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[pct-l] Keeping little critters out of your pack

Keeping mice and critters out of your pack is a pain. Having spent a lot of
time in the Northern Cascades, I have had my share of battles, contests and
been under seige several times by the little buggers.  About 7 years ago,
while hiking with a young mentor-buddy of mine, we were amazed by the
brazeness of the mice -- going after our packs while we watched. He was
amazed and said, "I bet they wouldn't go near the packs if I had some of
Dad's coyotte urine and spread it around." This is stuff that hunters use to
mask their scent -- why urine is better than Safeguard soap I'm not sure and
don't honestly want to know.

Anyway, I realized his thought had merit. So, the next time we went out we
snitched a half empty bottle of the stuff, a couple of freezer ziplocks, a
couple of cotton rags and headed out.

What we did was put the rags in the ziplocks, squirted in some of the stuff,
let it soak in (not sloppy wet!) left the bag open and set it on our packs
with a small rock to hold it. We camped in the same spot as last time.
Watched the mice come out and then put the 'scent' out. It was like magic.
The little buggers were gone like they never were there.

In the morning, we triple bagged the 'scent' and carried it with us. We used
it every night. The smell wasn't strong enough for us to smell, but the
critters could. A .5 once bottle lasted us for two weeks and there was some
left over. One side benefit was that when we put our packs next to the tent
the mice stayed away all together.

The idea may not appeal to you. Granted, the thought of 'using' urine of any
sort is kind of disgusting, but it is a light weight solution to a problem.
Having mice snip a nice hole in your tent or pack is not a good thing -- and
I am only a passable seamstress.

Oh, it also keeps maurading deer away when you are sleeping near a bunch of
ripening huckleberry bushes -- I don't think bears would be fazed and sex
crazed coyottes might sing you to sleep, but it worked for us and I have
used it for many years since then.

Great hiking.

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