View topic - Snakebites when Solo

It is currently December 12th, 2019, 1:37 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 7:45 am 
Offline

Joined: October 31st, 2012, 12:37 pm
Posts: 31
I have a solo trip to Killarney planned for this summer and have questions about doing solo trips in areas with massassauga rattlesnakes.

1) When solo I usually sleep on the ground. In the summer I just bring a tarp and a hanging bug-net so unlike a tent or even a bivy there is nothing to keep a snake away. I know rattlers are shy, are they curious enough to slide up to a warm body lying fairly still on the ground or are they scared away by a large creature?

2) In the unlikely event of a bite, what does one do when solo in backcountry. General advice is to stay still and get medical attention quickly. When solo my options will typically be to:
1 - stay still and wait, probably will be found by someone who can get help, expected time to wait for help and then get to a hospital could be 2 days
2 - get to an access point or other source of outside help asap, most places in Killarney I could do this within a day but only by pushing hard.

This may be a situation where a transponder would help. Does anybody have other strategies? I know it is a low risk to start with.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 9:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8937
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Buy or rent as PLB there are other higher risks than snakes when solo


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 1:42 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
Posts: 483
Just happened to find this on the NOLS site looking for something else. It's worth the 4 minutes it takes to view.
https://www.outdoored.com/media/nols-my ... nake-bites

The fact that just because you got bit (a low probability in itself) doesn't mean that you got envenoned by the snake makes what to do somewhat tricky if asymptomatic. Yes, you should evac -- but should you immediately call for help? This is where a satphone and contact with a medical professional could be more useful that the all or nothing of a SPOT or PLB. I probably would start a self-evac and only pull the pin on the transponder if symptoms appear.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 4:04 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3473
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
This article being about Ontario might be relevant:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013 ... _says.html


I understand the "consider all the risks" concept (of course I don't follow it) but even in Killarney a snake bite is so far down the list I've never really given it any thought. From what I know from my Killarney visits and the likelyhood of a bite here's how I would look a it.

I would have a SPOT with me on a solo trip, not for a snakebite but rather for a more likely scenerio such as an injury to a critical limb, severe burn, stroke or even a bear attack.

If I were to get bitten by what I thought was possibly a mass rat, I would sit tight, wait to ascertain if it was a poisonous bite, if so move to an accessible location and send off a 911 knowing that for that location assistance would probably arrive within one hour (during daylight). Even in darkness or bad weather given the proximity of a rescue helicopter self-extraction doesn't sound like a good plan for situations where time is critical.

Different type of rattlesnack but probably similar, good info here:

http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/natural_re ... ebites.pdf

Some things consistent from the sources I checked; if bitten remain calm, no exertion, elevate the limb, seek treatment asap. All these are all things that go counter to the self-evac plan.

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 8:53 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
Posts: 483
Recped.

Well, if you can get an extraction within a couple of hours, I would agree. I don't know Killarney. But anywhere outside an urban area this sounds optimistic.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 1st, 2015, 11:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3473
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
It's 45km from Sudbury, besides at least one OPP chopper and a dedicated air ambulance there are a number of private operators there and more spread around within 75km. Additional "public" aircraft are 75 - 150km away (North Bay, Manitoulin, Parry Sound. Floats planes can also land on a number of the lakes within the park.

In July/August unless you are on a lake with a single site there will likely be people not far away, it might be wise to attempt to make contact should your condition deteriorate while you wait for help.

There is cell service in Killarney Village but in the park itself I think you would have to climb pretty high up to have any chance.

_________________
"What else could I do? I had no trade so I became a peddler" - Lazarus Greenberg 1915


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 8:35 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 2513
Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
I had a helicopter extraction for a student up on Ara Lake, north of Nakina, roughly 16 or 1700 k north of Toronto, in 45 minutes. Those helicopter people are first rate.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 8:40 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
Posts: 1367
Location: Oshawa
Not worth worrying about, be happy if you get a chance to see one.

http://www.massasauga.ca/stewardship_gu ... 4/pg38.htm

PS- if it were me I'd just end my trip a bit early and paddle/walk out and go to a walk in clinic or nearest hospital. Maybe be a bit more concerned if a child or small dog was bitten. Even then I'd likely just paddle/walk them out.

And if your bent on never being bitten...just don't go picking them up lol.

_________________
"It's healthy to be dirty" - Lars Monsen


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 12:31 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 31st, 2012, 12:37 pm
Posts: 31
I haven't generally brounght a PLB to Killarney in the summer since I figure I could grab someone's attention for help within a day at most. I may reconsider that rationale for reasons other than snakes.

Does anyone have any insight on massassauga's behaviour and if sleeping under a bugnet (that won't be any hindrance to ground creatures) on the ground is a bad idea? I'm wondering if a still warm body on the ground is not scary to them but rather enticing on a cool night? Ridiculous possibility?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 12:32 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
Posts: 8937
Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
They are very shy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 12:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: September 3rd, 2014, 4:35 pm
Posts: 304
Snakes get the attention but it seems ticks more likely to damage you in reality.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 12:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
Posts: 1367
Location: Oshawa
glenm wrote:
I haven't generally brounght a PLB to Killarney in the summer since I figure I could grab someone's attention for help within a day at most. I may reconsider that rationale for reasons other than snakes.

Does anyone have any insight on massassauga's behaviour and if sleeping under a bugnet (that won't be any hindrance to ground creatures) on the ground is a bad idea? I'm wondering if a still warm body on the ground is not scary to them but rather enticing on a cool night? Ridiculous possibility?



Check the link I gave. I'd say not very likely. Garter Snakes are by far more common...how many times has a Garter done that to you? For me none.

_________________
"It's healthy to be dirty" - Lars Monsen


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 2:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 31st, 2012, 12:37 pm
Posts: 31
Sam82, yes I saw that link. It was actually the repeated statement that there have been fatalities due to rattler bites in Ontario in the last 40 years and that the two older ones were attributed to lack of medical attention that made me think of the "time/effort to get to help" question.

Your point about a garter or other snake trying to get close is a valid one. I have never had that happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 2:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: October 31st, 2012, 12:37 pm
Posts: 31
steve.of.london

I didn't think there were any black-legged ticks in Killarney? Although I do know someone who's dog got a suspicious bite (bullseye rash after) in Algonquin. Further south I would defnitely agree with you.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Snakebites when Solo
PostPosted: April 2nd, 2015, 7:18 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
Posts: 1367
Location: Oshawa
Hey Glen,

I can understand if you are concerned about the sleep situation regardless of the chances of it actually happening...you could consider a hammock. Plus they are comfy and light.

_________________
"It's healthy to be dirty" - Lars Monsen


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group