. I’m not even outdoorsy, and I haven’t camped since I was a kid. That makes these kinds of stories extra scary to me – I have no idea what the heck to do, and I’d probably be running at 20% scared the entire time even when the sun was out. You never know if there’s gonna be a spider in your shoe. Or a snake. Or a daytime murderer.

The clips I used for this all come from Freesound.org. They include Zipper Unzip 3 (Slow), Canvas Tent 3, turning on lamp, sounds of the forest night, and footsteps, dry leaves.

The Sound Effects Story assignment turned out to be a really tough, but rewarding one I think. I remember listening to Scottlo’s radio clips and hearing him say that audio editing is really time consuming, and thinking to myself “pshh…” but oh my god. Why didn’t I listen? This is only a 50 second clip and it took me almost 2 hours to make. Plus, I forgot to document my steps, so what I did was basically remake the clip a second time so I could lay out how I made it! BLARG

I’ll link to some of the tutorials I used before I  embed my gallery of steps:
1. How to Muffle Audio in Audacity (it’s easiest to just read the top comment since the guy in the video goes on and on for 3 minutes and there are only 3 steps)
2.  Saving as an mp3 in Audacity (my mortal foe)

I had some serious issues with LAME at first, but I think it was human error. When I downloaded the zipped file, I think I exported the unzipped folders to some other location and that may have messed things up. I like to keep my programs (like Audacity, Paint.net, Gimp, etc) all in one folder, so when I sent it there it may have garbled something. I ended up going back to the website and choosing the .exe download option, then following the instructions in the tutorial that I linked above the gallery. After that it really was smooth sailing.

2 thoughts on “What’s the scariest part about camping?”

  1. You are always great with showing your process and it’s very easy to hear that in your audio. Your story was very easy to follow along with the audio given. The sudden loud noises had me stop the audio for a minute to catch my breath and, in all honesty, I felt immersed and ready for loud jump scares, but you that first sound to build up suspense to the final sound that really leaves the listener hanging and wondering “Who is there?” I enjoyed the journey and eeriness that kept me on my toes.

  2. You did a great job of combining the sounds to make the story feel real. It brought me back to my days of scouting and how there would always be ghost stories around a fire and the sounds of the woods. Also, your guide really helped me learn how to use Audacity.

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