Thar's a snake in my boot.~Whoody,(Toy Story)I love that movie
Thar's a snake in my boot.~Whoody,(Toy Story)I love that movie
You'll find rattlers in PA!
Last summer I was hiking in SGL 211 up a rocky slope. After stepping down off one boulder and heading on to the next I noticed what looked like a dried up dead reptile before me. Before I knew it, the little guy woke up and started rattling. I stood there for a moment in complete disbelief, thinking about how I was about to step on him.
I was hiking yesterday at Oak Mtn State Park located just outside of Birmingham, AL. I stopped for a water break, put my pack down and heard the rattle! A large Timber Rattler was 3 to 4 feet from me. Also I will enclaose a picture of a large Copper Head I saw on the AT in VA.IMG_0046_edited-1.jpgtimber rattler 3_edited-1.jpg
pushed my jon boat out into the lake this past weekend to go fishin and almost stepped on a 3+ foot cottonmouth. he wasnt a happy camper. i had to throw sticks at him until he finally slithered into the water.
The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.
Just make sure to watch where you step and put your hands, especially when climbing up or down in warm sunny rocky areas. The nice thing about rattlers is they rattle. Copperheads just bite you if they are trying to defend themselves against your aggressive hand or foot. I've heard that the ratio of snakebite deaths in USA to death by lightning strike is about 1:50, so you can relax.
"Keep it light" . . . . . . QiWiz (aka Qi Wiz)
Check out the lightest cathole trowels, wood burning stoves, windscreens,
cooking options, and buck saws on the planet @ www.QiWiz.net
I'm also doing local hiking earlier in the morning while it is still in the 60's. Hopefully they will be a lot less active then.
There are rattlers in the Fontana area, I almost stepped on this one up there last year.
So, watching your step and foot placement is the best way to avoid getting bitten? Makes me think twice about throwing on the headphones and going for a run through the mountains!
I hike in Australia, home to the most deadly snakes in the world, snakes that WILL kill you if bitten and no medical treatment is found within 24-36 hours, again...not an issue. And they out out there, Brown Snakes, Tiger Snakes, Death Adders, etc....The reason why snakes are not an issue is not because they can't hurt or kill you, it's because only two types of snakes actually bite:
- Scared Snakes
- Angry Snakes
Finally...a snake does not know it's a snake. They are not very smart, this explains alot of their behaviour. If a snake's head is off under the leaves with his body still in the trail...the snake thinks it's hidden, which is why they sometimes don't move. A snake is more afraid of you then you are of them, but they are dumb...and do dumb things. Leave snakes alone, move around them.
A rattler on the AT is not a rare thing, you do see them, but a Rattlesnake is hardly a big deal, even a wet bite from a full sized adult isn't life threatening unless you are already ill, very young, or very old. Even then, you could be at a road crossing in less than 2 hours in most scenarios. Plus, 80% of bites are dry, meaning no venom is injected.
Worst case scenario...you step on a snake, the snake is surprised, then bites...in nearly every scenario this bite will be dry, no venom. You go to the hospital and even then they will WAIT and do nothing, to see what happens first, IF you show signs then they will give an anti-venom.
Lyme Disease...that's worth worry about, atleast you can see and hear a snake, a tick is another story.
I've heard about dry bites but had no idea that such a sizable majority of bites from rattlers, etc. were dry. Are you certain about the 80% figure? I've also heard that young snakes are more likely to inject venom.
snakebite unlikely in extreme - I've stepped right on top of timber rattlers -- seen a lot of them - - esp in NC and PA in the summer - - be respectful, give them space. Even a bite which is rare would likely be a "dry-bite." Most venom bites are on people's hands (guess why - duh?) - - really, there are so many more concerns on the trail - - ticks, for example.
A poisonous snake when threatened will bite and inject venom about 33% of the time.
It is a seldom that someone gets bitten by a snake without first provoking it, but it can happen.
Think OUTSIDE....no box required.
"You're a nearsighted, bitter old fool."
YMMV, and invariably will...
"..the AT. IT AINT PRISTEEN WILDERNESS IF YOU HADNT NOTICED. its a thin strip of lovingly kept hope." -matthewski
I am a member of the Wilderness Medical Society and at their meetings and in their literature they quote 25 to 40 percent of snake bites from venomous snakes are dry in the states. So roughly 2/3 will inject venom. The wilderness recommendation, if bitten, is to observe the bite for 15 to 30 minutes and if swelling, discolration, pain etc occurs then call for help or go to local ER for treatment. If no symptoms occur continue your hike and treat the wound like a puncture wound.Obvious, if in doubt, seek medical help.
Along the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, it's not uncommon to see 3 Tiger Snakes a day in some places, one of the most deadly, and territorial snakes in the world. Still, no one gets bit. In a country with the King Brown, a snake that has been documented time and time again 'advancing' on people, snakes bites are really not an issue. Why? Because people leave them alone.
I believe the 80% dry figure is fairly robust, it could be lower in places, but it seems to be in line with other advice on this thread. If the snake is provoked or angry...the situation changes. However, a snake does not have the ability to injet venom at will, it must prime itself and this takes time, not much but there is a delay. You piss a snake off, the bite will be wet, no question.
Therefore stepping on a snake, any snake, and surprising it will almost guarantee (almost, not always) a dry bite. However I wouldn't bet on it, all bites should be treated as wet until told otherwise.
I have seen a harmless black snake smack it's tail against leaves to impersonate a rattler, was cool to see that, had only ever heard about it.
its all good
In Winton Porters book , a hiker he was talking to in the doorway of Mountain Crossings was bitten by a copperhead while they were talking, so it seems at least one person on the AT has gotten snakebit.
Timber rattlers DONT rattle necessarily. They are a very, very , laid back snake. I have been told that you can pick them up (if you are an idiot) and they wont even rattle. Thats why they are dangerous, you step on them without ever knowing they are there, they let you get too close without warning.
Be aware where you step, and where you put hands and fingers and you have nothing to worry about. You arent on the food list of any snake in this country, except maybe a big python in S. Florida. And you can bank that they want even less to do with you, than you want with them.
Oh yeah, if you do get bit, you wont get antivenin if you dont bring the snake with you. It is $$$$$$$ and you wont be getting it without a positive ID on the snake, they wont take your word for it.