[Cdt-l] Desert Shelter

Soren Jespersen soren at friendsoftheriver.org
Fri Nov 2 13:09:57 CDT 2007

I use a tarp almost exclusively and have never had a problem with
snakes, bees, scorpions, whatever.  The biggest problem is probably
mosquitoes or flies, but they're more annoying than a problem.  In fact,
in all my desert hiking (I lived in Utah and Arizona for over twenty
years) I've never seen a snake anywhere near my campsite (only on
trails), only seen a few scorpions (much more common to see them in my
house, than on the trail), and if you're afraid of spiders...oh boy.  


As a trail angel mentioned to me in Cuba, New Mexico, "It's not the
snakes or the bears or the mountain lions that should worry you, but the
sound of dueling banjos..."






From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Matthew Robison
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 8:20 AM
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: [Cdt-l] Desert Shelter


Hi everyone.  To fill a gap in my experience, I'm reading "The Ultimate
Desert Handbook" by Mark Johnson to prepare for hiking the Chihuahuan
desert of southern New Mexico and the Great Basin desert of southern

When hiking in the desert, which type of shelter do you use?

- If you use a tarp, have you ever had problems with insects, scorpions,
snakes and spiders? 

- Has anyone used the snake repellent "Snake-a-Way"?  Apparently the
military uses it, but I'm interested in personal assessments of its
effectiveness.  It was registered with the EPA (number 58630-1) in 1990;
its' active ingredients are napthalene and sulfur; but unfortunately, I
couldn't locate the studies confirming Snake-A-Way's effectiveness in
deterring  all the snakes a hiker may encounter in the Chihuanhuan
desert.   For example, I found it deterred the coral snake (100%) and
the western diamondback (91%), but I couldn't find evidence that it
deters the mojave rattlesnake, the ridgenose rattlesnake, the
sidewinder, the speckled rattlesnake, the tiger rattlesnake, the
mausasuaga, or the prarie rattlesakes--all reptiles a hiker may
encounter in southern New  Mexico. hmmm... 

- Has anyone had problems with bees, especially the Africanized honeybee
(the 'killer' bee)?

That's all for now...thanks for your input... 


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.backcountry.net/pipermail/cdt-l/attachments/20071102/5a56253e/attachment.html 

More information about the Cdt-l mailing list