California Poison Control System states that hundred of rattlesnake cases are treated annually in hospitals. It doesn’t mean that rattlesnakes are comparatively more prone to attacking humans. It simply shows a lack of proper protective clothing and vigilance in rattlesnakes-dense regions.
Rattlesnakes are a more formidable opponent because of their large venomous fangs and higher striking range. So, what you decide to wear around rattlesnakes should be based on these crucial factors. Articles, such as denim pants, snake chaps or gaiters, thick gloves and a sturdy pair of snake boots can afford you maximum protection from a striking rattlesnake.
Read further to know how including these gears in your attire reduce the risk factor of snakebites, including rattlesnakes.
What to Wear to Protect from Rattlesnakes Bites
The strike range of most snakes is around feet and calves, but rattlesnakes can go higher. A rattler can extend its strike range up to two-thirds of its length. For example, an average four-foot adult rattlesnake can reach a 2.5 feet distance from its point of standing. Therefore, you need maximum coverage clothing when outing in a rattlesnake country.
We will discuss the garments you must put on around rattlers in the paras below.
Start with a stout pair of denim jeans instead of shorts. A grownup rattlesnake has roughly one-inch long fangs that can easily pierce through thin, flimsy fabrics. During a scientific study, Pacific rattlesnakes were allowed to strike denim gloves and ordinary gloves to check which material offered the most protection against the venom.
The results showed that 60% – 66% of venom didn’t pass through denim material. Therefore, wearing sturdy pair of denim pants can effectively reduce the severity of venomous fang strikes to a great proportion. You just make sure the pants are loose-fitting because the large fangs of rattlers can easily pass through tight-fit jeans to puncture your skin.
Never step in rattlesnake country or an area with high snake density in sandals or barefoot. Most of the time, you unknowingly step near a snake’s lounging/hiding spot, eliciting a defensive strike from it. So, putting on quality leather boots or other reliable snakeproof boots will protect you best from unexpected rattlesnake attacks.
When selecting protective footwear, choose boots that are at least ankle-high. Avid hikers and hunters believe that boots ranging from 14” to 18” in height are the best and safest options. They can guard vulnerable areas of your lower limbs from painful strikes.
People usually focus on the safety features of these boots and neglect breathability and comfortability. That’s a blunder you should all avoid if you want to keep your boots on till the end of the outing.
Snake Gaiters or Chaps
Snake gaiters or chaps offer additional shielding against puncturing fangs. These gears are usually composed of heavy-duty fabrics, such as canvas and Cordura nylon. Both are sturdy enough to keep fangs from getting closer to your skin.
Snake gaiters shield an area from the upper side of your foot to your calf while chaps cover your entire leg, from ankle to thigh. As I told you earlier, a rattlesnake can lunge up to two-thirds of its size, which means it can attack higher than your knees. So, snake chaps over long pants will give you better protection around these evil critters.
It’s a faulty assumption that feet are more at risk of snake attacks. Several surveys in medical and wildlife-related journals show that around 80% of snakebites appear on fingers and hands. Thus, snakeproof gloves should be a must-part of your attire when going for outings in rattlesnakes regions. Some pairs of gloves are just wrist-long, while others offer coverage up to the elbows. Choose gloves according to your comfort and the level of protection you need.
Socks are optional as many snakeproof boots feature excellent cushioning and inner lining to avoid wetness and blisters. You do not need to wear socks in that case. We insist on wearing them anyway. That’s because they add an extra layer of shield around your feet that fangs have to cross. In simple words, the more layers you put between the fangs and your skin, the safer you will be from venomous bites.
Your feet may feel like being toasted, but that’s a compromise you will have to make for your protection.
Rattlesnakes are not to be taken lightly because: a). they are venomous. b). they can attack higher than ordinary snakes. So, you need to be extra careful and go for maximum coverage. Long pants, snakeproof boots, snake chaps and heavy-duty gloves will safeguard you from painful and venomous rattlesnake bites the best. You can also wear a thick pair of socks as an extra layer of protection. Hence, you need maximum coverage around enemies like rattlesnakes to minimise the risk of attacks. Besides, staying vigilant and careful will further reduce the possibility of getting bitten by venom-injecting rattlers.