Hiking with Rattlesnakes Present

If you are hiking in an area where rattlesnakes are present, you must be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid a snake bit. However, if you get bitten by a rattlesnake, it is essential to know how to deal with the situation appropriately.


photo of a rattle snake
Photo by Alexis Chateau on Pexels.com

Here are some steps you should take if you get bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking:

  1. Remain calm: Feeling panic or fear after being bitten by a venomous snake is natural, but try to stay as quiet as possible. Rapid movement or increased heart rate can cause venom to spread more quickly through your body.
  2. Seek medical attention: If you are in a remote area, call for emergency medical assistance as soon as possible. Call 911 or a local poison control center if you have a cell phone. If you do not have a cell phone, try to get to a hospital or medical clinic as soon as possible.
  3. Remove any tight clothing or jewelry: If the bite is on an extremity, such as your arm or leg, remove any tight clothing or jewelry that may constrict blood flow. Doing so will help to prevent the venom from spreading.
  4. Keep the bitten limb immobilized: It is vital to keep the bitten limb immobilized to help slow the spread of the venom. Use a splint or other improvised support to keep the limb comfortable.
  5. Do not try to catch or kill the snake: It is important not to try to capture or kill the snake, as this can be dangerous and may cause further injury. Instead, try to remember what the snake looked like so you can describe it to medical professionals.
  6. Please do not use a tourniquet: Tourniquets are no longer recommended for snake bites, as they can cause tissue damage and may even be life-threatening.
  7. Do not cut the bite or try to suck out the venom: These methods are ineffective and can cause further injury.

In conclusion, if you get bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking, it is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Remain calm and try to immobilize the bitten limb, but do not try to catch or kill the snake or use a tourniquet. Instead, follow these steps to help manage the bite and minimize potential complications.