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Thread: Shelter mice

  1. #1
    Registered User Tree Nerd's Avatar
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    Default Shelter mice

    If you have to stay in a shelter, what are the best ways to prevent mice from chewing through all your stuff? Is this mainly food related problem with a simple answer of bear bagging your food? I've heard about people bringing along a mouse trap or two?
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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    On one occasion I awoke to find had a hole the size of a quarter in a pretty new down bag.I was the only one in the shelter at that time.You might check the shelter register (if there is one) to see about recent mouse and other animal activity.If there are several staying with you,that should lessen your chances of being a victim.Most shelters have mice because thoughtless,selfish,stupid,lazy hikers have left uneaten food and used clothing or other stuff to help the mice make the shelters their home.Follow LNT will help reduce the problem for others.Forget the mouse trap and leave some rat poison hidden in a place where nothing but mice will get to it.I know most here do not approve of this but I do not approve of those who choose to leave their trash and other stuff either....

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    They will nibble on anything thats:

    1) food
    2) potentional nesting material
    3) salty from sweat

    Which covers just about everything you have. If it doesnt fall into one of those 3 categories, it probably is containing something that does, so they will chew thru that too.

    Food is cheaper to replace, than clothing and gear. They are especially fond of wool and sweat soaked pack materials
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-04-2013 at 21:58.

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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Avoid shelters if possible.Set up your shelter several yards away if you want to hang out with others hikers and or to cook and use the picnic table.Hang your pack a few feet off of the ground with rope from a tree.....Hikers who choose to hike the trail and just use shelters are in for a rude awakening in several subjects....

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    Registered User Tree Nerd's Avatar
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    I dont plan on using shelters very much, but that may change as my hike goes on.....Im just looking for mice advice, I would hate to wake to a hole in my pack or other equipment.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cleaner View Post
    Avoid shelters....
    Amen. End of discussion. Any backpacker who's going out in the woods to live in the woods and to carry a home on his back should avoid shelters just as he or she would avoid bailing off the trail every night to hit a motel room. There's not a whole lot of difference anyway. Why would any normal healthy human being go on a backpacking trip and instead of sleeping in the woods depend on rat-box car-ports for their shelter?

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    Registered User TACKLE's Avatar
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    I had no problems w/mice. I always hung my entire pack either from a tree or those tuna can devices in the shelters.

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    Registered User The Cleaner's Avatar
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    Many years ago I was staying at Tri-Corner Knob shelter in the Smokies.When I put my boots on in the morning I felt something squishy in one boot.I removed it I found that a mouse had stashed left-over ramen noodles in the heel area.One reason for avoiding shelters and another reason to either eat every bit of food,burn in a very hot fire or put in trash bag to pack out.....

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    Registered User Martymart's Avatar
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    had a snack bag of gorp that i forgot to bear bag in my pack one night, and i was awoken to the crinkling of plastic and then a few seconds of silence then i could hear and feel a small fury of feet running down the side of my sleeping bag and then id hear a small thunk and it would repeat this pattern every 20-30 seconds. Little guy had eaten right through the side of my pack and gotten it mouthful by mouthful. only run in ive had with them

  10. #10

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    Speaking as the RodentWhisperer, I'd say its more fair to simply avoid the shelters and let the mice go about their business. They are lucky if they live a full year, so why deprive them?

    But if you are looking to spend a night inside a shelter, I'd recommend using the "tuna can devices" Tackle mentions. Bag up all your food, sweaty clothes, and scented HBAs. Open your pack's pockets too, as that will prevent mice from knawing their way into them.

    Mice are especially fond of salts, and have a desire for foods with calcium and magnesium (think cheese). Their sense of smell is finite enough that a poorly cleaned cook pot left from an evening's mac n' cheese might catch some attention. The mice would probably lick the pot clean if they were given the chance. I've had friends have the bit valves on their water bladders "stolen" by marmots (probably in search of salts, but maybe attracted by the sugary smell leftover from the day's energy drinks) so it's possible mice would go after them, too.

    Even with all that, there's still the chance a mouse will go after your bag (for nest materials), your boots (for the residues inside), your packed clothing (again, for the residues and/or nest materials)... even your head (if your hair smells attractive to them). The tuna cans might not stop a determined (if not desperately hungry) mouse from finding a way down to your food bag. The bottom line: keep the stuff the mice want out of their reach, but there are no guarantees.
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

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    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Carry a mouse trap. With a little dab of peanut butter you can get a tasty morsel to add to the pot, hair, guts and all.

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    Bring an owl for $5000 .. no they don't work out as sherpas...

    Ok that was based on the earlier thread on some idiot that posted on ebay

    serious pack a black racer... and a trap with peanut butter is amateur. Sesame oil is KING!
    Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 04-05-2013 at 22:34.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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  13. #13

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    1) Keep you pack clean of food (as best you can)
    2) Remove ALL food at night (and hang it away from shelter)
    3) Open up all the pockets in the pack. If there is no food, they won't stay long. I'd rather have them wonder through the pack rather than chew a hole.
    4) Be aware of where you hang your pack. Mice can get anywhere if they want but don't make it easy for them. Hanging from a cord is usually better than a wall. The cans on the cords help but will not stop a determined mouse. All you have to be is in a better place than the guy next to you! (But I'm not saying to stuff open food in their pack!)
    5) As you go through the pack in the AM be aware you might have a mouse jump out. Just ignore it.
    6) Check shoes in AM. Mice like to store things there. Also, while you are at it, check for spiders/slugs or other critters.
    7) Often mice are looking for something warm. Sleep head out so they don't crawl over your face.
    8) If you leave some (unused) TP out, they will go there instead because they use it for bedding and value warmth over food. I have no real proof this works but I have seen TP all chewed up in the AM. Just saying.

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    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    The mice in the shelters down south are only a problem until the snakes come out of hibernation. Than the snakes eat the mice and they are not a problem in the shelters any more.
    Grampie-N->2001

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    Someone left this at the Woods Hole shelter:



    I happened to have a block of cheese on me, too.

  16. #16

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    As long as you don't mind sleeping surrounded by mice Shet, then no it's not a problem.

    BTW, he's eating the ants, not the Shet.


  17. #17

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    Take this with the appropriate grain of salt, considering its source: but why on Earth would anyone think bringing ONE mousetrap into a shelter would do anything? Mousetraps kill *one mouse*. Mice live in highly social communities...
    "We can no longer live as rats. We know too much." -- Nicodemus

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    I was wondering the same thing^

    Maybe they were thinking that the sound of it snapping would scare the other mice away?

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    Registered User Tree Nerd's Avatar
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    Well the snap could possibly wake you up, if so, reset it and wait for the next victim....thats what I would assume.
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    I didn't sleep in many shelters but I made the mistake of forgetting I left some candy wrappers in the side pocket of my pack once. I heard mice jumping off the rafters all night, hitting my pack which was hanging on a mouse hanger, then sliding off and hitting the ground. I was too tired to care and woke up and found holes in the side pocket of my pack and chewed up candy wrappers. I guess one lucky mouse managed to make the leap.

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