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in: Manly Skills, Outdoors, Survival, Visual Guides

May 25, 2017 Last updated: October 15, 2018

How to Treat a Venomous Snakebite

treating a venomous snakebite illustration how-to diagram

Out of the 3,000 or so snake species in the world, less than 10% are venomous in a truly dangerous way. But that still leaves a few hundred varieties you need to keep an eye out for the next time you’re tromping through the wilderness. As always, the best way to treat a snakebite is to prevent it. Avoid hiking in areas where snakes are known to be a problem, wear heavy boots that cover your ankle, step carefully in areas of tall grass, and watch out when stepping or reaching under rocks where snakes typically rest up.

If you are bitten, remain calm above all else. One of the most dangerous aspects of a snake bite is that it causes people to panic. Panic is bad because it elevates heart rate and blood flow to increase venom absorption and it leads to poor decision making, all of which puts you at far greater risk of serious injury.

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Illustration by Ted Slampyak

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