Flyred, if you are wearing waders, you are gonna be just about as safe as you would be wearing chaps/gators. What is all boils down to is your comfort. I know there are snakes about, and I always look for them. Regardless, I don't feel unsafe at all clambering through brush, but I move easy and occasionally poke around w/ my rod to clear the path. If it makes you feel safer and less worried about it, definitely wear the chaps/gators. Nobody will tease you about it!