Snakebites generally occur when you disturb the peace of a perfectly relaxed snake. Otherwise, they prefer to mind their own business – only if you do the same. All of your body is not fair game for a pissed snake. You must know where do snakes bite the most to put on clothing accordingly.
Below are some statistics that will tell you which parts are prone to bite risks. The actual risk is a lot lower than what you perceive. What offers more peace of mind is that you can bring it down simply to 0% if you wear snakeproof gear and follow necessary precautionary measures.
It is interesting how a little fact-finding and study can blow away all your faulty perceptions. That’s what we are about to do here. So, without further ado, let’s get to the business.
Body Parts Where Snakes Bite the Most
Once you know what body parts are most at risk of snakebites, you will wear gear accordingly to protect them from that pain. Lucky for you, I came across articles published in the Western Journal of Medicine and Wilderness Medical Society that revealed statistics regarding fang bites.
There it said,
- Over 80% of snakebites occur on your hands and fingers.
- The remaining 15%-20% are around your feet and ankle areas; very few bites take place above the ankle.
Long story short, people are mostly bitten on limbs. Therefore, you must shield your arms, hands, legs and feet.
Note: It is a popular fact about pit vipers that they can longe to a 2/3rd of their length to attack a target when pissed. So, wear garments that can protect your limbs above the knees when marching through pit vipers-infested terrains.
What to Wear to Protect from Snakebites?
Now that you know which parts of your anatomy are most at risk, the practical line of thinking is to ask yourself what to wear to protect yourself from snakebites. Below is a list of garments you must wear during outdoor activities in a snake country.
Jeans or Long Pants
You should wear a sturdy pair of full-length pants or jeans to prevent snakes from attacking your lower limbs. One snake-related research explained that denim bars over 60% of venom from getting injected into the bitten area. So, wear denim or full-length pants of snakeproof material instead of shorts to avoid snakebites.
Also, avoid skin-tight pants because fangs have difficulty reaching your legs when clad in baggy jeans or pants.
Snake gaiters are for lower limbs, i.e. the region from your ankles to calves. You put them on your pants and boots to form a second layer of shield around these vulnerable parts.
Oh, don’t mix snake gaiters with hiking gaiters. The former is specially manufactured from fang-resistant materials to defend from snakebites, while the latter generally shields you from spikey objects, e.g. thorns and cactus.
A word of advice is to choose only those gaiters that have been experimented with live snakes during manufacturing. This additional caution will completely erase the chances of bites.
When exploring outdoors, you must cover your feet in a reliable pair of snake boots. I said snake boots, not hunting or hiking boots. Again, hiking/hunting boots don’t promise to always keep you safe from serpents. Usually, they are made of rubber or regular leather to shield you from weather factors and thorny bushes.
On the other hand, manufacturers use heavy-duty fabrics such as grain leather, Cordura, synthetic, nylon and rubber for snake boots. Therefore, fangs cannot scratch your skin even when a snake strikes with force.
It is a friendly piece of advice to purchase a pair of snake boots that offers maximum coverage, comfort and breathability to avoid inconveniences. Plus, select a reliable brand or the one that does live snake testing on its footwear for 100% guaranteed protection. For instance, Muck and TurtleSkin SnakeArmor are famous for subjecting their gears to live rattlesnakes.
Snake chaps give you full-leg coverage as you wear them over pants. As snakes rarely bite above ankles, wear snake chaps only when you have to work or hike in adult and aggressive serpents’ territory, especially in pit vipers’ dens.
We aren’t talking about those puffy mittens you use for baking or grilling. Since a large percentage of snakebites occur on hands and fingers, you must wear heavy leather gloves to shield them. I would say, don’t grab a snake to avoid being bitten. But, if it is simply inevitable, clad your hands in snakeproof gloves first.
Some Practical Suggestions to Avoid Snakebites
You can avoid this painful experience if you just follow some straightforward rules.
- Mind your own business; no need to handle a snake unless necessary.
- Don’t stick your hands in spots where snakes most likely hide or lounge.
- Clad in snakeproof clothing when working outdoors.
- Be aware of the time and weather when snakes are most active to plan your activity accordingly.
- Educate yourself on first-aid snakebite treatment to keep the situation under control.
Getting bitten by a snake is an accident you can easily avoid if you just armour yourself in protective apparel. Snakes mostly bite around legs, feet and hands as these parts are within easy access when you hike, hunt or work in snake territories. Therefore, you should wear a reliable pair of snakeproof boots, pants, gaiters and gloves to armour these vulnerable parts. Afterwards, you will be able to finish your job. As a precautionary measure, it is better to avoid disturbing a snake unnecessarily and stay away from its possible hideouts. Do that and I guarantee you will return home safe and sound.