Snake Bite and Bee Sting Safety

Just to be clear, when you step out of your vehicle at the trail head and start into the wilderness, you are now in Nature’s Back Yard. Nature includes many things that the human body has differing levels of problems dealing with. Snake Bites are generally not good for anyone. If you are going to be in the woods, be prepared. As a part of your general first aid and survival equipment (reviewed elsewhere) you should also include Snake Bite and Bee Sting treatment options. As a stand alone or bundled, someone in the hiking party should be prepared.

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Now, the old saying “They are more scared of you then you of them” really does apply. Most snakes will flee at the smell (they smell better then other senses) or the vibration and noises of approaching hikers. However, if cornered, a snake will fight for survival just as you would if cornered. Also, some of the places snakes will flee to are dark holes and into under brush. Should you venture into such areas or reach into crevices without checking first, you are entering their domain and thus are perceived to be a threat.

A major exception to the “They are more scared of you then you of them” rule in the outdoors – bees. Generally bees will not be a problem unless you encounter a nest and disturb it in anyway. As the words are generally quieter then city traffic, hearing the buzzing of bees clustered near their nest should be a bit easier. If you do hear buzzing, stop and remain quiet to try an locate the direction of the bee’s nest. Then move in another direction. to maintain separation. Bees can also be attracted to the smell of food, so when you stop for a meal break be alert to the sudden arrival of one or more bees at your break location. If more bees start to show up, there is something they are interested in and you should pack up everything and move on down the trail.

In the event of a bee sting, without panic, treat the wound and then continue on your way. If multiple stings have occurred or a reaction is noticed, abandon the rest of the hike returning to the trail head for medical treatment.

The faster you treat venous snake bites the better. Some can cause illness while others might cause death if not treated right away. Proper immediate basic first aid while also requesting medical assistance from trained medical professional or emergency care procedures. Do not delay doing the very minimum while waiting.

Before venturing outdoors into the wilderness, here are a couple sample references for information

Please also see Natural Bee Sting Treatments for treatments that do require medical attention or pharmaceutical treatments. Some of these items may already be in your backpack or emergency kit or RV.

Below are some sample snake bite and bee sting first aid treatment that should be included in your personal survival kit or in the kit of at least member of the hiking party.

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Courtesy S. Ward – Farris Wheel