In addition to ticks and wild creatures that you might encounter on your hikes, one of the deadliest ones are snakes. There are different types of snakes that are spread around multiple hiking ranges around the country. And while you can take care of ticks, snakes are a more deadly affair, so proper precautions and measures need to be taken.
There is nothing to worry about at all, as over this article we will be talking to you about How to Avoid Snakes While Hiking and everything that you will need to know about them.
Know Your Snakes
There will be a wide variety of snakes out there that you might encounter. While some may be life-threatening, the others might be rather harmless. Hence, you will need to make sure that you are well aware and informed of the most common types of snakes that you might encounter with. Rattlesnakes, copperheads, water moccasins, and coral snakes will be the common venomous snake species that you will come across.
Now, the question arises of how you will be able to identify them. If looking at the Google images does not work then we would suggest you talk to the local park’s ranger to find out what are the different species of snakes you will encounter and how to recognize them. Try to go with a proper field guide if possible as well.
Places Where Snakes Can Be Found
In all honesty, snakes on a hiking trail can be found anywhere. However, knowing a few things and guessing a few surely lowers your chance of not encountering one. Snakes are always looking to reside in warm places in order to heat their body up.
So, you will mostly see them during the morning or evening. When the heat is super and the sun is blazing hot, they tend to hide under rocks and shades. As we mentioned before, there are many different species of snakes out there and they tend to hide at different places as well.
From high grasses to rocky crevices to leaf litter debris to the water bodies like streams and creeks. It won’t matter where they reside to what type of noise they make because you can surely overcome them.
When you have encountered one and they have formed an S shape, keep in mind that they are scared, so you should better leave them alone. You would always want to care about where you put your hands and feet on the trails and also move around carefully.
Protect Your Ankles
The first thing that a snake will put its eyes on from the ground is your ankles. Hence, it is obvious you keep them protected. So how, do you do that? We would suggest getting a pair of thick high ankles sock.
While it might not be the ideal choice for the stylish people out there, safety should be your priority here. There are a number of different thick and also breathable sports socks out there that you can find online.
Hike During Cooler Weathers
As we mentioned before, snakes are cold-blooded creatures, hence they prefer to stay active in warm places. As you are more likely to encounter snakes in warm weather, it is better to go during winter to the hiking sites where you are more likely to encounter snakes.
Do Not Go Hiking At Night
Many of us hikers admire the night skies and hiking on trails under the torchlight. As exciting as it might be, you would want to skip this if you want to avoid snakes. Because snakes are nocturnal they tend to be active on cold nights to keep their body warm.
The risk of getting bit by a snake gets increased at night because snakes are more alert to their prey during this time. In addition, even if you get bit by a snake at that hour, everything will be difficult to deal with.
Prevent Hiking Alone
While hiking alone is always a risk, it turns into a much greater one on a snake-filled trail. This is why we would recommend you to take someone along with you so that identifying and curing in case if you get bit by one turns out to be a smooth process.
Just Leave Them Alone
It is very normal for anyone to be very scared and afraid when they come across a snake of any sort. However, this will be a very stupid thing to do as this will scare and trigger the snakes to do something. So keep out and leave them alone.
I got bit by a snake, now what?
Ok, so now the unexpected thing has happened and you have been bitten by a snake. The first thing would be to not panic at all. Calm yourself down and then try to identify the species that you have been bitten by. If the snake is not venomous, then there is nothing to worry about.
However, you will still be prone to catching an infection. Make sure to wash the bitten area well and sanitize it properly with alcohol pads. Later go see a doctor as soon as possible when you are back home.
On the other hand, if you are bit by a venomous snake then things can turn out to be very dangerous as it might cause nerve damage and stop your blood flow. A common mistake that many do is they suck out the venom or cut themselves.
These won’t work as you will be putting the venom in a different body. So now the question arises that what should we do then?
Try to move away as far as possible so that the snake does not get the opportunity to bite you again. Try to remain calm and head straight right to the hospital. You might face nausea and increased heart rate, try to keep it as low as possible.
As horrific as it might sound to be if you get bitten by a snake chances are very low that you will face a terrible health situation from it, thanks to medical technology these days.
So while it is surely something that you need to keep in mind, but do not stress yourself on How to Avoid Snakes While Hiking. Keep in mind to take precautionary measures and you will be good to go. Just try to find the sweet spot between enjoying your hiking and being safe from snakes.