Most people who have gone hiking or backpacking in an area where rattlesnakes are common have a story to tell about an encounter with one of these deadly snakes. Some of the most beautiful landscapes include areas populated by these reptiles.
In this article, you will learn how to avoid rattlesnakes when hiking if you follow a few simple rules.
Where are Rattlesnakes Found?
Rattlesnakes are found in a variety of habitats throughout the United States. They prefer areas with rocky outcroppings and ledges where they can sun themselves and hunt for prey.
These snakes are also commonly found in brushy areas, tall grass, and near bodies of water.
When hiking in rattlesnake country, be sure to stay on well-worn trails and avoid areas of tall grass and brush. If you must hike in these areas, wear long pants and high boots to protect yourself from snakebites.
When Are Rattlesnakes Active?
Rattlesnakes are most active when the temperature is between 80°F and 90°F. They are cold-blooded animals, so they rely on the sun on to regulate their body temperature.
In cooler weather, rattlesnakes will be basking in the sun to warm up.
During the hottest months of summer, rattlesnakes will often only come out at night when the temperatures have cooled down. If you are hiking in rattlesnake country, it is best to avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day
6 Ways How to Avoid Rattlesnakes When Hiking
.The best way to avoid a rattlesnake while hiking is to hike in a group. Rattlesnakes are more likely to strike when they feel threatened, and they are less likely to feel threatened when there are multiple people around.
There are a few easy things you can do to make sure you are hiking in a group.
Stay on Trail:
If you are hiking through areas where rattlesnakes may be present, stay on the trail to avoid brushing up against any potential hiding spots.
Wear Long Pants and High Boots
Wearing long pants and high boots will help to protect you from snakebites.
High hiking boots don’t just protect your lower legs from snakebites, but they also protect you from cuts and scrapes when hiking through rocky or uneven terrain.
Keep Dogs on a Leash
Dogs are often attracted to rattlesnakes, so it is important to keep them on a leash while hiking. If your dog does get too close to a rattlesnake, the snake may feel threatened and strike.
You can even get a rattlesnake venom kit for your dog in case they are bitten while on the trail.
Make Noise While Hiking
Hiking in groups and making noise while hiking will help to avoid any potential encounters with rattlesnakes.
Singing, clapping, or even talking loudly will help to alert any nearby snakes of your presence so they can slither away
Avoid Hiking at Dawn or Dusk
The best time to hike during the rattlesnake season is during the cooler morning hours or in the early evening.
Stay out of hiking areas during the hottest part of the day when most snakes will be hiding
Take a Walking Stick
A walking stick can help you avoid any potential snake encounters while hiking.
If you see a snake on the trail, you can use your walking stick to gently prod it away from you.
Hike with Respect
Even if you follow all of the tips for avoiding rattlesnakes while hiking, there is still a chance you could encounter one on the trail. If you do see a snake, it is important to give it plenty of space and respect its territory.
Never try to catch or kill a rattlesnake, as this will only increase your chances of being bitten.
Following these simple tips will help you avoid any potential encounters with rattlesnakes while out on the trail.
What to Do if You See a Rattlesnake: 3 Step Guides
If you see a rattlesnake while hiking, it is important to stay calm and follow these three steps:
1. Stand Still
The first thing you should do if you see a rattlesnake is to stand still. Do not try to run away or move too quickly, as this may trigger the snake’s natural instinct to attack.
2. Distract the Snake
Once you have stopped moving and are standing still, try to distract the snake in some way. This can be done by clapping your hands, talking loudly, or even throwing a rock or stick in its direction.
Distracting the snake may help it to move away from where you are standing.
3. Move Away Slowly
Once the snake has moved away from you, slowly and carefully back away from the area. Do not turn your back on the snake or move too quickly, as this could trigger another attack.
If possible, try to keep an eye on the snake as you move away so you can see where it is at all times.
Following these simple steps will help you stay safe if you come across a rattlesnake while hiking. Remember, it is important to stay calm and move slowly if you want to avoid being bitten.
Do rattlesnakes warn you by rattling?
Rattlesnakes will often give a warning before they strike by shaking their tail rapidly. This noise is made by the snake’s rattle, which is a series of hollow balls that are connected together.
The noise is used to warn potential predators or victims that the snake is nearby.
What does a rattlesnake bite feel like?
A rattlesnake bite can feel like a sharp pain or a burning sensation. Some people may also feel dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded after being bitten. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?
If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, there are several steps you should take to minimize your risk of complications or death if you are bitten by a rattlesnake.
You should try to remain as still and calm as possible, and remove any constricting items like rings or watches from your body. You may also want to try to identify the snake so that medical professionals can better understand your risk of complications.
Finally, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, either by calling 911 or going directly to the nearest emergency room.