How to Avoid Snakes While Hiking – 10 Effective Tips

Hiking Made Easy – Do you want to know how to avoid snakes while hiking? If so, then read this comprehensive guide to continue your hike safely.

Have you ever had second thoughts about running in a specified location because of a “Beware of Rattlesnake” or “Stay on Trail” sign? Snake phobias are among the most common in the world, and you would not be alone if you had this fear.

According to recent research, humans and primates are conditioned to fear snakes from an early age, most likely as an evolutionary tool from a time when snakes posed a serious and deadly threat to early mammal species.

Experienced and dedicated trail runners, on the other hand, frequently have the same approach about snakes that surfers have toward sharks: they just don’t consider them.

While that may be absolutely fine for some in the trail running community, the rest of us may still be on the lookout for peace of mind and the steps to take in order to achieve that peace.

When you consider how well snakes blend into their surroundings and how quickly they can strike, it’s easy to see why they tend to make runners nervous about heading out onto the trails.

These snake safety tips will assist you in learning how to avoid snakes on the trail and how to interact with them in a more harmonious manner if you happen to come across one.

How To Avoid Snakes While Hiking – 10 Effective Tips

How To Avoid Snakes While Hiking

Be Aware

Whenever you’re out in the woods, you should constantly be on the lookout and mindful of your surroundings. Even in the dead of winter, you should never assume that snakes are not around. Consider where you’re placing your hands and feet when you’re hiking.

If you’re climbing, make sure to look into all of the nooks and crannies before putting your hands or feet into them. Scanning the path around you and keeping your ears tuned for the scary sound of a rattle are important steps to take.

People who have a thorough understanding of snakes are less likely to be terrified of them than people who merely have a basic grasp of them.

It’s crucial to be aware of the many sorts of snakes you can encounter on certain trails, not only to reduce your fear but also to be prepared in the event that you do come face to face with one.

For example, running on trails with Garter snakes is significantly less dangerous than running on trails with other snakes since their bites are not poisonous. Being bitten by a Rattlesnake, on the other hand, maybe fatal.

You should constantly be aware of where you are and who is in charge of the land you are entering. So, it is one of the ways that can help you with how to avoid snakes while hiking.

Keep Your Ankles Hidden

Low ankle socks are more fashionable, but a comfortable pair of high ankle socks will also protect your ankles from accidental snake bites when you’re out hiking.

Although you may feel you look like you stepped out of an 80s music video, the trend is making a comeback in the fashion world.

Running in the summer requires socks that are both warm and breathable, so make sure they both are. In addition, long-running tights can provide an additional layer of protection.

Be Very Cautioned When Near Water

Keep in mind that snakes are capable of swimming. Even if you are going through a body of water, even if it is water in a ditch, and you see anything that appears to be a stick, it might very well be a snake.

The simplest approach to avoid snakes when hiking is to be just a little bit proactive, so this is yet another reason to keep an eye on your surroundings at all times.

Avoid Music/Podcasts

Are you looking forward to listening to that new album or podcast while you’re out hiking? That could be something you want to reserve for another time (sorry!).

As much as you need to keep your eyes open, you also need to keep your ears peeled in case there are any snakes lurking around that are out of your field of vision. It is another way to help you with how to avoid snakes while hiking.

Train Your Dog

Snake bites are equally as dangerous to dogs as they are to humans (if not more so due to their natural curiosity). When it comes to teaching your dog snake avoidance skills, you have a lot of alternatives to choose from.

You may train your dog to “leave it” in the comfort of your own home. If you want to train your dog, you can give him food or a toy (such as a rubber snake) and tell him to “leave it.”

When he successfully disengages from the temptation and refocuses his attention on you, praise him with a tasty reward.

Once he’s mastered the technique, attach a fishing line to the end of the snake and have a buddy pull it around the room as he practices the same command again.

Run When It’s Cold To Avoid Snakes

For those who are truly interested in learning how to avoid snakes, the ideal strategy is to run when they are less likely to be there.

Due to the fact that snakes are cold-blooded creatures, they will be most active when the day is at its hottest and when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

According to ecologist Alan Williams, the best time to see a snake on a trail is from late spring to early fall, when it is most active. If you want to know how to avoid snakes while hiking, you must learn everything about snakes.

As the weather warms up throughout the year, the more active snakes become during the day, especially in the early morning and late evening hours during the summer.

Avoid Trail Running At Night

When it’s chilly out, snakes must move around to keep their body heat up, which means they can be active throughout the day as well as at night. It’s difficult enough to come across a snake during the day.

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Because you can’t see where you’re going while you’re hiking about at night, the possibilities of having an unfavorable experience with a snake are increased. Snakes are also active at night. Their heat sensors enable them to identify prey that is not visible to the naked eye.

Avoid getting between a snake and its prey if you can help it. If you must run at night, though, make sure you have a running partner and a headlight with you.

Stay Away From Rocky Trails

Do you see some rocky outcrops with no well-defined routes or trails? It’s possible that you’ll want to go back and locate another trail. Because you’ve entered a zone where you can’t see what’s directly in front of you, you’re putting yourself in potentially dangerous terrain.

So, staying away from rocky trails can help you with how to avoid snakes while hiking.

Put on the Proper Clothes

The hands and ankles are the most common areas for snake bites. If you’re trekking on a trail that has become overgrown, you should wear long, loose-fitting pants or gaiters.

Although it is not 100 percent sure that they will protect you from snake bites, they can help to reduce the quantity of venom that enters your body.

Hiking with Trekking Poles

When you use hiking poles, you may clear the bush to improve your visibility on the trail. Moreover, it will help to keep an eye out for rattlesnakes that may be lurking in the local area. While you’re doing it, you’ll also be providing some much-needed support for your knees and joints.

What to Do If You Get Bitten While Hiking On A Trail

How To Avoid Snakes While Hiking

Things happen and you get bitten every now and again. Attempting to suck out the venom is not recommended if you have been bitten.

In the event that you are bitten by a snake, it is critical that you get medical attention and support as soon as possible. To do so, follow the instructions outlined below:

Remain Calm And Escape The Snake

The first thing that comes to mind is probably screaming and running, but it’s crucial to maintain your temperament! Eventually, you will know how to avoid snakes while hiking.

As a result, you don’t want to scare the snake any further. Many individuals hurt themselves much more by tripping over something as a result of their panicked condition. So maintain your calmness and go as far away from the snake as you possibly can.

Never attempt to harm the snake; if someone is around, they may be able to take a picture to help first responders identify the snake’s location.

Get In Touch With Emergency Services

If you have been bitten by a snake, you should seek medical attention immediately. Based on your conditions and whether you are hiking with a group or by yourself, the following are your options:

  • If you have a cell phone with service, dial 911.
  • If you frequently hike in remote places where phone service is unavailable, I recommend investing in a satellite communication device such as the Garmin InReach Explorer Plus. It enables you to call SOS and receive assistance. I never go hiking without one of these.
  • If you don’t have access to any services, have someone from your group go out and look for assistance.
  • If you’re hiking alone and the chances of someone passing by are minimum, take it slow in order to get assistance. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

So, this is how to avoid snakes while hiking.

Look For A Safe Space To Sit

If you’ve been able to contact emergency services or if you have a friend who is heading out to seek assistance, it’s critical that you locate a secure place to sit and relax.

A faster rate of heartbeat allows the venom to pass through your body more quickly. Don’t lift the bitten portion of your body above the level of your heart; instead, keep it lower than the heart.

Remove Any Clothes/Accessories That Are Too Tight

Swelling is common after a snake bite, so you’ll want to remove any jewelry, watches, bracelets, or tight clothes that might be causing the swelling to be restricted. Wrap an elastic bandage over the whole bitten arm or leg, starting at the point furthest away from the heart and working your way in.

When wrapping tightly, make sure there are no gaps that would allow a finger to pass beneath the bandage. Take care not to block the flow of blood. DO NOT use a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

Please Leave The Area Alone

To clean your wound, use soap and water or an antiseptic solution/wipe. It is not recommended that you use aspirin, ibuprofen, or other pain relievers. They will thin your blood since these medications might worsen your condition even more.

Do not use ice or heat. It’s best if you don’t touch it after you’ve cleaned it to prevent infection.

How To Avoid Snakes While Hiking – FAQs

How To Avoid Snakes While Hiking

What is the best time of day to avoid snakes?

For those who are truly interested in learning how to avoid snakes, the ideal strategy is to run when they are less likely to be there.

Due to the fact that snakes are cold-blooded creatures, they will be most active when the day is is at its hottest. Moreover, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky.

What time of day are snakes most active?

While snakes are active throughout the day in the summer months. But they are most active very early in the morning, late in the evening, or late at night. When temperatures are not too hot for them. This includes poisonous species such as tiger snakes and brown snakes.

Should you run or walk away from a snake?

Not engaging in an interaction with a snake is one of the most successful strategies for surviving such a situation.

If you come across a snake on your trail, you should immediately move away. If you are unable to turn around and go in the opposite way, make sure to leave the snake plenty of room while you circle around it.


So, it was all about how to avoid snakes while hiking. If you know more tactics to avoid snakes on the trail, then share with all of us in the comments section below!

How To Protect Yourself From Snakes While Hiking

how to protect yourself from snakes while hiking

How to protect yourself from snakes while hiking? What should I do if I am attacked by a snake? This is an issue that hikers and climbers frequently discuss. What should I do if a snake bites me? The majority of those who go hiking have no idea what to do when snakes bite. In most situations, hikers seldom get up close with snakes.

Snakes are frequently seen as more afraid of people than we are of them, however, snakes are not really afraid of humans when they see them; instead, they can be aggressive and protective in their territory when threatened. We recently had the opportunity to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip down the Grand Canyon, and believe me, I was looking for snakes everywhere I went!

Snakes can be found in the wild, and there are hundreds of species of them. The majority of snakes feed on tiny rodents such as mice and rats, which live in rural regions. They stay in areas that are wet or humid because being warm-blooded, they prefer to stay cool.

So, the question of what to do if you are bitten by a snake is an important one. It is crucial to understand how to react when someone you know has been bitten and what steps you can take to avoid getting bitten yourself.

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Snake Bite Prevention

Avoiding trekking locations that are known to be snake territory, is one of the most effective strategies for avoiding snake bites. When darkness falls, snakes become very active. To make certain that a rattlesnake is not on the loose, you should avoid brush and loose stones. You are likely to hear a snake before seeing it, so keeping those headphones in your pocket might be wise. Here are some more suggestions:

  • Always keep your ears and eyes open.
  • The most frequent bite locations are the feet and ankles, followed by the hands. Never walk or put your hand in an area where you can not see. Wear strong shoes and long pants or gaiters to protect yourself.
  • Keep walking and avoid grass, weeds, and bushes.
  • Trek poles or walking sticks are a good idea. They will be ahead of you and to the sides, allowing snakes to strike them instead of you.
  • When picking anything off the groundwood, rocks, or even your shoes, be careful since it may have been there for a while.
  • Look around before you sit down.
  • Hike with the buddy.
  • Always respect wildlife – do not harass any snakes.

Symptoms And First Aid

Common sense and logic are the two most important skills you will need to know how to deal with snake bites.

  1. To begin, you must understand how to identify snake bites. You must determine whether or not it is a genuine snake bite. If you were present when someone was bitten, then you can trust your judgment and proceed to the next step. If you were not there when someone was bitten, look for evidence of two fang bite scars on their skin. Moderate and swelling to severe discomfort in the bitten region are other indicators. You should also inspect for skin discoloration, which will indicate twitching skin and venom in the vicinity. The symptoms of a snake bite are varied, and they may include vomiting, nausea, slurred speech, dizziness, sweating, and altered mental state. It is a snake bite if the indicators and symptoms are observed.
  2. The next big step is to get help immediately.
  3. After that, the victim should be kept motionless and calm. If you can check the movement of the victim, it would be better. It would be ideal not to let the victim walk since a splint in the bite region might be helpful. Also, make sure that the bitten area of the body is lower than the chest of the victim. Apply a constricting band or a bandage over the bite site, as well as beneath it, if at all feasible. However, ensure that the bandage is not too firmly applied. The main goal of the wrap is to keep the venom from traveling to the lymphatic system and blood circulation.
  4. It would also be beneficial if the snake could be identified. Take details of the snake’s size, color, pattern, and any other factors.
  5. The next step is to clean the wound or snake bite region with soap and water.
  6. Take the victim to a clinic or hospital immediately. The afflicted should also be closely observed for any subsequent indicators and symptoms if any appear. If required, you may need to give CPR.
  7. There is no need to be alarmed! This is, in fact, a fundamental tenet. To the greatest extent feasible, make certain that the victim and other team members do not panic. Finally, monitor the wound region for changes.

Snake Bite Treatment

If you are bitten by a snake or another hiking companion, the best thing to do is:

  • Whether venomous or not, you should see a doctor if you are bitten.
  • Assist the victim in keeping cool to limit the spread of venom. Tell them that these snake bites are dry, as it will reassure them.
  • Cleaning and dressing the puncture wound.
  • Remove tight-fitting clothing before the swelling appears.
  • Use a splint to immobilize the bitten limb and prevent the victim from putting strain on it.
  • Transport the victim as quickly as possible to a hospital for antivenin therapy. Because the sufferer should put up with as little effort as feasible, laying them on a stretcher would be ideal. To minimize strain, the victim may leave at a leisurely pace.
  • Do not use the tourniquet or the constriction bandage.
  • Do not attempt to cut the wound or remove the venom.
  • Do not use any apply ice or electric shocks.
  • Do not drink alcohol or caffeine.
  • Do not try to catch the snake, but try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which may help in your treatment.


Although snake bites are uncommon, if you go hiking, it would still be beneficial to know how to take some preventative measures in order to reduce the risk of being bitten. Remember that first aid is crucial if the dreaded snake bite happens.


A dead snake can still do damage, and it is critical to handle a dead snake with care. Because of the snake’s possible reflex action after dying, it may still carry venom and cause significant damage.

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If there’s one thing Matt loves, it’s getting people outdoors and active. As a hiking guide and camping enthusiast, he knows the best spots to get away from it all and how to make the most of your time in nature. When he’s not leading hikes or out on his own camping trip, you can find him playing guitar or spending time with his wife and dog. He loves nothing more than finding new adventures and sharing them with others.

How to Avoid Snakes While Hiking [7 Must Follow Tips]

Well, no one likes to see a snake suddenly popping up out of nowhere.

Some snakes can even carry deadly venoms that can kill you right on the spot, you never know!

If you are planning to go on a hiking trip which is somehow a suitable place for snakes, then be prepared!

You might be wondering now, how to avoid snakes while hiking.

Well, for your ease, we have come up with this article that will show you practical ways to save yourself from snake bites, even if you are hiking in a snake-prone area.

Table of Contents

Tips to Avoid Snakes While Hiking

There are certain precautions and technical tips to follow if you want to have an amazing hiking experience in a snake habitat area.

Let’s discuss them one by one.

#1. Get to Know Your Hiking Area Well

know the hiking area well

Just before you head towards your hiking spot, make sure you have a well-researched idea about the place to know what kind of wildlife you may come across.

The way people check the weather condition, the water supply of their hiking area, the same way you need to also check if somehow your desired place is a great habitat for snakes.

If it’s a snake-prone area, then you must also know whether you will encounter venomous snakes or non-venomous ones while hiking.

Some hiking places might surprise you with deadly venomous snakes like rattlesnakes, water moccasins, copperheads, and coral snakes.

So, it’s better to know about probable snake threats from national or state park rangers and also from a local biologist prior to starting your hiking adventure.

You can also hire a field guide with you to specify the specific type of encountered snakes, rather than guessing it on your own.

Once you know your hiking area well, it will be easier for you to prepare against the probable dangers of snakes.

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#2. Stay Away From Probable Danger

snake ecology

You should also have some good ideas about snake ecology which will eventually help you to become more cautious about probable places and time to encounter them.

Due to their ectotherm feature, they need to depend on outside sources to get the necessary heat for their bodies.

That’s why you will most likely encounter them in the evening or early morning stretching around trails to get the daily fuel of energy. When the weather is too hot, you will find them resting under limbs and rocks as well.

You may also discover some snakes in leaf, rocky crevices, tree canopies, and debris depending on the species of snakes.

Additionally, you need to also avoid places where tall weeds and underbrush are available, as they can also surprise you with venomous rattlesnakes.

#3. Wear Long Pants And Boots

wear long pants

Once you gather some knowledge about your hiking area and snake ecology, the very next thing you need to be concerned about is to take the necessary actions to prevent yourself from snake bites.

Wear long thick best hiking leggings and hiking boots which will provide you an extra protective layer against unexpected bites of snakes.

As a hiker, you should never wear sandals or go barefoot in places where you have no clear idea about the probable danger that might be waiting for you!

Snakes are more likely to reach your legs if they bite you. So, if your legs are covered with thick pants and your feet are secured with the best snake gaiters, then it will be hard for them to harm you.

#4. Do NOT Annoy or Touch a Snake

do not touch the snake

Some people have this naughty habit of annoying or killing snakes without any proper reason. Just because you encountered wildlife and it seems scary, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to disturb or kill it.

Though snakes seem scary, remember one thing that they are more scared of you as you are smarter, bigger, and warmer.

Even if they hiss, rattle, and make S-shape, they are more likely doing all these to warn you not to harm them, rather leave the place like a good boy!

Until and unless you annoy them, they are not interested in biting you.

But yes, there are exceptional cases where some snakes can strike you all of a sudden, even if you don’t annoy them such as rattlesnakes.

Try to even avoid dead snakes, as sometimes they act like dead to make you fall into their trap. Their bites can still harm you even if the snake is freshly killed just a few minutes back!

#5. Don’t Hike Alone

group hike

If you are going to hike in a snake-prone area, then it’s a must to hike in groups.

Hiking alone in such places is pretty much life-threatening, because if you are bitten by any snake somehow, then no one will be there to help you out.

You might die without having life-saving treatment, so never ever take that risk.

Having a hiking partner walking side by side works like a big hope in terms of such danger when people get bitten by snakes.

Your hiking partner can even take a picture of the snake for further investigation to treat you well.

You know it well, “united we stand, divided we fall”!

#6. Follow Snake Safety Warning Signs

snake warning signs

Some hiking tracks are safer until and unless you cross the path limit and go deep into the danger zone.

If you see an alarming sign of snake safety, then you shouldn’t fantasize about going out of the track and make yourself fall into danger on your own.

So, follow the warning signs and try to keep yourself on track for safe hiking.

#7. Don’t Be Panicked, Act Smart

dont panic

If you somehow encounter a snake, the first rule is, don’t get panicked. It’s pretty much obvious that if you are trekking in their territory, then they will appear in front of you even if you don’t want to.

After coming across any of them, take your time and give some space to that wildlife to go away to a safer place.

If you have some prior knowledge, try to identify the specific type of that snake, which might help you in terms of unwanted accidents.

Most snake bites usually happen when people try to annoy them or kill them without any proper reason. So, as a form of self-defense, snakes attack and people die out of it.

Whether the snake is venomous or not, you better leave it alone and move away from the place safely. People who get bitten by snakes, only a few of them die because most serpents are non-venomous.

So, you don’t need to panic much, even if you happen to interact with them. Sometimes panicking gets more deadly than the real danger itself!

What to Do If You Get Bitten?

Even if you follow all the tips and tricks to avoid snakes while hiking, there are still chances you might get bitten by any of them.

So, what to do right the moment you are bitten by a snake?

Well, first of all, keep calm, though it seems hard!

Yes, you don’t need to panic, rather calm yourself and act wisely step by step.

Usually, you are more likely to encounter nonvenomous ones, so things will not get worse initially, but you need to be concerned about further infection.

Use your first aid kit box to wash out the bitten area with water, soap, or alcohol wipes. However, in terms of venomous snake bites, things will be quite different.

Don’t try to form a tourniquet, it will eventually damage the nerves of the limbs. Sucking out the venom actually doesn’t work and not even cutting the bitten area for increasing blood flow.

You should quickly go back to your car and drive to the nearest hospital as early as possible, your hiking partners can lead the whole process as well.

As a hiking partner, you need to keep in mind that the victim should be immobilized, and using a splint around the bitten area might be beneficial for him.

You need to also ensure that the victim’s bitten area is lowered compared to his chest. Putting a mild tight bandage over the bitten area can restrict the venom to flow with the blood.

As a victim yourself, either you have to get the exact antivenin you need or require medical treatment to save your life.

Though venomous bites are painful and scary, they are not as fatal as they are being thought and perceived by most of us, the percentage of death is pretty low.

To get the right treatment, it would be an advantage if you can identify the snake species, color, and other details.

Final Words

Snakes are scarily beautiful creatures that play a vital role in the whole wildlife ecosystem. Hiking in a snake-prone area can be adventurous fun but also life-threatening at the same time.

But, once you know how to avoid snakes while hiking, you can enjoy the thrilling experiences out in the wild with more safety.

We hope this article was helpful enough for you to dare to go on a hiking trip even if the location is full of hissing, rattling dangers!




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