Camping, food and... possums

monsters bite through my tent was stealing my bread. Since this day I try to store my food out of the tent, but I don't know where and how. I tried everything and since this first aquaiantance with a possum my food was stolen and eaten by possum around ten times in the last few weeks. I tried to hang it in trees, put in on water, I store it in Zip-Locks, even double Zip-Locks, nothing is effective. They smell it everytime. And it doesn't matter what kind of food it is, they eat everything. Apples, nuts, instant-noodles, muesli, toast... What are you doing to protect your food against possums while camping in the backcountry?

31 comments
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We sometimes take a modern light weight possum trap and catch possums then use the meat to eat. On longer trips this means you don't need to carry as much food with you! These traps will also catch rats if they are a problem.

I always carry a large bag of 1080 and sprinkle it liberally around the campsite :-D

Going back to the original question: has anyone here ever had trouble with possums chewing into their tent to steal their food from whilst they're in it? I mean: they're nocturnal animals so we're talking night time here. So unless the OP is leaving a base camp set up whilst he fly camps on the tops or something, the possums must be chewing into his tent whilst he's in it. In 100's of nights in the bush, I've never had that happen.

Sounds a little like the old myth where a snake crawls into a sleeping bag to get warm with you. Possibly has happened once somewhere but isn't likely. Wouldn't food have to be scarce for a possum to try that.

I was at Wilsons Prom a couple of months ago, a notorious possum haunt the other side of the ditch, on a short walk with a few new to overnighting. I had explained the necessity of not leaving food outside the tent but obviously not clearly enough. Two had food in their packs in their vestibules and both had packs torn and food taken. The following night, one particularly slow learner put most food in the tent (at the foot-end, I think) but left oats in the pack in the vestibule. Possum got the oats and put a tear in the tent inner trying to get the tent food as well. Other than that, I've not experienced 'possum in tent' syndrome. However, I've seen the result of a hungry antechinus on the Western Arthurs eating it's way through a tent floor then a silnylon bag then a ziplok bag to get to food - I felt the poor little thing had earned the right to the food after all that effort (not my tent, of course).

@berniq are you sure he was just hungry, from what I have just read about antechinus I am no so sure. The mind boggles.

Yeah, I've had possums/rats chew into the tent to get food and not noticed until the morning. I now put my food in the centre of tent, and if kayaking when weight's no longer an issue use plastic contains for food (or better still in the kayak and sealed. Never had any problems since, touch wood.

i had a rat chewing on my finger for breakfast, but that was under a fly, does that count?

I had a big scary possum repeatedly trying to push its way into the zipped up tent. From that experience I always put my food by my head as advised above. I had an ice axe and was prepared to use it on that varmint. In the morning however I saw its dead carcass caught in a trap baited with curry flavoured flour right by the tent. Nice job, track cutters.

Once when sleeping on the floor of the long gone Whakarira Hut in the Kokatahi I woke because a rat was licking my ear. When I sat up with a start that rat and other rats that were on top of my sleeping bag scurried off. It was a bit unnerving for a fourteen year old as I was at the time!

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Forum Visiting New Zealand
Started by Byakah
On 15 December 2017
Replies 30
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