Spiders and other insects may not seem to be a major problem to some, and may be frightening to others. Some fears are not warranted, but others may be, as long as it is based on fact, and not fiction. A healthy fear if I can put it like that may inspire us to take appropriate precautions.
During the wilderness survival courses I took this summer in July & August 2010, I asked if there were any brown recluse or black widow spiders in the area. The answer was yes. The answer made me a little nervous, especially given that at some point we were going to make primitive shelters and sleep in them. It was later mentioned that they weren't a problem.
Well, about 5 weeks after returning home I did a research on the internet and saw that the brown recluse doesn't appear to be in the region I was in, but the black widow was. Maybe the instructor made an error, or perhaps that there were some reported cases of the brown recluse in the region, I don't know.
Today's world is smaller given shipping of materials and traveling from one area to another that may introduce species of insects from one region to another.
Spiders aren't usually aggressive unless provoked or defending itself, and this includes if you are about to roll over on top of one during your sleep or sit on one.
Here are some things to do to avoid mishaps if outside in an area where these spiders are found. In the links below you can find info on what to do in your homes.
1. Check your bedding before slipping under the sheets or into a sleeping bag. Shake your bedding to remove any possible spiders.
2. Check your shoes or boots in the morning before putting them on.
3. Smoking out a natural shelter is possible to help reduce the possibility of an encounter.
4. Use gloves when collecting firewood etc.
Here are some links to help you learn more about spiders.
1. University of Kentucky - Brown Recluse
2. Alabama Cooperative Extension System - Black Widow
4. Wikipedia - Hobo
5. Wikipedia - Spider bite