Tent guys, rodents. | High Sierra Topix  

Tent guys, rodents.

Share your advice and personal experiences, post a gear review or ask any questions you may have pertaining to outdoor gear and equipment.
User avatar

Tent guys, rodents.

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:33 am

Anyone else had this issue?
After the first night of our first trip with our brand new tent, I was packing up the tent when I noticed that one of the guy lines for the tent looked odd—frayed, frazzled, and worn.
The only explanation was a rodent chewing away on it, hoping to capture some of the fibers for a nest?
Wild.
We’re just happy that the little guy (yuck yuck) didn’t eat all the way through and send the tent collapsing around our ears. Stands up to gale force winds, rain, hail…
Brought down by a chipmunk.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/



User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:38 am

A couple of people had odd holes appearing in backpacks and one in a mesh panel on a Tarptent last weekend - when camping in established and popular places (Hamilton Lake, for example, in Sequoia NP) just turn on a headlamp after dark and watch the zillion mice scurry around, and you can see how that happens....
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:51 pm

I understand if they were going after food.

But I think this was all about the material...
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby maiathebee » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:30 pm

Sometimes they are also after salty things, which explains the pack nibbling. I lost one half of my sternum strap to some nibbling (I think it was a marmot, though). It does sound like they were after the material in your case!
oh hey! you're reading my signature.
that's nice. want to check out my blog?
here it is: plutoniclove.com
User avatar
maiathebee
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:59 am
Location: Oakland, CA
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby Tom_H » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:37 pm

I've had them nibble on the side of my munchie bag while I was setting up the rain fly, but haven't had them go after material otherwise. It's funny what things rodents will go after. I keep my tractor in the third bay of our garage; I once had mice chew most of the insulation off the wiring harness. Had to replace the whole thing.
User avatar
Tom_H
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:11 pm
Location: Wilton, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby longri » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:55 pm

balzaccom wrote:The only explanation was a rodent chewing away on it, hoping to capture some of the fibers for a nest?

Are you sure that's the only possible explanation? I mean, is it conceivable that it could have been abraded some other way?

I once had a marmot trying to chew a sling on a cam that was part of my anchor at my feet. I think it was probably salty. The marmot wouldn't go away. Those guys will eat boots sometimes. I finally peed on the marmot and it left.

Last weekend I noticed a Belding's squirrel standing tall on its hind legs and watching me quite intently as I took a leak. As soon I was turned and left the squirrel zoomed in to enjoy its prize.
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:54 pm

There are a lot of reasons critters do stuff - there was no food in the pack pockets or the tent, but there were the holes... We were surrounded by marmots and a deer made it all the way within three feet of a tent before the person inside moved and it took off. That doe circled the camp and eyeballed everything and us, as we stood there watching, round and round. I started throwing things and she took off but did not return. Had to do the same to the marmots.

One of the group members thought we were being cruel, right up until the mice were running around. He was sleeping under a tarp and really did not like the idea of the mice getting on him. About then he was receptive to the idea that "cute animals" really should not be getting that close to people.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby Ikan Mas » Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:28 pm

In the Marble Mountains one of my scouts asked why I hung up my hiking sticks on a tree each night. I pointed out that there were a lot of creatures in the woods that enjoyed salty things; porcupines, squirrels, mice, rats. He didn't believe me and left is poles, which were identical to to mine on the ground, and sure enough, next morning they were well chewed. I love it when teenagers learn the hard way immediately after the lecture.

The deer in Lassen seem to be particulary salt-starved. They hung around the camp and as soon as anyone took a whiz they were on it. You would think they would be less salt-starved in a lava area.

Given the diseases that mice carry, having hordes of them crawling around the camp, particulary when you are under a tarp or cowboy camping, is a bit unnerving.
User avatar
Ikan Mas
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:43 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby longri » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:24 am

I always arrange hiking poles so that the grips are not easily accessible by a rodent. I've seen too many chewed. It's hilarious (when they're not yours).
User avatar
longri
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 505
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:13 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby robow8 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:29 am

So what precautions does everybody take to protect their gear?
User avatar
robow8
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:17 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:39 am

I rinse stuff off a lot. Dipping the trekking pole handles in creeks as I hike, rinsing clothes often, sometimes just getting in the water myself with the clothes on.

Every few days I use a few drops of Dr Bronner's and a gallon size ziplock to wash clothes worn every day, taking water a long distance from water sources to disperse the gray water.

I keep things high if possible - airing out clothes on top of manzanita or in pine branches off the ground so little critters won't get them. I haven't had an issue above treeline. When using a hammock everything is suspended from the suspension lines of the hammock.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent guys, rodents.

Postby maverick » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:06 pm

You want to experience some really crazy mice issues, camp at Anvil on the way up
to Shepherd Pass.
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8028
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Next

Return to Outdoor Gear Topix



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

cron