View Full Version : General night-time setup

04-23-2005, 13:45
It seems that everytime I leave my boots outside of my tent over night, I get slugs in them (sometimes failing to notice until after the "squish"). Similarly, the little buggers tend to attach themselves to my pack as well. I really don't like to keep my boots and pack inside my tent (space and comfort issue), and so usually don't.

On a trail that is as busy as the AT, do you feel comfortable leaving your boots and/or gear outside the tent at night? If you do, is there anything special you do with them? (hang them up, put them on the side "farthest" from the trail?) Or do most of you bring your gear (except for your foodbag) into your tents/tarps at night? I'm guessing that by the middle of the thru, your pack and gear is so funky/nasty smelling that theft (etc.) wouldn't be a concern... thougths?

04-23-2005, 17:28
I usually leave my pack against a nearby tree, with the rain cover loosely over it to keep out dew. The boots go outside under the fly vestibule. In almost 30 years of backpacking I honestly have never found a slug or anything else in my boots. I guess I either have really bad foot odor or have just been lucky. :D I make sure there isn't any food left in pack pockets and I leave all the zippers undone so mice could enter without destroying the pack. The exception is if I'm staying in the Smokies or any other place with a bear wire system, when I hang my pack.

I've never been too worried about theft when sleeping. I sleep pretty lightly and I've never heard of anyone's gear being messed with while they slept. Leaving it unattended in daytime is another story. Keep an eye on stuff around towns.

04-23-2005, 19:51
pretty much the same experience. I will bring my boots into my tent, especially when raining or a danger of freezing. I hate trying to struggle frozen boots on.

I can't imagine why you would get slugs in your boots. I'd have expected the salty sweat would make your boots a lethal territory for them. I'd also anticipate that porkies, coons and deer might take an interest in your salty boots and clothes. I had a raccoon visit me in a shelter in NY at Wild Cat, finally leaving to chew on my pot cozy.

04-24-2005, 20:32
If tenting, then boots go in the vestibule. They stay dry, don't get grit and mud inside the tent, and have not found critters inside them either.

04-24-2005, 21:54
in areas with high human traffic (campsites) I bring everything in to avoid damage by racoons, skunks, etc. I too have had the slug problem, even had them crawlin up the outer walls of my tent. They're a great source of some extra protein, especially if your running low on food. A little salt, some tabasco, fry with garlic... yummm.

In PA we have something called the Brown Recluse spider that I will take no chances with. I'd rather not have to check my shoes in the morn., I know the one time I forget will be the time I regret!

04-25-2005, 05:38
My boots go inside my tent, just inside the door of my Nomad. The few times I have left them in the vestibule there was no problems, and I used to use a tarp, still no porblems. Maybe my foots stink too :bse


04-25-2005, 06:00
Hammock camping, my pack usually goes under my hammock on the ground with the compartments open in case a mouse wants to take a look around. Boots go right where I take them off. If it starts to rain, I put them inside the silnylon bag inside my pack to keep spray off/out of them.

Food is in an Ursack, propped upside down in the fork of a tree at arm reachable height. (This is for mice and raccoons and skunks - not bears)

When staying at a shelter, I often hang the food bag on a nail in the shelter (it drives the mice crazy) and the pack on a food hanger.

I don't remember seeing any slugs. I think I had a cricket in my boot once. I usually shake the boots before putting them on.


04-25-2005, 15:27
"On a trail that is as busy as the AT, do you feel comfortable leaving your boots and/or gear outside the tent at night?"

If you are worried about someone taking your gear...I think that is unlikely, most of the folks on the trail know your gear is your protection against the elements and will leave it be. I have dropped my pack and left it unattended several times to hike to a spring or overlook and have never worried about someone taking it.

I hammock camp(often close to shelters for company) and leave my shoes and pack on the ground under the hammock usually in a garbage bag...no mice no slugs.

The Solemates
04-25-2005, 15:30
I keep everything in my tent. Use my pack as my pillow, and put my boots just inside the door.

One night on our thru in MA, we woke up and counted 63 slugs on the outside of our tent. no lie...

04-25-2005, 15:55
For me it's mostly about the weather. In general I do feel comfortable leaving things outside the tent. Have done it a lot in the past and never had a bad experience. When I get to my campsite for the night the first thing I do is set up my tent. I then open my pack and pull out my foodbag, clothesbag and sleeping bag/matress. I throw my clothes bag into the tent. I pull my sleeping bag out of the stuff sack and shake it a bit to get the loft going and inflate my air matress and then throw them inside the tent. Often at this point I get out of my hiking clothes and pull on something comforable for the night. About now I start thinking about dinner. If I'm near a shelter I typically use the table or shelter floor to make my dinner. After dinner I clean up my cookpot/spoon and restow my food. I then hang my food bag and start to get ready for lala land.

I had to think about it for a while ...but I think that's pretty much the way I do it, unless of course it's raining cats/dogs and I opt for a spot in the shelter. Same general process at that point, minus the tent set up.

AT 2003

04-26-2005, 02:31
Here is a quote from my hubby about this very subject.

"IF I leave my boots in the vestibule of my rainfly(in other words outside) I put my head net or mosqueto net over them and secure it, this will keep spiders, scorpions and other things out. If chance of freezing, into the bottom of my bag they go, I use a long bag, even though a regular would do, just for putting boots,socks etc in the end of my bag. 90% of the time they are in my tent, period. I can hike naked from the shins up, so the boots are pretty important."

He also has a gallon can of aquaseal he uses to supply his smaller containers to keep his boots treated. He's a real fanatic about his boots/socks/and gaters.


04-26-2005, 11:22
Boots go under the rain fly (no room in a MSR Zoid 1 for me AND boots). Pack goes up against a tree with either pack cover or a poncho over it. All zippers are unzipped on the pack, of course. I also carry a cut off piece of Therm-a-rest Z-Rest, about 1/4 of a full lenght pad. It makes a great little mat under the fly for my boots, hat, etc. In shelters, I use the poncho under my sleeping pad/bag to keep them relatively clean.

04-26-2005, 12:50
I use shoes, and a tarp, and keep the shoes and everything else inside and under cover. I usually place the shoes near the edge to block wind or rain splatter. Lots of times I'll use my shoes to store my watch, glasses, headlamp, snacks, etc. When it's dark it's pretty obvious to tell a shoe from a stuff sack.