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  1. #21
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I inadvertantly zipped a mouse into the side pocket of my external frame pack at the Seth Warner Shelter in southern Vermont in 1976. The little bugger chewed his way to freedom at some point during the next few miles.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  2. #22
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default Mice

    The mice are as bad as you allow them to be. That may sound like a bit of flim flam but the truth is that they generally don't mess with you unless you're careless and "bait" with food. Bottom line ...the mice are in EVERY shelter, bar none! The degree to which they get into your stuff is directly proportional to how well you clean up and pack up after eating.

    Personally, I find chipmonks to be much more aggresive and damaging.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  3. #23
    Registered User MDSHiker's Avatar
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    Talking

    At Spring Mountain Shelter north of Hot Springs, I woke up with my backpack full of hickory nuts. I laughed my tail off and so did everyone else.

  4. #24
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Default mice

    Mice were something I used to worry about when first dreaming of a thru-hike. Slogger is right on. They are as bad as you make them out to be. I slept in shelters on 95 percent of nights on my thru-hike and only twice did I see mice (upper loft of roan high knob shelter and blackrock hut in shenandoah). I was so tired and warn out each night I could usually care less what was scurrying around. I read some journals from folks a month or two behind who seemed to have bad problems. Maybe they are worse in the summer or after hundreds of people have come thru on a consistant basis. I just dont know.

    However my worst experience was on the LT last month at duck brook shelter. a little guy would not quit going after my foodbag even tho it was properly hung on the tuna can/rope in shelter. Im sure little guys tried to get in my food each night on the AT, i was simply too tired to care or notice. Going back to a section/day hiker I tend to not sleep so soundly I guess

    Hanging your food, not spilling food and eating away from shelters greatly cuts down on the risk of mice. I never experienced any of the horrible mice stories I heard of the georgia shelters and I slept in woodshole, low gap, tray and plumorchard. Could also be that we were so packed like sardines there were no room for mice!
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  5. #25
    Registered Troll
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    It seems "problem mice" have been around for some time, since the first thru-hiker. This is from Earl Shaffer's book "Walking With Spring," about stopping at a Tennessee shelter in 1948 --


    "The old route continued up Watauga Valley, finally turning into timberland. Marking was good and I hastened on, looking for shelter, and came to a small ramshackle leanto. Rain began and the roof leaked but the most unfortunate thing about the shelter was the mouse that peeked from a cranny. I was forewarned but thought the pack would be safe next to my head. The little rascal was bolder than expected and managed to chew a hole in my waterproof bag, leaving souvenirs in everything, including the salt. Most of my supplies had to be thrown away."

  6. #26
    Just Passin' Thru.... Kozmic Zian's Avatar
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    Yea....why? All of that...and the fact that if you get to the shelter and it's not crowded you have a tendency to set up your spot, hoping nobody else comes. Also, if the weather turns bad overnight, you have the clean up, dry out the next am. I rather camp out....I take a small batt op'ed weather radio. So's I can anticipate rather or not I want to stay a shelter. As far as the mices go....just set your sleeping area up with enough space beside and behind for the mices to run around you....then they don't have the urge to 'jump over your head' so much.....KZ@
    Kozmic Zian@ :cool: ' My father considered a walk in the woods as equivalent to churchgoing'. ALDOUS HUXLEY

  7. #27
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    Default Acrobatic Mice?

    If this development spreads, the mice might hike beside us:

    http://www.nynewsday.com/news/health...alth-headlines

  8. #28
    http://www.myspace.com/officialbillville Mountain Dew's Avatar
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    Talking Sobo and Mice

    Grimace, :"I sstayed in tons of shelters and barely noticed them. I did hike SOBO which may make a difference. On the occasion that they were eating the shelter at night, ear plugs did the trick. I slept so well out there that they may have been crawling on my face, but I doubt it." --- oh man I just got a good laugh when reading this one. On my 2003 thru-hike me and a friend got in late to a shelter just south of Hanover and a lone hiker was already asleep inside. Upon reading the register we discovered that he was a Sobo. Soon after that we saw a mouse climbing all over this Sobo who had ear plugs in. The dang mouse even started to eat crumbs out of his beard. Our Eyes bulged at one point when we thought the mouse was gonna go inside his mouth which was wide open ! If that would have happened we would have considered waking this guy despite being a sobo for health reasons ofcourse.
    THE Mairnttt...Boys of Dryland '03 (an unplanned Billville suburb)
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  9. #29
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Question Anyone ever try this?

    I have a friend that uses a Dorito bag to hold the mice and then releases them the next morning. Here's what he recommends:

    Place your pack diagonal to the corner of the shelter (or use your boots) and place the empty bag in the void created. Your pack or boots will hold it up nicely, and allow the mice to climb up to enter the bag. But, they will not be able to climb out! They will be nicely contained for the evening.

    I've never tried this but may on our next section hike just to see if it will keep the mice from climbing through my wife's hair. She doesn't like mice climbing through her hair.
    Last edited by Uncle Wayne; 08-24-2004 at 10:06. Reason: left out a key word "empty"
    Uncle Wayne

  10. #30
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Seems like they'd make a lot of noise trying to get out of a Dorito bag all night. I wonder what the record is for the number of mice caught this way in one night?
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  11. #31
    Registered User MDSHiker's Avatar
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    Default

    The worst night I ever spent in a shelter was at Russell Field in the Smokies. Those dang mice were running everywhere...even over my sleeping bag and hands. Still, the shelters are awesome and a tiny little mouse should never stop anyone from using one. I use shelters based upon their location, and therefore don't rely on them. I always carry a shelter with me...it's just smart. There are many nights on the AT that I hang my hammock near a shelter. I guess you can say I just go by the mood I'm in at the time. Lets not forget all the awesome people that help to build/maintain the shelters. I always appreciate them when on the AT.

  12. #32
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    Default How to empty a shelter

    at least 10 characters
    Last edited by Jersey Bob; 10-27-2004 at 14:09.

  13. #33
    Registered User MDSHiker's Avatar
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    Smile

    Another reason to carry a tent !

  14. #34
    Eagle Scout grrickar's Avatar
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    So just how crowded can one expect the shelters in the Smokies to be in the fall? I am secretly hoping they will be full so I can stay in my tent (after all I having to carry it, so why not?) I think the rule is that you HAVE to stay in a shelter unless the shelter is full. I'd much rather stay in my tent, even in the rain. If I wanted a roof over my head I'd camp in my neighbor's toolshed.

  15. #35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grrickar
    So just how crowded can one expect the shelters in the Smokies to be in the fall? I am secretly hoping they will be full so I can stay in my tent (after all I having to carry it, so why not?) I think the rule is that you HAVE to stay in a shelter unless the shelter is full. I'd much rather stay in my tent, even in the rain. If I wanted a roof over my head I'd camp in my neighbor's toolshed.
    Just set up out of sight, well off the trail and don't start a fire. No one will bother you. Toolsheds are great as tools don't snore.

  16. #36
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    I always tent in the Smokys. Shelters suck.

  17. #37
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    I can't take credit for this recipe, but here goes..

    Wrap mouse in slice of bacon, skewer and cook over open flame
    till browned.......Delicious !!!

  18. #38

    Default

    Fall is leaf peeper season. If you are out on a weekend, the shelter may be full. If you aren't thruhiking though, you have to reserve a spot in the shelter though, so it may not be so full that you can't stay.

  19. #39
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
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    So far I find that the new shelters built in the last couple of years to have less mice problems along with the fact these tend to be cleaner with less trash and food residue that has built up over the years under the sleeping platform. Some of the new shelters still have mice. Slept in the new Gooch Gap Shelter this past May, did hear or see one anywhere, same for Woods hole Shelter. Now Blue Mountain, Tray mountain had a few. The Blue Mountain mice were jumping around. Reminded me of popcorn in an air popper. We slept in some shelters and sometime we used our tent. If my wife saw mouse droppings at one shelter one day and if she saw them them again the next day at the next shelter ... "the mice poops are bigger here let's stay in the tent" she would say. Anyhow the mice won't bother you to much. Hang your food, open your pockets on your pack.

    Happy Trails,
    Chip
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  20. #40
    Registered User Lobo's Avatar
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    Default Oh rats!

    The first night of my hike at Stover Creek I had a mouse run across my legs and awoke to find one sitting on my pillow. The next night at Hawk Mountain, the mice were squeeking and fighting so loudly we could hardly go to sleep. At several other shelters mice woke me up when they were licking the hair on my head trying to get salt (wear a hat!).

    The Wood Rats were another story. A family of rats lived under the floorboards of Lamberts Meadow Shelter and they emerged a dusk to run and jump about the shelter. We tried to wack them with our hiking sticks, but were unsuccessful. A rat at Rausch Gap chewed through the webbing of my hiking stick.

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