Mind playing tricks on you in the wilderness

Discussion in 'Newbie Corner' started by OursIsTheFury, Jun 15, 2016.

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  1. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Expert Member
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    I have read countless stories of people feeling "sylvan dread", that feeling of general nervousness when in the middle of nowhere, where your guts, your senses, and your instincts are telling you to get out of that place immediately. It's that feeling when the wilderness, usually beaming with life and the noise the accompany it, suddenly become quiet, like a predator was nearby and they are trying to stay below the radar. What do you guys think? Have you ever experienced these feelings of dread, and is there truth to these? Or just the mind playing tricks on you because of the lack of human interaction?
     
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  2. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    It is very real, & if you ever sense this, you best pay attention to it. It may come to nothing, but it is still very real, & yes, I have been there many times & not just in the wilderness.
    Keith.
     
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  3. OfTheEarth

    OfTheEarth Member
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    ^ seriously, I've gone with my gut so many times and it's been so perfectly accurate...little tiny queues are insane. Even to the extent that I've listened to songs because I heard one part of it and the rest of the song switched something around in my head that solved a problem I'd been having :) Intuition is amazing and sometimes quite mysterious.
     
  4. glreese

    glreese Member
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    It has been proven that humans actually do have many more than 5 senses. Humans can sense things, even if they are not aware that they can. All animals have instincts. While humans are in general a lot more intelegent than the average animal, they also have instincts. We just have learned to depend more on intelegence than instinct. But it is good to practice using our instincts.
     
  5. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist
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    I have been to some forest in our adventure trips. I have seen deadly spiders and some other insect predators not to mention snakes. But it's just adventure for me because those forest cannot be considered wild, they are actually resorts. But with the feeling, I think I can imagine being in a real forest and I may have the opposite effect of claustrophobia - being in a scary open space that I want to escape.

    In one beach resort called Laiya, they have an abandoned area that is forested. My husband and I entered out of curiosity. There was no one nearby and if we needed help, we probably would be helpless. There was the dilapidated makeshift bridge that almost made me quit because it is a hanging bridge that is about to collapse. Inside the forest, the huge trees are wonderful except that they are all decorated by spider webs, not cobwebs but spider webs. Now, if I will be alone in that place, I would probably shrink and would be running aimlessly just to get away from those webby forest.
     
  6. iseeyou

    iseeyou Member
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    I think at some point in our lives, we've all experience this but in different maybe situations, and i think i can speak for everyone that it sucks to feel this way. It's best to don't let the feeling fully consume you, find it in yourself to stay conscious of your surroundings and feelings. Trust your instincts. Keep calm and decide what course of action to take next.
     
  7. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    there is a difference between your "mind playing tricks on you" like seeing a mirage in the desert, to having "a sixth sense" and sensing something isn't right-which is what I think the OP means.
     
  8. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member
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    I really do not like going into the woods alone. I did it several times but it is a weird thing. It is not my job, I was not born in the woods or near woods so it is not a natural place for me but I like it. Nevertheless, I like it in company even more and every time I would hear the silence and if a cloud would hide the sun for a moment and it would become darker then it already is, adrenalin would do its thing and I would get chills.
     
  9. Moroccanbeauty2266

    Moroccanbeauty2266 Active Member
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    I think your mind can play tricks on you if you let it happen.
    Especially, if you lack sleep, food and drink, it becomes really easy to start hallucinating.
    The trick is to know when to not fall for the hallucinations that seem so real to you.
    It can put you in danger. Instead just try to stay relaxed and calm an stay aware of your surroundings no matter what.
     
  10. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    Yes, happened to me so many times that I'm not able to remember one in specific. Generally speaking is just like as you already described. An unsettling sense of dread when in the middle of the wilderness your senses perceive that something uncanny is happening in right now in the surroundings. It deters my curiosity to find out what is actually happening and makes you assume the worst case scenario. That "sylvan dread", is quite real yes. And is more common when you are disoriented in the middle of the lush thickness of the wilderness. and even worse if It is poorly lit.
     
  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I just found this and wanted to comment on this. I am sort of odd in that I love being along in the swamps and woods especially at night. I am just comfortable there in a way that I don't usually find in crowded urban settings.

    With that said, when I am out there my senses are able to tune up and sense things that you just would never be able to sort out in a noisy city. I often just sort of know that I am being watched. Most of the time I never spot my watcher but I know the "feel" that comes from being watched especially by a predator. A lot of times if you will pay close attention you will note a sudden quietness as other creatures are still and looking around just as you are. Some times you will note a squirrel "scolding" something and know that it sees something that you don't.

    Man has the largest most complex brain on a size to body weight ratio that there is. You are constantly seeing EVERYTHING and then sorting most of it out before you become consciously aware of most of it. Nonetheless if your subconscious picks up on something you will get the "feeling" and if you ignore it you do so and may pay for it.

    The more time you spend out in the woods and learn the natural rhythms to more acute this sense will get. People have a sixth sense but civilization teaches us to mostly ignore it. At times there is absolutely no possible way that you COULD know that something is off but you DO. This has saved me from injury several times. If something just feels wrong or off there is a good chance that it IS and if you ignore that warning you get hurt. If you pay attention to it then you usually never know if the feeling was right.
     
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  12. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I agree with Tex, the more time you spend in the woods the more aware you become. I have had interactions with wild animals, whether or not this is something special I can't say, but it is a special feeling when it happens. I have read accounts of animals helping different species of animals & I have had it happen to me. City people go into the bush thinking they are different from the wildlife living there, when in fact they are just another species of animal. Until you understand that you are in fact an animal & that as an animal the woods are your natural habitat, you will not understand everything that is going on around you.
    Keith.
     
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  13. Jim B

    Jim B Member
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    Getting in tuned with nature is going to be easier for those that can find peace in it. This is where the adventurist types will excel and couch potatoes will plunder. I know the more I feel comfortable in my surroundings, the clearer my mind is. Being able to use all your senses to your advantage requires clear thinking. Knowing when your senses are telling you something is wrong or not quite right is a gift from yourself. Ones survival may depend on what you choose to do with it.

    Some call this gift a sixth sense, others call it intuition. No matter how you perceive it isn't what is important. It's whether or not you have it and what you do with it that counts. I believe everyone has the capacity to sense things that the primary senses don't show us. I also think that like anything else if it is not practiced, it won't be of much use.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    mind? tricks? wilderness?........................nope!;)
     
  15. arctic bill

    arctic bill Active Member
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    I have been on one man canoe trips, hunting and fishing trips. You must always be very aware of where you are and can not relax for a second. if you make a mistake and turn the wrong way, or take a bad step, or lean the wrong way in a canoe , you are alone and no one is there to save you. I like it very much as you are very much part of the whole wilderness. I can see that some people can not control their urge to panic if they something went wrong and this is where you must be in absolute control at all times. for if you panic you are finished .
    Bill
     
  16. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I think that some people just have a natural affinity for the wilds and some people just can't seem to relax and be comfortable. I know that I have never been a person that is comfortable with crowds of people or the bumper to bumper traffic you have in the mega cities.

    I had a friend that used to drive me crazy. When I have a half moon I don't need or like artificial light. He inevitably would spot a stick on the ground, freak, just positive that it was a snake and shine a flashlight in my face. I'm 6" 2" there ARE no snakes that are that high off the ground!

    He was basically afraid of every little harmless thing in the woods. I on the other hand am comfortable there and am generally convinced that I'm the top predator. I swam with the snakes and gators and not one time have ever had one bother me. My first money making thing was frog gigging in the swamps are night. Sometimes I would go alone and sometimes with a friend or my Dad. I would wade around in waist deep water gigging the frogs on the bank. I sold the legs dressed to a restaurant and made great money for a kid at that time. You are actually safer in the water than walking the bank because the gators and snakes are faster than you in the water and don't feel threatened.

    I used to clean rabbits and squirrels and feed the guts and such to the wolves and coyotes when I camped. They would fight over the goodies but never seemed to be interested in me. I think that somehow animals can recognize who is dangerous and who is afraid and might be prey.

    Usually after a couple of days alone in the forest I would slide into tune and be aware of most of the critters in the area. The secret is in part to stop "looking" and just SEE. When you are looking you have a shape that you are looking for. If you are looking for deer you have in mind something that is standing up sort of broad side to you. If that is what you are LOOKING for you won't SEE the deer laying almost at your feet or the one standing and looking right at you head on. You open your mind and let your eyes just scan your surroundings without placing any parameters on it.

    Once you get adapted to the silence it is then not so silent. There is so much noise in the city that your brain shuts most of it out and you are sort of half deaf. It takes a little while for this to go away. After awhile you get so you know what the different sounds are and can tune the meaningless ones out and then hear even better. In the swamps the frogs can be deafening until you learn to recognise their different sounds and set them aside.
     
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  17. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have never liked large crowds, its people that piss me off not silence.
    the trouble with city people is that they make so much noise, I think they are scared of silence that's why they make so much noise.
    I've always been a country boy at heart, even when I lived in a city I was always escaping to the fields, the woods and the moors.
    i feel more at home in the countryside than I ever did in 40 years living in the city.
     
  18. Ystranc

    Ystranc Expert Member
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    While I usually go on about humans being social animals and functioning best as part of a society (whatever its size) I am quite capable and happy to be on my own for extended periods of time. My failing is that I sometimes lack self discipline so I really need to focus my attention more so that everything that is needful gets achieved.
     
  19. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I go fishing every Friday. One of the things I like about it most of all is that most days I see almost nobody else out on the river with me. Strangely enough the ones I do encounter seem to be much like me and are cautious and quiet. The one exception yesterday was a big boat with three people and a loud stereo booming across the peace and quiet. My partner and I just couldn't understand why you would want to make that much noise. On the weekends the idiot rich kids in their huge bots make sitting in peace and fishing an impossibility.

    You are right Lonewolf; city people seem to somehow fear the quiet. They also fear the darkness and the first thing they do if they move out of the city is light up the property around their house at night so it is like a small city. ???
     
  20. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    I don't think that I've ever had my mind "play tricks on me" in the forest -- even when I was a kid. I don't remember ever having this happen.

    I've lived alone for over a year at a time and have gotten cabin fever. Missing the company of people is normal. If mentally healthy, a human being is a social creature. Being alone easily causes depression in humans -- it's a well-known clinical phenomenon.
     
  21. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    There is a reason that solitary confinement is used as punishment in a prison. Even among a group as generally antisocial as a bunch of criminals being isolated is not good.

    Our mind is always playing tricks on us as our brain filters and adjusts all the different things it deals with. A lot of what you see is based on assumes facts that may not be true. When a city person is first introduced into nature their filters are not appropriate for this new environment and so there is a period during which you will experience a lot of things that you are either not used to or things that are being misinterpreted.
     
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  22. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    I guess city folk are really, really not used to farms or forests. I didn't think about that.

    My earliest memories are of pastures and forests. That's where we kids played. We did ride our bicycles on county roads. I'd never been to a real city until my teens.
     
  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    city people move out to the country and start complaining almost straight away, about the church bells, the cockerel crowing, the noise of the cattle peeing in the field( I kid you not), there are no pavements, no street lights, the tractor slowing their commute to work in the morning, etc.etc. usually they don't last long, about 6months on average before they miss the coffee bars and the theatre too much and back they go.
     
  24. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    Many I've known were stimulus addicts. They need life to be funneled / mashed into their heads.

    In places of less immediate stimuli, they get a form of existential agoraphobia. Their minds fix on sensory inputs that are not of their previous environment and ironically crave that of which they were ostensibly trying to rid themselves. Can't fix that.

    Some have actually had it with the city, move to the country, and enjoy their new home. These folk were never urban folk by nature, truth be told.

    Living in any fast-paced environment deprives the mind of its freedom to think and create. I would even go further and say that such an environment damages the development of the soul.
     
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  25. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I had a neighbor one time that was massively offended by the sexual antics of the cattle in the pastures across the road. She thought that it was shameful that the guy didn't keep the bull separated from the cows and then provide them with privacy when they wanted to "get together". At first she thought that they were a bunch of "queer" bulls because she thought that all the cattle with horns were bulls.

    I have been amazed many times over the years by the incredible ignorance that a lot of city folks live in. They can barely see the stars because of all the lights and smog. They are afraid of just about everything. The oddest thing to me is that even though they are crammed in close contact with each other that they don't seem to know each other as well as a couple of rural neighbors that just live on the same road.

    When these people go to the woods they are invaders. I used to live near a big national forest. I spent a lot of time in those woods. Most of the year I had 5000 acres all to myself. The one time of year that I totally avoided them was the first two or three weeks of deer season. These fools would come and camp and hunt. They would almost burn the forest down with their huge fires and would pretty much run all the deer out of the public lands shooting at anything that moved. They shot cattle and in one instance they shot a neighbors tractor. Most years everyone moved their livestock out of the pastures adjoining the national forest for deer season for this reason.

    City folks that moved out into the rural areas usually didn't last very long. For one thing they thought that since they weren't in the city and as such were not ruled by all the city laws that they were free to do anything that they wanted. They would turn their city dogs loose and then just freak out when they would be warned that those same dogs would be shot if they messed with their neighbors livestock. I have had to warn people several times about this. I was trying to keep them from losing their pets but instead got cussed out. I would then call the sheriff and he would send out a deputy to explain that it was legal to kill any animal that caused harm to your livestock. Most of the time these people left very quickly. One lost their dog. It was a big blood hound and liked to chase calves.

    They were also noisy as hell and would play their stereo so loud that the entire valley had to listen to their crap. They also would freak out when I would go rabbit hunting in the night on my property. This is totally legal and common here. We used to shoot a lot and had a big berm behind the house just for that. City people just couldn't believe that we would just go out and shoot for a while in the afternoon.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  26. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    They are children.
     
  27. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    They are afraid of the woods and the darkness and then when they figure out that they can't depend on the police to save them they freak. I feel a little like that in the city. I live out in the woods and don't even have a house key and never lock my doors. Critters don't scare me and people that come in my house to steal if I'm home won't survive to leave. If I'm not home why make them tear up my doors. They have to find me first and then have the cajones to find out if I'm home.
     
  28. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    I have been on my own for the past week, no one has come to my door and the only time I saw anyone to speak to was when I went to the store. and this suits me fine, but I think a lot of people would freak without someone else to talk to.
     
  29. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    I have a lot of quiet times and when I'm alone I usually enjoy the peace and quiet. I have always been a night person and worked nights for many years. When you work at night and are single you have lots of alone time. I still seldom go to sleep before 3AM.
     
  30. lonewolf

    lonewolf Moderator Staff Member
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    i'm a morning person, I go to bed at 9PM prompt and am usually up by 6AM, wife is usually up by 05.30- a throw back to her farming days.
     
  31. Ken S LaTrans

    Ken S LaTrans Active Member
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    Your "mind playing tricks on you" is actually tens of thousands of years of instinct that hasn't been used in a LONG time...or ever in the pampered suburban life most people live. I was raised in the mountains of northern Arizona on a working horse an cattle ranch. I am comfortable in the woods. That being said...more than a few times I have had my hackles go up and something tell my monkey brain that "something" was off. It was usually a coyote, or a black bear roaming on by...nothing to freak out over, but something to pay attention to.
     
  32. TexDanm

    TexDanm Master Survivalist
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    The mind is filled with filters and all sorts of subconscious subroutines. These things can offer you a lot of protections but also a lot of headaches when it either misinterprets things or does things that might have been helpful to Ugh the caveman but are mostly frustrating to modern people.

    As an example... How many times have you gotten up in the living room and headed to the kitchen or someplace to get something and when you got there you couldn't remember what you had gone there for? I got worried about this and asked my Doc about it. It seems that whenever ugh left his cave it was beneficial if his short term memory would dump some of its load to improve its ability to sort new and potentially dangerous things outside. They tested this with about 500 students that sat through a taped lecture and then took a test on it. Half would get up and walk around in the classroom and the other half would leave that room and go across the hall to another room for the test. Going through doors causes this thinning out of your short term memory and the students that stayed in the room and just walked around it did notably better in every group.

    Another "trick" that the human mind has is an incredible ability to "see" things based on very little actual data. Your mind constantly tries to make order out of chaos both with bits and pieces of things you see and sounds. When you are prey you usually don't see the predator clearly until it is about to get you. Your brain will take pieces and put them together allowing you to "see" things that are far from clear. This is what makes you see things in cloud shapes and hear things in white noise. I think that some of the "I'm not alone and being watched" feelings can be these misinterpretations. The more time that you spend in the woods the less often you have this false alarm...but then when you feel it you had better pay attention.
     
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