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Thread: Heading out west - what did I forget?

  1. #11

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Anti-snake venom?

    Is that for when you bite the snake?

    Or is that what you do instead of biting the snake?

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Posts
    36

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    I just got back from the 4corners area and was reading all the good advise. I got to the last comment about antivenom and I must second it. I just had my first close encounter with a rattler in 40 years of desert exploring. It was late dusk after an exposure and I decided to take a leak on a rock that just happened to have a rattler at the base. He was offended and let me know it, but didn't strike my sandaled foot just 12 inches away. Moral - don't get so used to the desert that you ignore desert precautions of water, boots, hat, etc, etc. I was lucky and got a cheap refresher lesson. Most important for desert novices, you can drive for 1 hour in a car what will take you two days of 100 degrees temperatures to walk after the car breaks down. Bob

  3. #13

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Yes, but wouldn't it be more efficacious to carry (and use when necessary) snake anti-venon rather than anti-snake venom

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Posts
    262

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    First of all, unless you are a doctor, you can't just go buy "snake anti-venom" and a syringe and shoot yourself up with it if you get bit.

    I've spent much of my life around rattlesnakes. They are beautiful creatures. They virtually always give you a nice, primal warning when you get too close, assuming you are moving carefully enough to give them a chance to do so. Which you should be. The above poster's experience is typical. He got too close, the rattler let him know, and he left in a hurry.

    Second, 9 out of 10 rattlesnake defensive strikes do not release venom. An adult rattlesnake can control whether it releases venom, and the things are smart enough to know that releasing venom into a 150 pound human isn't going to help their situation any; that is, the venom will not kill you fast enough to keep you from killing the rattlesnake, if that's what you are bent on doing. So why waste precious venom? The strike is to make you leave, not kill you. The rattlesnake does not want to eat you. (Incidentally, baby rattlers will just about always release venom. If you get bit by one of these, get the hell to a doctor.)

    The most important thing you can carry with you to protect yourself is your car keys. If you get struck, make a quick mental note of the color and markings of the snake, calmly get to a car and to a doctor. If you want, you can get a good kit that will suck the venom from the wound without having to cut yourself up. They are reverse syringe type deals that you can operate with one hand (in case the bite is on the other) and they are said to be quite effective. If you are paranoid, get one. But better than anything is simply to be careful and have good manners whenever you are in somebody else's home. That's how I do it and in twenty years of tromping through rattlesnake country I've had many, many encounters and never a strike. Going into the wilderness involves risks, just like crossing the street at home does. Some day, something is going to get you. Might as well enjoy yourself until it does.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Posts
    145

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Erik's right. Watch where you step, only glance at the horizon or destination once in a great while. Keep your eyes down and always look before you step. A pair of leather 10 eyelet boots that extend up to your calf muscle is invaluable and will help fend off the prickly pears and cholos too. Watch for holes and do stay clear of the babies. Enjoy these beautiful creatures but keep a safe distance. Wear thick jeans or other, NO SHORTS... to hell with the comfortable hippy attire.. it's a harsh environment and the yuccas alone will prove my points. I forget these things sometimes as I grew up on the high desert plains and never had to adapt....it was just a way of life. Pay close attention to the locals...especially those that work out in the remote areas you'll be tromping. They aren't wearing comfy clothes.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    42

    Heading out west - what did I forget?

    Anybody else notice he left on this trip last Friday? Good advice for the rest of us, though...

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