We are sure that this is a good thing to read for all hikers. You are welcome!
Snakes, their home are the wild places, just like other species. It is important to understand and to learn how to deal with this one just to keep you and other people safe. If you wonder how to make your outdoor venture snake-friendly, these guidelines can help!
1. So, What Is It?
Checking the weather conditions are essentials as you pack enough water. It is also important to know about the wildlife you are going to deal with when you make your outdoor journey. This is also the part of your preparation. You should know whether your hike is a great place for snakes or not. In addition, you should also know about the snakes there, whether they are venomous or not.
For example, if you hike in the United States, there are some venomous snake species such as copperheads, water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. It is wrong to determine that the snake is venomous by identifying the color and head shape.
Therefore, you should prior to your journey by checking the state or national park ranger and by finding more information from the local biologist. It is because using the Internet to check the snake species commonly are not accurate. It is also helpful if you have a good field guide. For example, you can read the Peterson Field Guides to Reptiles and Amphibians since this book can fit your day pack.
2. Where Will You Encounter A Snake?
Perhaps, the best answer is anywhere. But, it is good to know more about snake ecology so you can at least have meaningful knowledge about the common snake species you will encounter in certain locations. In addition, snakes are popular as ectotherms because they rely on the external sources to heat. This is the reason why you can find a snake stretched across your trail in the evening or early morning because the snake is gathering the energy.
Just like us, snakes will seek shelter during the hottest hours of the day. Therefore, they will rest under the limbs and rocks. The way they rest depends on the species. For example, you can find snakes in the rocky crevices, in leaf debris, and even on the edge of creeks. Furthermore, they can travel via trails, ravines, and other to find the resource needs.
If you face a snake, keep in mind that you are warmer, bigger, and smarter. When you face the predator, many of them will flee. If you see they coil up with the S-shaped body and rattle or writhe, it is the sign that they are scared. This is their best way to tell you to leave them. Besides, there are some species that will play dead such as the hognose snake. Therefore, it is always good to be mindful on the trail, especially with your hands and feet. It is because not all snakes create a warning sound. In case that you cannot see a ledge and step into a tall brush, we recommend you to stop your step first and look around before going ahead.
3. How To Response A Snake On The Trail
So, going outdoor means you have the possibility to find a snake because this is their territory. What will you do if you see a snake?
First, give this animal some space. Second, determine the species by using the handy field guide you pack and always do the same treatment; to leave it alone. Avoid touching the snake even if you are sure that the snake is non-venomous species. Snake bites always happen because you are trying to move the snake or to kill it. It also means that it is unnecessary to harm a snake on your trail. The best option is to move around the snake even if it is in the middle of the trail.
4. Things To Do After The Bite
Gladly, the venomous snake species in the US are not as much as the nonvenomous species. But, what will you do if a snake bites you?
First, don’t panic. If possible, keep calm and try to identify the species. The biggest concern should be the secondary infection you will get from the bite. To do so, you have to wash the area with water and soap, use alcohol wipes and then Neosporin in your first aid kit. On the other hand, if a venomous snake bites you, avoid making a tourniquet. This will only lead to nerve damage, even to the limb and reduce the blood flow. It is also useless to suck out the venom. It only makes the venom goes to different part of the body. Try to back away from the snack if you see it still there to avoid another bite. After that, identify the species if you can. If this is impossible for you, take the note markings so the medical care can help. Also, take the note of the time the snake bite you and remain calm. By keeping the heart rate down, this is good to slow the spread of the venom. If possible, go back to your vehicle immediately and go to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call the medical assistance to get the snake antivenin.
Keep in mind, don’t panic even though the snake bite from the venomous species is painful and scary, but being fatal is still low.
5. The Experience
So, a lot of people hate snakes. But, think again that they are the crucial members of the ecosystems. Snake is the natural habitat and seeing them around is the meaningful experience. Snakes also come in different colors. They are still beautiful. If you have a good camera, take some photos with a reasonable distance can be great. Another thing to do is to take your moment and observe the animal is doing. It is much better if you have more preparation and concern on the experience of seeing the wildlife, instead of being fearful and panic.
So, have you met a snake on your previous trip?