Author Topic: Critters inside your tent?  (Read 7971 times)

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Offline ronnie421

Critters inside your tent?
« on: July 10, 2011, 11:12:03 pm »
I realize that there is a topic right now about bears, but I wanna ask... Has anyone ever waken up in the middle of the night and found a raccoon or possum right outside your tent or even managed to quietly make its way INTO your tent without making enough noise to wake you? I am setting sail on my first x-country tour in June of 2012, but my greatest fear is to wake up in the middle of the night and find a raccoon INSIDE my tent! Can they quietly knaw thru the material of a tent? Coming face to face with one inside my tent will scare the %#$*&^%$@#$ out of me! LOL!

Offline tonythomson

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 02:43:07 am »
Nope nothing like that although had a rat gnaw his way in in Nepal,  didn't like that much and have never heard of anything like that happening but I'm sure someone on here has a story to tell.

Worst things in your tent are bugs and mossies.
Just starting to record my trips

Offline litespeed

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 08:12:48 am »
Not a problem as long as you follow two rules: (1) Keep the tent zipped up tight except for getting in and out and putting stuff in and out and (2) never have food in your tent. If you do this you will avoid the biggest problems (as pointed out by tonythomson) - ants and mosquitos.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 08:17:04 am by litespeed »

Offline HONDO

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 09:06:31 am »
I was camped at Acadia National Park and was too lazy to throw some food trash away so I put it outside the entrance of my tent, under the rainfly and that night I woke up to the most horrific sound of 2 racoons fighting over it. It scared the beejeesus out of me! I thought they were coming through my tent any second. lesson learned. Put your trash in a trash container!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 11:06:36 am »
All of the above. No food in tent means no ants, possums, coons, and rats. I know a guy whose tent was raided by a pack of racoons. They tore out the entire one side of the tent. They completely shredded things on the inside. But there again, he left food out, they smelled it, and went in for a feast.

A woman friend and I were backpacking China and travelling by train. I left a backpack with cheese and crackers in it in a storage area for thirty minutes. When I came back the backpak had been completely shredded by rats on one side. We also did a bicycling tour together from Beijing to north of Wuhan in winter.

Offline Jambi

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 07:36:22 pm »
It's the skeets you need to worry about, I'm currently on a bike tour and the tiny rip in my tent seems to be a gateway for them to come in and feast on me during the evening. You will probably find that after a few weeks your tent will only contain valubles, sleeping bag/ pad and you. Critters will probably be a lot more scared of you than you are of them.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2011, 10:35:59 pm »
in my  backpacking days we used to leave a couple of pop tarts of similar irresistible delectibles out for squirrels and whatever else was expected to raid the camp at night. We planted them under limbs or the edge of an overturned pot so there'd be noise and a bit of a challenge.

 but we never left food int the tent.

when hunkered down in extremem weather we should cook in the vestibule but made sure the area was plicied carefully before dark.

david boise iD
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2011, 01:31:46 am »
A few years ago I was camped outside of Wadi Halfa in Sudan waiting for the ferry to Egypt and had slept outside on my thermarest, beautiful clear nights and no rain for 10 years, when I found a small yellow scorpion under my matt in the morning :o. The guide book described its sting as highly toxic, can be fatal seek urgent medical help, I used the tent after that.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2011, 11:40:47 pm »
I once camped in a part of northern NJ in High Point State Park. While cleaning up dinner, with my head lamp on, I felt like a wagon train surounded by indians. All I could see were eyes in a complete circle, around the camp sight. The food was up high suspended between two trees outside the campsite, no food in the tent, but we had cough syrup and lemonade. The raccoons were smart enough to unzip the tent. Needless to say, it was an interesting night.  There was damage on the side of the tent, where they were scratching. Campmor respaired the tent. Other than that, I never had any real problems.

Offline litespeed

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2011, 09:16:07 am »
Racoons rule at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine Beach, FL. They will grab any food you turn your back on and will poke around your tent all night. Better to spend a few more bucks and stay at the KOA just down the road.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 09:47:25 am »
I have always made it a strict rule to keep food and toiletries out of the tent.  I've been raided by critters before, but none ever entered the tent other than a few mosquitoes and one Cicada that was seen crawling in my beard while I was sleeping.  My daughter let it be and didn't wake me.  I still give her grief about that.

Raccoons are adept with zippers, buckles, and other fasteners.  They even sometimes zip bags back up, which is annoying because you may not discover chewed and slobbered on stuff until later when you need it.  I know that one of my companions found a slimy, slobbered on, chewed on powerbar a day after raccoons raided our camp.  Not the most pleasant thing to reach in a pannier and feel.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Critters inside your tent?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2011, 08:50:38 pm »
Litespeed, I did a quick trip from Tampa to St. Augustine last summer. I was going to camp there but when I got to St. Augustine, a hung out at the Brew House and decided to stay at a motel. Thanks for the heads up.