Mar 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm #1257079
I live in Alabama, and last year I was almost bitten twice by timber rattlers. Can anyone recommend some good lightweight gaiters?
http://bit.ly/9YWFTyMar 29, 2010 at 1:00 pm #1592020
I would think that you would want some standard almost-knee-high Outdoor Research gaiters like X-C skiers use. Nobody will certify them as being snake-proof. However, with the speed that a snake strikes and the durability of the heavy fabric, fangs should not be able to penetrate much. Besides, you may have socks and trouser cuffs underneath the heavy fabric. If you were really paranoid, you could slip a piece of Kevlar in there.
Don't worry about it. They don't eat much.
–B.G.–Mar 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm #1592021
This is really off the wall, as I know Nothing about what might be out there —
— but if nothing shows up, perhaps the folks who make the Ursack Minor food bag (out of lightweight kevlar) could make a simple step-in tube with a couple of grommets on the bottom for an instep strap, and a shockcord snugger at the top.
One Ursack Minor costs $50, so these wouldn't be cheap.
And Cabella's.Mar 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm #1592022
Normally I don't sweat the snakes, but for some reason I have seen a lot more than usual lately. I do some solo hiking and have become concerned enough to wear some heavy kevlar gaiters. The Cabela's TurtleSkin Snake Armor Gaiters seem about the lightest out there: http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp;jsessionid=KQYUHOTWMLRPZLAQBBJSCO3MCAEFIIWE?id=0033130942629a&type=product&cmCat=thefind&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=thefind&cm_pla=0510216&cm_ite=0033130942629a&_requestid=72933&_requestid=77979Mar 29, 2010 at 1:19 pm #1592029
Are you wearing boots or trail runners?Mar 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #1592030
I wear trail runners.
I just found a testimonial from a guy who was bitten while wearing some of the Turtleskin snakeproof gaiters here:
Sounds like these are pretty reliable.Mar 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm #1592045
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
I don't know much about snakes, but I would say they would have a very difficult time getting through Outdoor Research Expedition Gaiters. It's worth a look.Mar 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm #1592049
you'll need leather or similar. snakes fangs are just like hypodermic needles. they'll go right through OR's gaiters
suggest checking cowboy ranch websitesMar 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm #1592055Mar 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm #1592108
Try looking in Forestry-suppliers.com. When I was in that line of work they carried them. Never tried them, though. The Sierra isn't that bad.
They won't be lite-weight though.Mar 30, 2010 at 8:20 am #1592370
hahaha! Thanks for the tip. I hear they are making leg guards in lightweight titanium, so I can shave at least three pounds!Mar 30, 2010 at 10:55 am #1592421
@cadyakLocale: southwest georgia
I have been wearing one of the more expensive pairs of Rocky snake boots for a few yrs. and they are excellent for hiking as they are waterproof and very light with a vibram sole that feels almost like a running shoe (I have actually run several miles in these shoes). Mine have been everywhere, and have actually taken a moccassin bite with not even a mark on the shoe.
I think that they are called Rocky "rattlers" 15" goretex snake boot.Jul 8, 2010 at 7:42 am #1627221
I agree with a couple of the posts on this forum. First of all, I don't know what type of hiking you do, but over here in the Northwest, most of my hiking is done off trail, so real boots are the only way to go. Even if I walk on trail I still prefer real boots. Nothing gets inside of them and of course they provide a certain level of snake protection.
That being said, I have purchased a pair of the Turtle Skin Snake Armor gaiters and am very happy with them. I do a lot of wet wading (fishing without waders) so I wear my wading boots with shorts, leaving my calves exposed. I had a rattlesnake bite my sole of my boot last year while in mid stride. Why he did not bite my the leg that was on the ground I do not know, I was very lucky. But that is what brought me to by snake gaiters.
I started out buying a cheaper pair for about $60. These were just too hot to wear in the summertime. So I bit the bullet which I should have done in the first place and bought the turtleskin snake gaiters. What a difference it was. They are a fabric and not made out of hard plastics so they are lite, comfortable, and at times unnoticeable. I do notice them when I am bushwhacking as they protect me lower legs from thorns and other things that use to tear my legs up.
Anyway, here is a link to the site where I learned about them and other snake proof gear: href="SnakeGaiters.html">www.snakeproofgear.comJul 8, 2010 at 9:18 am #1627243
@magillagorillaLocale: Southwest Ohio
I would go with a full boot. Or a leash trained mongoose.Jul 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm #1627325
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> snakes fangs are just like hypodermic needles. they'll go right through OR's gaiters
I beg to disagree slightly here. They may be like blunt hypodermic needles, but a decent pair of Cordura gaiters over socks or clothing will normally handle most snakes. Those snakes with real hole-up-the-middle fangs have short teeth; those with longer teeth usually have channel fangs which are blocked by the Cordura and the socks.
CheersJul 8, 2010 at 2:45 pm #1627326
I'd go with the mongoose.
–B.G.–Jul 9, 2010 at 10:04 am #1627552
A mongoose is good for a slower snake like a cobra but is too slow to take on a pit viper like a rattlesnake. All those years of watching Nat Geo and the Science Channel are paying off.Jul 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm #1627601
If rattlers are so fast, then how does a California Mountain King Snake kill 'em?
–B.G.–Jul 9, 2010 at 3:40 pm #1627637
"If rattlers are so fast, then how does a California Mountain King Snake kill 'em?"
By being faster.Jul 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm #1627657
I seem to remember reading that they are not suseptible to rattler venom. Nice back-up if plan A doesn't work out.Jul 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm #1627663
@fastwalkerLocale: SWJul 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm #1627713
"but a decent pair of Cordura gaiters over socks or clothing will normally handle most snakes."
It's the "most snakes" part that troubles me. Do you know of any specific snakes that they won't handle? Serious question.Jul 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm #1627722
For most rattlers that you would encounter in the Western U.S., it would take an unusually large specimen to have fangs longer than 3/4".
Even then, the snake would have to have perfect aim to strike so perfectly as to get the whole fang length in.
Most of the time when a victim has been envenomated, the subcutaneous venom drops are initially found 1/8" to 1/4" deep. A good pair of Cordura gaiters with some heavy socks under would give you a fair, if not perfect, measure of protection.
–B.G.–Jul 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm #1627741
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Do you know of any specific snakes that they won't handle?
No – but I am not a herpologist. Thing is, any snake which looks big enough to be a problem probably isn't venomous. Boas etc.
On the other hand, Australia does have a collection of venomous snakes which can match anything in the world. We (my wife and I) do wear gaiters, but I know many here don't bother. We just walk carefully with our eyes open.
There have been summer days on the bank of the Coxs River when we pass a red-bellied black snake every 150 m. Territorial things. For those who don't know the red-belly, it is one of the more venomous snakes in the world, but they are not aggressive (unlike the browns).
You probably know that there are very few snake bites in the field in practice, and most of those happen to young males who were trying to kill the snake. Funny about that.
CheersJul 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm #1627871
"Thing is, any snake which looks big enough to be a problem probably isn't venomous. Boas etc."
+1 although man's innate wariness of reptiles can sure alter perceptions. I still remember screaming downhill in an altered state at the end of a long, hard run in the California hills at sunset, rounding a bend to find the biggest snake I'd ever seen lying across the trail, and going airborne without a millisecond's hesitation. I'm here to tell you that, although it is rumored in my country white guys can't jump, I would have given Carl Lewis serious competition in the long jump were the contest held at that point in time. After I calmed down I went back to investigate and, sure enough, the monster turned out to be a harmless, to humans, King Snake.
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