View Full Version : Snakebite's

04-11-2007, 12:14
Does anyone out there bring snake bite kits like sawyer? Any thru hikers known to have been bitten in past years?

04-11-2007, 12:25
basically no and no (some people will carry anything without thought and there is always some idiot that wants to play catch with a snake)

04-11-2007, 12:28
This has been discussed before - snake bite kits are WORTHLESS....

04-11-2007, 12:45
Hikers do, on occasion get bitten by venomous snakes. It is HIGHLY unusual though. It usually results from someone either antagonizing the snake intentionally (thus mostly male hikers). Or from a hiker not really paying attention to where they are and what they are doing and thus surprising the snake. The one snakebite case I recall in 1995 was a young woman who was bitten by a copperhead. All I can think is that she accidentally stepped on it while hiking in the tall grass. She recovered fully and was able to continue her hike. I suspect that little venom was actually injected into the bite (snakes can control that, and generally do not waste venom on non-prey).

That said, any snake bite should be taken seriously, and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Sawyer extractors can work, better for beestings and the sort where the venom is deposited near the surface. Deep venom injections from the longer fangs of venomous snakes can penetrate deeply, more deeply than the sawyer extractor can draw from. If you've got one, it's worth a try, especially if it can be employed immediately after the bite. But don't count on it to turn the tide.

04-11-2007, 15:07
The only snake bite incident that I have heard about was way back in 01 during my hike. There was a woman hiking with her dog. The dog saw a snake and attacked it either playfully of in defense of it's owner I don't know. But the woman tried to pull the dog away from the snake and in the process was struck by the snake. Thankfully she was wearing gaiters so the snake did not penetrate and inject venom. Needless to say she received a trail name from the incident--Snake Charmer.

04-11-2007, 15:49
My dad had a buddy back in the 60's that got bit up near Peaks of Otter. He was alone in a shelter and got bit by a copperhead when he reached up on a shelf. As far as I know, he just sucked on the wound and walked back down.

Growing up in southern Virginia, copperheads are just a accepted part of nature -- they are everywhere in the summer and tend to congregate in high numbers around water sources. So we're always especially careful around streams and ponds.

04-11-2007, 15:59
About the only time I could see snake bite(s) being possible for a hiker might be in PA where they often are coiled up in the cracks between the rocks. I stepped over my share of healthy rattlers. If you weren't paying attention, lost your balance and fell/stepped into a crevace you might have a serpentine encounter.

As long as you're not wearing headphones the snakes will typically let you know they are there. Often you will SEE them before you hear them on the trail and can sidestep to avoid confrontation.


04-11-2007, 17:04
headphones!!! Did not think of that, thanks for the note footslogger

SGT Rock
04-11-2007, 17:15
If a snake bites you, bit him back, it will make you feel better.

04-11-2007, 17:52
If a snake bites you, bit him back, it will make you feel better.
Or maybe even call animal control, just like dog bites.

04-11-2007, 20:24
If you don't want to get bit by a snake, don't grab hold of it. Simple as that. Don't f with them and they won't f with you.
As far as SnakeBite Kits, they just add insult to your injury. Or is that injury to your insult?
Of course, I'm sitting here in Miss Janet's kitchen, so most folks that get bit by snakes around here are probably "handling" them and the lord is on their side and watching out for them.

Two Speed
04-12-2007, 08:01
The one and only time I've seen someone get bit by a snake was at an old mill site that we locals used to swim in up in Ohio. Some goober spotted a small garter snake and threw the snake over the falls into the pool at the base. Goober #2 tried to catch the snake as it tried to escape. Goober #2, being alcohol fueled, grabbed the snake about half way down its' length. The snake popped him on both sides of the wrist before Goober #2 could let go. Being alcohol inspired, that wasn't good enough for Goober #2 so he went back for more, and got it, too. Got bit about 11 or 12 times as I remember.

I worked my way through college as a member of a survey party, and had to wade into more that one "snakey" looking area. As long as I made plenty of noise, which wasn't hard in light of the fact that there are generally no shortage of saw briers in those spots, I never even saw a snake, much less had a problem with one. I know that ain't absolute proof, but my experience is if you leave the snakes alone they're more than happy to reciprocate.