This is an article from a friend in my hiking group hope the links help.
Anyone that was within ear shot or email range this past weekend probably knows all about my ordeal on Saturday. It wasnít an ordeal so much as an absolutely awesome run in with a mature and very cranky Timber Rattlesnake. This brought up a lot of questions from the group which were answered, often wrong, by people trying to give helpful advice. Some of the present registered nurses offered up the correct information and everyone learned something new that day. I wonít try and be an authoritative figure on snake bites, but I can definately do what I do best, use the internet! Ironically enough last issue Backpacker Magazine
(props to them) had a very interesting write up on what to do in a snake bite situation
. It looks at a lot of the common myths (suck the poison, put on a tourniquet) and covers the proper procedure (mark the swell rings with a pen, wash the area, stay calm). Props to them for such an excellent article.
The one thing I will stress is the importance of knowing the local wildlife. Iím sure everyone knows all about Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains, but did you also know there are 2 (of the 23 total) snake species that are poisonous? (Source
) There are, the Timber Rattlesnake (my trail friend) and the Copperhead. Knowing what youíre going to run into on the trail is vital to knowing what to do when youíre put in a situation that everyone acknowledges can happen, but so few are actually prepared for.
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle! (okay Iím a child of the 80s, but me.)