How To Protect Yourself From Snakes While Hiking

how to protect yourself from snakes while hiking

How to protect yourself from snakes while hiking? What should I do if I am attacked by a snake? This is an issue that hikers and climbers frequently discuss. What should I do if a snake bites me? The majority of those who go hiking have no idea what to do when snakes bite. In most situations, hikers seldom get up close with snakes.

Snakes are frequently seen as more afraid of people than we are of them, however, snakes are not really afraid of humans when they see them; instead, they can be aggressive and protective in their territory when threatened. We recently had the opportunity to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip down the Grand Canyon, and believe me, I was looking for snakes everywhere I went!

Snakes can be found in the wild, and there are hundreds of species of them. The majority of snakes feed on tiny rodents such as mice and rats, which live in rural regions. They stay in areas that are wet or humid because being warm-blooded, they prefer to stay cool.

So, the question of what to do if you are bitten by a snake is an important one. It is crucial to understand how to react when someone you know has been bitten and what steps you can take to avoid getting bitten yourself.

Snake Bite Prevention

brown and beige snake on white background
how to protect yourself from snakes while hiking

Avoiding trekking locations that are known to be snake territory, is one of the most effective strategies for avoiding snake bites. When darkness falls, snakes become very active. To make certain that a rattlesnake is not on the loose, you should avoid brush and loose stones. You are likely to hear a snake before seeing it, so keeping those headphones in your pocket might be wise. Here are some more suggestions:

  • Always keep your ears and eyes open.
  • The most frequent bite locations are the feet and ankles, followed by the hands. Never walk or put your hand in an area where you can not see. Wear strong shoes and long pants or gaiters to protect yourself.
  • Keep walking and avoid grass, weeds, and bushes.
  • Trek poles or walking sticks are a good idea. They will be ahead of you and to the sides, allowing snakes to strike them instead of you.
  • When picking anything off the groundwood, rocks, or even your shoes, be careful since it may have been there for a while.
  • Look around before you sit down.
  • Hike with the buddy.
  • Always respect wildlife – do not harass any snakes.
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Symptoms And First Aid

green and white snake illustration
how to protect yourself from snakes while hiking

Common sense and logic are the two most important skills you will need to know how to deal with snake bites.

  1. To begin, you must understand how to identify snake bites. You must determine whether or not it is a genuine snake bite. If you were present when someone was bitten, then you can trust your judgment and proceed to the next step. If you were not there when someone was bitten, look for evidence of two fang bite scars on their skin. Moderate and swelling to severe discomfort in the bitten region are other indicators. You should also inspect for skin discoloration, which will indicate twitching skin and venom in the vicinity. The symptoms of a snake bite are varied, and they may include vomiting, nausea, slurred speech, dizziness, sweating, and altered mental state. It is a snake bite if the indicators and symptoms are observed.
  2. The next big step is to get help immediately.
  3. After that, the victim should be kept motionless and calm. If you can check the movement of the victim, it would be better. It would be ideal not to let the victim walk since a splint in the bite region might be helpful. Also, make sure that the bitten area of the body is lower than the chest of the victim. Apply a constricting band or a bandage over the bite site, as well as beneath it, if at all feasible. However, ensure that the bandage is not too firmly applied. The main goal of the wrap is to keep the venom from traveling to the lymphatic system and blood circulation.
  4. It would also be beneficial if the snake could be identified. Take details of the snake’s size, color, pattern, and any other factors.
  5. The next step is to clean the wound or snake bite region with soap and water.
  6. Take the victim to a clinic or hospital immediately. The afflicted should also be closely observed for any subsequent indicators and symptoms if any appear. If required, you may need to give CPR.
  7. There is no need to be alarmed! This is, in fact, a fundamental tenet. To the greatest extent feasible, make certain that the victim and other team members do not panic. Finally, monitor the wound region for changes.
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Snake Bite Treatment

If you are bitten by a snake or another hiking companion, the best thing to do is:

  • Whether venomous or not, you should see a doctor if you are bitten.
  • Assist the victim in keeping cool to limit the spread of venom. Tell them that these snake bites are dry, as it will reassure them.
  • Cleaning and dressing the puncture wound.
  • Remove tight-fitting clothing before the swelling appears.
  • Use a splint to immobilize the bitten limb and prevent the victim from putting strain on it.
  • Transport the victim as quickly as possible to a hospital for antivenin therapy. Because the sufferer should put up with as little effort as feasible, laying them on a stretcher would be ideal. To minimize strain, the victim may leave at a leisurely pace.
  • Do not use the tourniquet or the constriction bandage.
  • Do not attempt to cut the wound or remove the venom.
  • Do not use any apply ice or electric shocks.
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine.
  • Do not try to catch the snake, but try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which may help in your treatment.


Although snake bites are uncommon, if you go hiking, it would still be beneficial to know how to take some preventative measures in order to reduce the risk of being bitten. Remember that first aid is crucial if the dreaded snake bite happens.


A dead snake can still do damage, and it is critical to handle a dead snake with care. Because of the snake’s possible reflex action after dying, it may still carry venom and cause significant damage.

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