When you’re out on a hike, it can be easy to zone out and forget everything else. You’re surrounded by nature, and all you see are trees, bushes, and a trail in front of you. But what if you run into a rattlesnake?
That might sound like an outside chance, but it’s not as uncommon in certain parts of the country as you might think. Even in populated areas, hiking can expose you to snakes. Just remember to do your research, and always keep your eyes on the trail ahead of you.
This article provides a few tips on what to do if bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking.
What To Do If Bitten By A Rattlesnake While Hiking
While it might sound like a good idea to freak out, staying calm is what you should do; if you panic, your blood pressure and heart rate will skyrocket, increasing your risk of experiencing a cardiac arrest.
Instead, keep your cool. Don’t run towards it screaming and waving your arms around if you see a rattlesnake. Instead, keep your cool. Don’t run towards it screaming and waving your arms around if you see a rattlesnake. Instead, find a large, flat spot where you can survey the situation calmly.
Keep Your Distance
When you see a snake, it’s essential to keep your distance. If you run towards it screaming and waving your arms around, you’re going to cause a stampede, potentially harming the snake and making it defensive. Instead, find a large, flat spot where you can survey the situation calmly.
If you want to be close enough to get a good, clear look but far enough that you aren’t putting yourself at risk, find a log or other large, flat object of the same height. Snakes are masters at camouflage, so it’s important not to mistake their presence for their size.
Immobilize the affected limb
For example, if you’re bitten on one of your hands, it’s essential to immobilize the affected limb as quickly as possible.
This will prevent your blood pressure from going up and help slow any swelling occurring. For example, if you’re bitten on one of your hands, it’s essential to immobilize the affected limb as quickly as possible.
This will prevent your blood pressure from going up and help slow any swelling occurring.
Immobilizing a limb isn’t as simple as tying your hand around a tree. Instead, try to find a large, stable object at least an arm’s length away. If there is no significant sound object nearby, use your backpack or another part of your body as a brace.
Apply basic first aid
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to treat the bite with some basic first aid. For example, if you’re bitten on one of your hands, you can wrap it in a bandage to limit blood loss.
This is important, but it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t waste time, and you shouldn’t try to treat the bite with over-the-top methods. Instead, remember that the goal is to limit your risk of infection.
Some of the quickest first aid measures to take include:
- Applying a tourniquet to the affected area
- Applying pressure to the bite wound
- Washing the bite wound with soap and water if you have it
- Avoiding going into shock
- If a poisonous snake has bitten you, there’s a chance that you could go into shock. This is dangerous, so it’s essential to avoid doing so at all costs. Shock can be treated in several ways. For example, if you have an antihistamine on hand or some other medication that will help reduce swelling and blood pressure, it’s essential to take these immediately.
- In addition to medical treatments, it’s also essential to take preventative measures. For example, if you’re prone to fainting when your blood pressure goes up too high, try not to stand up suddenly or jump around. Try sitting down and leaning against something stable until your symptoms subside.
Rush the patient to the nearest hospital
If you’re bitten, the best thing to do is get to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. The sooner you get there, the more likely it is that your body will be able to fight off any infection that may set in before it gets too far.
The hospital will be able to administer proper treatment and ensure that you’re receiving optimal care.
How can I avoid getting bitten?
The best way to avoid being bitten is to stay away from areas known for having poisonous snakes.
However, if you’re going to be in an area where these snakes are known to live, there are several things that you can do to minimize the risk of getting bitten. For example, when hiking or camping in snake-infested areas, wear boots and long pants. This won’t prevent you from getting bitten entirely, but it will decrease the risk somewhat.
It’s also important not to walk around barefoot or without shoes on, especially at night when the snakes are more likely to be active.
It would help if you also looked out for signs of a possible snake bite before it happens. If you see a snake, you should leave the area as soon as possible—this goes double if it’s a venomous snake species.
Those might be warning signs if you hear hissing sounds from nearby bushes or trees. In this case, it’s best not to investigate too much further—you might get bit if you do so!
Finally, if you see remains of dead animals in an area (such as snake skins or feathers), you should leave the site immediately.
What are the symptoms of a snake bite?
The symptoms of a snake bite can vary depending on the type of snake that bit you. If a venomous species bit you, you’re likely to start feeling some effects within minutes or even seconds.
These effects vary depending on what venom was used, but most cases involve swelling, pain, and inflammation. In addition to these physical symptoms, you’ll also probably start feeling dizzy and nauseous.
This is because your body is trying to counteract the effects of the venom that was injected into your bloodstream by releasing chemicals into your system that will help fight it off.
If a nonvenomous snake bit you, your symptoms might not be quite as severe, but they will still last for several days after being bitten.
The bad news is that these bites can still cause some serious health problems—especially if they were from a coral snake or an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake!
These bites are more likely to cause permanent nerve damage, skin lesions, and infections.
If you are bitten, the best thing is to get to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. Wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and apply a bandage if you can’t do that.
Also, don’t try to suck out the venom or cut the wound open. Doing so can cause more damage than good!