How to Prevent a Venomous Snake Bite in the Wild
When you head out for a walk or hike into the wild, venomous snakes are probably not at the top of your list of concerns. Certainly the odds of coming across one is low, but you still need to be aware. Venomous snakes are found pretty much all over the United States and they can give you a very bad day. In fact, some venomous snake bites can even cause death. While deaths are rare, bites that happen out in the wild are the ones that usually cause the serious trouble. The combination of isolation and lack of medical help can be deadly if the wrong snake bites you.
Here are some tips to avoid those snake bites altogether while you are out in the wild:
Know the dangers present
Just like people, snakes are not all the same. Different snakes have unique habits, prey and temperaments. It is a good idea to educate you about the snakes you might come in contact with. Snakes are not always where they should be, but it helps to know what is potentially out there. Study up and educate yourself. You will be safer for it.
Leave snakes alone
The vast majority of venomous snake bites that happen are because we try to mess with the snake. Whether you are trying to play with, kill or otherwise irritate the snake, stop it. That will get you bitten and it is the number one cause of snake bite in the United States. Leave them alone and observe them from a long distance.
Watch where your feet fall
Your feet are stepping all over the place when you go hiking. Because of this, we have to pay attention. Snakes are built to blend in with their surroundings and you will not see them unless you are paying attention. Stepping over logs, rocks and into blind areas is particularly dangerous. Be careful about your foot fall when in the wild.
Don’t turn over rocks and logs
Again, this puts your hands where snakes like to hang out. Worst of all, they can strike before you even know they are there. Snake bites are lightening quick and will be over before you even know the snake is there.
Be particularly wary in danger areas
Some areas are far more dangerous like rock piles, water areas and heavily wooded areas. These areas should be avoided when you are able to, but if you must go there pay attention. This is where you really have to watch what you are doing. Pay attention to every step and every place you put your hands.
Kick a little dust
One neat trick that some hikers use is to kick a little bit as you walk. Boot a bit of dust, a pine cone, a stick or whatever you might have available in front of you as you travel. This will generally alert any snakes on the trail ahead of you and give them enough warning to slither away.