Everglades Exploration Network

I'm planning my next Everglades adventure; (and probably the last one this season) and I'd like to do two nights at Darwin's. When you guys base camp do you pack up everything and then return and setup again? I am getting better at loading my kayak but still is somewhat of a chore breaking camp.

My main concern would be returning to camp after leaving my tent up and finding vultures or raccoons had trashed the place. My instincts tell me to pack up and re-setup. 

Juan

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Your instincts are right! The only thing I leave out are things hidden for me to find when I need them.
I always pack up, but let see what other people have to say...
I havent made any extended canoe trips yet but I have camped throughout the Everglades/BigCypress region for 35 years. I dont pack up until Im ready to go home. I remember coming back to camp and finding that racoons have opened my cooler and dragged my entire loaf of bread away and another incident where the buzzards ate my potato chips. I even had an owl attack a loaf of bread at night. Every incident was my own fault.

I never leave food or eat in the tent. I keep my food in the cooler strapped with bungie cords so it cannot be opened. Racoons will always lick my frying pan and scatter pots sometimes.. Black bears or wild hogs could be a problem but I doubt you will encounter them in the Everglades. I have never had a serious problem at campsites and I leave my tent unattended for days at a time. The biggest problem I have is finding my tent full of water. The tent needs to be staked down good to withstand sudden windstorms or you will lose it. But I am referring to inland regions mostly and I am not familiar with Darwins place. Im interested to see what others say.
I've never had anyone mess with my stuff down there. We always stay several nights @ the same place, and will leave to fish and explore during the day. Use common sense, and secure food from animals, and you shouldn't have any problems.
I agree, just take wallet and other valuables with you. Never leave food or water in your tent. No one has ever messed with my tent or clothes/sleeping bag while I have gone out for the day. Just use common sense and as already mentioned, secure from rain and animals.
What vivian said.

Except for my locked cooler I take food and water into the tent at night, and take it with me on the boat during the day. I've never had a problem leaving the tent at base during the day. When you zip up your tent, make sure you leave the zipper pulls at the top of the door, not the bottom. Raccoons know how to unzip zippers if they can reach them. One other thing I sometimes do when leaving my tent for a day is "lock" the tent door by running a cable tie between the two zipper pulls to prevent casual intrusion by "curious" neighbors.
I lived in an old fashion canvas Baker tent for 6 months. I always left the mosquito netting open in the front. One day I left some bread in the tent and came back to find a raccoon had rippped out the mosquito net covered window in the rear to get the bread. Maybe if it had zippers I could have confused the raccoon.

Two years ago there was a big fish kill at Darwins so it was rather overrun with buzzards.

 

If you have hard sided food storage you will be fine.  Of course take valuables with you.  The base campers I have seen have all left gear on site.

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