Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Snake Gaiters

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-15-2011
    Location
    In the mountains
    Posts
    25

    Default Snake Gaiters

    For almost all of my adult life I have hiked and backpacked using trail runners. Twice this year, I encountered a Timber Rattler and was in the strike zone both times. It was very disconcerting. In both cases, it was impossible to see it until you were about to step on or near it. There was no chance of having avoided it by watching every step I took.

    It did rattle both times but not in enough time to be outside the strike zone. I realize these two encounters are fairly unusual and that TR are shy and will retreat if possible.

    I went ahead and bought Turtleskin snake gaiters. I've also ditched my INOV-8s when in this region and have substituted them with a leather boot for added foot protection.

    Do you take any additional measures when hiking in snake country or just proceed with business as usual?

  2. #2

    Default

    Given how rare snake bites actually are, it's a concern that I choose not to address.

  3. #3
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Business as usual....

    Nor do I carry bear spray or bells, or firearm, just my ultra temps. My biggest concern when I'm out is ticks. But I certainly see your concern it is rare to get bit and alot of bites are dry, meaning no venom. I also agree when you're hiking all day it's easy to loose focus of your stepping and that's all it takes. Hey if it keeps you out there doing what you like to do do it.
    Tipi stops and takes pictures and has a conversation with them names them and moves on.......

  4. #4

    Default

    I’ve had the same experience on the AT and felt as you do. But the reality is that after thousands of trail miles snakes have been an issue only in my head. There are so many unlikely dangers. Keep each in proper context. As soon as you wear snake gators you’ll get hit by lightning or a crazy lunatic. There’s just no telling.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-25-2012
    Location
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Age
    61
    Posts
    3,463
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Generally speaking, I don't worry about snakes at all. On the other hand, the OP didn't say WHERE he was hiking. If it's an area that's seriously thick with snakes, then maybe a different approach is warranted.

  6. #6
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Generally speaking, I don't worry about snakes at all. On the other hand, the OP didn't say WHERE he was hiking. If it's an area that's seriously thick with snakes, then maybe a different approach is warranted.
    I was going to ask this question as well where op was hiking and maybe a little lack of trail maintenance because of what is going on. But my attention deficit kicked in and I hit post quick reply.
    Last edited by JNI64; 10-28-2020 at 19:22.

  7. #7

    Default

    I almost stepped on a copperhead on the Approach Trail once.No harm no foul.But I do wonder what the best procedure is if one got bitten.The old idea of cutting and sucking out the venom is a thing for Western movies I believe.

    So is there any other alternative other than just hiking back to civilization,stay put,call for help,or what?

  8. #8
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
    Join Date
    12-12-2002
    Location
    Marlboro, MA
    Posts
    7,029
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    1

    Default

    Have you been out walking the trails that Tipi Walter has shared with us in his wonderful trip reports?

    I swear, if someone starts a Gofund Me to buy him something like this, I may need to contribute.

    He may might have some good advise on how to walk an squat around them.

  9. #9

    Default

    The only time I've seen rattlers on the trail was early summer in PA during the morning hours. They would be out in the sun trying to warm up. I just step over them like a stick. My hiking partner at the time tried to move one off the trail with his pole and just pissed the thing off. Later in the day once it warms up, they will usually feel you coming and get out of the way, they don't want to be stepped on either.

    Although at one of the double shelters in southern PA we saw a big old rattler come out of the woods and went under one of the shelters. I looked at the guy I had been hiking with, he looked at me and we decided to move on to the next shelter. Figured while this place wouldn't have any mice, sleeping over a rattle snake den might not be a good idea.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  10. #10
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    I almost stepped on a copperhead on the Approach Trail once.No harm no foul.But I do wonder what the best procedure is if one got bitten.The old idea of cutting and sucking out the venom is a thing for Western movies I believe.

    So is there any other alternative other than just hiking back to civilization,stay put,call for help,or what?
    A buddy of mine last year reached in box for something that was in his backyard and got hit by a copperhead. He said he washed and rinsed with alot of water. And had his wife take him to the hospital. They didn't have to use any antivenom. He said his arm all the way up his shoulder turned black and blue. And his thumb where he got bitten is still numb i guess the venom killed the nerves.

    So to address fives question what does one do after they've been bitten by a posinous snake? Make a call, rinse with water if possible, drink plenty of water if possible because you'll probably puke, keep heart rate down and walk out?

  11. #11

    Default

    If there's a doubt, there is no doubt. If the snake gaiters don't interfere and provide a level of protection that eases concern I would wear them.

    I have on several occasions run into timber rattlesnakes in southern New England along fairly well maintained trails. Specifically along the AT and Taconic trails you can fairly easily find snakes coiled up under huckleberry and other low brush just off the side of the trail as they maintain their temperatures during the day. Fortunately they usually rattle and give themselves away, but they are remarkably well camouflaged even when looking for them as they rattle.

    I have a set of snake gaiters I use in these areas during the summer months along with watersheds and unimproved easements in the southeastern US. Though I have never been struck, several people I have worked with over the years have. You won't find better advertising for snake gaiters than these folks. For me, the peace of mind the gaiters provide is worth the cost.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    If there's a doubt, there is no doubt. If the snake gaiters don't interfere and provide a level of protection that eases concern I would wear them.

    I have on several occasions run into timber rattlesnakes in southern New England along fairly well maintained trails. Specifically along the AT and Taconic trails you can fairly easily find snakes coiled up under huckleberry and other low brush just off the side of the trail as they maintain their temperatures during the day. Fortunately they usually rattle and give themselves away, but they are remarkably well camouflaged even when looking for them as they rattle.

    I have a set of snake gaiters I use in these areas during the summer months along with watersheds and unimproved easements in the southeastern US. Though I have never been struck, several people I have worked with over the years have. You won't find better advertising for snake gaiters than these folks. For me, the peace of mind the gaiters provide is worth the cost.

    Thanks for you input,Traveler.I would like to ask how it went for your associates who were struck? I have seen pictures before that look pretty gruesome but that could be the exception or is it the rule?

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    If there's a doubt, there is no doubt. If the snake gaiters don't interfere and provide a level of protection that eases concern I would wear them.

    I have on several occasions run into timber rattlesnakes in southern New England along fairly well maintained trails. Specifically along the AT and Taconic trails you can fairly easily find snakes coiled up under huckleberry and other low brush just off the side of the trail as they maintain their temperatures during the day. Fortunately they usually rattle and give themselves away, but they are remarkably well camouflaged even when looking for them as they rattle.

    I have a set of snake gaiters I use in these areas during the summer months along with watersheds and unimproved easements in the southeastern US. Though I have never been struck, several people I have worked with over the years have. You won't find better advertising for snake gaiters than these folks. For me, the peace of mind the gaiters provide is worth the cost.
    And you used to be SAR correct? Do you know the proper protocol for a venomous snake bite? If someone is several miles from a trailhead.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    67
    Posts
    913
    Images
    2

    Default

    708C21B0-7D72-4FE8-9D38-A74396C20ED9.jpgI met this guy somewhere in VA. Like Tipi we spoke a few words, I put my Stick to the left for him to look at and I went around the right. Don’t wear headphones, they don’t always rattle loud.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RangerZ View Post
    ............... they don’t always rattle loud.
    They don't always rattle at all unfortunately.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Thanks for you input,Traveler.I would like to ask how it went for your associates who were struck? I have seen pictures before that look pretty gruesome but that could be the exception or is it the rule?
    I should have stated that differently, those I know who were struck were wearing snake protection equipment (snake guards/gaiters or chaps) and avoided injury. There were no injuries beyond perhaps the temporary loss of dignity and my screaming like Pee Wee Herman when a good sized moccasin (only about 2-foot long but resembled a full grown anaconda at the time) moved across the path at high speed.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    And you used to be SAR correct? Do you know the proper protocol for a venomous snake bite? If someone is several miles from a trailhead.
    It's been a while since I was involved with SAR and management protocols of snake bite may have changed a bit, but many of the treatments for snake bites learned then remain true as far as I know. To be clear, SAR would have far more resources at hand than would the individual or with a companion hiker. For example carrying out the victim is more likely to be the exit strategy as opposed to them walking out on their own or assisted by another hiker. Most of the training we received was in context to an SAR event and what to do as first responders. Among things we learned:

    Cutting the bite wound with a knife and sucking out the poison is the stuff of movies. And, I'm sure many of us have looked at the ads for the little suction cup venom removal devices that seem to come onto the market then leave for a while. Neither of these approaches work and can cause more problems than they solve. Additionally, tourniquets should not be used as they tend to keep poison in an area that can be significantly damaged.

    There is also no need to find or kill the snake for identification, anti-venom is the same for all pit vipers (crotalids). Doctors may ask if it was a coral snake (elapidaes) which are more nero-toxic but are fairly easy to identify ("Red touches yellow will kill a fellow, red touches black is safe for Jack"). If a quick picture can be taken of the snake, it may be helpful but as I understand, not necessary for pit viper bites.

    First act of treatment is to try and reach 911 (or the park ranger station) for help. Failing that, the next best scenario is finding another hiker to go find help. Unfortunately that may not happen quickly so the companion may need to leave to seek help. If alone, without cell signal, self rescue is the only remaining option until you reach someone to help.

    Treatment regardless if there is another hiker on-site or solo hiking: remove restrictive garments like compression knee sleeves, jewelry, and relax or remove shoe laces in preparation for swelling. These can act as localized tourniquets and can cause more damage by keeping venom isolated to one part of the body. If walking out on your own, try to immobilize the wound site as best possible to slow poison spread, if waiting for help to arrive try to keep the wound site lower than the heart. Some suggest washing the wound with canteen water and bandaging it to avoid puncture wound infection, though unless I was staying put awaiting rescue I am not sure I would take that time for washing as opposed to walking (personal opinion).

    If hiking solo the options are few but mostly survivable depending where the bite is on the body, if it was a dry or wet bite (stats from a few years ago suggest about 25% are dry but that may have changed), and what the terrain is like to the nearest trailhead or camping area where you can find help. Fortunately of the 6,000 to 7,000 or so snake bites annually in the US (North Carolina ranks high if not champion of snake bites) only 5 or so deaths result from them, so the odds are in favor of the victim.

    Panic is the enemy, if walking out or towards people who can help, keep movement slow and heart rate down as best you can. Effects of envenomation can appear fairly quickly (depending on the bite area) but its more than likely you will be ambulatory for a while (we were told "several" hours was likely) before symptoms overtake the body and forces you to stop (very rare occurrence when I last ventured into this topic). If you've a cell phone, keep checking for signal. Texts may get to a recipient when signal is not quite enough for voice communication. Blowing a whistle is a good way to attract attention from people who may be nearby but not visible from the trail.

    These are the things I would be thinking of were I to run across someone who had been snakebite or receive one myself. If anyone has newer information that outdates this, please chime in!

  18. #18
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-23-2019
    Location
    Harpers ferry wv.
    Age
    56
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    Wow, thanks Traveler great info. I wasn't far off with what to do maybe I would have lived.

    I didn't know all anti-venom was is the same. Which cost $10,000 a vile and you may need 10-20 viles?

    Baby snakes will most likely let all their venom release?

    As far as a whistle person should blow in shots of 3's for help?

    Anyone else have anything on this please do chime in.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Traveler View Post
    Cutting the bite wound with a knife and sucking out the poison is the stuff of movies. And, I'm sure many of us have looked at the ads for the little suction cup venom removal devices that seem to come onto the market then leave for a while. Neither of these approaches work and can cause more problems than they solve. Additionally, tourniquets should not be used as they tend to keep poison in an area that can be significantly damaged.
    My Sheltowee Trace hike last year prompted a big internet search on snake safety. Accidently found an article from a medical journal that used injected injected albumin to simulate a bite, followed by the use of one of those suction kits. The amount of simulated snake venom extracted was next to nothing. Study did not validate suction method.

  20. #20

    Default

    So if I might ask the $164,000 dollar question-If someone in your party,particularly a child,were to get bitten by a pit viper here in the SouthEast,and if you had an Arcteryx personal locator beacon on your person,would it be appropriate to deploy the plb or not?

    I was told there is no charge for rescue but not to deploy the beacon except in cases of life or death.So what would you do?(note,at my age I would roll the dice and hike out,but don't know if a kid would be in a life or death situation or not....)

    Incidentally,I have read all sorts of recommendations on the web and so many of them conflict with one another that I support the "just get to a hospital ASAP" theory.I would support staying hydrated though.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •