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Thread: Porcupines?

  1. #11
    Member steene's Avatar
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    Not porcupines, but...

    I saw several instances of chew through in Guatemala. The family dog at my in-laws house habitually chewed through my father-in-law' hammocks. My father-in-law was a truck driver.
    Truckers there will often hang a hammock along the edge of their trailer when waiting for a load or waiting in line. It is HOT along the south coast where we lived. So the hammocks collected more than their fair share of sweat.
    It generally started off with licking, nothing like climbing a soggy hammock. (yummy dog spit)
    Stories also are told in Northern MN about axe handles being chewed on by porcupines. Supposedly for the salt from sweat.

  2. #12
    Dutch's Avatar
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    At my cabin in Northern PA we had to replace the outhouse every decade or so because the porcupines would chew the bottom of the walls and doors to get the salt from splattered urine...mmmmmm. I just don't think there is enough salt on my suspension and rain has to remove it fairly often. They would probably go for your pack straps 1st. The Ponies on the gaceland highlands would lick and chew at packs if they were left unattended.

    Peace Dutch

  3. #13
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    Stupid hiker story. 1985 San Juans in Colorado. After an exhausting all day hike over a 12000+ foot pass and then down the other side trying to get down before the lightning soon arrived, 3 of us made camp by a good sized stream. Not at a campground- there probably weren't any for 20 miles, this was just a random spot in the middle of the Weminuche(sp?) Wilderness. It was rapidly getting dark. Very tired and wet and hungry, we got a nice fire going and cooked and ate supper. We stood our three packs together tripod style just outside the tent door, crawled in and sacked out. But it also turned out that one of us, the one who had KP duty, and being exhausted, had decided to break the rules and NOT to deal with one pot that had some food burned on the bottom and a lot of soot all over it. So he cleared out an area in the center of the fire ( it had been raining every day and the woods were well soaked) and left the pot in the center of the fire, maybe 100 feet from our tent in the middle of a wide open area with no nearby trees. I guess we wanted to see what we could attract?! Though I can't remember, I assume we hung the rest of the food pots etc. , as that has always been my norm.

    So we are in the tent (maybe 30 minutes max!) when UH OH! We here the sound of metal noise from the campfire direction. Oh no, I figure, break the rules one time and now you've got a bear in camp! I get a flashlite and unzip the tent and find myself face to face with a big *** porcupine, just a few inches from the door of the tent, apparently getting ready to chow down on our packs. He didn't seem particularly alarmed to see me, and even with me making loud noises, he moved off at a very slow pace. Then we were able to get out of the tent to find ourselves in the middle of a porcupine assault force of 4 or 5, surrounding our tent and campfire. I admit to being a tad nevous about all of those quills! At least two of them appeared to be trying to get the pot out from the middle of the fire ring, surrounded by red hot coals and some flame! Unbelievable! But even more so was the way they were uninpressed with our noise making as we tried to shoo them off! They basically held their ground and glared at us. We finally had to throw some rocks and hit some of them, at which point they finally moved off at a leisurely, non-chalant pace, back to the deeper woods. I was starting to wonder if we were going to become the first known victims of porcupine attack!

    So we dealt with the dirty pot as we should have to start with, and dragged our packs into the tent- though there was no room, and slept the rest of the night undisturbed. As far as I can recall, that is the only one of those beasts I have seen during 24 years of backpacking east and west. But I assume they ( or their offspring, or both) are still out there, a gang of them with a bit of an attitude! So keep your salty items(packs, boots and of course food (DUH!) in a safe place if your in this area of Colorados San Juans. I think it was Johnson Creek after you cross a pass leaving Chicago Basin headed southeast. I know one thing, It is slap dab in the middle of nowhere. These animals could not have been acustomed to people. We had not seen any other people the entire day or the day after.

    Also, I admit I don't cherish the idea of a porcupine sauntering underneath my hammock while I'm in it, leaving a quill or two behind!
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 06-26-2007 at 15:49.

  4. #14
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Porcupines

    BillyBob58--great story! Someone ought to put together a flash animation of it. <aside to any 2006 Philmont veterans, like the animation about "Attack of the Minibears" shown in the closing campfire>

    I've pulled dozens of quills out of a too inquisitive dog---from her mouth. I was struck by two things : (1) how wicked the barbed end of a quill is, and (2) that the dog just lay there and let me dig these things out.

    don't want to mess with porcupines.

    Grizz

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ewker View Post
    The next morning he got up to bear prints all around his hammock. He said he was glad he slept really sound that night...lol
    One bear to another: Check this out! SPINNNNNNN!

    What a way to wake up.

  6. #16
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightwalker View Post
    One bear to another: Check this out! SPINNNNNNN!

    What a way to wake up.
    a bear pinata?
    yeah, i'd be more concerned about a porcupine walking under my low hanging hammock... & then backing up
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #17
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    You guys might want to check out Michele's TJ. She has a recent entry saying how she woke up to realize a bear with pretty close to her setup. Kind of funny.
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  8. #18
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    They are a problem for river trippers in Maine sometimes, nibbling on salty fishing rod grips and wooden paddles...you have to be careful about where you store them for the evening hours.

    Christian

  9. #19
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I remember seeing this article about a dog that got in a fight with a porcupine and lost. I have never actually seen a porcupine in real life but after seeing those pics, I don't think I wanna come across one
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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  10. #20
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    I saw one here in Florida a few weeks back. It was really passive and seemed quite friendly. However, the zookeeper wouldn't let me pet it.

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