So how do you care for the bite especially with the fact that you might not get immediate access to medical attention? This article contains the information needed on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking and how to avoid snake bites.
Several zoologists consider snakes to be a group of beautiful and misunderstood species. Just in case you do not subscribe to that school of thought and your next destination is a snake-infested terrain, then you would need to learn the basics of how to survive in such terrain.
There are several types of snakes, there are venomous ones and ones without venom. The last thing you would want to get into your body is venom, especially in a place where there is no access to the health care center. In the real sense, a snake will not strike you if you do not disturb it but while hiking the tendency of not disturbing snake is almost non-existent. You could get on the bad side of a snake without you knowing and then get bitten.
Below are the free tips on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking;
- Do not hike alone: snake bites cause excruciating pain, be it a venomous or non-venomous snake. And once bitten you might not be stable enough to get yourself to the car or give yourself first aid. You need a friend who would help when disaster strikes.
- Go with first aid kit: this is one of the essentials for a hiking trip. You should always take it along with you.
- Move away from the bite scene to avoid being bitten again.
- Try to identify the snake, the color, and the pattern as this would help the medical personnel to determine the right anti-venom to use. Just be careful.
- Remove all tight stuff from the affected spot. This would prevent cut; in case the affected area gets swollen.
- Calm the victim: the shock from being bit by a snake could be worse than the bite itself. Help the victim understand a snake bite is not a death sentence and can be easily treated.
- The victim might start vomiting, depending on the type of venom. You should allow the victim to rest on his or her left side.
- Make sure the victim neither eats nor drinks anything. Avoid medications as well, unless there is a doctor who okays it.
- Apply pressure immobilization bandage. This will help slow the flow of venom.
- Do not allow the victim to walk.
- Transport the victim to a hospital as soon as possible.
How to avoid snake bites while hiking
Let us be clear on this. Prevention is always better than cure. You do not have to go through that life-threatening experience then start looking for a cure. You could disturb snakes without you know since you are in their territory. Preventing bites is a skill you should have. Below are some of the preventive measures to take, these steps are important on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking;
1). Clothing: your choice of clothing has a huge role to play in the prevention of snake bites. There is a lot of stuff you could wear while hiking to avoid snake bites.
- boots: you should get sturdy boots for your hike. Your legs are the first target for snakes as it is the closest. A pair of hiking boots that go above the ankle is preferable. Boots made of leather and rubber and the best snake-resistant materials. The fangs of most snakes are not long enough to penetrate such boots. You might not feel the effect.
- Pants: wear pants. Really long and large pants. This might help prevent snake bites. There are some snake-proof pants you can get. They are usually made of nylon.
- Snake gaiters: if you have the money, you should get a pair of snake gaiters. They are specially designed to prevent snake bites. They are worn on the lower part of your legs.
2). Avoid snakes: snakes have no interest in you. They do not consider you as food. The best you can do for yourself is to leave them and continue with your hike. Trying to touch a snake might be seen as a threat by the snake and you would get a treat.
3). Maintain your trail: hike on a known path. You would not know what lies beneath the bushes.
4). Be alert: do not just walk around without caution. Check your environment as you like. Stepping on a snake is a mistake you would not want to make.
5). Treat all as same: no snake is too small. Do not underestimate the small snakes. The smallest snake you have seen might be venomous and could cause as much damage as the big one. Just avoid snakes especially if you are not a professional in that regard.
What to do if bitten by a snake while hiking
Before I talk about what you should do, I think you should know what you must not do.
- Do not give food or water to the victim.
- Do not try to suck out the venom or make incisions on the spot as none of these works. It could in fact be detrimental.
- Do not allow the victim to move around.
So, about what to do;
- Try to keep the victim calm.
- Call an ambulance.
- Clean the affected area with water.
- Try to identify the snake if possible. Get to know the color and pattern. This would help in determining the anti-venom to use.
- Let the victim lie by his or her shoulder.
- Remove all tight stuff from the affected area.
- You can apply pressure immobilization bandage for first aid.
- In case there is no ambulance coming, take the victim to the hospital immediately.
What is the best snake repellent while hiking?
Getting a snake repellent for your home is easy. You could get Sulphur and other repellents but it would not work while on the walk. The most effective repellent is your choice of cloth.
The one recommended in this article. it should be cleared that wearing repelling clothes is important on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking to avoid being bitten by a snake and some other reptiles.
Conclusion: What to do if bitten by a snake while hiking
Not all snakes are venomous but all could cause damage. The bite of a non-venomous snake could cause infections. All snake bites should be treated as a matter of emergency. Follow the Dos mentioned on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking, and avoid the Don’ts and you keep yourself safe.
The most effective preventive measure is to avoid snake-infested terrains but in case that is not possible, Go hiking with quality hiking wears and note all steps on what to do if bitten by a snake while hiking.
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