Snake is the biggest threat when people think about hiking and many hikers always want to know how to treat a snake bite while hiking before doing anything else. Snakes are one of the most feared reptiles that you can encounter while hiking. While most snakes only bite out of fear or because they feel threatened, not all snake bites are painless.
Some snakes, such as the Cottonmouths and rattlesnakes, inject venom into their victims with every strike.
It is important to be able to recognize a snake bite while hiking and to treat it properly so that you can reduce your risk of dying from the injury or developing an infection.
If you are bitten by a snake while hiking, try to remain calm. Snake bites cause extreme pain, but it is important not to panic. Instead, identify what type of snake bit you as quickly as possible, so that you can determine the proper treatment.
If you are uncertain about what type of snake bit you, try to capture it if possible and take it with you to the hospital so that experts can identify it for you.
Once you have determined whether or not the snake was venomous, begin treating your bite immediately.
The definitive treatment for a snake bite is to receive anti-venom from a medical professional. The most important thing you can do for a snake bite is to get to medical care as quickly as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of Envenomation
If you have been bitten by a venomous snake, you will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- swelling at the site of the bite
- necrosis (tissue death)
- paraesthesia (altered sensation, such as “pins and needles”)
- muscle weakness
- hypotension (low blood pressure)
- tachycardia (high heart rate)
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If you are far from medical care, you can try to find a venom extractor kit to suck the venom out of the wound.
Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, as these kits are not always effective.
First aid for a snake bite includes the following:
1. Call for medical help immediately.
2. Apply a clean, dry dressing to the wound.
3. Do not try to remove the venom yourself.
4. Keep the affected limb below heart level to slow the spread of venom.
5. remain calm and avoid moving around too much, as movement will speed up the spread of venom in your body.
6. If possible, try to capture and identify the snake so that you can receive proper treatment.
If you are bitten by a snake while adaptive hiking or camping, do not panic! Remember to remain calm and seek medical attention right away if necessary. In most cases, prompt treatment can prevent serious health complications.
Other First-Aid Treatments That May Be Beneficial
If you are more than an hour from medical care, and you have been bitten by a venomous snake, there are a few other first-aid treatments that may be beneficial.
1. Apply a constricting band (such as a tourniquet) above the bite site to help slow the spread of venom.
2. Immobilize the affected limb to slow the movement of venom.
3. Apply cold compresses or ice packs to help reduce swelling and pain.
4. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, to help relieve pain and inflammation.
5. Seek medical attention as soon as possible for further treatment and care.
Things Not To Do
There are a few things that you should not do if you are bitten by a snake while hiking:
1. Do not try to suck the venom out of the wound.
2. Do not cut the wound open with a knife or other sharp object.
3. Do not apply a tourniquet unless you are more than an hour from medical care.
4. Do not try to catch or kill the snake.
5. Do not wait for symptoms to appear before seeking medical attention.
6. Do not apply a cold compress or ice pack to the wound if you are more than an hour from medical care, as this can cause tissue damage.
If you are bitten by a snake while hiking or camping, the most important thing to do is seek medical care as soon as possible.
Medical management of snake bites will depend on several factors, including the type of snake that bit you and the severity of your symptoms.
Treatment may involve one or more of the following interventions:
The use of antivenom (or anti-venom) is the most common treatment for severe snake bites. This medication is made from antibodies that are created in response to venom proteins from certain snakes.
It can help to neutralize the effects of venom and prevent further complications.
In most cases, wounds will need to be cleaned and treated to prevent infection. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove dead tissue or relieve pressure from swelling.
Snake bites can be extremely painful. Pain medication, such as opioids, may be necessary to help keep you comfortable.
Intravenous fluids may be required to help maintain hydration and blood pressure in the event of significant fluid loss due to sweating or vomiting.
Other supportive care
If necessary, your doctor may also recommend other treatments, such as oxygen therapy, respiratory support, or treatment for shock.
Can you survive a snake bite without antivenom?
In most cases, yes. With prompt medical treatment, most people who are bitten by a snake will make a full recovery.
However, it is important to remember that snake bites can be very serious and even life-threatening. In some cases, antivenom may be necessary to prevent further complications.
If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical attention right away and follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations to help ensure the best possible outcome.
Do Hiking Boots Protect Against Snake Bites?
Wearing boots may help to protect against snake bites in some cases.
However, it is important to remember that snakes can strike with great force and accuracy, even when wearing protective clothing.
Conclusion – How To Treat A Snake Bite While Hiking
If you are bitten by a venomous snake while hiking or camping, it is important to seek medical care right away.
While there is no guaranteed way to prevent snake bites, wearing protective clothing, such as hiking boots, can help to reduce your risk.
I hope this guide has helped you enough to know How To Treat A Snake Bite While Hiking. Keep reading our blogs for posts like this.
You can also read: What Is In A First Aid Kit For Camping?