How to Protect Yourself From Snakebites in the Wilderness
Australia is vast and full of wonderful nature. Home to gorges, caves, coral reefs, forests, and so much more; it’s one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Filled with millions of different plant and wildlife species, many of which can be found only here, it’s quite an exciting place to explore, especially if you’re an avid nature lover.
With vast nature come vast dangers, though. Threading our continent’s wilderness is not an easy task. It’s a known joke around the world that basically everything in Australia is venomous. Sadly, there is some validity to that point. For example, Australia houses 66 different venomous snake species, with four of them being proven to be quite dangerous. That’s not a small number.
Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy the wilderness. It is just a reminder that when you’re planning a trip, you should always be prepared. It should never be just a “go and see what happens” kind of ordeal. If you truly want to enjoy your outing and are not a fan of getting bitten by a snake – here’s the gist!
Snake Protection Gaiters
Can a snake bite through clothes? Yes. Yes, it can.
That’s why getting some quality-made anti snake bite gaiters should be your first step. Specially designed to protect you from snakebites, gaiters are not your ordinary clothing item. Made of a highly-resistant, sturdy, durable fabric that prevents a snake’s fang from sinking into your skin, they are a necessary part of every nature lover’s attire.
There are lots of kinds of snake gaiters out there. When looking for the perfect pair you need to pay close attention to detail.
First of all, make sure the product you’re getting has been tested and is guaranteed to protect you from all snake bites, not just some. You can never know exactly what you might run into! The Australian Death Adder is considered to have the longest venom-injecting fangs out of all its slithery friends. Look for information like this when browsing for your gaiters. If the ones you’re looking at have been proven to protect from a snake such as the Death Adder, you’ll have no issue with any other kind out there.
Next up, make sure they’re waterproof. As we said, Australia has quite versatile nature and snakes can be found anywhere. Having a pair of anti snake bite gaiters that’s waterproof will give you the confidence to move freely on any terrain while still keeping you comfortable, dry, and safe.
Lastly, pay attention to the design of your snake proof gaiters. It might seem silly, but bright colours and intricate patterns aren’t really your friend here. You don’t need to be flashy when you’re walking around in nature. In fact, blending in is far better! Colours like dark green, brown, grey, or beige, depending on the terrain, are what you should go for. As for patterns, camo is the best option. Easy to blend in, these won’t attract unwanted attention and will keep you safe.
Always remember to have your gaiters on properly and securely! No peeking!
Gaiters themselves should always be accompanied by some proper pants and boots. These aren’t useful just for snakebites. As gaiters only go up to the knee, having the rest of your legs covered by a pair of sturdy pants will help protect you from the sun, insect bites, accidental brushes from plants, and so on. They can also be practical if they have many pockets for storing various items that might come in handy while you’re out and about.
A good pair of outdoor shoes will give you stability and comfort while walking. The ground can be diverse, so a pair of boots that are specifically designed for such adventures won’t be surprised by these sudden changes. Often orthopedic, they’ll provide good support for your whole body and keep your feet from hurting.
Another thing about your boots – if they come in a waterproof version, get that one. Again, you want to be able to move freely and not worry too much about changes in terrain. Waterproof boots will give you just that. And if you also have gaiters on, instead of jumping over that creek, you can just walk through it. No harm done. If your boots are new, make sure you walk around in them a bit before you take on a greater route, just to break them in.
Also, always carry a hat. It will come in handy protecting your head from the harsh sun – but also from any snakes that may jump you from the trees or bushes. Furthermore, if you’re wearing a short-sleeved shirt, make sure you’ve put a repellant on all the exposed parts and renew it when needed.
Stay On the Trail
Now for some practical know-how.
It’s super fun to tread where nobody else has, but if you think about it, there’s probably a good reason for it. If there’s a marked trail where you are, make sure to follow it. Since snakes prefer to hide, a clearly defined path is probably not the place you’ll find one on.
If you do decide to step off the trail and make your own way, be careful where you step. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears sharp! Even though you have all this protective gear on, encountering a snake still isn’t a pleasant experience. Stepping on one is even worse. As snakes are literally made to live in the wilderness, they will blend in with their surroundings, so it might be hard to spot them. Mind your step!
Don’t Disturb a Snake
If you do happen to come across a snake, don’t try to touch or interact with it, even if it seems like it’s dead. In fact, don’t go near it at all. If you’re already near, back away slowly.
Snakes tend to lie low and surprise-attack, so you’ll likely be putting yourself in danger by trying to interact with one. They will also usually leave you alone if you leave them alone, so don’t provoke them. Retrace your route and head in a different direction or circle around the snake. Don’t run, just walk away calmly. You’ve taken precautionary measures, you’re protected, and you’ll be just fine. Try not to panic. When people say ‘it’s more afraid of you than you are of it’, they do have a point.
By keeping these tips in mind and acquiring the right gear nothing will stand between you and exploring!
You’ve probably set off into the wild with at least some expectation to meet animal friends along the way, so try to remind yourself that these encounters are normal in the setting you’re in. Besides snakes, there are also some bugs and spiders that are venomous and can cut your trip short as well, so make sure to also take a good insect repellent with you.
And remember to bring along enough water to last you the trip, never pick up sticks or rocks off the ground without making sure there’s nothing under them, and don’t let this blog post scare you! The chances of you getting bitten are very slim when you’ve taken all preventive measures!
You’re prepared now. Go enjoy yourself and make sure to respect nature and all it has to offer!