Be careful on a hike, you could meet literally anyone, and anything is possible. That’s just what these two horrified women learned on their backpacking trip.
“It was my first overnight backpacking trip with a friend. It’s also important to mention that we’re both women. I parked my car at a trailhead, loaded my gear into friend’s van, and we headed to another trailhead to sleep in the van and get an early start the next morning. This trailhead is very popular, just off a main highway. The plan was to then backpack through the woods back to my car. It was starting to get dark, and we have everything pulled out while the last people are coming down to their cars. There were only a couple of cars left in the lot. Then I notice two older men hanging around. They did not look like hikers, and they were not acting like hikers. They would talk to each other, but at an oddly far distance from one another. They were also facing us, rather than each other. Every time I looked in their direction, they were standing in a different spot, watching us.
I instantly felt danger, it was like electricity buzzing on my skin. My friend was oblivious, organizing our food rations or something. The next thing I knew, they started talking to her, asking strange questions and making comments about a big party. They were wondering if the trailhead gets chained at a certain time. I don’t know, it sounds innocuous, but the dudes were creepy and fanned out in a strange way. I felt hunted. My friend, without saying a word, started throwing our gear back in the van. We hauled it in quickly, messing up our packing. I held my knife and tried to shine my headlamp on it in their direction as much as possible. I was truly ready to fight or flight. Those dudes stood there and didn’t back away. We drove off before I even had a chance to close my door. I’ve never been so angry. It is so frustrating to live in a world in which we must fear for our safety.”