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  1. #1
    Scoutmaster Troop 615 bdaabat's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Cool Close encounter tonight

    So, I recently purchased an under quilt. Before using it in the field, I decided to do some backyard testing this weekend. Temps here overnight have been in the 30s...frost in the mornings...perfect time to test! So, I got the hammock and UQ set up and then chillaxed for a bit watching a show on the iPad. I'm snug and comfy in the hammock when I feel something moving around me. Can't quite place WHERE the movement is coming from or if it's just the trees swaying in the breeze. I look around up in the trees, but don't see anything. I then start looking down and around by the trees and I see something out of the corner of my eye..lit's immediately below and to the back of me and moves when my headlamp beam moves close. I can't make out what it is, but I'm definitely concerned.

    I re-position so I can see what it is: it's a raccoon! The raccoon was probably less than a foot from my face as I am turning to look down and behind me, and it's just sitting there looking at me with a curious expression. It's not appearing scared at all. I then notice the elastic cord from the UQ is sort of still bouncing and moving along the groundl I think the raccoon was playing with it while I was in the hammock. The thing wasn't running from me, it seemed very used to people.

    Since I was expecting that the raccoon would keep playing with the cords unless I wrapped them up (and I didn't really want to deal with an unwanted visitor overnight), I bailed on the overnight test.

    Good lesson: pay attention to loose cord/lines to avoid close encounters overnight!

    Bruce

  2. #2
    2ply's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    Athens,Ga
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    Too funny! I'm about to head out and sleep with the raccoons myself.
    Everyone ought to believe in something....I believe I'll go set up the hammock!

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Apr 2012
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    NJ
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    I've found on one or two occasions that a nice strobe in the face encourages them to give you some distance if you've got a good flashlight. I know it sounds cruel, but I prefer it to throwing things at them.

  4. #4
    olddog's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Lakeland, Fl
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    I tend to hang a little low and had a similar thing happen last spring with an armadillo. Something poked me between the shoulder blades! Rolled over and lite him up and he was just sitting up looking at me.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Animals seem as curious about hammocks as we are. Guess it just proves that nature prefers the hammocks to tents.
    *Heaven best have trees, because I plan to lounge for eternity.

    Good judgement is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgement. - Mark Twain

    Trail name: Radar

    2014 Smoked Butt Hang Planning Thread | Sign up Sheet

  6. #6
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    I've had raccoons crawl on my tarp in the past. So far, they haven't damaged any of my gear with their claws, but I worry about it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member AKA Pete's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    Fayetteville, NC
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    Raccon

    We had a Raccoon that was raiding camp one night. Messed with one of the girls tents - of course she shouted the "Get Away" that woke up everybody up and we chased it out of camp.

    After the third repeat we decided to put some bacon on a log about 20 meters outside of camp - with a liberal amount of hot sauce sprinkled on top.

    The Raccoon was not heard from again that night.

    The next year we talked with the park Ranger about it. That Raccoon had become a pest at that location and it was trapped and relocated a few months after our encounter.

    Maybe Rocky got hooked on the hot sauce.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KMACK's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Western CT
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    I've limited my backyard trips due to the five (yes five) cats my wife and I resqued last year after a major storm. I have visions of them climbing my tarp and shreading my UQ.

  9. #9
    Senior Member louisfb's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    Tallahassee, North Adirolf
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMACK View Post
    I've limited my backyard trips due to the five (yes five) cats my wife and I resqued last year after a major storm. I have visions of them climbing my tarp and shreading my UQ.
    Just put the cats in the hammock with you. Should keep you nice and toasty.

    --louis

  10. #10
    Scoutmaster Troop 615 bdaabat's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Btw: what a cool forum! I knew y'all would appreciate this story.

    There's no way I could share this story with non-hammock people without first getting the questions..."Wait...you mean that you set up a hammock to sleep in, in your back yard, at night, when you have a perfectly comfortable and warm bed inside?", followed by incredulous looks.

    Bruce

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