SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: Lightweight solution to keep snakes/scorpions out?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
naturepersonguy Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 11:54 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey all. I am working on a backpacking trip to the USSW toward the end of the summer. Planning is going well (yes, I know it's going to be hot, lol) but I'm stuck on one problem. I seem to be a magnet for dangerous small animals. I used to sleep out in heavy, heavy rattlesnake, copperhead, scorpion, brown recluse and black widow territory, and have woken up with creatures in and under my sleeping bag. I've been stung by scorpions and bitten by black widows, but luckily never bitten by a venomous snake.

Anywhere else in the country I go, I sleep out under the stars, with at most, a lightweight tarp for some protection if it rains. But in the southwest, you've gotta keep the critters off of you. Has anyone come up with a lightweight, easy, (and not hot) effective way to keep these guys off of you at night? I would love something like an ultralight, 2-person shelter that you can take all of the covers and tarps off of, so that it was still cool and breathable but kept snakes and scorpions out. But those things are usually ~$400.

Has anyone been able to rig their own protection out of like, mosquito netting or something?

I hate feeling "enclosed" in a little shelter, so I want the least intrusive protection from critters I can manage...

Thanks!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
TrailTromper Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 150
Joined: Mar. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 12:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A bug bivy works well for me at keeping out mosquitoes.  I would think it would work fine for the critters you mention as well.  I have the Titainium Goat Ptarmagin bug bivy and like it pretty well.  It weighs about 5.5 ounces.  Being mesh it doesn't feel all that closed in to me, but YMMV.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43763
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 12:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Any number of peopole make these things:
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop...._id=127

There's been a trend away from separates but there are still a number of the small companies that offer them separately.

Some big ones as well: Sea to Summit:
http://www.rei.com/product....-single
$49.95 for the double.
For mosquito net on REI there's a lot of hits.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
Born to hike, forced to work ...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7289
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 3:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Having been stung by scorpions about 3X it's always been due to rolled up fabrics on doorways.  From big Army tents at Ft. Hood TX to backpacking tents in the Arizona mountains.  Scorps just love that rolled up fabric (of course they can even get inside buildings).  

A nice apartment in west El Paso (about 20 years ago) must have been built over a scorpion nest since I found one swimming in my cereal milk after I left the kitchen for a minute!!!  Rattlers?  I've seen more inside city limits than out, though rainy season brings them out more especially on jogging trails.  One little rattler (arguably more dangerous) even got inside my ex-MIL's bedroom since she used to leave her door open for her dog, and she was in the middle of a huge suburb, miles away from the desert.  I'm just always on the lookout now ...

Hope this helps....


--------------
Usually Southwest and then some.

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry Thoreau
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 23869
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 3:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tarptent is my favorite for use in the SW, and Six Moon Designs makes some nice stuff, too.   No critters have ever breached my impenetrable walls of mesh and silnylon, although I did once leave the door unzipped and spent an hour trying to evict a couple increasingly angry bees.  I robbed them of their third dimension after they steadfastly refused to move toward the open door, even after I collapsed the whole rest of the tent.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 6
OldGuyWalkin Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 158
Joined: Nov. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 25 2013, 4:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

rumor has it that scorps don't like lavender. I have no evidence to that, but, you can look it up.

Cowboy tradition said that snakes wouldn't cross a rope if it didn't have to. Might be worth Mythbusting.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
toejam Search for posts by this member.
the high road is hard to find
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mar. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 8:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recommend a couple snorts of whiskey, 2 benedryl, and earplugs to keep them out of your head.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
Tigger Search for posts by this member.
Woods Pouncer
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 12014
Joined: Apr. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 12:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(toejam @ Mar. 26 2013, 5:40 am)
QUOTE
I recommend a couple snorts of whiskey, 2 benedryl, and earplugs to keep them out of your head.

+1

--------------
If I'm going to be lost, in the woods is where I want to be...
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 9
bigsilk Search for posts by this member.
A different kind of rebel...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1190
Joined: Feb. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 4:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you have a fire, heat up some rocks and form a triangle (20 ft. per side) around your site. May not last all night, but maybe half. You should be asleep by then...

Trick I picked up, oddly enough, at Ft. Hood - '87-89.


--------------
There are only two things I don't like about people: They take too long to cook and taste like crap when they're done.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
big_load Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 23869
Joined: Jun. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 5:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bigsilk @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:43 pm)
QUOTE
heat up some rocks

If your goal is to avoid scorpions, you can get most of the way there by not picking up rocks.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 11
hike500 Search for posts by this member.
Desert Dweller
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 524
Joined: Oct. 2003
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 7:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(big_load @ Mar. 26 2013, 3:42 pm)
QUOTE

(bigsilk @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:43 pm)
QUOTE
heat up some rocks

If your goal is to avoid scorpions, you can get most of the way there by not picking up rocks.

I backpack a lot in the mountains east of Phoenix, the only time I have ever seen a scorpion was when I picked up a rock to clear a tent spot. As for rattlers, haven't seen one yet while camping and i have been here 8 years. But like Bigload said you can't beat Tarptent, I have the Rainbow.

--------------
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 12
naturepersonguy Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 15
Joined: Feb. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 9:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(toejam @ Mar. 26 2013, 8:40 am)
QUOTE
I recommend a couple snorts of whiskey, 2 benedryl, and earplugs to keep them out of your head.

Yeah, thanks so much for your sarcasm. But in case you haven't noticed, it's a problem I've had in the past that I'm trying to find a solution to. It's NOT something I'm worried about that has not given me issues as of yet.

I would think after a number of scorpion stings and black widow bites from sleeping out on the ground, you would think about solving the problem too rather than just trying not think about it.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 13
JimInMD Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 3946
Joined: Feb. 2011
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 9:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bigsilk @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:43 pm)
QUOTE
If you have a fire, heat up some rocks and form a triangle (20 ft. per side) around your site. May not last all night, but maybe half. You should be asleep by then...

Trick I picked up, oddly enough, at Ft. Hood - '87-89.

Wouldn't warm rocks tend to attract cold blooded snakes in the middle of a cold desert night?

--------------
"Your number one philosophy for personal security should be a life long commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation."

The 3 Stupids Rule:

Don’t go to stupid places, with stupid people, to do stupid things.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 14
SW Mtn backpacker Search for posts by this member.
Born to hike, forced to work ...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 7289
Joined: Jul. 2006
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 11:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's their home, not ours.  That said my backcountry experience with scorpion stings has been with rolled up tent doors.  Hence a tarp-tent I keep neatly zipped during desert travels.  No gear strewn throughout either (normally).  Being stung 3 with no adverse reaction besides about 15 minutes of pain wasn't life-threatening but when on a field exercise at Ft. Hood, the medical station monitored me for about an hour for allergic reaction and that's the key.  My worry, since a scorpion sting is bad due to an allergic reaction, is if antibodies formed during my last encounter?

Those little suckers are pretty fast and you do not see them scurry away until they've zapped you (unlike Mr. Rattler who usually gives you fair warning).
To the OP, perhaps a self-supported tarp tent with minimal gear (end of summer, you shouldn't need that much anyways).  

Set up camp but keep tarptent zipped.  At night, temps usually start going down.  Keep fly open but inner zipped.  If it gets too cold in the middle of the night, usually the bugs have gone to ground anyways.  Just zip the fly.


--------------
Usually Southwest and then some.

In wildness is the preservation of the world. - Henry Thoreau
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 15
grampabarber Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 25
Joined: May 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 11:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Let me add a second to the recommendation of an inner net, such as Mountain Laurel Designs' several models. As long as it's zipped up, it'll keep any small critters away from you.

The trick will be to find one that will fit well with your tarp.

I use an MLD Duomid with their solo inner net, and have been very pleased with both the pyramid and the inner net.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 16
CenAZwalker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 132
Joined: Jul. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 11:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think your best bet would be to get a tarp shelter with a removable mesh inner.  Something like the TT Notch, you can set up the mesh inner independently and have plenty of ventilation as well as protection from whatever it is you need protection from.  BearPaw Wilderness also has some nice affordable options.  Check out the bug bivy and pyraNet1.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 17
JRinGeorgia Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 597
Joined: Jul. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 12:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To the OP, I understand your reaction but please understand that sarcasm is par for the course here and usually offered in good spirit. In this case it seems you already had the basics of the common wisdom so sarcasm probably seemed the only thing left to say. Join in the fun.

But yes basically some sort of arrangement with an inner net tent will keep the critters out. Whether that is a separate bug net or a tarptent design or a tent, all will work, only you can find something that doesn't feel "enclosed" to you.


--------------
- JRinGeorgia
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 18
High_Sierra_Fan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 43763
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 6:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(grampabarber @ Mar. 27 2013, 8:45 am)
QUOTE
Let me add a second to the recommendation of an inner net, such as Mountain Laurel Designs' several models. As long as it's zipped up, it'll keep any small critters away from you.

The trick will be to find one that will fit well with your tarp.

I use an MLD Duomid with their solo inner net, and have been very pleased with both the pyramid and the inner net.

Those REI listed ones are bigger (94 x 66, 51 inches high) than some of MLD's. Cheaper to boot.
http://www.rei.com/category/40007161

Agreed: given the crazy light weight I was a tad sleptical at first of my Solomid/innernet pair. But the years have reassured me.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 19
bigsilk Search for posts by this member.
A different kind of rebel...
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1190
Joined: Feb. 2012
PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 27 2013, 6:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(JimInMD @ Mar. 27 2013, 9:22 am)
QUOTE

(bigsilk @ Mar. 26 2013, 4:43 pm)
QUOTE
If you have a fire, heat up some rocks and form a triangle (20 ft. per side) around your site. May not last all night, but maybe half. You should be asleep by then...

Trick I picked up, oddly enough, at Ft. Hood - '87-89.

Wouldn't warm rocks tend to attract cold blooded snakes in the middle of a cold desert night?

Exactly. Attract them to the rocks and not you. Critters seek out warmth. If the rocks are warmer than you, they'll go there first.

--------------
There are only two things I don't like about people: They take too long to cook and taste like crap when they're done.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 20
Arizona Search for posts by this member.
Valhalla, I am coming
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 593
Joined: Apr. 2007
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 2:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have a very light OR Bug Bivy for two but prefer a larger tent with lots of mesh and more structure. We have slept without a shelter with netting when we need to go in as light as possible but very much prefer something as we did see some wicked looking scorpions near camp one of those times. I have had them crawl across my face in the night. Scorpions are everywhere we camp and three days ago this little fellow was camped 20 yards from our tent, supposedly the most dangerously venomous snake in North America, the Mojave Rattler;



The next morning he was in a different place, very close to the his previous spot and almost in the same configuration. He is trying hard to grow some rattles.



We don't bother them, they don't bother us but we did use the headlamps on a brighter setting when walking around at night unless we were reading later in the night.  :D
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
19 replies since Mar. 25 2013, 11:54 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply Lightweight solution to keep snakes/scorpions out?
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions