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Spooning with a Snake

I like sleeping under the stars. Is the fabled "rattler joins camper in his sleeping bag" tale at all a meaningful risk?

Question:

I like sleeping under the stars. Is the fabled "rattler joins camper in his sleeping bag" tale at all a meaningful risk?

Submitted by - Peter, Monument, CO

Answer:

I’m pretty sure, but not positive, that at least one rattler has slithered into a sleeping bag already occupied by a human. I’m pretty sure no one was hurt. Sure, it could happen—but I believe it is highly unlikely. And I also think a wide ground cloth under your bag would discourage snakes since it provides a surface they are not used to crawling across.  —Buck

1 Comment

  1. Luke

    Despite other posts here, if bitten DO NOT cut. 999 times out a 1000 a rattlesnake bite won’t kill you but the infection you expose yourself to and tissue damage resulting from cutting can cause major complications. Infection can kill you. Do not suck out the venom as you’re risking it getting into your circulatory system through any cuts in your mouth. The snakebite extraction kits are not recommended anymore. They can also cause tissue damage. DO NOT apply a tourniquet, but rather a compression bandage. Tourniquet’s are not recommended for anything these with the possible exception of a completely severed limb. There has been no medical proof that tourniquets offer any help whatsoever with regards to snakebites. They can cause major damage to tissues which are deprived of oxygen and can lead to gangrene, which can be fatal.

    If you don’t believe me contact your physician, anyone with a WFR, EMT, outdoor school, or do some research using current sources.

    If bitten. Take a picture of the snake so the professionals can identify the species. Wash the wound with water and apply a pressure bandage. Do not elevate. Keep the bitten area below heart level to decrease speed of the spread of venom. If you are in cell-phone range and you have one, call for help and stay put. Moving will only spread the venom around more quickly.

    One thing is for sure, get to a hospital ASAP.

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