Snake Gaiters: Protect Your Feet from Venomous Teeth
Mountain hiking is an exciting and challenging experience. Exciting because you’ll be able to experience and see many new things, and challenging because there can be different obstacles to overcome and dangers lurking. Speaking of danger, snake bites are among the worst scenarios. That is precisely why experienced and professional hikers wear venom snake gaiters.
What are Snake Gaiters?
Gaiters are protective sleeves that covers the feet, the ankle and the upper boot. Their main purpose is to protect your feet from water, rocks and mud. However, besides the aforementioned things, venom snake gaiters can also protect your feet from snake bites. And just like with everything else, you can choose from a plethora of them, but only some can give you the needed protection.
By investing in quality and durable snake proof gaiters, you can have peace of mind that the chosen model will flex better, allowing you to move comfortably. Although gaiters are usually made of nylon and leather, snake proof gaiters Australia are usually made of Cordura, some type of tough polyester or RepTex fabric (a multi-layer, high tensile and rip-stop fabric). So, if you are wondering ‘Do gaiters stop snake bites?’ – yes, they do.
How to Choose the Right Snake Bite Gaiters?
Unlike ankle, light and normal waterproof gaiters which are designed to give you the basic rain, dust, grass and mud protection, snake bite gaiters are much tougher. Except for the aforementioned materials, these gaiters can also be made of polycarbonate and poly-cotton fabrics which are good in repelling snake bites, sticks, briars and thorns. Although there are ankle snake gaiters available on the market, it’s best to invest in knee-high gaiters as snake bites usually occur bellow the knees in 80% of the situations. Breathability is an important thing to look for in gaiters as you will probably wear them in summer when snakes are most active. According to experienced hikers, make sure you stay away from plastic-coated gaiters as they are quite uncomfortable when used for a longer period of time.
Although some snakes are harmless and they themselves avoid people, some venomous snakes become aggressive among people as they consider them a threat. So, if you’re hiking somewhere where snakes are a common thing, opting for though and specially designed snake venom gaiters is a must. Having a quality pair of gaiters can certainly save your life in these situations.
Snake Gaiters Sizing
Since there are different types of gaiters, all of them have different sizes. For instance:
- Low gaiters are usually 20 – 30cm tall (ankle high) and are not recommended to be worn in areas where there’re a lot of snakes.
- High gaiters (also known as leggings) are 38 – 45cm tall (calf high) and can be used for places where there are many snakes.
- Chaps go all the way up the leg and offer the ideal snake protection. They are ideal for rugged outdoor activities.
- In the past, these gaiters against snake venom were extremely helpful and successful but at the cost of comfort. However, nowadays, this has changed as lots of manufacturers strive to choose lightweight yet extremely protective, durable and comfortable materials.
- Unlike the US that has 21 different species of venomous snakes, in Australia, there are more than 100 venomous snakes. However, it’s been estimated that only 12 can inflict a wound that could kill you.
- Rodents, frogs and some other small animals are the main victims of most Australian snakes. In other words, these snakes have not developed facilities for eating human limbs.
- The most venomous ones belong to the family Elapidae and they are characterised by hollow fixed fangs through which they inject venom. Fang length is about 5mm, which is a lot smaller than the size of large snakes, where the fangs can be 12mm. Now, since Elapidae snakes have short fangs and instincts that are attuned to hunting small game, quite often the bites on humans result in successfully envenoming their clothing, boots and gaiters. This is another reason why you should wear gaiters when hiking at all costs.
- Snakes play an important role in the ecosystem. However, their number is declining, the main reason for this being the destruction of their habitat, road kill and the indiscriminate killing of snakes by people who dislike or fear them.
- Since snakes are not naturally aggressive and love to retreat, try not to provoke them. If you come across a snake in the outdoors, calmly walk the other way. In case you find one in your garden or home, contact a licensed herpetologist to remove it.