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>I have recently subscribed to the at-l. Our Boy Scout troop will be hiking a
>portion of the AT (Penn.) this summer (Last week of July) and had some
>questions. They would like to know if there is a problem with mice and/or
>porcupines. Do they need to hang their packs as well as food? They had
>heard that the porcupines like to eat straps. I appreciate your time. Rick
>Rick M. Eugene
Personally, I consider mice the second most dangerous animal on the AT.
They'll steal your food, they carry deer ticks, hantavirus and miscellaneous
other nasties. There is no foolproof way to keep them off your food - I've
watched them make an 8 ft jump from the rafters in a shelter onto a food
bag. Some of them aren't that smart - but I wouldn't bet my food supply
on it. And there's no such thing as a mouse-free shelter.
Incidentally, some shelters have skunks or snakes. Please don't mess
with them - they won't hurt you and they're performing a public service
by controlling the mouse population. It IS their home, not ours. We're
In case you can't tell - I don't like mice, I rarely stay in shelters, and I
don't recommend shelters to others.
As for porkies, there are a lot of them in North Central PA. but I don't
think they range as far east/south as the AT. At least I've never seen
one south of I80.
Which section of the AT are you planning to hike?
Bald Eagle, AT-92