Scorpions at night with no tent

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Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby crollsurf » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 10:29 am

Want to do some walking in the Sturt NP (NW NSW) and a few other parks around that area. I was thinking of not bothering with a tent if the forecast is good, but then wondered about Scorpions and if my body heat at night would attract them.

Being winter, I'm guessing snakes and insects wont be a problem but not sure about Scorpions. Does anyone know what the risk factor is at night in those desert type areas?

DR:TL I remember in SA on the Eyre Peninsula they were everywhere at night. Some would run into the camp fire and kill themselves. I've also heard you don't see them there now because the Geckos ate them all. Never got bitten but I'm still wary of them all the same. Also only thought they lived in desert environments, but turns out different species can live just about anywhere including in trees.
Last edited by crollsurf on Fri 08 Jul, 2022 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby eggs » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 12:34 pm

I know you can find scorpions in the Adelaide Hills, but very rare to see.
Certainly had one on the kids sleeping bag in the Grampians - and they were in a big tent.
I also read a story once about a snake seeking out the heat inside a sleeping bag...

I have bivouacked a few times without any problems though - Adelaide Hills and Flinders Ranges
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby crollsurf » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 1:22 pm

eggs wrote:I know you can find scorpions in the Adelaide Hills, but very rare to see.
Certainly had one on the kids sleeping bag in the Grampians - and they were in a big tent.
I also read a story once about a snake seeking out the heat inside a sleeping bag...

I have bivouacked a few times without any problems though - Adelaide Hills and Flinders Ranges

Thanks eggs, I want to get down that way next year so good to know. I've woken up with a 6' carpet python curled up at the end of my bed once, fortunately not under the covers!

Further investigations: Yes there are Scorpions in the Sturt NP but only a few and not active over winter. They do get frosts up that way so we'll see, but probably best to carry a tent or bivy bag anyway.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby andrewa » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 5:52 pm

I collected some firewood near Yea, Vic, some years ago and put it in my car boot. Didn’t unload it that day, and the next day found a stream of ants walking over the dashboard. The next day a large spider was sitting on the dashboard. A few weeks later I reached into the backseat for a ring pull tin of tuna for lunch, turned it over, and found a scorpion holding onto the ring pull. Got the shock of my life! Never really considered them when bushwalking, but a nice tub floor would feel very comforting!

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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Warin » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 7:27 pm

I've had one under my tent floor ... at that time camping at the old Aboriginal camp site Kings Canyon .. that was the designated campsite at that time. I did jump when I came across it rolling up the tent. :lol:
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Aardvark » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 7:45 pm

I found a scorpion camouflaged on a rock whilst climbing Mt.Maroon in SEQ many years ago. It prompted me to investigate their prevalence and i was surprised they exist all over Australia. None here are venomous enough to kill but they will sting somewhat.
There are quite a few varieties. The most common were the desert ones, rainforest ones and mottled/marbled ones.
I often sleep on a groundsheet without cover and never have i encountered another scorpion. It's not something i would worry much about.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Neo » Fri 08 Jul, 2022 8:55 pm

I sat on the loo at the campground near Kanangra Walls and a scorpion left the building. It was February 2018.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Avatar » Sat 09 Jul, 2022 1:30 am

Going back a bit - 1960s Reader's Digest had a story about a camper in Panama(?) waking to find a fer-de-lance IN his sleeping bag. Tried to alert his companions using his eyes only. They first tried to smoke it out but this caused some problems, eventually they removed the tarp and allowed the sun to heat up the bag which encouraged the serpent to slither out.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Aardvark » Sat 09 Jul, 2022 8:26 am

Avatar wrote:Going back a bit - 1960s Reader's Digest had a story about a camper in Panama(?) waking to find a fer-de-lance IN his sleeping bag. Tried to alert his companions using his eyes only. They first tried to smoke it out but this caused some problems, eventually they removed the tarp and allowed the sun to heat up the bag which encouraged the serpent to slither out.


Which was it that removed the camper.........The sun or the smoke?
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby wander » Sat 09 Jul, 2022 10:38 am

We've camped a few times in the Flinders (North of Hawker) in locations where a scorpion was to be found under every second stone. They never showed any inclination to get into our camping gear.

Ants were a bigger issue, camp well away from their homes.

Pretty common to find a big centipede under the tent on pack up. Like scorpions they are looking to get under something to hide from predators.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Maaxxx » Sat 09 Jul, 2022 9:14 pm

I remember camping with a school mate at Tidal River in the early 60's. My first camping trip. No floor in the tent, just ground sheets. On the first night I opened up the sleeping bag ready to hop in only to find it was already occupied with a scorpion reposing there quite happily. Was sure glad I looked first! Thankfully it didn't try to get its spot back later in the night.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 11 Jul, 2022 8:52 am

I've seen plenty of scorpions here in Tasmania when growing up. None recently though.

The Tasmanian scorpions are quite small and we often found them in the pantry when I was a kid (up on the second floor, so I guess they might have had a nest in the walls somewhere?).

They also frequented the shower rooms at one of the facilities that my school used for camps.

HOW COMMON ARE SCORPION STINGS IN AUSTRALIA?

I've never heard of anybody having been stung. I'm sure it happens, but not to anybody I know. Does anyone here personally know somebody who's been stung by a scorpion in Australia?
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby north-north-west » Mon 11 Jul, 2022 9:40 am

Son of a Beach wrote:I've never heard of anybody having been stung. I'm sure it happens, but not to anybody I know. Does anyone here personally know somebody who's been stung by a scorpion in Australia?


I've copped a few stings on the hands when gardening, because the little buggers are not easy to see.
Localised swelling and itchiness, no other reaction.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby CBee » Mon 11 Jul, 2022 11:20 am

I have seen few scorpions at Maroon and Barney creek junction. But in Tassie, the house was full of them, coming in from the stack of wood outside. I personally think a bug net/protection is always a useful piece of gear when camping.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby FatCanyoner » Mon 11 Jul, 2022 1:02 pm

I have vivid childhood memories of the scorpions in Tanzania. It took me years of being back in Australia before I stopped banging my shoes against the wall before putting them on to make sure there weren't any inside. At the start of the wet season, when you'd get really torrential rain, the scorpions would all come out. I remember looking out the back door and seeing what seemed like hundreds of them walking around in the mud. And these were those big ones the size of your hand.

I'd been bushwalking in the Blue Mountains for years before I even discovered we had native scorpions. The only ones I've ever seen were smaller than a 20c piece and didn't cause any issues. They've never been an obstacle to sleeping out in the open (nor have any other creepy crawlies). We've only ever found one in the house and he was carefully moved to the garden. Now, if I was camping in areas where some of the larger species lived, I'd probably think a bug net was a good idea. I still think the risk of one biting you unprovoked is rather small, but a nasty, painful bite when you're somewhere quite remote wouldn't be fun.
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Re: Scorpions at night with no tent

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 11 Jul, 2022 2:19 pm

FatCanyoner wrote:I have vivid childhood memories of the scorpions in Tanzania. It took me years of being back in Australia before I stopped banging my shoes against the wall before putting them on to make sure there weren't any inside.


Yeah, that reminds me of the year my family lived in Nigeria when I was a teenager. I remember once when I was putting on my shoes one of the other kids said, "Don't you check your shoes for scorpions before putting them on?!?", after which I always did! (But I never saw any while in Africa.)
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