Can anyone share tips on keeping wild animals at bay?
Hi all. I'm a newbie to the site but have been hiking/climbing/camping for a few years now.
I'm planning to climb Valeta and Mulhacen in Spain early next week with my son. We'll be taking the west ridge route from Prodallano ski resort. Rather than staying at the refuge huts on the mountain we've opted for a wild camp near the Laguna de Caldera. I've read a bit about some pesky foxes that think nothing of ripping into your tent to take your food.. and with no fox repellant at hand I was planning on buring a sealed plastic box under rocks or earth? Anyone had any similar experiences/misadventures with local critters?
Never had any problem like that from any mammal. Have slept out across Europe and Middle East. Not saying it hasn't happened but it's not common.
Ants can be a bit of a problem though. I sometimes take a string bag and hang it from something. I wouldn't advise burying food.
Sealed (as in an airtight) plastic box may help - but given that it will then turn into a small plastic oven.
I wouldnt bury it - foxes can dig welland ants can and will get into most things. General camp hygiene is the key - dont leave stuff out and about that will attract them , no litter, rubbish, nothing. They will then go looking for something "easier"
I think it was OM member NearlyNormalPolarBear that had his tent raided, while he was in it, by a fox. That was up in Glen Shiel, IIRC.
And Tracksterman woke up to find a seagull had pecked several holes in his tent to get at the food inside.
So it can and does happen.
Trouble no one about their religion;
respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours.
No need to wildcamp, when you stay at Skyeside campsite, you are warned to not leave any food in the tents as they have bagders raiding the site...I'd just put food outside the tent, if it gets nicked by wild life, at least it won't be at the expense of your tent...
A decent plastic tub, the ones with the snap down side maybe, will stop an awful lot.
I have had problems with mice,marmots,chipmunks and bears. If you are near trees learn how to hang your food. Bear Barrels are good but heavy, you can get Ursacks not much use for bears but good for smaller mammals.I made a food stuff sack out of a vehicle airbag to stop the smaller chewing mammals.The people in the wreckers yard looked incredulous when I said why I wanted the air bag.
A plastic box placed outside might work put your pots and pans on it at night so you hear if it is messed with .Take a few good stones to bed with you to throw at animals. Don't worry you will never hit them.
Not a problem with my dog.
I suspect that it's more likely to happen somewhere where animals have got used to going and finding food - camp sites, refuges, or whatever.
All good stuff, thanks very much. Been reading Aron Railston's book 127 hours.. he talks about when in Colorado he was stalked by a hungry black bear for miles, at some points just 20 feet away. He kept the bear at distance by throwing stones, hitting it once in a while!
I like the' plastic tub outside the tent with some cooking pots on' idea, therefor not tempting the fox to get in the tent with us and being something of an intruder alarm!
I posted earlier aout my tent being ripped open while I was in it near Glen Finnan. Agree with post above - camp hygiene is imperative. I had a sodding marmot break into my tent a few years ago too, while on the TMB - and two of us were in it, too! It distributed my nearly dry washing out into the snow and made a bit of a mess of bags of food, too. Could have been worse tho. I guess a popular area for camping, too (albeit many miles from civilisation), so it had got used to raiding tents.
An amusing incident happened to a female friend of mine who whilst in a tent had a mole burrowing underneath her and the tent floor. For a moment she thought her luck had changed.
Ravens on the Skye Cuillin have taken up raiding rucksacks for food.
last week i had a fox in my tent. in luxembourg. darn thing wasn't scared of me at all. Iblame it to other campers not cleaning away their scraps/rubbish or even feeding the darn beasts.
For what it's worth, you could track down a large OPSak (odour proof sack) or two and use themr to stand some chance of the smell not attracting animals.
They are apparently used as the liner in the URSacks (bear-proof bags).
Not cheap and they used to suffer from the seal breaking easily but I've been told the design's been changed.
Sorry I didn't see your post earlier and I expect you have already gone. If so I hope you had a good fox free time.
Foxes can be a real problem in Spain's Sierra Nevada and I've personally witnessed a fox entering a hut and stealing the food from someone's bag. I also know people who have had their tents ripped by foxes when stealing food. Personally I always take some basic precautions when wild camping. Some information about this is on my website:
There is also information here about the 3 unmanned huts on your proposed route so you may not need to carry a tent. I'm always happy to advise on the area and meet up with anyone visiting (for a beer).
I believe that a Ninja Marmot who posts to this forum, had the Wasdale badger take a liking to her Cherry Bakewells.
The next badger she saw with some cherry bakewells almost got a tent pole in the eye...
I love it Hamish , very good .
Photographic proof of the Wasdale Badger!... and I thought it was just a legend!
Ok, so the hike was a success, though did take us a lot longer than expected!
No fox encounters that evening, we put the food in a plastic container, wrapped in a plastic bag and placed under a dozen hefty rocks. Even washed down the rock that we cooked on after a few splashes of soup was spilt - didnt want to take any chances!
Thanks all, and watch out for that badger.
When I hiked in the French Alps I was warned about Fox tapeworm from Fox poo, so I promised not to eat any. However one of the issues is that the poo dries and blows on to berries etc, so wash any fruit gathered.
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