[pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food

Josh 559josh at gmail.com
Fri Apr 3 01:27:24 CDT 2009

Great point about 3AM...and that reminded me of another thing...at 12AM and
later is the typical "peak" time of most meteor shower activity, at least
according to many charts.  Of course being up at midnight till near-dawn
might mess-up a scheduled long day's hike.  But who uses schedules
anyways???  lol


-----Original Message-----
From: pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net [mailto:pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net]
On Behalf Of mark v
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 11:09 PM
To: pct-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [pct-l] Night hiking and rodents in food

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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