Need advise on cleaning Land Snail slime off my tent.

9:30 p.m. on April 13, 2009 (EDT)
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Hi all,

Just got back from 4 days in Cherokee National Forest.

I'm in the process of cleaning my gear and can't get the snail slime off my tent with mild soap (there's a lot of it). I plan to go to the manufacturers site, and also E-mail them for advise, but figured it would be a good topic for discussion here on Trailspace.

I was prepared for Raccoons, Rodents, Snakes, Insects, etc, but got invaded by Land Snails during my one night stay on Oswald Dome.

Has this happened to anyone else?

How did you get the tent clean?

Thanks guys!

12:53 a.m. on April 14, 2009 (EDT)
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Don't know how to clean your tent, but the situation reminds me of a trip many years ago, in the mountains of West Virginia, where we encountered an inordinately large gathering of slugs. I'm still not convinced it wasn't some sort of molluscan attempt at a world coup. They were everywhere. They crawled up, on, and all over anything that stayed still long enough for them to get purchase with their gastropods.

Finally, upon reaching into his pack for something and encountering yet another slimy intruder, one of the group reached into a side pocket, pulled out a .38, and shot the slug. He had the presence of mind to throw it on the ground first, rather than put the slug through the slug and on through his pack, but it seemed touch-and-go for a moment as to whether he'd finally begun an unbelayed rappel into the abyss of insanity.

Oddly, though, the slugs seemed to leave him alone after that. Not quite sure what to make of that.

One other thought does come to mind: Beer is an oft-mentioned remedy to slugs and snails marauding one's garden. Perhaps beer is again in some way the key ingredient to dealing with a snail-slimed tent? Just a thought....

9:55 a.m. on April 14, 2009 (EDT)
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I had the same problem when i was camped in the Fraser valley of BC. They were everywhere and huge!! One fell into the tent when i opened the door in the morning (slanted door from hoop tent syndrome) and slimed all the inside of my sleeping bag. I was pissed! Then i wake up in the night and feel a nice big one slushing between my toes in my boots. Haaaaa!!!

I never was able to clean the slime tracks off the tent and ended up selling it. It faded a bit with time though, but i couldn't find a way to clean it : soap and water doesn't work. Sorry i can't help you more.

10:48 p.m. on April 16, 2009 (EDT)
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Ummm....come on ya'll (you guys) even Mountain Hardwear seems to be stumped.

How about alcohol? I'm gonna try a small spot.

10:51 p.m. on April 16, 2009 (EDT)
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How about Goo Gone? That stuff will get anything off!

2:12 a.m. on April 17, 2009 (EDT)
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I've heard you can burn it off....

6:57 p.m. on April 17, 2009 (EDT)
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Goo Gone, yes that might work.

Perry.....I just happen to have some fabric safe coleman fuel, outstanding idea my man! Do you think the sulfer from the match will discolor the tent fly?

12:30 a.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Well, yeah, the sulfur might discolor the fly just a tad as it burns, but I'm sure you can get that out with Goo Gone, too.

I've got some of that fabric-safe Coleman fuel, too. Hard to find, and expensive when you do find it, but nice to have around just for this kind of thing.

The stuff can sometimes be problematic, though. I spilled some on a t-shirt a while back, and ended up tossing the t-shirt in the back of the jeep. Later, some of the Scouts wanted to construct an old-fashioned torch, and I told 'em they could tear that t-shirt into strips and wrap it around the end of the "just right" stick they'd spent hours combing the woods for.

They of course enthusiastically attacked the t-shirt and in seconds it was not-so-neatly shredded. A minute or two later, it was wrapped and tied off around the end of the stick.

By this time, the fabric-safe fuel had largely dried, and so we doused the business end of the torch with Girl Scout juice and lit it up.

Well, it burned like a thing of beauty for twenty or thirty seconds or so, then sputtered out like somebody had doused it in a barrel of water. Figuring we just hadn't put enough lighter fluid on it, we soaked it but good with Kingsford's finest fluid fire aid and lit 'er up again.

Same result.

Turns out the fabric-safe fuel, in drying, had given the cotton t-shirt all the characteristics of asbestos except for the lung cancer bit (and it turns out the jury's still out on that one, even). As soon as the lighter fluid burned off, --poof!--no more fire.

We spent the rest of the evening around the campfire, making up packets of deydrated water--we had plans for a long desert hike the next day.

1:27 a.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Yes I had a similar incident while gigging for aligators at night in waist deep water, at first I thought my torch had gotten wet, but finally realized it was the fuel. I had to wade back to shore and fashion a new torch out of some extra clothing I had. This time I decided to try a different spot for alligator gigging, this area was full of tall grass and cattails growing in the water, I figured it would help me sneak up on them, how was I supposed to know how flammable cattail tops were? It was lit up like a stadium so I just put my torch out and proceeded to look for alligators what with all the light and all. I missed several because my gig pole was too long for using in all those weeds and such, plus my sandals got stuck in the mud and I couldn't find them, so I decided to call it a night. Next week were gonna try diving for catfish with a water hose to breathe through. You know just grab em'.

Anyhow, I think they should make those cans of fabric safe fuel a different color or something.

11:34 p.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
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Did ya know that a two iron, applied smartly smack between the eyes, works well for giggin' gators? Never used my two iron for much of anything else, come to think of it.

Learned this when playing golf down your way once. My tee shot had, as usual, gone for a more circuitous route to the green than that generally preferred, and landed finally at the edge of a mud flat along a marsh. As I lined up to take my shot, aiming (I hoped) simply to get back on the fairway, a big mama gator came charging up through the reeds, hissing and blowing like a cross between a cobra and a Kenmore vacuum. She musta been 20 feet long, so not quite full-growed yet, and temperamental like most teenagers.

Startled, I fell back against my bag, knocking everything askew. I'd already dropped my "rescue club"--fat lot of good it was doing me, eh?--and the first thing to hand was a golf towel. Figuring that snapping her hind end with a towel wasn't gonna be enough to dissuade her from her business of making me into a mid-morning snack, I dropped the towel and grabbed the next thing I could reach, a Ben Hogan Apex 2 Iron, with custom leather grip.

Well, there I was, armed with an implement I'd never had success with in my entire life, facing a pissed-off thirty-foot mama reptile that evolution hadn't found a way to improve on for 60 million years. The boys back on the fairway were giving pretty long odds that I'd not make better than bogey on the hole.

She charged, and as she got close enough that I could see she had two eyelids--interesting, the details one notices sometimes--I swung for all I was worth, like I was trying to drive a railroad stake all the way to Australia. By no small miracle, the blade struck right between the eyes of Mrs. Gator, and she died on the spot.

Unfortunately, she was lying on my ball, and when I dug it out from under her, my partners insisted I take a penalty for moving my ball from a natural obstruction.

The next day I bought myself a new set of clubs, using money I'd made selling bridges to the local townsfolk. Nice place, SC.

10:02 a.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Ahh! I would not have insisted on that penalty, bad form, I say.

I am not, however, at all surprised you got to see one of the many thirty foot gators we have here. I usually see them as a close encounter late at night on Lake Moultrie where I sometimes camp on a small island. Apparantly we also have numerous panthers that are able to make their tracks ressemble that of the canine species with remarkable accuracy, nature sure is something huh?

One theory I have as to why the gators get so big is that they, in part, fed on the large Blue Catfish we have in the deep water at the dam. On one trip I took the divers relayed these sightings to me describing catfish as "being as big as refrigerators" and "causing quite a swell in the murky water as they swim close by". I told the divers about the thirty foot gators I have seen nearby and we concluded that a gator that size could in fact eat a refrigerator sized catfish.

We went our separate ways that day feeling the gratification that comes from knowing you have made a considerable contribution to the understanding of your local ecology.

11:44 a.m. on April 19, 2009 (EDT)
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Refrigerator-sized catfish? And here I thought the fish down there would get big, at least occasionally.

Have a friend that went noodlin' for catfish once in a secret spot that shall remain so; as he and his buddies worked their way along the bank, they came across a hole about four feet down that was at big enough to actually swim into. John, my buddy, stuck his arm into the hole in good noodlin' fashion, and sure enough, next thing he knew it was inside the mouth of a giant blue cat.

At first John was excited about having an opportunity to have the biggest catch of the day. Then he realized that although he'd braced his feet against the bottom and pulled, he wasn't making any headway back toward the surface. Consternation mixed with air hunger to produce a state of mind last experienced when his date's father showed up at Lover's Point with a flashlight and a twelve-gauge.

It was about then he got the real surprise. As he was pulling for all he was worth, something inside the fish grabbed his hand. Consternation gave way to full-grown panic, skipping right past the embryonic stages and charging up John's battery such that he was able to give one fantastic pull in an effort to retrieve his arm from the insides of the slimy devourer.

Well, John's a strong guy, and his Herculean effort was rewarded. He managed to pull himself free, and popped to the surface--along with a guy named Oscar Wilfong, missing since the previous Thursday when he'd gone noodlin' with some friends.

Turns out Oscar's story was similar to John's, at least up until the part where Oscar grabbed John's wrist and provided the adrenaline rush that saved 'em both.

Oscar said that his time trapped inside the catfish hadn't been all bad. He'd been wearing a headlamp and had a deck of cards, so he passed much of the time playing Klondike and happy his wife wasn't nagging at him to finish the bathroom.

John has now retired from catfish noodlin', and has decided to take up counted cross-stitch instead.

10:40 p.m. on April 20, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice story, I'm sure John has learned his lesson. Reminds me of the time we were hog hunting in Hell Hole Swamp (real name). But that story will have to wait till this weekend as I'm covered up with work.

I wonder if any of the other guy / gals here have any true stories to tell?

11:03 p.m. on April 23, 2009 (EDT)
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In the Tacoma areas, slugs get into everything. I have have used Goop with some success. It attacks the proteins. Water just makes slug stuff slimy (ooo-alliteration!).

I would test drive it on an unobtrusive corner first, though. It might just do the trick. But be sure to rinse very well when finished.

4:57 p.m. on April 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Awaiting trouthunter's hog-hunting story, with 'bated breath.....

8:57 p.m. on April 25, 2009 (EDT)
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Here's the story, some of the language has been cleaned up.

Hog hunting in Hell Hole Swamp is a right of passage for members of a certain sub sect of society around here. Well, I was no exception, it was bound to happen sooner or later since I was dating the sister of a renowned hog hunter, Will T. I met Will in high school and we remained friends for some time. Will had learned how to walk in the swamp, and cut his teeth on Cypress knees to hear him tell it. Me.... well I had been deer hunting a few times and had spent time in the swamp growing up. I knew most of the state roads and some trails.

One Friday Will called me and said that he and Chris L. were going hog hunting and said that I ought to go along. I said okay. Will offered to pay the gas and eats if I would drive. Not thinking that through, I said yes again.

I picked Will & Chris up at Will's place about 4:30 am Saturday morning, Will handed me a wadded up $5 dollar bill and said that was for gas, said he also had sandwiches in the cooler. Well we put the truck in the wind wanting to get in position before sun up, Chris sat in the back seat loading his shells into his coveralls and checking his flashlight, didn't say much though.

As we got to the parking spot a huge mud hole kept us from driving all the way to the steel gate which was always shut. You know the kind you see in state parks, just two poles and a long pipe across the road with a sign that read " Official Vehicles Only". We had to walk the last 100' or so.

Just then Will got all excited and was doing the silent movie version of "Get down!...Look over there!!" Well, I'm looking but didn't see what he was so excited about, but Chris, who was ahead of me did. Both Chris and Will started having fits trying to get a shell loaded, and I forgot all about having to pee. Will goes running up to the gate post, and hopping over it cleanly, takes aim at what I can now see is a HUGE sow just 50 yards from our location who is now aware of our presence and turning our direction.

That is not good! Hogs are quite ornery and not at all bashful about charging hunters at certain times, this was one of them! So Will drops his rifle into position and draws a bead on this sow who is now closing the gap rapidly. I'm standing behind the gate thinking, this is sooo much easier than Deer hunting! And Chris is running around the other side of the gate to help stop the charging sow. By now all three of us see two young pigs coming that had been feeding with the sow on a pile of corn, .....go figure!

So Will pulls the trigger and nothing! Absolutely nothing! Without a second to spare Both Will & Chris hop back over the gate and that event was followed by a very loud thud.

Chris says "Go..Go...Go" So not fully understanding what had transpired I turned and ran for the truck as Chris followed closely.

Will stopped halfway, leaned over and looked through the brush at the gate for what seemed a minute or two, then exclaimed "I'll be dipped, come look yall, I'll be danged"

The sow had run straight on into the steel pipe and lay dead. We were all flabbergasted by this event but, it was what it was!

I knew from deer hunting to walk up slowly and poke it with something, we couldn't see the two piglets anymore and our attention turned to getting this pig to my truck or the truck to the pig. I started pulling out the winch cable but it was too short to reach all the way and there was a lot of limbs and stuff on the ground in the way. We couldn't budge the hog no matter how much we tried. So Will asks, "You got any rope?" Yes, I replied. I had about 50' of rope and that made it to the hog. We tried getting the rope around the hog but it was in vain, Chris said, "Go get your snow chains and lay them out here on the ground, we'll roll the hog over somehow and buckle her up." We did! Now we had the hog hooked up to the truck but the limbs and brush were all in the way and we couldn't winch the hog through them.

Meantime Will calls his dad to bring the flatbed down to the site to pick up the huge hog since his dad had a arm winch on the flatbed that was used to load things like hay and feed corn. Feed corn?! Hmmm.

Scared we would break the rope, we decided....well not "we" but Chris & Will decided to take my raggedy hood off my truck, and turn it upside down for a sled to get the hog over the tree limbs. I told them I wanted half the hog for this and they just nodded and said "Yea, whatever, we just gotta get it to the truck." So we manage to get the hog on the truck hood and winch it half way to the truck. We had to get rid of the rope at this point and hook up the winch cable straight to the snow chains.

About this time the once dead hog WAKES UP and goes absolutely berserk, pounding my hood full of huge dents you could set grapefruit in! The hog takes off running and quickly runs out of slack, Chris runs back to the gate for his gun but not sure just where it is he just runs around saying "dang it"

Will tries to get clear of the hog as the line pulls tight, falls down and twists his ankle badly, he hops to the truck, which is now in tow by this massive hog. The truck gets drug about 20' and falls off into the huge mud hole up to the axles. At this point the hog frees herself somehow from the cable hook and goes tearing out through the woods snow chains and all!

So Will discovers he had his safety on the whole time, Chris' gun is full of gravel and dirt and I finally took time to pee, I never even got my gun out. So about now the blaming starts, "If you had just come up here quicker..." and all that stuff, as Wills dad pulls up in the flatbed truck.

To this day Wills dad thinks I just got my truck stuck (he never liked me anyway) and made the whole story up to get him out there to pull us out of the mud hole. Wills dad looked at me and said " how the h*** did you think taking the hood off would help?...stupid, just stupid!"

But I swear the whole thing is true! And if you're real quiet on a summer night in Hell Hole Swamp you just might hear snow chains clanging off in the distance.

2:32 p.m. on April 27, 2009 (EDT)
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lol! Brings a tear to my eye! A tip o' the cap to trouthunter!

5:45 p.m. on May 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Well, at least they don't tear up the tent while looking for food.

Please do not feed the slugs!

5:55 p.m. on May 1, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice Gary,

Evidently they really enjoy quality gear as much as we all do.

2:26 p.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
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Coleman fuel is the answer but don't light it let it evaporate.



8:17 p.m. on May 4, 2009 (EDT)
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Same as Naptha then.

And have you tried this personally tentman?

12:27 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
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I have used Coleman fuel to clean many things although snail slime is not one of them. It is a good solvent and cuts grease and many other things and will not harm coated nylon or polyester if used in sparing amounts for a short period of time.



12:30 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Oh I forgot. I would leave the slime on and consider it extra waterproofing. I don't think I have ever cleaned a tent. I take pride in my battle scars but to each his own.



7:07 p.m. on May 5, 2009 (EDT)
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Hmmm, so you think I could train a couple snails to "walk" the seams?

Remarkable idea!

Thanks for your help tentman.

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