How To Prevent A Snake Bite

One of the worst things that can happen to us in the wilderness is to get bitten by a snake. Many of us have that apprehension when we’re hiking or playing in the wilderness, partly we’re scared we’re going to have a very bad day if we encounter a snake, and partly we’re excited to see a real live snake.

The trouble is that meeting one of these carnivorous reptiles leaves most of us not knowing what to do, and it’s best to avoid a situation like that, particularly if there’s no medical support to fall back on.

Not everywhere has dangerous snakes so you need to do some research on the area you’re going to be adventuring in and find out what you can expect to meet. If there are no snakes in the area then you can relax, if there are lots of the beasties, then, err, don’t relax as much!


So if you are a mountain climber, a hiker, camping enthusiast or just love to wander in the wilderness, here are some tips on how to avoid the dreaded snake bite.

1. Leave them alone

Photo credit
Photo credit

If you spot a snake from a distance, never try to get close to it, to identify it or to take a picture of it. Just give it a wide berth and go around it, leave her be and there’s a good chance she’ll leave you be with is a good result! It’s worth remembering that snakes are very fast, likely faster than us, particularly when they feel threatened and they attack.

  • Snakes will not attack if they don`t feel threatened
  • Don`t try to catch a snake
  • If there is a rattlesnake close and it knows your in the area, you are likely to hear its distinctive rattling, and you should go away as further as you can. If you suddenly stumble on one, you might not get that warning.
  • Don’t try to play with the snake with a stick


2. Stay away from tall grass


It is very hard to see what’s hanging around in tall grass, so you should be cautious and avoid it where possible, you really do not want to be stepping on a snake, it might not be a friendly hello.

So if it is necessary to go through a grassy area make sure you have a stick with you to sweep through the grass in front of you so you don’t get caught out.

3. Do not move rocks and logs

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Photo credit

Unless they’ve decided to sun themselves on a nice day, Snakes tend to hide in dark places, especially under rocks and logs, so never try to look under one or turn it over unless you need to and you’re particularly cautious. If you have to, use a thick and long stick to do it, and avoid putting your hands in dark holes where you can’t see what’s inside.


If you live in an area where there are poisonous snakes and you are doing gardening or landscaping be sure your wear thick leather gloves that would protect your hands if you get attacked by a snake.

4. Wear boots and thick snake leggings


If you want to prevent a snake bite, be sure you walk around in good gear. You can strap snake leggings above your boots and over pants, and although they are heavy to wear and make you hot, they will save you from a snake bite. Or you can get dedicated snake pants. Instead of your regular boots, you can also wear specially designed snake boots to prevent a bite, but to be honest, a good pair of leather boots will be hard for snake fangs to get through and they’re a lot cheaper.

It is very important to wear protective footwear especially during the night when you can’t see much around you.

5. Know the poisonous snakes

When you’re planning your next trip be sure to do research on what kind of snakes live in that area, especially if there are any poisonous ones so that you can be extra vigilant.

One thing is definite, you should always stay away from the rattling noise of the rattlesnake, he’s being kind enough to let you know he’s there so be kind enough to respect he’s a tough old critter, and he wants to be left alone!

You can check our article on poisonous snakes in the US for more information.


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tomi-stojanovik is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival