Snakes

Snakes are another thing to be aware of in the wild. In Canada there are a few venomous snakes that can cause someone problems, so prevention is best.


Usually an antivenom isn't available at the time of a bite, so efforts will need to be made to comfort the injured party and tend to the injury.


Evacuation of the person who was bitten is essential, no questions asked! Time is working against you. Snake bite kits are often seen on the internet, but may not be a good choice in dealing with snake bites.


There seems to be a lack of consensus between kit manufacturers and the medical community as to the effectiveness of kits like the Sawyer Extractor Pump Kit. Have a look at this article on The Wall Street Journal that explains this.


If there is a possibility of encountering venomous snakes in the region you plan to visit or for during times of emergencies, study up on the kinds of snakes you may encounter, how you would deal with anyone getting bitten, and what your strategy will be for this kind of emergency. Make this a part of your pre-trip planning.


When walking, never step over a log but on it and then proceed, because a snake could strike your heel if you step over it with your foot landing just in front of the snake. When gathering firewood, beware of areas where snakes may be found. If necessary use a long stick to probe the area you intend to walk in if the grass in tall as an example.

If you intend to use a natural feature in the landscape as a shelter such as a cave or a rock overhang, remember that snakes may use these places as a place of residence. If necessary, make a fire at the entrance of the cave and smoke out the cave thoroughly and give any animals or snakes that may be in there a chance to exit.


Don't get in their way! Be careful of any place a snake can hide or use as shade, including underneath rocks.


Snakes are not normally aggressive towards humans unless provoked in some manner. They will protect themselves either by postering or striking.


There are a couple of poisonous snakes in Canada. They are the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) and the Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis). If you click on the link for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake you'll find more information on how to avoid snakes, and you'll also find information on what to do if bitten.


Here is another link to help you learn more about snakes.

1. Health Care Clinic.org

Resources

If You're Scared of Snakes, Don't Watch This

On MedlinePlus you'll see many different kinds of venomous snakes, the symptoms if bitten, as well as first aid principles to deal with bites.