Sleeping outside (under the stars)

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Sleeping outside (under the stars)

Postby vwscouter » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:16 pm

Let me preface this by first stating I was never a boy scout and I have have little experience in camping other than the last year that my boys have been in scouts.

Last month, our troop went camping and the weather was hot (100 in the day time and 80 at night). Are there any precautions for the scouts or scouters for sleeping in the open (no tent) and on the ground (other than bug spray). Some of the scouter were telling the scouts to zip there tents up so that no snake could enter the tent. There are copperheads in this area. Any info would be helpful here since we are going out again this weekend and the temp is going to be about the same. It gets hot in the tent and little air flows though them.

As it turns out, we did sleep outside on the last campout without any ill effects.
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Postby Nuts4Scouts » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:33 pm

In an area with copperheads, I would not sleep out on the ground at all.

Take the fly off of your tent & open all windows. A modern dome tent has plenty of mesh on the roof & many even have 2 doors for better cross ventilation.

What kind of tents does your Troop have? Maybe you might suggest they purchase tents that are more suited to your weather. Or you could purchase your own.
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Postby vwscouter » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:46 pm

The tents have plenty of mesh but there is still little air circulation.

So maybe sleeping on the ground is not a good ideal but how about sleeping on a cot outside?. At summer camp, the tents are just cloth tents with no zipper and the scouts sleep on cot sitting on pallets. And there are even more copperheads in that area?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby 616kayak » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:19 pm

Don’t worry about snakes. I live in Florida. Not only do we have the copperhead here, but we also have the cottonmouth, eastern diamond back, some timber rattlesnakes, pygmy rattlesnakes, and coral snakes.

Now, not all of them live in the same parts of Florida, but I’ve camped all over. In the hotter months I sleep outside my tent on a cot and sometimes no see um netting depending on location.

Of course if the area is abnormally infested with copperheads that’s when you zip the tent. An example of this would be from when I hiked around part of lake Okeechobee and they had just cleared a large area with a large amount of cottonmouths. In less than an hour we found two dead ones and spotted a live one.
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Postby JazerNorth » Thu Aug 17, 2006 5:43 pm

As long as it is warm out at night, the snakes won't really bother you. They only get into the bag with a person because it is warm in there and they can see that warmth. If they are mobile, they will avoid the large warm spots because they know that it is bigger than them.

Sleep out, enjoy being under the stars. It is well worth the risk. I grew up around many rattle snakes and I didn't have one problem with them (only when I aggravted them and I knew that is what I was doing).

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Postby FrankJ » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:43 pm

I sleep regularly outside with a tarp and ground cloth. A tent will protect you from bugs, but not animals.
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:08 pm

I've slept outside without a tent off and on for my entire life. Never heard of anyone being bothered by a snake.

My general experience is that snakes will avoid you much more effectively than you can avoid them.

For me, with those temps, ground cloth and sleeping bag on the ground is the way to go. If there is likely to be dew, I'll pull the ground cloth up over the top to keep my sleeping bag and whatever body parts I leave out dry.


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Postby pipestone1991 » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:04 am

Never slept out ever before in my 5 years of Cub Scouts or 3.5 in Boy Scouts but I will get to tonight at my OA Ordeal.....alone :wink: . I'll tell you if I think it's worth it on Sunday.
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Postby Mrw » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:55 am

Just remember that tarp as it WILL be wet where you will be!

I am not that far away and am re-working my weekend plans to account for rain too.
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Postby riverwalk » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:17 pm

In almost every case of a bad outcome with a snake, one will find that humans were the problem. This incudes Scouting activities. Don't bother them, and they're likely to never bother you. Enjoy the stars, and the current Planet shows.
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Postby pipestone1991 » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:45 am

It accually was a very good night out. I woke up in the middle of the night and it sprinkled for 5 minutes but that was it.
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Postby vwscouter » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:02 pm

Thanks for all the replies and comments. I didn't hear about any bad outcomes by sleeping outdoors (at least reguarding snakes and animals). So it looks like under the stars is the way to go.
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