How to Survive a Snake Bite
Snake bites are pretty rare but they can be a serious threat for anybody that spends time in the wilderness. It is important that you take all the necessary precautions to avoid the risk of snake bites in the first place, but should you get bitten, you should follow the tips below.
How To Prevent A Snake Bite
- Before heading out you should take the time to learn everything you can about the environment. This includes understanding which snakes you may encounter.
- Never allow yourself to become distracted with what you are doing. Always be fully alert with every step and movement you make. Never reach into or under areas where you can not see. Piles of brush and dead leaves are often home to snakes and other critters. A walking stick can be useful to prod areas before stepping to alert the snake of your presence before your foot gets there.
- Try to stick to the trails where possible.
- Never sleep directly on the ground. Elevation and some type of bounded shelter is ideal.
- Try to avoid being in water, but if you have to, move slowly to prevent startling.
- Use a light of some kind at the first signs of darkness. Not only will the light help you see snakes but it will also alert them of a presence, making them less likely to attack due to being startled.
- Wear snake protective gear like snake boots or gloves designed to prevent a snakes fangs from penetrating.
- Remember that snakes can climb so you should pay just as much attention to what is going on above as you do below.
What To Do If You’re Bitten By A Snake
- Contact 999 (911 if in the US) for help as soon as possible. The faster you can get an antivenom the better.
- Once bitten, try not to move unless you really have to. It is important that you remain calm and relaxed.
- Do not elevate the bitten area, keep it below the level of the heart.
- Do not consume caffiene, energy drinks, alcohol, medications, or any type of drug.
- Do not apply a tourniquet or ice.
- Remove any constricting clothing or jewelry like watches, necklaces, or tight clothes.
- Clean the wound and cover, but try not to rub too much or apply pressure.
- Only use a suction technique if you feel it would take too long to reach medical help. This technique often doesn’t help, cutting an incision should only be done by professionals.
- Don’t apply ice to the wound. Ice can cause tissue and skin damage and inhibits the removal of venom when using a suction device.