Raccoons opened my dayhatch!

Took a little trip to Cumberland Island, GA this past weekend with my WS Tempest 170.

While camped at Brickhill Bluff, raccoons managed to pop open my sealed dayhatch and steal all my soft food during the night.

Hanging the food wouldn’t have done any better. I had hung my garbage bag and the dang coons got that also.

I could only laugh and admire the little thieves. I still had plenty of food left in cans.

Be glad they weren’t bears. :slight_smile:

hard shell covers over the rubber
wouldn’t be hard to make.

Rubber hatches…
The boats in our group that have thoes hatches either run a strap around the boat and hatch or turn the boat over at night…

One paddler had to bum breakfast off the others for a week when they got hers open on the first night…

Thanks for the heads-up
I will keep the strap idea in mind when I take my first trip with the T165.

On a more evil note, I’m thinking heavy-duty duct tape around them might be fun to use, he he he.

Duct tape won’t work
They will chew right threw it.



Starlight scope on a .22.
I’m still angry at the $60 worth of food we lost in one night on Hunting Island from a ‘latched’ cooler.

Raccon Living
When I had an apartment during college many decades back I shared it with my cousin who was known to do the unexpected. One day while running an errand to the local department store for motor oil he swung by the pet department only to buy a racoon (yes decades ago when selling them was legal) so we now had a third room mate in a city apartment. That was a first hand experience at how crafty these critters can be. It mastered how to open all the cupboard doors, hold glass jars with it’s hind legs and spin the lids off with it’s front legs to feast on whatever was inside. That is when I served the eviction notice. Because it was a young one, a local animal/ science facility was able to reintroduce it to the outdoors in a protected water resevoir area.


– Last Updated: Jun-29-05 8:14 AM EST –

Sprinkle some black pepper or hot sauce around your hatch covers. After many futile attempts to secure our trash cans this has proven to be the most effective thing I've found to keep them out.

should NOT be in the boats in camp. learn a better hang or buy Garcia Bear Canisters. trainning the animals to search for food inside boats is just making the problem comtinue for future travelers in your favorite paddling areas.

everyone will benifit from proper food handling by all participants in the sport.

L Coolers are their specialty

food hang
anyone interested in a better food hang. e-mail me back channel. I have it in a jpg don’t know how to post a picture on this forumn (or tell me how to post it)

I live in bear country. knowledge of a good hang is helping the bear to stay alive (bears always lose in the long run when they learn to prey on peoples food or gear) a boat is Not a sccure place for food while you sleep no matter how many straps you put on it. Bears in some western parks (Yellowstone) have learned to spot a cooler in a car and associate it with food because of carelessness on the part of people.

Best Wishes


No Bears here, raccons and sharks…
I try not to feed either one… :wink:

We have raised a bunch…
of raccons, skunks, squirrels, etc, and the raccons are the most comical.

We had one named Marshmellow who would go into my workshop, climb up on the bench, open my cabinet of nails, open the tops of the containers and take the shiniest nails that it could find and then place one between each toe and walk around with them sticking up in the air. God help the person who tried to get one of them away!

Last year we had a mother and three babies that would come up on the front porch for their nightly dinner.

They got so tame that they would walk around the rocking chair and take handouts from our hands and the little ones would let us pat them while mom watched.

Last weekend one(who I am guessing was one of the gang) walked up to the sliding screen door and when I opened it it walked in, checked out the place and then walked back out.

We released all of the orphan ones that we raised when it was their time, but many of them returned with families.

I think I alread posted here a few years ago about our pet skunk, that never sprayed until the day that the local high school biology teacher was going to de -scent it.



Never had a problem
I hang food (and any food related item) in bear country and store it in my day hatch while camping in South Florida.

I always find raccoon prints all over my kayak in the morning but they never managed to open VCP hatch covers.

Last year…

– Last Updated: Jun-29-05 9:52 AM EST –

Last year we were camping on a river gravel bar. A raccoon came into camp shortly after we bedded down. All trash was hung in a bag. The raccoon checked out the camp, found no scraps of any sort & immediately went for the cooler. I watched it with a headlamp; light didn't bother the raccoon at all. I was sitting inside my tent, less than 10 feet away.

I had the cooler secured with 2 "industrial strength" bungee cords which I had shorted by tying knots in them, and which also had the metal ends bent into more of a tight curve. My wife can not get the bungee cords loose; I can barely get them loose myself. The raccoon never had a chance to get one loose.
He worked on it for a full 10 minutes, but finally gave up on getting one loose. Did he leave? No! He started dragging the whole cooler, which I guesstimate to have weighed in excess of 25 pounds. Wasn't really having that much of a problem dragging it either. So I get up & give him a handful of gravel & he disappears.
Yep! he dissappears alright! He climbs up the tree where the net bag with the trash is. He climbs out on the limb (over 40 feet up) over which the rope has been thrown with trash bag attached to end of rope.
He climbs down 20 feet of rope(butt first) to the bag which is in mid air, over 20 feet from the ground. The rope is about 1/3 inch diameter. He turns upside down, hangs from his back feet & starts working on tearing out the bottom of the bag. He gets another handful of gravel. He ascends tree. I go to tent. He climbs down the rope again & starts working on the bag again. He gets another handful of gravel. He ascends the tree. I go to tent. He climbs down the rope again. I've had it! I give him another load of gravel, drop the bag to the ground, put it in the cooler, secure the cooler, and then I tie the cooler to my canoe with a piece of rope. He descends from tree, goes to the cooler, tries to open it without success. He tries to pull it; he fails. He disappears into the woods.
Of course I'm sure he has been successful(learned behavior) many times before, with others less prepared, or less persistent. So I watched, I marveled, I laughed, and I let him slide.........my Ruger .44 never left it's holster. I got to sleep about 1 a.m.


We take a bunch of kids out for a week long ‘Adventure Camp’ - hiking, canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking, flora and fauna, etc. Lotsa raccoons! They’ve never chewed their way into anything, but numerous times we’ve found unlatched coolers, unzipped baypacks, opened metal 30 gal grabage cans, etc. It is amazing what they can learn to open, and how bold they are! We now have a big metal cargo trailer, and so far, they have not figured out how to get into it.

Bitter Apple
It wouldn’t stick to duct tape, but I think dousing straps in Bitter Apple would prove deterrent to any chewer

…unless it likes bitter things. Do raccoons drink beer?

Weasels Ripped My Flesh!


(Frank Zappa reference for all of you kids here.)

on my day hatch
in my previous kayak I had a vcp type lid. Since I have seen how racoons chew through valley hatches and other soft plastic to get at food or water down here in the Everglades. I opted to just leave the hatch off and not keep anything in that particular compartment for fear they might chew through it. If you are with a group, give your food/water to the others that have rigid hatch covers to store for the evening.

I would then put the spare paddle blade over the day hatch hole and supported by the deck bungie to keep out rain or dew. If you don’t travel in groups get a hard sided container to store your food in.