View Full Version : rats, mice and rocky the racoon

09-10-2003, 15:37
so what is your typical setup when entering shelters or huts? Do you have a favorite system to keep verment out of your hair (literally from some recounts on this website) I have to say I will probably tent from now on after reading about resident rats THE SIZE OF A CAT. Come on, you couldn't pay me to stay with one of those.

Is a meeting w/ one avoidable?

09-10-2003, 16:04
When the rain's pouring and the wind is howling and you've just hiked 15-20 miles, you won't care what lives in the shelter. You'll sleep there.

09-10-2003, 17:11
The mice were only a minor annoyance in the shelter. It freaks you out a bit when they get in your hair, but other than that... Out on the trail you are really adjusting your preceptions. One of those that get adjusted is how you deal with mice.

But you will find the hiking style/sleeping style that fits you best. If the mice bother you, you will find yourself sleeping in your tent.

Gravity Man

Saluki Dave
09-10-2003, 17:23
Deb's right; sufficiently motivated, you'll crash on the first dry horizontal surface you encounter even if you have to kick a bear out of the way to get it. Having said that, set up involves a few common sense measure. Keep your food bag well hung (bear bagging works for more than just bears). Stash your pack (less aromatic stuff) with pockets and flaps open. DON'T (personal experience speaking here) leave your toilet paper where it can be shredded for nesting material. Lastly, be prepared with a sense of humor, because the little critters will inevitably get you, somehow, somewhere. That done, sit back and enjoy the show. I've seen acrobatics that would shame Tommy C in Mission Impossible.

Sleepy the Arab
09-10-2003, 17:37
I shove handfuls of gorp under the poor saps sleeping next to me. Never fails.

09-10-2003, 17:47
I guess maybe it's those large rats that bother me most. thanks for the tips

09-10-2003, 18:51
Ditto, Chckn, you may have read a post I made quite a while ago about encountering rats in Gravel Springs Hut in SNP!! Uggghhhhh!!

09-11-2003, 05:42
We were in Pass Mtn Hut a couple of weeks ago while do a section in the SNP--there was an undetermined vermin scuffling through out the night, running hither and tither. About 5:30 am, someone finally got the flashlight out and there was just about the largest rat I'd ever seen in my life. I looked at my husband to see his reaction (he hates rats), but all I saw was his backside moving away from the shelter to god-knows-where...didn't see him again until it was time to move on at dawn.

I'm okay with them, as long as I don't know they are there. I just pretend they are large mice....:banana

Blue Jay
09-11-2003, 07:39
Rats like tents also. If you think a thin piece of nylon will stop anything you are wrong. It's best if you remain under your bed surrounded by DeCon.

09-11-2003, 08:09
I've never heard of a rat entering a tent for no reason. As long as you keep your tent clear of food, the probability of having a rat invade your space in a tent is remote.

Blue Jay
09-11-2003, 08:30
As is the possibility of a rat in a shelter. I have done the trail 3 times and NEVER SEEN a rat. Mice are an extremely minor annoyance, not even in the top ten. Why is there soooo much fear in our culture?

Lone Wolf
09-11-2003, 08:38
chknfngrs, just avoid those nasty s**thole shelters and stay in a tent with your foodbag by your side. I've done it that way for years. no problems.

09-11-2003, 12:22
I had never seen a rat until I met the resident in Manassas Gap Shelter a few autumns ago. Mice really don't bother me, but that damn rat, combined with being my first night out, kept me awake much of the night. A local out for the weekend knew about the resident and hung up his Bonfire (http://www.rei.com/online/store/Search?stat=7889&langId=-1&storeId=8000&textQuery=bonfire) flood-flashlight (~4.4 oz) that successfully kept the rat to the rafters and out of my salty hair, but every little sound made me jump! :eek:

Alternatively, I've found that laying down some sticky peanut butter behind the shelter (instead of under your partners) can keep them occupied for hours, but this only encourages them to get bigger.