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Thread: Snake bite kit

  1. #1
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    Default Snake bite kit

    I am coming across more rattlesnakes than I would like to riding on the trails for the last 2 years. Can someone recommend a snakebite kit for me.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    I got nothin' for you on kits but I do have a question. If one does get bitten is it better to ride to get help or stay calm and wait for help or just kiss your ass goodbye because neither option is good?

    Mike
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    There are a lot of variables. The first is whether or not the rattlesnake actually punctured your skin. And the second is whether any venom was delivered when the skin was punctured. The first you can check, while the second you can't really. So if you have puncture marks, then you should call 911 and give them your location. Depending on how much venom you received, you may begin to feel some of the symptoms - cold sweaty feverish weakness etc. - but all your efforts should be focused on keeping calm and not elevating your heart rate. You have about a 30-45 minute window before more serious symptoms like vomiting or difficulty breathing may start to set in.

    You are not supposed to cut the wound open, apply a tourniquet or try to suck anything out. Your circulatory system is pretty efficient, so by the time you figure out what's happened, the venom is already moving through your bloodstream. Just leave the wound alone so medical personnel have an undisturbed wound.

    It also helps medical personnel if you can get a photograph of the snake. Don't kill the snake. Not its fault. You came bombing along, and it acted in self-defense. Ironically that is why rattlesnakes don't always deliver any venom with the bite. They use the venom to eat, and if they discharge a bunch into you, then they have to make more. That delays their next meal, which create problems for the snake. But if they can just scare you off with a false strike, then they can make their getaway and have plenty of venom available for a nice fat gopher.

    But you can't tell whether venom was involved or not, even if you don't start to feel symptoms immediately or over the next several minutes. Report the bite to 911, give them your location and stay calm.

    Obviously if you are out in the boonies, you have a problem. But the goal is staying calm, keeping your heart rate low and getting help as soon as possible. As far as I know, rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal, but they can cause organ and tissue damage so you do want to get to help asap.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Does the fifth of cheap whiskey still count as a snakebite kit?
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    The best thing you can do to prevent getting bit on a ride is watch where you put your feet when you stop - look around before putting your feet down. It's extremely unlike you'll get bit while actually riding. Really it's good advice to keep an eye out for them any time you're even near the woods, a cycling couple I knew, the wife was bitten on the foot by a copperhead while walking up a paved walkway to a cabin they were renting for the weekend. It was months before she could walk in normal shoes without crutches.

    We've got quite a few venomous snakes in the southeast, I've come across copperheads, eastern diamondback rattlers, cane brake rattlers, and cotton mouths. Copperheads tend to want to get away - I was actually standing less than a foot away from one once. We were standing at the trail entrance on the side of the road waiting for everyone to catch up, had been there a bit, and I saw something move down by my foot - I looked down to see a little ~9" long copperhead!! Thankfully it just wanted to get away, and it didn't bite me. That was one of those behavior changing near misses...I now ALWAYS look before I put my feet down.

    Rattle snakes (IME) typically don't seem to care that I'm around, they don't get aggressive, but they don't necessarily run away either. The one pictured below was sunning on a dirt road and didn't move a muscle. I took my pic, and went (WAY) around him and let him be. He was a big SOB, biggest snake I've ever seen in the wild. Note that his head is in the tire tracks for one lane of traffic, and his tail is in a tire track for the other lane. His head was about 4".

    Cotton mouths are total a-holes. They get aggressive and defensive. I've ran across two, both times they stood their ground, opened that signature white mouth, showed me their fangs, and shook their tail as if it was a rattle. One was on a road (pic below) and I got my pic and then left him alone. The other was on a busy MTB trail, so I grabbed a loooong branch and pushed it off the trail. I pushed that bastard a good 10ft down the hillside before it broke out of it's coil and actually ran away.

    I think snakes are cool, but I have a healthy respect for 'em. Did y'all hear about the kayaker that was bitten by a rattle snake recently, I think in SC? He said it fell out of a tree into his boat. Later, his cousin told the news what really happened is they found it swimming in the river and the dumbass grabbed it. It bit him three or four times. Don't be that guy.

    And FYI, most of these pics are cropped - I wasn't as close as it may seem!

    Copperhead w/typical "hersey kisses" pattern


    Another (much larger) copperhead


    Cottonmouth (also known as a water moccasin, coloration may vary on these guys, the other one I saw was black)


    Big ol' Eastern Diamondback
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    IMG_6889.jpg

    We saw this guy on a hike a couple of weeks ago, sunning himself a few feet below us on a bridge we crossed. We werent as close as the pic would imply. Anyone know what kind of snake it is - and is it venomous?

    We've seen any snakes over the years of hiking in different states we've lived in. I think they're cool animals too, and would never harm one. They're one of my favorite things to see in the wild, in fact. :)
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Virginia Archives - What Snake Is That

    It isn't clear to me which of the ones shown best match your image.

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    I'm pretty sure this is the snake bite kit I have when bush walking. To paraphrase the instructions (and noting the bits above about calling for help, keeping calm, relaxing, getting your heart rate down...all of which sounds incredibly difficult if you have been bitten by a poisonous snake) bandage over the spot where you have been bitten (which is most cases is going to be on the foot, around the ankle or on a hand) marking the exact location of the bite on the first bandage. Apply the second bandage further up and a third further up again, over shorts if necessary.

    Bob Cooper Snake Bite and Venomous Creatures Kit | Bob Cooper Outback Survival

    Australia is notorious for having incredibly poisonous snakes and hence you need to get medical attention pretty quickly, snake bite kit or not, if you get bitten.
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Virginia Archives - What Snake Is That

    It isn't clear to me which of the ones shown best match your image.
    Hmm. looks like the Northern Water Snake to Grace and I from the pics on that site. And he was right next to a big pond and stream.
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    Hmm. looks like the Northern Water Snake to Grace and I from the pics on that site. And he was right next to a big pond and stream.
    And if so, perfectly harmless to you (as are the majority of snakes one comes across).

    Sounds like it's a good match.

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    IMG_6889.jpg

    We saw this guy on a hike a couple of weeks ago, sunning himself a few feet below us on a bridge we crossed. We werent as close as the pic would imply. Anyone know what kind of snake it is - and is it venomous?

    We've seen any snakes over the years of hiking in different states we've lived in. I think they're cool animals too, and would never harm one. They're one of my favorite things to see in the wild, in fact. :)
    Northern Water Snake. Non-poisonous. Eats fish. Note the relatively bugged out eyes and the round nose. Also the bands are not really bands but the merging of blocks of dark on the side with alternating blocks of dark going down the back. These snakes are killed a lot because they look similar to Cottonmouths. Cottonmouths have an inverted wine glass pattern on the side that is mirrored (i.e. not alternating) on the other side. The outer edge of the wine glass is darker than the inner. Also Cottonmouths not only have a bright white mouth but they tend to have light or white underneath their chin and neck. But most obviously they have an anvil shaped nose with a flattened head that creates a brow-edge above their eye (no bug eye look.) And if you see a Cottonmouth in the water, they float like a balloon with almost their entire body on the surface of the water, especially if they are feeling a little nervous. Norther Water Snake swims with most of its body below or at water level with only its head above.

    These two snakes can be confusing if they have eaten recently and their guts are distended or if they've been in the mud or if they are any number of regional tonal variations, so like fungi, don't catch one unless you are 100% sure of your I.D. or are prepared to be wrong about your I.D.

    An emergency room nurse I knew in Arizona said that the risk factors for getting bitten by a poisonous snake were being male, under 35 years of age and drunk. And a surprising number of the bites were on the face.

    The most aggressive snake I have ever been around was a Fer de Lance of Central and South America. They hunt at night by coiling in leaf litter on animal paths and by day often hang out in waist high brush, both of which puts them in proximity to people who walk on trails and clear brush. They move really fast, will sometimes suddenly race directly at you if surprised, and have an excellent delivery system for their poison. The locals kill them on sight, but since they use a machete, they risk getting bitten on the hand. Those snakes give me the willies but still got to admire something that tough.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    I once saw my grandmother grab a western diamondback by its tail and bullwhip to death on a dirt road outside of Austin, Tx. In the same place my Grand Dad not under 35 but male and mostly drunk got bit by a copperhead while we were hunting racoons one night. He would not go to the hospital he just kept drinking bourbon. I was terrified he was going to die. He did not but he told me it hurt so much he wish he would of.

    Looks like there is no innovations for treating snakebites since I was in grade school other than dont do anything.

    Its seems I have an over 50% of seeing a rattlesnake this year if the temperature is over 80F, on sunny low travel trails.
    Last edited by joosttx; 1 Week Ago at 10:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    When are you going to write a book, Houston?
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    When are you going to write a book, Houston?
    based on your two (2) responses above - should you be asking yourself this question
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by marley View Post
    based on your two (2) responses above - should you be asking yourself this question
    True.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    You are not supposed to cut the wound open, apply a tourniquet or try to suck anything out.
    Quote Originally Posted by joosttx View Post
    Looks like there is no innovations for treating snakebites since I was in grade school other than dont do anything.
    Given that the only thing I know about dealing with poisonous snake bites comes from the 1960 edition of The World Book Encyclopedia, I'm glad I read this thread: I was all set to cut the wound open, apply a tourniquet, and suck the venom out! "Don't do anything" sounds far more within my capabilities!
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by jumphigher View Post
    IMG_6889.jpg

    We saw this guy on a hike a couple of weeks ago, sunning himself a few feet below us on a bridge we crossed. We werent as close as the pic would imply. Anyone know what kind of snake it is - and is it venomous?

    We've seen any snakes over the years of hiking in different states we've lived in. I think they're cool animals too, and would never harm one. They're one of my favorite things to see in the wild, in fact. :)
    Yassir, that's a northern water snake allright (easy to affirm what's already been established). Can be pretty irritable - was literally chased by one while swimming in a lake here in NH, and I'll never forget the experience of being chomped by one pretty good when I was a kid (in the act of trying to catch it) and then watching it actually chew the side of my hand. Oh, and they are believed to be mildly poisonous, as it turns out many of the "non-poisonous" snakes are.

    Matched only in aggressiveness by black racers - I had one of those decide that it was sick of me watching it, and literally chased after me as I started to run from it.

    I love snakes and it's hilarious around here (in New England) to see people's reaction to poisonous ones. There was a plan to introduce a species of rattlesnake back onto an island in the Quabbin Reservoir in MA. People absolutely flipped their lids - the usual think-of-the-children type hysteria. It was around this time (a few years ago) that I went off-road riding in Moab/Grand Junction area, and was literally having to bunny hop them (the snakes, not the hysterical people) - they were so numerous and people were so chill about them they weren't even mentioned. Just part of the scenery.

    Loved it.
     

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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    I see cottonmouths on a daily basis this time of year. I take a bike path out of the back of my neighborhood and it meanders through a wooded swampy area. If they're hanging out on the trail, I'll usually use a tree branch to fling them out in the woods. They are the asshole of the snake world, with copperheads and rattlers, you can stomp your feet or even nudge them with a long stick and they'll move off, but cottonmouths just double down on aggressive.

    My mom was bitten by a copperhead a few years ago. It happened in her yard and she called EMS. At the hospital they administered doses of anti-histamines and monitored her. She never reached the state where she needed antivenom. She experienced pain and itching in her foot for about a year after.

    All the advice I've ever read says to stay calm and call for help. I guess being bitten while MTBing in a remote location would add a degree of difficulty to staying calm. A few years ago I was cycling in AZ in a group with TMB and one of the guys stopped to pee next to a bush. While he was peeing and really big rattlesnake, probably >4' passed behind him, they were totally oblivious to each other.

    Personally, I like to live my life with the philosophy of WC Fields.
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    Default Re: Snake bite kit

    Quote Originally Posted by BBB View Post
    True Story: there was a bar on a swamp where you could go onto the side of and spit or piss or feed alligators beer if you wanted in Barnwell, SC. The main thing to do at the bar was play video blackjack other the drink. I had a buddy worked in a garage and lived in a trailer with a really big TV. The TV was so big that one day we walked into his home and his skinny wofe and reasonably fat mother in law doing Tyboo in front of the TV. I thought Billy Banks there too but he was only on the screen. Anyway, back at the bar, my buddy who was really drunk puts his arm around me and asks if I ever seen a redneck truck alarm. “No”I say. So we go around the pissing smelling, drunk alligators to his work truck. He opens of the tool box in the bed and fishes around with both hands inside not looking at what he is doing. “Theres one... theres the other” and pulls out two baby rattlers and sticks snakes face right into my face. “See redneck truck alarm!”
    Last edited by joosttx; 1 Week Ago at 09:09 AM.
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