Wilderness Survival: Avoid A Dangerous Bite

Summertime is a great time to get outdoors. And the animals are thinking the same thing. You’re far more likely to encounter dangerous animals in warmer weather, particularly snakes. When you’re out in the wild, you’re walking through the home of many animals – some of them fatally venomous. Follow these tips to avoid an unpleasant encounter.

  • Know before you go. Find out which venomous animals are in the area that you will be traveling through, and know their habits and habitats.
  • Be watchful around rock piles, cliffs and rock outcroppings.
  • Don’t ever put your hand or arm under a rock overhang, up in a hollow log or down in a hole that you cannot see under or into.
  • Watch where you step.
  • Don’t try to touch or pick up live spiders and snakes, for any reason.
  • Don’t get close to potentially venomous animals, for identification or any other purposes.

These tips and many more survival tips are in MacWelch’s books: Prepare For Anything – the Hunting & Gathering Survival Manual – and How To Survive Anything

Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch

And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.

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One Response to “Wilderness Survival: Avoid A Dangerous Bite”

  1. Kerry Kirstein

    When walking in the woods or in an area I’m unfamiliar with, I always carry and use a “walking stick”. It’s great for poking and prodding into holes and around and under rocks and fallen trees. And the stick will warn any hidden snakes or other things that may be there, that they are about to be overtaken and they will generally move away from or make themselves known by moving in the grass or weeds to let YOU know to slow down and let them get away from you, so they won’t have to be put into a defensive mode, as in biting you!! A good walking stick can be had from an old broom handle or a slightly larger diameter floor broom handle. I’ve made two of them, one by wrapping the “sticky” electrical tape around the handle end or, two, get yourself a foam handle bar grip or one of those molded bicycle grips with the finger grooves and put on the wooden stick/broom handle for a better feel. Both the foam and bicycle grip can be put over the broom handle by warming them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and very lightly coating the broom handle with a dry piece of soap the length of the grip. [if you have “chunks of soap on the handle”, that’s WAY TOO MUCH soap]

    When the grip is finally pushed into place, it will cool and become tight on the broom handle so it won’t move or come off later on. It’s also a good idea to get a small bell [no more than 3/4″ inch wide at the belled end] from a hobby store and attach it to the handle end of your stick. This can be accomplished by attaching the bell using a short piece of string so when you are finished attaching it, the string is no longer than about 1 or 1 1/2″ inches in length so every time you move the stick, the bell rings by hitting the shaft of the stick. The string end can be attached by either using a screw [tie the string onto the screw’s shaft near the head of the screw] or by feeding the string through a hole that has been drilled through the stick. And NO, it doesn’t have to be loud, just audible will work fine. This *warns* “critters” that something out of the ordinary is approaching them and they’ll most likely leave the area. In general most wild animals want less to do with YOU, than you do with them!!