[pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food

mark v allemande6 at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 3 01:08:52 CDT 2009

Just a couple small points i don't think have been mentioned  yet:

-Snakes are more apt to be warming and hunting in the early hours of the night.  If you can stand to wake up, and if it's a waning moon, i've found the neatest night-hiking to actually be starting at 3am.  The eyes tend to be better-adjusted to darkness then too.  The very beginning of nightfall can be the worst.  Hardest to see, snakes active.

-If i'm night-hiking, i'm using trekking poles.  I pound them with a little extra gusto to make myself known.  If i really want to hush up and feel/see/hear as much wildlife as possible, really the best way to do it is to take a break and stay still for 15 minutes.  Then walk on safely.

-If you're using a tarp or tent that sets up with an exterior trekking pole, it's pretty easy to use the pole basket as a support to tie your food bag to it.  That way your food is close enough at hand to deter bears (not bears in Yosemite etc...i mean normal scaredy-bears) which isn't the case if it's hangning off some tree.  Plus, any mice that want to make an attempt at the food don't have to chew into your tent, pack, stuff sack under your head, etc. in attempts to get at your food.  All through last year's trail including Washington where most of the mice were, nothing ever got into my food using this method.  Several times i heard mice trying, and once a turd was left atop my tied-up bag, but no mice ever succeeded.  I imagine the AT shelter mice have figured this trick out by now though.


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