If you are an experienced mountain climber, then definitely you must have come across a snake on the wilderness. Even so, a newbie might encounter a snake the very first time he/she goes hiking. In most cases, a snake will move away from trail but there are some that won’t bother at all. This means that you should avoid the snake lest you want it to attack you. Statistics indicate that most snakes will only attack when they feel threatened by an intruder, and so avoid any movement that will arouse suspicion. There are a number of things that you need to understand in order to be safe in the wild. However, before delving into the finer details here are a few facts about snakes:
- Some snakes will play dead when they are still alive and can bite at the slightest provocation.
- There are over 2,500 species of snakes across the globe
- Not all snakes are poisonous
- Some snakes will rest during the day and get out to hunt at dusk or dawn
- Some snakes are found in specific areas only
How to prevent snake bites?
As stated before, when you encounter a snake in the wilderness, do not try to pick it up, provoke, or try to kill it. You should also avoid approaching it however beautiful the snake might look, and if you happen to step on one, then react quickly by swiftly moving away. Take note that some snakes raise their upper body and if long enough can look you straight in the eye. Importantly, avoid any confrontation with snakes because this can lead to fatal bites. If you are hiking with a younger member of your family, do not even think of trying to strike the snake however small it is.
There are times that you will unknowingly come across a snake on trail, do not try anything stupid. You just freeze wherever you are and the snake will find run away. If there is no escape route for the reptile, then you should back off slowly and steadily. Any fast movements might prompt the snake to bite, and so you are advised to be confident as you slowly move in the opposite direction. After all, this movement makes the snake to imagine you are not a potential threat.
It is equally important to note that before most snakes bite, they will make a hood at the neck and consistently hiss as they observe their enemy. If you see these kind of reactions, you should be quite caution lest you get bitten. However, if you see the snake slither in a different direction, let it go and do not try anything macho.
What happens if you are bitten?
There are times that you will be bitten by these venomous creatures that like to stay under rocks, logs, and trees. The first thing you should do after getting a snake bite is to remain calm. If you panic and start running, blood pressure will increase and hence poison will move in your body system, faster. If you are in a psotion to identify the snake, the antidote given will work pretty fast. Here are some tips for you on how to reduce and treat the effects on snake bites, both cytotoxic and neurotoxic:
- Stay calm and avoid running aimlessly
- Do not try to suck the venom using your mouth
- Avoid squeezing the bite (cytotoxic)
- Do not apply tourniquet
- Take time to drink a lot of fluids
If you encounter a snake, do not try to run aimlessly as you might be going into their territory. In fact, you might be running into its nest and these can even make matters worse. If you are hiking in a group, make it a point to choose the good trail that snakes avoid. As a matter of fact, these animals avoid areas that are frequented by people. If the snake is chasing after prey and you happen to be in the way to its food, you should react fast lest you are bitten.
The best thing you can do to avoid snake bites is to be cautious while on trail. Furthermore, you should wear hiking boots that are comfortable and made of high quality materials. These are the kind of trail shoes that will prevent snake bites and you will always be safe and not worry about snakes.
As a word of advice, when confronted by snakes do not go climbing trees. Snakes climb trees and it can be pretty bad if they get you up there. However, if you have no choice, and all the options have failed, then you need to defend yourself by striking the head. In other words, learn some some self-defense skill that come in handy in the wilderness.