View Full Version : Mice in Shelters

12-30-2002, 19:35
I'm considering hiking the trail in '04. I started doing some research about through hiking. I've read that many of the shelters, particularly the ones in the Smokies, are infested with mice. That doesn't sound like much fun to me. Also, I thought that it was required to sleep at the shelters while in Smoky National Park. Any thoughts from those who have been there?

Lone Wolf
12-30-2002, 19:44
Yes MOST shelters are loaded with mice and no you are not required to stay in the shelter. You can tent around the shelter area. I guess the "official" rule is tenting only if the shelter is full but in 16 years of hiking in the Smoky's I've never been asked by a ranger to break down my tent and move into a shelter. They're plain nasty!

12-30-2002, 23:05
Do the mice bother you even if you tent close to the shelters? Are they likely to chew their way into my tent at night?
How can you protect your pack and your food from the little critters? Does hanging the food with bear hooks help?

12-30-2002, 23:10

I was wondering the same thing. After viewing some of the shelters, it appears as thought the fenced in area is very close to the shelter. It seems difficult to set up outside of the shelter, but still remain within the fenced area. I thought Smoky National Park wanted hikers to stay within the fenced area because of the bears.

I'm sure there will be certain nights when a shelter would be useful (storms, etc.). But, the idea of having mice running all over me is not very appealing. I would rather sleep in my tent...provided that they don't try to get in the tent to get my supplies.


12-30-2002, 23:16
I have been reading the trail journals and the mice seem to chew up packs, crawl down ropes into packs hanging from the rafters- ugh!:eek:

12-30-2002, 23:19
I was wondering if they might be fooled by a fake snake thrown over the pack.

12-30-2002, 23:20

I've been reading the same thing. It seems odd to me that many of the trail journals posted on the web don't even make mention of the mice, though. That's why I thought I would start a thread on this topic.

I'm not a big fan of sleeping in shelters that are "loaded with mice." Not that I have anything against them---so long as they away from me.

12-30-2002, 23:33
AS for the mice, yes they are there in every shelter. I thought that I would have a problem with them. My first two nights on the trail were rainy, so I stayed in the shelters. I wasn't kept awake by them, but then again, I was really tired! :)

As for the fences ON the front of the shelters - these are being removed. There were a few shelters this year that had them removed. I had to tent out twice in the Smokies (because of full shelters) and had no problems with animals. Use the bear cables to hang your food.

Mice can destroy gear. :) I hiked with a guy this year that had a few zipper teeth chewed off by a mouse. This ruined his pack, as he wasn't able to keep it closed after that. (He still used it a couple of straps to hold it together.) I usually brought my pack (sans food) in my tent with me at night so that this would be less of a problem.

I also know someone who earned the trail name of "Mouse Bait" as she got bit by a mouse while packing up in one of the shelters.

You're going to see mice all over the place, not just in the shelters. But that is where you will see them the most.

12-30-2002, 23:36
Ok, I see there is some thought about the mice problem in the shelters. It is a fact whether in the Smokeys or most any shelter on the AT, there will be mice and plenty of them, especially in the spring and summer months. At any rate, as for camping near the shelters in the Smokeys. You don't camp behind the chain link fence, you camp a few feet or several yards from the actual chained shelter. The chain link fence is only to cover the shelter and the occupants in it.

As for the mice chewing into or thru your tent, well, first of all you should not have any food in the tent at all or I never even had anything that had the odor of food in my tent. Toothpaste, candy wrappers or anything that could be smelled by an animal and come to investigate. I never had a problem with mice in my tent at all.

As for the part about the mice chewing backpacks, it is true they will chew into them if they smell food inside. Here again be sure to remove all food and anything with the scent of food, then open your pack and leave the zippers unzipped so the mice can go into it and look around, but don't find anthing they will not bother with it. I never had a problem with them chewing into my pack using this method. I did have a Momma mouse decide to move her family into my pack at the Davenport Gap Shelter. She did not harm anything except chewed my smartwool sock to make a comfortable bed for her babies. I simply dumped them all out when I found them and packed my pack and went on my way to Mountain Momma's. However the next day another guy did come into Mountain Momma's with a family of mice in his pack, he had carried down the mountian. Don't know if they were the same family but I would guess they may have been.

I hope this helps to relieve some of your concerns. I too did not like sleeping in the shelters with the mice, but at times it was better than setting up a tent in the pouring rain. Even then, I did not sleep well in the shelters and most of my hike was spent in my tent. I think I stayed in 2 shelters in the Smokeys, one of which was Davenport Gap at the north end of the park.

Hope this helps.... and by the way, a lot of folks in the journals do not write a lot about the mice, since they are so common it is just accepted as natural I suppose.

Happy Trails... Ed

12-30-2002, 23:40
About the packs in shelters, I forgot to mention that I did always remove my extra clothing as well as the food. I think mice are very fond of smartwool socks and I suppose other soft items as well for their nesting material. I think that was the reason the mice decided to make my pack their home that one time I mentioned. I forgot and left a sock inside the pack.. I normally used all my clothing as a pillow, inside my fleece jacket.

Good luck with the mice.... Happy Trails. Ed

12-30-2002, 23:40
Thanks for the advice Ed and Pushing dazies- I'm liking my tent more and more after reading your posts

12-30-2002, 23:42

Thanks for your advice. I am also liking my tent more and more. I would think that the mice would enjoy getting in the sleeping bags with the hikers?


12-31-2002, 00:10
My tidbit of advice: Don't inhale the mice poop dust...it can carry Hantavirus. Other than that - be glad they are mice and not rats :O)

Sue me for the Bryson quote, but it's a telling "Of Mice and Men" anecdote...

"Some fur and a nubbin of something pink and pulpy still adhered to the bottom of his water bottle, I noticed when he raised it to his lips. Occasionally it troubled me (I presume it must trouble all hikers from time to time) just how far one strays from the normal measures of civility on the trail. This was such a moment".

12-31-2002, 00:16
I wonder how much my cat weighs???

Aren't there any snakes, owl and hawks around these shelters to make a meal out of the mice?

12-31-2002, 09:02
Mice don't bother me. Ever since that day I thumb-tacked one to a popsicle stick cross and posted it beside my pack... (j/k).

I don't sleep in shelters at all. Never have a problem. I don't even hang my food, but I hike in mass/vermont so it's usally not a problem. Hiking in the smokies would definetly be a different story. I don't mind mice/spiders/etc. The only thing that really bothers me are centipedes. Oh my god they are the nastiest bug to have crawl over your arms or face. Thats the only animal that gives me the heebie-jeebies. If anything bites me though it had better run fast...

12-31-2002, 09:21
Mice are there because people are slobs. Leave food crumbs around, and mice will come. That's part of the reasons why mice seem to be more prevalent down south than up north.

That being said, I've heard of one thru-hiker that carried a cat. And I've seen others that carried and used a mouse trap. Typically, he was getting 8 to 10 mice per night in the Smokies before he fell asleep.

Best protection has been noted. All food and trash comes out of the pack at night and gets hung. All zippers opened. etc. Other than that, you get used to them in shelters. As Daisy says, not as bad as it appears.

By the way, Daisy, do you have the T-shirt that says AT women sleep with mice and men?

12-31-2002, 09:28
The mice seemed to be particularly fond of using camp towels and TP for building nests. I tried to remember to hang these with my food bag. It was stated in a previous message to leave open any pockets on your pack so they won't chew a hole to get inside for a look. That is very important! Also it doesn't hurt to get things off the floor and be sure and leave them about 4 inches of right-of-way around the inside walls of the shelter so they can get around at night without crawling over you...they hate it when they have to do that!

Mice are low on the food chain and are located through out the outdoors. Sometimes when you tent you might have one trying to get into your tent to look around. Usually you will hear him against the tent fabric and can just hit the tent from inside and knock him away...a couple of times and they usually just go away.

I have never noticed them when I have tarped. Years ago when I asked Dorathy at Neel's Gap about tents, tarps, snakes and mice, she stated "At least they can get out of a tarp."

Never noticed them this year when I have hammocked either.

The concentration of mice will be much, much higher at the shelters because it is a great place for a family of mice. Think about it, great shelter, food & nesting material brought in almost daily, a water source near by, interesting people stop by almost daily for entertainment, a great look-out for predators and all kinds of knooks and cranies to hide in. If you ever see the mice making a mass exit, it's probably because they spotted a snake in the rafters.
Probably every year someone suffers some equipment damage to mice. Usually it is a minor thing and everyone has a good story to tell. Truth is, the mice think they are the owners of the shelters and we are there for their benefit...but sometimes they are a pain, sometimes they can be entertaining, but usually they are just there. Maybe the ATC ought to make it a rule that the mice, like hikers, can't stay at one shelter for more that a couple of days...should we set up a poll and vote on it?


Jack Tarlin
12-31-2002, 15:32
Geez, so many thoughts and so much advice on mice. Here's a simple suggestion for those of you concerned about the problem: The easiest way to avoid shelter mice is to avoid shelters. Rodents congregate where people are, and specifically, where people's food is. To avoid the rodents, avoid these areas. Oh, and an added plus......you'll sleep better, too.

Blue Jay
12-31-2002, 15:54
I never had a problem with mice, since I always carried ALL of my food in a dry bag (one those Kayakers use) and hung it. I think I have stayed in 98% of the shelters one year or another. Mice are like bears, all they want is your food. If they can't smell it, you do not exist to them. Also they are not in every shelter, there is one in GA, TN and VA that have resident snakes. The rattlesnake under the Priest Shelter has been there since 2000. I don't know how long they live, but if he's still there, there are no mice there, I garuntee (note accent), so there. Some of the Shelters in Mass.(Tom Lenard, both Wilcoxes) have Porkies and Chipmonks who chase off the mice. Plus a mouse in your sleeping bag or running over your face is one of the things, like rain running down the crack of your ass, that makes the Trail the trancending experience that it is. Stay away from shelters! No chain saw snoring or fart gas or constant bad food stories, blaspheme.

12-31-2002, 18:38
Peaks Wrote:

By the way, Daisy, do you have the T-shirt that says AT women sleep with mice and men?

LOL Never knew there was one! hehe

That reminds me about when I would call my parents in town, I would usually give my mom an update of how many men I had "slept" with. (Guess what, Mom! I have slept with 200 men so far!)

You can image her shock when I added a new twist to it while I was in Waynesboro. (Mom! now I've slept with 400 men- and 100 women!)

01-01-2003, 16:39
Despite keeping all of my pockets unzipped at night, I ended up having a mouse chew through the pocket of my pack from the inside when I inadvertantly zipped him/her in as I packed up my gear in the morning.

01-13-2003, 17:10
Those little buggers were always in my pack! Every morning I stayed in a shelter, I would find nuts stashed somewhere in my pack or boots and once I found a pile on top of my tent. They never did any damage, and it was always a great conversation peice. Just make sure you hang your food and unzip everthing, they will get in one way or another!

Uncle Wayne
01-22-2003, 04:25
Carry some extra cheese and place it around someone else's sleeping bag. That'll keep them away from yours.

01-23-2003, 21:43
that sounds like a sure way to make enemies.
I think I am just going to bring a rubber snake and put it on my pack. Do you think it will fool the mice?

08-09-2003, 12:18
I am going to use a tent.

I store all food and anything else that might be appealing to the wildlife (and bagged food waste) in a bear canister which gets stowed far away.

Should I be concerned about keeping my pack in my tent?

08-09-2003, 13:12
I used a bear cannister once while backpacking in Yosemite. Aren't they a bit bulky (and heavy) for a thru-hike?

squirrel bait
08-09-2003, 13:56
Hey Blue Jay, how did that dry bag workout/cost? Read this early and thought that was an excellent food bag so started looking around. Thanks for the tip.

08-09-2003, 14:27
Yes, bear canister is bulky and heavy. But I still prefer them over hanging food. I'll have to test out my theory on convenience vs weight on my training hikes. Maybe I'll sing a different tune by the time I get started on the AT in March.

08-09-2003, 14:47
Yeah...bear canisters are convenient and probably make a lot of sense on weekend type hikes. I haven't thru-hiked before, but I would venture to say that the percentage of hikers with bear canisters must be miniscule.

08-09-2003, 15:01
It's going to take a lot of convincing to get me to go back to hanging food.
The can is so much more convenient, and safer I believe. As far as I know, no bear has ever gotten one opened.
I've also read that in the Sierras the bears have become so smart about getting hanging food that canisters are required in some areas.

I'll have to look at other ways to reduce pack weight before the can goes.


08-09-2003, 15:13
I used (rented) the bear canister in Yosemite because it was mandatory for backpacking trips in the national park. It was very convenient. I never enjoy having to hang my food at the end of an exhausting day. Invariably, as soon as my bag is hung, I remember that there's something I want in it.

But, the can I used in Yosemite was VERY bulky. Literally, it was the size of my sleeping bag. And, it seemed like it weighed a couple of pounds.

I'm assuming I'll get better (faster) at hanging my food should I attempt a thru-hike.

08-09-2003, 15:49
Sounds like my canister. About 2lbs and the size of my sleeping bag in it's compression bag.
Maybe I'm making a terrible mistake, but I am not worrying about every ounce I carry. I figure that I will get used to the weight, or I'll dump stuff off at the first PO I come to. I do have to admit though that I've never used the canister on any long hikes. Then I've never taken any long hikes at all.
I plan a 4 day/night in the mountains of VT Thanksgiving weekend. I don't know if 4 days will be enough to tell me whether I am carrying too much weight or not, but it should help.

I have been carrying a 50+ pack but will be lowering that as I buy lighter gear. I'm figuring on not more than 40 lbs including the canister and all the food inside it. When the weather warms up enough that I can send my sleeping bag home, that'll lower the weight again.

08-09-2003, 15:53
IMO bear cannisters are overkill on the East Coast. During my thru-hike in 2000, I did not see a single hiker using a cannister, nor did I meet anyone who lost food to a bear. That doesn't mean it didn't happen. I'm sure that it did. IMO, a 2# bear cannister is too much weight and bulk for the AT.

08-10-2003, 19:35
I stayed in a shelter in PA, and the next morning a trail maintainer stopped by, and asked if I noticed any mice. I hadn't heard a sound. He then pointed out when the shelter was built, care was taken to insure there were not any good nesting spots for the mice. I looked around and the usual crooks and crannies were not there, there was no bits of toilet paper falling out of the walls like other shelters. The ground under the shelter was fairly open, with a handful of short stilts holding the structure above the ground. The structure was still fairly new at the time, but it seemed to be working so far. I was impressed.

B Thrash
08-10-2003, 20:37
I did not mind the mice so much but did keep a close eye for rattlesnakes that would crawl under the shelters and wait for a fat jucy mouse to come by for a tastey meal. When I was on the trail in Virginia a caretaker was at a shelter when I stopped by for lunch, he told me he had already found two rattlers under that shelter that year, I eat and moved on. The moral of the story is, you do have help with the mouse problem in shelters. Note: If I stay in a shelter the first thing I do is look under the shelter to see what is under there.


semper ubi sub ubi

Always wear underware

08-10-2003, 21:05
I guess I'll have to give the canister idea some more thought. Maybe it is too much weight. I like it for the convenience.
And what about a bag that fills with water when it rains. don't have that problem with the canister... unless you leave it in a place that fills with water during storms <g>
Also, besides bears there are plenty of other critters that would love to dine on your food.

Still have 7 months to go. Plenty of time to trail test the canister.

08-10-2003, 21:10
This thing about the rattlesnakes under the shelters is kind of scary. Sometimes it's best to be ignorant. I hiked the Shenandoah National Park the past two seasons, mostly doing side trails into the valleys. We set up tents back in the woods in clearings and worked our way back there with flashlights at night. Never once did it dawn on me that Virginia is rattlesnake country. It was always on my mind in Canyonlands (Utah), Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park and other desert areas. For some reason, I never associated the snakes with Virginia. Like I said, sometimes it's better to just not know. I'm sure the odds of getting bit by a rattler must be lower than getting struck by lightening.

What stops them from snuggling up close to you for warmth if you are not in a tent or other type of structure?

08-11-2003, 00:32
They haven't figured out how to operate the zipper on your sleeping bag - - - - - - yet!

08-11-2003, 07:16
Originally posted by fwassner

And what about a bag that fills with water when it rains.

Many hikers (including myself) either put their food in zip lock bags, or leave it in the original waterproof packaging. I used an OR waterproof stuff sack for a food bag. I never had problems with mice, bears, flying squirrels or water. I did have a pesky red squirrel repeatedly try and get to my food while hung in a Maine shelter. It was kind of amusing to watch.

Blue Jay
08-13-2003, 20:01
Squirrel Bait, a dry bag has worked for me for over 4000 miles. Not only does it block the smell, as there must be an air exchange for scent to escape, but putting a soaking stuff sack into a dry pack offends me.

Bill Strickland
11-07-2003, 19:18
I only hiked 885 miles of the AT in '02, and I carried a mouse trap in my pack. There were 37 less of the filthy little buggers when I left.

11-07-2003, 20:16
Originally posted by Bill Strickland
There were 37 less of the filthy little buggers when I left.

I'd be willing to bet that the average shelter mouse is a lot less filthy than the average thru-hiker.

11-07-2003, 20:19
The impact of reducing the AT mouse population by 37 must be equivalent to the impact of spitting in the ocean...

11-07-2003, 21:21
Originally posted by TNJED
I'd be willing to bet that the average shelter mouse is a lot less filthy than the average thru-hiker.

yea right TNJED..the average thru hiker carries hanta virus and poops and pisses on the shelter floor...along with crawling through every corner of everyones pack during the night..

I see thru hikers doing this all the time...:D

11-08-2003, 23:52
I have never had a problem with shelter mice.
I atribute this to several things:
I ALWAYS hang my food, on the bear cables if avalable, not from the bears, but from the mice.
I ALWAYS open ALL of the pockets (zippers, etc.) on my pack, at EVERY campsite.
I snore loud enough "to drown out a freight train passing by 10' away" or so I'm told, I suspect this frightens them.
ALL of my food is heavily spiced, it has been referd to as "Painful HOT" by most of my friends. :D

11-09-2003, 15:26
We were not bothered by the mice either because we almost always used our tent and hung our food. When we did stay in the shelter, we hung our food from a tree a distance from the shelter or the bear cable and the hung the packs as well.
Bees Knees

11-09-2003, 15:38
The bear poles in SNP worked great keeping bears and mice away. It would be great if other areas could install the poles. Tuna cans really only slow down mice.

11-09-2003, 15:50
Jeff wrt the bear poles in SNP - they are great for keeping bears away from food but lately the raccoons have learned to climb the bear poles and get into the food - Gravel Springs hut in particular has a population of "smart" raccoons that nightly raid the bear poles. IMO its better to just hang your food from a tree in the simplistic bear bagging technique recommended for SNP - ie ten feet up, four feet out on a tree branch - much less likely a raccoon can get the food. Some locations also have problems with mice/squirrels dropping/jumping onto the bear poles - here its mostly a question of how close overhanging branches are from adjacent trees - until recently one of the three bear poles at Pine Mtn. Hut had this problem - hey Skyline - any word as to whether removing that overhanging branch helped that problem?

11-28-2003, 19:42
I just remembered: in 97 there was a mouse trap an the old Gooch gap shelter, it had a recipe for mouse on it. It went something like: take one fresh mouse, etc. It was hung over the opening, in the center.

Anyone copy it down?

I didn't think of it till 2 days later, :rolleyes:


Kozmic Zian
02-10-2004, 13:47
Yea, Like the time at Big Spring Shelter, just n o' Albert Mt. I arrived bout 5 or so...after a leisurly walk from Standing Indian. Nobody came. All alone. The mices had been really bad in '96. Lots o' hikers on Da Trail that year. So, I decided to sleep on the picnic table, 'stead o' the yucky shelter. Man, I could see the teltale signs of mices all around the shelter. The holes, trails, leavings, etc. Now I fully realize, the mices make this there home, and I'm just passin' thru...but do they have to be so agressive? Yea, days houngry, man. Waitin' for me, you know....well, I puts up my best Mouse Defense Tactics (MDT)...all food out of pack and on the MDT hanger in the bag, tightly closed, with the right length and a nice can hangin, bout mid way. Pack w/ all pockets open and hangin' on the wall. Me, away from the shelter, zipped in bag on mattress, on picnic table, away from the shelter. So alls fine, most of the night....'till about 3am....I'm laying on my back, and I hear something rustleling nearby...my eyes open, and like a black ghost, this object jumps right accross my face from right to left! Man, whooooo, what da F***.....scarred the Bejesus outta' me...I jumped up....did't see anything...no mices around....nothing....musta' been dreamin'....It was hard and long 'afore I went back to sleep.....man, mices....They live there, we're just passin' thru.
One thing on this subject....I don't like to see hikers with mouse traps, using them in the shelters....outside, maybe...or not at all....gets pretty bloody...mouse trappin' um like dat....also very unsanitary....!

Just have to accept them like an uncomfortable [email protected]
__________________________________________________ _______
'Remote For Detachment, Narrow For Chosen Company, Winding for Leisure, Lonely For Contemplation, It Beckons not Merely North and South, But Upward and Out to The Body, Mind, And Soul'.....Myron Avery

Brushy Sage
02-10-2004, 17:25
I guess this is something of a confession, or snitching on fellow hikers. In 2002 when we came to Chestnut Knob shelter, north of Atkins, VA, the mice came out to meet us. They were under the table, beady eyes shining with anticipation (my reading of mouse faces). My shelter mates and I discussed the situation and concluded that we'd be better off joining them than fighting them. So we laid gorp in a bead all along a vacant wall (where no one would be sleeping). Everyone had a peaceful night's sleep, and every speck of gorp was gone the next morning.

02-13-2004, 23:54
Since my above post, I have learned a few things about rodents. My son now has 2 pet rats, they love to explore "grandpas" bedroom. So I was rat sitting for a few hours today as son enlarged their cage & had a chance to watch them in action. These are 2 spoiled, slightly plump, pets, not needing to search for food or flee for their lives (actually they chase the 5 cats) at every turn yet: I saw one 8 – 10 Oz rat jump vertically over 14" and horizontally over 24" and then climb over 5' up a dress hanging on the back of the door. She has sprinted the length of our bedroom (14') in less than 1 second; all I could say was "damn". And, even well fed pet rats will eat anything, even a Ricola cough drop.

They are very very intelligent, NEVER underestimate them. Monkeys (not apes) cannot recognize that a mirror is a reflection, a rat knows instantly. They are easily trained, we have had Elizabeth 6 weeks, she already knows 6 voice commands, (she knows “don’t chase the cats” but ignores that one) and the shelter mice have been well trained by us hikers and for a much longer time. As I no longer sleep in shelters, the mice aren’t a problem, and after meeting Elizabeth & Mary I have a better respect for them.

My conclusion/theory: If we all stop feeding the mice by hanging our food and good smelling stuff properly. Possibly including: TP, wool socks, etc. And not leaving uneaten food (etc.) behind. We will train the mice that this isn’t such a good place to be. It will probably not eliminate the “problem” totally because a shelter is a great house, but by removing the food source the mice population will probably be less.


02-14-2004, 00:46
Ok let me see if i got this right. Someone slept on the table to avoid mice? Hmmm i wonder where the mice find more foodm in the shelter when people are sleeping or under the table where people have eaten.

Now personaly I look at it this way, the mice live there and we are just visiting. So if some big 20' gaint that weighed 2000 lbs came through one day and made a tent in your back yard, and you knew that it had food and you where hungry we you go get some while he was sleeping. How would you like it if they set up a trap that dropped a 80lbs rock on your head.

I personal leave a bit of food out for the mice in shelters before i go to sleep. Its always gone in the morning and my stuff is always in perfect condition.

Think about it mice are smart, I am sure we all proved this in HS. So from the mice point of view tomorrow more people will come with food, as such you only need enough for 1 maybe two nights. Why risk death getting food if your not hungry.

Try my meathod once or twice and you may find yourself pleasently surprised. Just remember if the mice are waiting for you when they arrive that means there are a bunch in the shelter the ones waiting are just scouts just be sure to leave enough food for everyone or youll have issues. A handful in most cases is more then enough.

In regards to you people killing the mice, oh ya this works great the average mouse in teh wilderness has a 1 month life span, and have 5 babys during that time Most have babies with in 2 weeks of birth. Mouse traps in shelters just dont work. If you insist on killing mice then do it the right way and use poisioned GARP. Just make sure you make to leave a note above the garp saying its poisioned so the hungry hiker who ran out of food cause the bears ate there entire pack doesnt eat it.

Thats just my 2 cents

02-14-2004, 01:03
I personal leave a bit of food out for the mice in shelters before i go to sleep.

Maybe it's just me, but isn't leaving food in the shelter going to cause the rodent population to escalate out of control?


steve hiker
02-14-2004, 01:35
just be sure to leave enough food for everyone or youll have issues. A handful in most cases is more then enough.
Are you sure that a handful of peanuts is enough for a shelter full of mice? I'd think they'd carry off a handful pretty fast and be back to your beard within 30 min looking for more grub.

02-14-2004, 02:01
Maybe it's just me, but isn't leaving food in the shelter going to cause the rodent population to escalate out of control?


I think its the mice making mice love in the middle of the night that causes the rodent population to escalate. :bse

02-14-2004, 15:21
No food for mice...

and NO poison gorp...the then dead poisoned mice are consumed by animals on up the food chain and the poisons are concentrated in these larger animals that are then eaten by others on up the food chain...(think owls and hawks)

but smashing them in the head is a good idea. the mice not the owls or hawks.

art to linda
04-24-2004, 12:39
I don't know about the AT area but here in MN the tick that carries Lymes disease winters over on the white footed mouse....did my battle with Lymes & sorta,kinda won & don't want a repeate!

04-24-2004, 12:46
If you stay in the shelters they are pretty inescapable. For the most part they're harmless but they can be pretty anoying. If you're a light sleeper you'll often hear them scurrying around and scratching at backpacks and foodbags. Occasionally they'll run right over your sleeping bag. Not a big deal unless it's at the upper end and your face is exposed. I had a couple instances of mice running over my head.

04-24-2004, 14:02
On a rather ghastly note. In the book Never Cry Wolf, by Mowat Farley. Dr. Sextus, a renowned biologist enduring a rather brutal expedition, studying wolves and caribou in the sub arctic regions of the Southern Keewatin Territory, realized that during the last few warm months of summer, in that region, the wolves would gorge themselves on the spry little tundra mice. Running low on supplies, Dr. Sextus found that by roasting these little dastardly nuisances over an alcohol flame from a bunson burner, could make a tasty little snack out of several of them.

Recipe for roasted shelter mouse.

Ingredients Several freshly caught shelter mice.
One water soaked wooden skewer (could invariably substitute one tent stake).
Salt and pepper to taste.
Clean and wash several freshly caught shelter mice. With V8/Pespsi Can stove set at medium heat, roast mice until golden brown or to desired doneness (medium well/well). Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy…. This might reduce some pack weight, and eliminate the need to carry food over long periods of difficult terrain. Just a thought…… Maybe.......:-?

steve hiker
04-24-2004, 15:03
are what we call "wise guys" or "comedians" in the city. They like to run across hikers faces at night and poop in their snoring traps just for funs. You can often hear them up in the rafters, yukking it up and laughing their tails off about how this hiker jumped out of his skin and about scoring a "hole in one" (the mouse who pulls off the latter stunt wins the "Arnold Palmer" award of the night).
Others shred up the finest pack in the shelter so they can sell the fleece to their neighbors, who use it for nest lining and warmth on cold nights. So beware, some mice are nice but others are nothing but trouble.