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View Full Version : Guyot shelter -- mice..?



TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 05:51 AM
I'm planning (far) in advance for our Bonds traverse -- we'll have a tent with us, but we'd both prefer to stay in the shelter (if it's not full by the time we get there).

For those who have stayed in the Guyot shelter, during summer --

are there usually mice, and if so, how do you deal with them? Do they run over your sleeping bag? I want to avoid a situation where Alex wakes up screaming bloody murder because a critter has run across her face. :o

I know we can tent it to just avoid the situation altogether, but if they usually aren't that bad, the shelter would be nice.

Thanks -- Trish

RollingRock
03-18-2009, 06:10 AM
are there usually mice, and if so, how do you deal with them? Do they run over your sleeping bag? I want to avoid a situation where Alex wakes up screaming bloody murder because a critter has run across her face. :o


I haven't stayed in that shelter in a while. If there are mice, don't worry about them. They are usually after your food so make sure you have the food bag shut tight and hanging somewhere. They might scamper about the floor but you'll be sleeping and you'll never know. They won't bite :) I've been in plenty of lean-to's with mice and they never were a bother. As soon as you get used to the idea that they will be there, you'll be fine.

Wolfgang
03-18-2009, 06:22 AM
A good thing to carry would be a bivy. One that has some poles to create a space around ones head. It helps to keep the bugs off your face also.

peakbagger
03-18-2009, 06:31 AM
Unless you are staying in the shelter for the "shelter experience", a tent is a far better way to go at Guyot. The shelter is normally full to the max on weekends and it tends to be a noisy place all night (about the same as an AMC hut). Mice are a variable but expected and the do tend to run around everywhere including on top of sleeping folks. Do note that on busy weekends, the caretaker can ask you to share a tent platform and you need a tent that is freestanding or have some cup hooks to rig up the tentlines.

If you want a shelter experience to try it out, there are several lesser used shelters in the whites (Mt Langdon, for example) and see if Alex likes it.

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 06:31 AM
Thanks, guys -- Wolfgang, will the caretaker frown on using a bivy within the shelter?

kmac
03-18-2009, 06:38 AM
Thanks, guys -- Wolfgang, will the caretaker frown on using a bivy within the shelter?

Yes they do. If the caretaker does not ask you to take it down the folks staying in the shelter will.

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 06:45 AM
Unless you are staying in the shelter for the "shelter experience", a tent is a far better way to go at Guyot. The shelter is normally full to the max on weekends and it tends to be a noisy place all night (about the same as an AMC hut). Mice are a variable but expected and the do tend to run around everywhere including on top of sleeping folks. Do note that on busy weekends, the caretaker can ask you to share a tent platform and you need a tent that is freestanding or have some cup hooks to rig up the tentlines.



Thanks, peakbagger (we cross-posted). I appreciate the information.

We would not be staying at Guyot on the weekend, specifically to maximize the chances for a space at the shelter and to minimize the crowd factor. We'll have a tent with us and we will be prepared to make use of a platform (and to share it). Just trying to get all information on all possibilities in my mind well before the trip itself. ;)

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 06:46 AM
Yes they do. If the caretaker does not ask you to take it down the folks staying in the shelter will.

That's what I figured. Sorry, Wolfgang, perhaps I misunderstood -- you mean a bivy instead of a tent, on the platform?

dr_wu002
03-18-2009, 06:48 AM
If you're worried about mice running across your face, glue a mouse trap(s) onto your forehead before you go to sleep.

The biggest issue is the weirdos that stay there. One time, Giggy, me, MEB, Sleeping Bear, Little Sister and Woody48 stayed at the shelter and there were these boyscouts on the top shelf. They kept us up all night, talkin' about some really weird things.

-Dr. Wu

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 06:55 AM
Wu, they're probably saying the same things about you guys -- "One time, we stayed at this shelter, and there were these really weird people on the lower level...we didn't feel safe falling asleep, we had to keep ourselves awake all night talking..." :p

Hillwalker
03-18-2009, 07:12 AM
They usually run along the floor next to the wall. If you sleep with your head near the wall they will run sometimes right over your face. Sleep the other way around and your feet will never know. Of course you can bring a cat too.

MichaelJ
03-18-2009, 07:37 AM
And ... hang your food. Use one of the hangers that are already there, which are cord coming down from the shelter roof through an upside-down, empty food can. This prevents the mice from just walking down the hanger rope onto your food bag and chewing through it.

wardsgirl
03-18-2009, 07:44 AM
Guyot is one of the busiest sites in the Whites. By the time you get there, it will likely be full. When staying at Guyot, do yourself a favor and plan on tenting anyway. IMHO tenting is a far more pleasant experience and is way more conducive to a good night's sleep. At Guyot in particular, I would suggest that if you arrive after 2:00 pm, don't even bother carrying your pack down the 0.3 to the campsite. Leave your pack at the intersection. Bring only your waterbag down to the spring to fill up. If the shelter or tentsites have vacancies, claim a spot and go back up the hill to retrieve your gear. In the extreme likelihood that the campsite is full, simply take your water back to your pack, find a sweet spot in the overflow and call it a day with your water. I can give you more Guyot tips when it gets closer to the time. Heck, I'll even go with you! We're there a lot anyway and I even have been the caretaker there before.

Mice? If you get a spot in the shelter, just use the mouse trapeze like Michaelj said.

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 07:54 AM
Wardsgirl -- thanks. I'll pm you when it gets closer to the time -- if you want to join us, please do (your son is also more than welcome!). We'll be doing a Galehead-Zealand traverse, with a stay at Galehead hut and two nights at (or near!) Guyot. We will NOT be going over a weekend.

RollingRock
03-18-2009, 08:00 AM
Guyot is one of the busiest sites in the Whites. By the time you get there, it will likely be full. When staying at Guyot, do yourself a favor and plan on tenting anyway. IMHO tenting is a far more pleasant experience and is way more conducive to a good night's sleep. At Guyot in particular, I would suggest that if you arrive after 2:00 pm, don't even bother carrying your pack down the 0.3 to the campsite. Leave your pack at the intersection. Bring only your waterbag down to the spring to fill up. If the shelter or tentsites have vacancies, claim a spot and go back up the hill to retrieve your gear. In the extreme likelihood that the campsite is full, simply take your water back to your pack, find a sweet spot in the overflow and call it a day with your water. I can give you more Guyot tips when it gets closer to the time. Heck, I'll even go with you! We're there a lot anyway and I even have been the caretaker there before.

I hope I'm not breaking any rules with making this comment on this thread but with the WMNF fees possibly going up, I've always been amazed that expanding this area (which obviously is popular) is not even in their 5-year plan! Rules are possibly being broken by camping in the overflow area (which I've done too many times) yet the WMNF turns the other cheek.

Waumbek
03-18-2009, 08:37 AM
Build a shelter and they will come. The mice. (Why not?) I have never had them run across my face at Guyot, although I was probably just lucky. The worst was the shelters on the Northville-Placid Trail. I have often slept in open shelters with a bug-bag on my head, which also blunts the feeling of the little feet. The best solution is a tent.

sardog1
03-18-2009, 08:47 AM
I've been in plenty of lean-to's with mice

The highlighted portion is rhetorical redundancy and one of the reasons that I avoid the shelters. (The other is that I dislike associating in the backcountry with the Scouts AND with the rest of you. ;) )

David Metsky
03-18-2009, 10:38 AM
I have had a mouse run across my face at Guyot shelter, and had one nibble on my finger at another shelter (forget which). I'd choose the tent option unless it's a miserable rainy day and you need have lots of time to kill.

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 10:47 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all the responses. Okay -- we'll definitely plan on tenting and NOT using the shelter.

dug
03-18-2009, 11:00 AM
I have 100% success with finding mice at any aggregated camping area. I never stay in shelters, but I've had them at the tent sites. They do cause damage. They will eat through a pack to get at your food.

Little Rickie
03-18-2009, 11:33 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all the responses. Okay -- we'll definitely plan on tenting and NOT using the shelter.

Now, how do you feel about snakes? :D

wardsgirl
03-18-2009, 11:56 AM
...or bats?

Does anyone remember about 5 years ago when the Rocky Branch Shelter #2 was infested with bats? My BF and I ended up there one rainy night. We didn't notice that bats until we were half asleep. I still can't believe we didn't vacate the shelter immediately to set up our tent, but it was raining.:eek:

TCD
03-18-2009, 12:41 PM
The snakes who live in Duck Hole #1 were gracious hosts in 2006, allowing us big strangers to share their lean to. :D

swamp
03-18-2009, 12:51 PM
2 or 3 years ago the caretaker at Guyot (I think it was Storm) had made several rodent traps. He told me that they were for shrews. Maybe they are a problem at the shelter or maybe he had nothing else to do.

skiguy
03-18-2009, 01:10 PM
Now, how do you feel about snakes? :D

.....or cockroaches......I had to go to Hawaii to find those in the shelters:eek:

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 01:16 PM
Now, how do you feel about snakes? :D

LOL, I've no problems with them, neither does Alex. She doesn't mind mice either, actually -- it's the sensation of having one walk across your face in the middle of the night...that's what I'm trying to avoid. I'm pretty sure that if that happened I'd have a very high-volume kid on my hands, no one would sleep from that point on. Actually, I can't be sure I wouldn't react the exact same way myself, I can't really blame it all on her. :o

We'll tent it, no biggie.

Trainwreck
03-18-2009, 02:40 PM
I'm good with mice, even bats Skip the snakes.
I've never been to Guyot, when are you going?
Sandy

MichaelJ
03-18-2009, 02:47 PM
Even at a tent platform, hang that food bag! I also hang my pack, just to ensure any rodent that happens to come across it on the ground doesn't decide to chew through it in search of food.

Wolfgang
03-18-2009, 03:09 PM
Thanks, guys -- Wolfgang, will the caretaker frown on using a bivy within the shelter?

I don't see why. I bivy is nothing but a glorified sleeping bag cover.

David Metsky
03-18-2009, 04:07 PM
I don't see why. I bivy is nothing but a glorified sleeping bag cover.
It depends on the bivy. If it's just an outer bag, no one would notice, let alone complain. If it's a bivy with a tent pole or two, people would complain.

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 04:24 PM
It depends on the bivy. If it's just an outer bag, no one would notice, let alone complain. If it's a bivy with a tent pole or two, people would complain.

Ours has a pole, it definitely looks like a little tent. I may just use that. I've been carrying it all winter, it weighs nothing, it's sturdy, and we both fit in it (albeit snugly).

Trainwreck, we're going in the summer, after Galehead hut opens, definite date yet to be determined.

TDawg
03-18-2009, 04:43 PM
Even at a tent platform, hang that food bag! I also hang my pack, just to ensure any rodent that happens to come across it on the ground doesn't decide to chew through it in search of food.

Right, just because your not in the shelter doesn't get you away from mice altogether. At one of the platforms at Guyot, below the privy, we shared the platform with a mouse who lived below in the rocks. Hang that food bag!

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 04:50 PM
Right, just because your not in the shelter doesn't get you away from mice altogether. At one of the platforms at Guyot, below the privy, we shared the platform with a mouse who lived below in the rocks. Hang that food bag!


Will do. I can deal with hanging food bags, etc. Just don't want to deal with a critter running across my head.

NewHampshire
03-18-2009, 06:17 PM
I hope I'm not breaking any rules with making this comment on this thread but with the WMNF fees possibly going up, I've always been amazed that expanding this area (which obviously is popular) is not even in their 5-year plan! Rules are possibly being broken by camping in the overflow area (which I've done too many times) yet the WMNF turns the other cheek.

The overflow sites are not in the Wilderness. If you lookat the map you will see (rather conveniently :rolleyes:) the tentsite/shelter from the ridge down to the platforms is outside the Wilderness area. In the twisted thinking of the Forest Service they probably would not want the area expanded because they don't want to encourage overuse (yes, that is how their minds work :D)

Brian

dr_wu002
03-18-2009, 07:06 PM
Ours has a pole, it definitely looks like a little tent. I may just use that. I've been carrying it all winter, it weighs nothing, it's sturdy, and we both fit in it (albeit snugly).
.The shelter is fun.

One thing: if you decide to stay in the shelter and (unlikely) a mouse does run over your face, don't try to attack it with a gun or your dreadful car shock device. You probably wouldn't harm the other people there too badly, but in the dark like that I bet it's hard to hit a mouse. If you want an example of just how wily these critters are, here's a video of one I took at night while at Baxter State Park 2 years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ShlnNU7nO8

-Dr. Wu

TrishandAlex
03-18-2009, 08:34 PM
Wu, that was very cute. That graham cracker was 4 times as big as that little fella. I also enjoyed the commentary.

Once at Guyot, I'll take your advcie and try very hard to remember NOT to smack my face with any of my secret, illegal weapons in the middle of the night.

dr_wu002
03-18-2009, 08:43 PM
Wu, that was very cute. That graham cracker was 4 times as big as that little fella. I also enjoyed the commentary.

Once at Guyot, I'll take your advcie and try very hard to remember NOT to smack my face with any of my secret, illegal weapons in the middle of the night.
It's wicked fun, especially when you're at Baxter with MEB and Little Sister and they go to sleep at 8:00pm, to sit there in the dark and wait for mice and other critters to show up at the campsite. I actually try to catch the mice -- haven't been successful so far. Two years ago I slept outside and a skunk and a raccoon were quarreling which was quite amusing. Then the skunk kept trying to get in my sleeping bag which was only somewhat amusing but also a little unnerving. Last year at Baxter of course a strange creature visited our website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVYoL9r8Hvw and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLCUnZ2SSfg -- imagine having that thing run over your face at night...

-Dr. Wu

Neil
03-18-2009, 09:02 PM
I haven't read this thread but I learned this simple but effective method for ridding one's premises of mice.

Put bait under inverted and raised bowl.
Mouse goes for food.
Lower bowl thus entrapping mouse underneath.
Raise bowl just enough for mouse to stick its head out.

Lower bowl forcefully crushing mousy spinal cord and dispatching unwanted rodent to the great Mickey Mouse Show in the sky.

--M.
03-19-2009, 07:15 AM
Well that cracks me right up, just like a mouse's spine!

I also got a tip from a thru-hiker from Georgia at the Imp Shelter to leave my pack open & rummageable, with no food in it. Having had a Kelty eaten through, I had learned my lesson & agreed with this.

I've also watched four guys (myself included) make complete stooges of themselves trying to hang a ludicrously over-weight food bag. Deadfalls came down, stooges scattered, it was tragedy narrowly averted. Insert appropriate Curly noises here.

Good luck!

The Hikers
03-19-2009, 07:39 AM
Doesn't anyone else hike with their cat?

wardsgirl
03-19-2009, 07:50 AM
Don't laugh, The Hikers. One of the weirdest things I ever saw on a trail was a couple walking their pet orange longhaired cat on the Twinway. His name was "Lamont" and they had trained him to go backpacking with him since he was a kitten. They told me he liked staying in the tent too. Crazy!

I bet his favorite 4k'rs were Tom, Garfield and Wildcats, eh?

TrishandAlex
03-19-2009, 07:57 AM
You know, I'm seriously thinking of trying one of our cats out on a short hike this summer. He's just over a year old right now and VERY friendly, VERY active, and seems to want to follow me everywhere. I'll put a harness and leash on him and see what happens. Probably not much, but I'm very curious...

roadtripper
03-19-2009, 08:55 AM
I can't remember where I read it or heard it (Here? my friend who worked at the Lakes Hut? some book?), but supposedly one of the Mt. Washington cats used to routinely follow AMC Hut crew all the way from Mt. Washington down to the Lakes Hut and back.

wardsgirl
03-19-2009, 09:00 AM
There used to be a cat at Zealand Falls Hut in the late 80s, who climbed up Whitewall Mtn. (whack) with the caretaker one day when I was there.

peakbagger
03-19-2009, 09:47 AM
Of course there is the famous cat that did the AT and other adventures. Of course after a few days, the cat rode on the owners backpack for the majority of the trip, but apparently the cat reduced the population of shelter mice in exchange for the ride.

I have always thought that a Maine Coon Cat would be a good hiking cat as they tend to follow their owners around and they tend to be on the big side. Not many small to medium size dogs will mess with a Coon cat for very long.

smitty77
03-19-2009, 09:49 AM
Also a cat at Galehead in the mid-80s that escorted us from the hut to the trailhead, then turned around and headed back as we got into the car.

I'm just in awe at how popular Guyot has become, along with hiking in general. Back in the 80s, it was unheard of to see parking lots filled to capacity and shelters with overflow sites that actually got used regularly. You were only worried about shelter and platform space on holiday weekends. Man times have changed!

I stayed at Guyot once, in the shelter, on the top floor. No mice that I remembered, but it would take an atom bomb to wake me anyway.

I do remember a persistent red squirrel or chipmunk stealing the top off a can of peanuts we mistakenly left outside the tent at Ethan Pond.

Neil
03-19-2009, 09:51 AM
The more you dispatch mice to their deaths the steeper the mouse population density gradient becomes. You create a mouse vacuum and you are at the very center of this hole into which hundreds of mice, flowing down the gradient, pour relentlessly, until equilibrium is re-established.

Nevertheless, it's a lot of fun.

TCD
03-19-2009, 09:55 AM
I plan to try some short walks with one of my cats in the Spring. Gothics is 6 years old and an indoor cat, but he has his claws. His behavior has always been dog-like; he follows me everywhere, is very calm and good with strangers, etc. Should be interesting!

I would never consider it with the other cat. Armstrong is 11, retarded/hyper, doesn't like anyone, and lives somewhere in a gray area between pet and vermin. He stays home.

TCD

Woody
03-19-2009, 10:59 PM
As Dr. Wu mentioned staying at shelters can be fun when you have a good group of people. Besides Guyot I have stayed in the Hermit Lake shelters several times. The mice are not a problem if you keep your food and trash picked up. Generally the other people in the shelters are easy to get along with and will often share food with you. Of course it's nice to have something to share with them as well. Give the shelter a try.

RollingRock
03-20-2009, 09:39 AM
Generally the other people in the shelters are easy to get along with and will often share food with you.

I agree. If I'm backpacking alone I'd rather hang out with people for the overnight than be next to my tent alone. It's really like hanging out with a bunch of VFTTers in a shelter. It can quite fun!

skiguy
03-20-2009, 10:57 AM
I agree. If I'm backpacking alone I'd rather hang out with people for the overnight than be next to my tent alone. It's really like hanging out with a bunch of VFTTers in a shelter. It can quite fun!

Unless they snore and/or have flatulent tendencies.....

RollingRock
03-20-2009, 11:26 AM
Unless they snore and/or have flatulent tendencies.....

I always carry ear plug and I have a bad sense of smell that works in my favor:)

Jimmy Legs and Little D
04-03-2009, 12:24 PM
Or should I say "Scaremouse"?

<:3)~~