Snakes don’t go off attacking people like a mad dog or a deranged gunman. They attack defensively, in most cases, when you corner them or disturb their peaceful slumber. So, what can be your best protection against snakes since you have to share this planet with them till the end of time? To give you a summarised answer, I would say that preventive measures are your best protection against serpents.
According to wildlife and animal control experts, most snakebites occur when you disturb the reptile’s peace in some way – willingly or unwillingly. You can prevent this suffering if you armour yourself in snakeproof gear and avoid disturbing a snake when stepping outdoors.
In the article below, we will discuss protective and preventive measures in great detail. So, let’s find out how you can minimise the chances of snakebites.
6 Effective Tips to Protect Yourself from Snakes
The following tips will give you the best protection against snakes. They are also your best preventive measures for snakebites. That means you will get out of the encounter without a snakebite.
Mind Your Own Business
Snakes neither prefer nor enjoy human company. So, if you don’t engage a relaxed and hidden snake, it will not attack you. Whenever you see a snake, whether recently dead or lying still, do not get near it to investigate. Mind your own business, and the serpent will likely mind its own. It’s as simple as that.
Furthermore, teach your children to respect the privacy of snakes and leave them be. Remember, it is curiosity that kills the cat.
Don’t Deviate from the Set Trail
Hiking/trekking trails are for a reason. Snakes like to camouflage to carry out surprise attacks on their prey and to avoid unfavourable temperatures. Developed trails/tracks don’t offer them many spots to take cover. Therefore, if you stay on the trail, neither you will disturb the snake nor the reptile will get a reason to bother you.
Keep your Hands to Yourself
We think our feet are most in danger of snakebites; well, let me burst your bubble. 60% or more snakebites occur on hands and fingers – it was published in a scientific journal. That’s because the little venturesome part in you gets the best of you, making you poke hands in piles of rocks, firewood or dense shrubbery. These are some of the hotspots for snakes.
Maybe you were working, but you still disturbed a resting snake. You have two options: 1). Don’t stick your hands in such snake hideouts. 2). Carefully inspect them first to ensure there isn’t a hidden snake.
There’s also a third option. Always wear a quality pair of snakeproof gloves whenever you step outdoors, whether for work or adventure.
Wear Protective Apparel
Never go outdoors without protective apparel. As I said earlier, prevention is your best protection against snakes. Protective clothing involves snake boots, gaiters, long pants, gloves, snake chaps or leggings etc.
First, decide how much protection you need, then pick gears accordingly. For instance, ankle-length boots and snake gaiters can shield your lower legs. You can wear those if your chosen terrain doesn’t have aggressive snakes – such as pit vipers – and tall and dense bushes.
Alternatively, snake chaps and knee-high snake boots offer maximum coverage and protection. Therefore, do a threat assessment first and then wear protective gear accordingly.
Note: Make sure the protective garments you choose are durable, lightweight, weatherproof, abrasion-resistant, breathable and comfortable. The absence of any of these traits will cause you distress and inconvenience. Turtleskin, Muck, Crackshot Corporation, Danner and Irish Setter are some of the reliable brands that take users’ safety and comfort equally seriously. You can browse through their products and choose gears according to your needs and preferences.
Never Go to Remote Hiking Locations Alone
Don’t hike/hunt alone, especially in remote areas. Always have someone accompany you to such ventures. It is for your own safety. A partner will not only prevent you from boredom but will also be your rescue service – until professional help arrives – in case of accidental fang injury. Make sure both of you are well aware of how to provide first aid if bitten by a snake so that you can assist the victim in such an emergency. Speaking of first aid, keep a first aid kit in your backpack.
You should always have your cell phone within reach with emergency helpline contact on speed dial. Besides, always inform your family about your chosen hiking or hunting terrain before embarking on the adventure. You must have watched that famous movie ‘127 Hours’. It highlights this critical point.
Be Well Aware of the Snakes Indigenous to the Area
You can tackle an emergency better if you know what species of snakes lurk in your chosen area for hiking or in the locality where you live. Get comprehensive knowledge of distinct traits of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes to prepare yourself accordingly for an unexpected snake confrontation.
For example, a rattling sound in most situations is a tell-tale sign of a venomous rattlesnake nearby. However, some non-venomous snakes also mimic rattling sounds to throw you off. So, educate yourself about the species of serpents that live in the locality.
Snake encounters are unavoidable variables in activities like hiking, trekking, hunting and working in fields. What you can avoid is becoming a target of a snake – only if you give them a wide berth and put on protective apparel. If you follow necessary precautions about protection and know what type of snakes might be lurking in the area when stepping outdoors, you can prevent yourself from painful snakebites and, hopefully, save yourself a trip to the hospital. Remeber, curtailing your curiosity when you step on trails can keep you safe from puncturing fang marks.