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Old 06-23-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default Keeping snakes away in the desert.



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If you had to spend a night in the Arizona or California desert and had no tent, how would you make sure you won't wake up with a rattler next to your head? I know the fires keep wild animals away but what about snakes. If anything I think the fire would attract a snake. Maybe it's about the location of a camp. Just guessing.
Old 06-23-2010, 09:23 AM
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"Many people worry about what might crawl over them while they are asleep. They are bothered by the thought that harmless insects like the common black ant might crawl over there face. For people who are hyper-worried about such things, I would recommend that they sleep in a fully enclosed space of some kind.

In most of the North America there is little danger of getting hurt by crawling critters in the middle of the night. I would encourage people to get over their ill-rational fears. I am sure many people have heard stories of snakes crawling into someone sleeping bag to stay warm, but you are MUCH more likely to have lighting strike you than have this happen, even if you place your sleeping bag right next to a snake's home. There is a small risk of getting stung or bitten by crawling insects such as spiders or scorpions, but they tend not to bother sleeping people. There is more of a risk getting stung when you clean out your garage. There are some locations in Australia, Asia, and Africa where concerns are justified and it would be be foolish to sleep within some protective system, but this is the exception, not the rule."
http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/...ood-sleep.html


Now I understand that cowboys use to put their lariat around the bed roll to ward off those crawly rascals. Not to sure if it worked
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:56 AM
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Good post, Critter.

I doubt the lariat around the camp works. That's just so squeamish folks can get some sleep.

Snake bellys are pretty tough. Even the roughest hemp rope would be nothing to them.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:47 AM
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I don't know about snakes, but shake your boots out every morning before you put them on. For some reason scorpions seem to love spending the night in boots, and I've saved myself a few stings by getting them out.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:48 AM
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Not much you can do to keep them out.. just zip up tight and check under your bag before you start rolling it up.
When I was in the middle-east, I would check under my sleep mat every morning. There was almost always a few scorpions under it, but never a snake. We did find sandvipers hanging out around our water supply fairly often...
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:05 PM
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Snakes are picky about the temperature and generally it's too cold at night for them to move about much, early morning and nights is when they are apt to be out. Your odds of being bit by a scorpion are much greater.
The rope around the sleeping bag is an old joke played on city slickers, and no, it doesn't work.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:55 PM
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Short answer: You don't. All *KINDS* of **** will crawl all under your fleshy nooks during the night if you sleep without a tent, although probably to a lesser extent in the desert (never gone tentless in the desert, don't know.)

Just make sure to treat all the critters nice, because they know where you sleep.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:38 PM
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Snakes, being cold-blooded, are only active when temps are favorable to them. That's usually during the morning and evening, not too hot, not too cold. In Winter they may be more active in the day, and in late summer may be more active at night.
No, the rope doesn't keep them away, They crawl over it as well as they crawl over the rocks, mesquite, cactus, etc. they live in. Obviously, a tent is the ideal, close up and sleep soundly. Absent that, make a shelter in an open space away from large rock outcroppings, thick brush, prarie dog towns, or other similar places attractive to snakes. Make a good fire, and put some sticks on the ground, cover them with leafy branches, then thick layer of grass. You'll be comfortable, up off the ground, and can sleep peacefully.
Real good advice to shake out your boots, and all other clothing, before putting it on in the morning. Scorpions, centipedes, spiders and other crawliphants, run around at night, and in AM look for places out of the sun to shelter for the day. They probably won't get in bed with you unless you have a sleeping bag, but love clothing piles, packs, shoes, etc. to hide in. Best to hang such thing up in bushes or trees before bed.
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Old 06-23-2010, 03:43 PM
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Hammocks and elevated sleeping platforms.

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Old 06-23-2010, 03:56 PM
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Hammock?

Seems like it would be light enough, no?
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:02 PM
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Out here, I'd rather carry water.

Seriously, guys. Snakes aren't an issue (Upper Sonoran Habitat). Just make sure your boots are unoccupied before you put them on.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leam View Post
Snakes are picky about the temperature and generally it's too cold at night for them to move about much, early morning and nights is when they are apt to be out....
Now THERE'S some sage advice.

- OS
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:04 PM
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I gotta agree with most. I've spent many nights out in the Sonoran Desert in Northern Mexico. I do carry a Bug Bivy sac, but for the most part don't use it. I Have had no problems with critters in the night, with the exception of a few red ants (ouch). As for the boots, yep, empty them out. I have found all kinds of insects, and one time a huge toad!

I have thought of getting one of the hammocks that roll up into a small ball, but I don't know if I could find two trees close enough to string it...
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:22 PM
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In the deserts of Arizona, if you plan to use a hammock, bring your own trees.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:47 PM
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Forget the snakes... its the Fire Ants that scare me... it would suck to wake up covered in those!
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:39 AM
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Nothing you can do unless you happen to have a tree or rock you can climb up onto. Not something I worry about. Snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them and generally try to avoid large mammals who are likely to eat them.

Scorpions, OTOH, love to crawl into boots....
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leam View Post
The rope around the sleeping bag is an old joke played on city slickers, and no, it doesn't work.
Unless you pour salt on it and place candles in a star shape around you.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:42 PM
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Ah, Ed, you would be sleeping in the desert....where are you going to get "leafy branches"?? Just asking, even if there is mesquite around, they have really big thorns, most desert trees do.
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Old 06-25-2010, 01:07 PM
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In the desert, I try not to sleep on the ground at all during the summer. I always sleep in my vehichle. I have a Pathfinder now and I sleep comfortably in the back of it so, I dont worry about all the creepy crawlers. Snakes dont bother me but, Scorpions you definately have to watch out for them. The smaller ones are the worst of all. so, check your shoes and clothing in the morning.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:23 PM
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If your ever out in the wilds and want to avoid snakes then try to avoid the swampy areas, indeed any form of surface water. Snakes hunt prey that needs the water to live, I suppose that the snakes may need the water as well.
As stated previously it is wise to shake out you boots, all manner of critter may find it a handy "cave" to find shelter in.
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