It seems logical to think that hiking pants are an all-rounder, offering performance, comfort and safety irrespective of the environmental hazards because they are for outdoor adventures. Most of us immediately assume that protection from snakes is also part of the garment’s job, considering we wear them outdoors to stay safe from external dangers without compromising mobility. Naive us!
If you spare a few minutes and ask around if snakes can bite through hiking pants, you will realise that hiking pants stand little chance against needle-sharp fangs. Don’t worry, you are not the first to put your trust in the wrong piece of clothing. I was also ignorant once. Research, research, and then some more research enlightened me. Now, it’s time for you to get informed. Hopefully, the article below will illuminate you on what pants can prevent snakebites.
Can Hiking Pants Prevent Snakebites?
Not exactly. Hiking pants are not anti-snake pants. They are mostly made of synthetic materials, e.g. nylon, elastane (spandex) and polyester. Most pants use a blend of these two or all three materials in varying proportions to acquire durability, breathability, comfort and mobility. Their primary purpose is to keep you safe from weather elements and not allow thorns and shrubs to graze your skin so that you can hike through mountainous terrains without interruption.
The material and layerings of these pants are thin and lightweight, which exposes your limbs to the risk of fangs. You might come out through a snake encounter in hiking pants, but that largely depends on how many additional layers of protection you put on and the length and intensity of the assaulting fangs.
For instance, small non-venomous snakes may not fully penetrate the layers, and you might stay safe. But, the scene will be different with an adult venomous rattlesnake. Vipers, particularly rattlesnakes, can easily penetrate through such pants and inflict severe bites. Not to mention, spill its venom into your system.
Therefore, relying on hiking pants for safety against snakebites is imprudent.
What Pants can Snakes not Bite Through?
When protection from fangs is your primary goal, you should buy pants specifically manufactured to prevent snakebites. They are known as snakeproof pants made from heavy, rugged and dense materials. Following are the famous pants that serpents cannot or find challenging to bite through.
It’s popular among hikers, hunters, campers, field workers and the snake-owners community that if you want to prevent snakebites, wear denim jeans. And that’s true. As per a report by the Annals of Emergency Medicine in 2009, denim pants can reduce the severity of snakebites significantly by allowing about two-thirds of the venom to get spilt and absorbed in the jeans instead of injected into the body.
Kevlar and Leather
Clothing that uses kevlar and leather materials can also offer you a great deal of protection against injuring fangs. A significant population of snake experts and professionals believe that kevlar material poses greater resistance than leather towards adult and more hostile snakes, e.g. vipers. In fact, it has been observed in several incidences that the assaulting snake injured itself while biting through kevlar. Yes, the material is that tough. No wonder it’s a popular choice for brands manufacturing anti-snake clothing.
Turtleskin and Foreverlast
Pants manufactured by famous brands Turtleskin SnakeArmor and ForEverlast use high-strength, bulky and stiff material, often waterproof and windproof, to shield customers from the aggression of serpents. They sew snake-resistant linings into certain parts of the garment to defend vulnerable areas of your legs.
Unique Features of Snakeproof Pants
Many people confuse hiking pants with snakeproof pants because of their ignorance about the latter. Snakeproof pants are structured to prevent fangs from digging into your skin. Therefore, they contain certain specifications that are usually absent in ordinary hiking pants or other trousers.
Material and Additional Layers of Fabric
Material and layers are the two keys that can successfully block fangs. Anti-snake pants employ heavy-duty and stiff materials such as denim, kevlar, thick nylon etc. They contain several layers of bulky fabrics to prevent sharp fangs from coming in contact with human skin.
The top and inner layers of the pants are light and softer for comfortability and flexibility and to avoid abrasions. On the other hand, high-strength puncture-proof materials, such as nylon, rawhide or kevlar, are used for liners and critical areas to prevent fangs from biting into your skin.
Heavy-duty leather or denim also offers better protection against snakebites, provided that you have reinforced them with anti-snake gear like chaps.
Reinforced Critical Areas
As we all know, snakes have a limited reach, depending on their nature and length. So, the makers of snakeproof pants use more protection in certain areas than others. For instance, areas around the lower legs are fortified with additional layers and stiffer materials because most snakes cannot reach beyond the knees – the area around the thighs and waist is relatively less buttressed.
Hiking pants are not meant to keep you safe from snake assaults. Their relatively lighter and thinner materials can only effectively guard you against environmental hazards and pointy objects – fangs aren’t included in that. People often confuse them with snakeproof pants because they don’t know the specifications of anti-snake trousers. Pants that promise to prevent fangs from penetrating through the materials use rugged fabrics with puncture-resistant layers. So, next time you plan a visit to a snake-infested terrain, make sure to check whether your hiking pants have those traits that can block the snakebites from harming you.