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Old 03-07-2013, 05:37 PM   #1
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I hate snakes!

What do you western boondockers do about snakes?

In my mind's eye, the west is infested with rattlesnakes. If I were to see one, I'm not sure I could keep the poo from coming out. I have this dream (nightmare) where I fall asleep in my camp chair to wake up with a rattler wrapped around my feet!

Do you have to keep an eye out for them? Do you have to do anything to keep them from camping out under your rig? Do you worry that the dog doesn't have the good sense to leave them alone?

In my travels all over the southeast and many miles of hiking, I've only seen a snake a few times. Once a coral snake in my back yard in Florida, and a few water moccasins in the canal. Believe it or not, never saw a snake on my trips to the everglades, nor my hikes in the Appalachians.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #2
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You really don't need to worry too much, just use common sense. Don't leave shoes or big containers outside, try to find a spot without a lot of large rocks or cover where snakes and reptiles seek refuge during the day. If you hike- wear high topped boots if you have them..at least heavy gaiters if you don't, and wear pants. Carry a snake bite kit just in case and ask a vet or doctor how to use it.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
What do you western boondockers do about snakes?

In my mind's eye, the west is infested with rattlesnakes. If I were to see one, I'm not sure I could keep the poo from coming out. I have this dream (nightmare) where I fall asleep in my camp chair to wake up with a rattler wrapped around my feet!

Let me contribute to your nightmares....

I used to live in NC (quite near your current location) and was bitten by a copperhead who was quietly cooling himself behind the hinges of my toilet seat. Now stop and reread that.... I'll wait as you go and turn on all the lights and get a broom handle to lift the lid and check your own seat out.

Now I live and camp in the west and have seen some rattlers. It's my most fervent wish that they are as interested in avoiding me as I am of avoiding them and I ALWAYS turn on the light...

Single malt helps with the nightmares
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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saw this in Ohio... not sure what kind it is.
I lived in Arizona for 20 years and spent a lot of time in the desert hiking, biking, tent camping and riding motorcycles and also building homes in Cave Creek - Care Free area and have only seen one rattle snake.
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
What do you western boondockers do about snakes?

In my mind's eye, the west is infested with rattlesnakes. If I were to see one, I'm not sure I could keep the poo from coming out. I have this dream (nightmare) where I fall asleep in my camp chair to wake up with a rattler wrapped around my feet!

Do you have to keep an eye out for them? Do you have to do anything to keep them from camping out under your rig? Do you worry that the dog doesn't have the good sense to leave them alone?

In my travels all over the southeast and many miles of hiking, I've only seen a snake a few times. Once a coral snake in my back yard in Florida, and a few water moccasins in the canal. Believe it or not, never saw a snake on my trips to the everglades, nor my hikes in the Appalachians.
Thankyou...I'm still laughing...spit my Coke out all over the keyboard!
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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Yikes! Usually sitting with your back to a wall is a good move!
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
What do you western boondockers do about snakes?

In my mind's eye, the west is infested with rattlesnakes. If I were to see one, I'm not sure I could keep the poo from coming out. I have this dream (nightmare) where I fall asleep in my camp chair to wake up with a rattler wrapped around my feet!

Do you have to keep an eye out for them? Do you have to do anything to keep them from camping out under your rig? Do you worry that the dog doesn't have the good sense to leave them alone?

In my travels all over the southeast and many miles of hiking, I've only seen a snake a few times. Once a coral snake in my back yard in Florida, and a few water moccasins in the canal. Believe it or not, never saw a snake on my trips to the everglades, nor my hikes in the Appalachians.
In Canada we have the rare but deadly snow snake. They tend to strike from high above. What you get is a bad case of frost bite...
Be careful...
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:00 PM   #8
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And dont forget about the snow flies. Up here we have three fly seasons. Black flies, deer flies, then the snow flies. Usually about late October. lol
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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Back in the early 70's I went out west with 7 of my buddies after working on GTMO building housing for the lifers there.
Anyway; we got near the Grand Canyon on one of the nites and decided to camp along side the road, in the park....Woke up in the morning to find a sign stating Beware! Rattlesnakes. I don't believe I have EVER moved that fast....
We had to be a sight...4 of us sleeping on the roof of the van and 4 inside the remainder of our trip. It was fun though.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:11 PM   #10
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Fear of snakes is real, my wife has it, but it is unjustified in the facts. But I do not mean to be insensitive in my remarks.

I and other members of my family have been camping and playing in the deserts of the soutwest for five or six decades now. We are all fine, none of us has killed a snake, because it is unecessary in most all cases. And none of us has been hurt by a snake. We have slept tentless on the ground all over the desert. My younger brother (65) still does. IN that time we have seen few snakes, more than many people in a lifetime but still not very many.

Snakes do not like you much better than you like them, so they will avoid you if possible. Most harmful encounters with snakes, particularly rattle snakes, involve alcohol and the snake was sober.

Reasonable caution will keep you plenty protected from snakes. Be alert when hiking, do not step over over hanging roocks and ledges, do not stick your hand under rocks, in bushes, or anyplace a snake would like. They like shade because they are cold blooded. That means at night they come out and lay flat on warmed rocks to stay warm. Use a flashlight and reasonable caution and you will avoid them. If you see one, they are polite and will rattle if you are close (not always) leave it alone. Just go on your way.

Before you step out of your rig in the morning if you are in a desert environment, just look ahead before you step.

Unless you want to be up to your fanny in mice, do not kill them they serve a purpose. It is unlawful to kill them in state parks and other municipalities.

Fire departments and park employess will remove snakes that invade the personal space where there are many humans.

Out in the wild use your judgement about how real the danger is if you see a snake, most of them are completely harmless, rattle snakes hurt you if they believe you will hurt them. They determine that by the moves you make, poking at them, hitting at them, stepping on them or anything else of that sort.

Yes in some places they are prolific, but that means their game, mice and vermin is too. But they are not snatching folks out of their lawn chairs or tracking them down. Give them room, they will do the same for you.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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In Texas you have to watch out for dreaded cotton-headed rattle mouth.

In my wooded yard we have seen,
copperheads
coral snake,
black king snakes
eastern hog-nose
spotted grass snake
stripped racers
and other small grass snakes.

Killed a 26-1/2" copperhead on the driveway and an 18" on on the back porch.

Ken
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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. Carry a snake bite kit just in case and ask a vet or doctor how to use it.
I wouldn't use a snake bite kit at all..they don't work and a doctor would never recommend using one. The time you would spend using it would be better spent traveling to the ER.

I have come across at least a 1/2 dozen rattlesnakes while hiking in the Grand Canyon, the several most memorable being: one that crawled out between my legs as several of us were sitting on a shallow ledge along a stream bed; when I took cover from the hot sun under the shade of a large rock overhang and the large rattler was less than a foot just behind my head as I leaned back, stopping short on the trail when I spotted the snake a few steps ahead of me and my hiking partner, who was not paying attention, plowed into me from behind pushing me forward.

To this day whenever I hear a maraca or baby rattle I get the chills, and my DW can attest to my dreams where I am kicking the snakes away. But it wouldn't stop me from sleeping under the stars again.

Just look before you stick your hand anywhere, and when hiking pay attention. Have a preference for stepping on top of rocks or logs instead of over them so you don't put your foot down where you can't see what is on the other side.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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Is there anything that keeps them away - like sulfur - or ultrasonics - or is that a bunch of hooey?
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:32 PM   #14
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Is there anything that keeps them away - like sulfur - or ultrasonics - or is that a bunch of hooey?
all that poo coming out might help!!
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