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Tarps and . . . snakes? Please enlighten the noob
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Marc Shea
(FlytePacker) - F

Locale: Cascades
Re: I moved to tents on 03/31/2011 09:39:11 MDT Print View

I am generally a tent guy as well, although I do like the versatility and weight savings of the Shangrila with nest. In western washington at the height of summer the bugs can be quite unbearable. Snakes west of the Cascades aren't much of a concern.

When I was in Alabama (where everything is posionous) years ago in the army, we would sleep under half-shelters in the field. We never unrolled our sleeping bags until we were ready to go to sleep. It wasn't snakes, it was the scorpions that had been the issue. One soldier was stung 6 times when she crawled into her bag one night.

Ginger Allman
(gindavall) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Spiders and other bites on 03/31/2011 15:35:57 MDT Print View

I second this about spider bites. Many spiders are venomous (it's how they kill their prey after all) but only a very few have fangs that are capable of getting through our tough skin. It drives me nuts when people claim they have spider bites. No such thing. (At least here in the US.)

But I do wonder about what causes all those little bites. Nothing fazes me, I never swell up when I get skeeter bit, ticks barely leave a mark, and I seem to be able to avoid chiggers. My poor husband, however, gets dozens of bites...from something...every time he goes outside. We were backpacking in February (in the Missouri Ozarks) and he must have had 15 bites! So weird how one person can be covered and another completely unaffected. And I don't think they're little infections because it's pretty consistently an outdoors thing, even if he's out for a few minutes. Strange. There must be more bugs biting than the usual suspects.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Spiders and other bites on 03/31/2011 15:48:18 MDT Print View

"My poor husband, however, gets dozens of bites...from something...every time he goes outside."


Little red dots, almost microscopic. The bugs live in the grass. I had about 300 bites one time when I lived in Missouri. Treatment? I moved out.


Joe Newton
Re: Re: Spiders and other bites on 03/31/2011 16:04:49 MDT Print View

Know all about the chiggers. State mite of Alabama. Not really but just what we have to put up with down here in the South.

Neal Anderson

Locale: North Georgia
Thanks on 03/31/2011 20:24:25 MDT Print View

Thank you all for your insightful responses - especially the humorous ones. I second the diagnosis on the bites being from chiggars - in the field I am nothing short of an all-you-can-eat buffet for chiggars. Porcupine highway. Classic.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Spyder Bites on 04/01/2011 18:09:32 MDT Print View

I'm sure what I'm seeing is some kind of bite.

Mosquito bites (for me) always leave a 3/16" round, slightly raised, slightly itchy mound, that stops itching in a few hours. What I think are "Spyder" bites leave a much larger "ameba shaped" (3/16 x 5/16 to 5/16 x 3/8) area that is twice as raised, and stays itchy about 2-3 times longer. The "ameba shaped" area looks very different than 2-3 mosquito bites that are so close together than they start to blend into one another. It looks similar to a horse fly bite, but doesn't hurt any where near as much.

Since Sypders crawl across my legs every 3-5 minutes while I'm reading before bed, I assume the bits I get while sleeping are spyder bites.