Snake Bite: What To Do First

Snake Bite - What To Do First
Snake Bite – What To Do First

So, you have been bitten by a snake! No one wants to be put in such a situation! Rather than crying and feeling self-pity, you should be quick on your feet. With this, in the rest of this post, we will quickly have a look at some of the best things to do after a snake bite. These things will be critical for your survival in a life and death situation. You might not realize it, but some snakes have venoms that could kill you in a matter of seconds!

Stay out of the Site

After being bitten by a snake, the first thing that needs to be done is to get out of the site. Chances are, the snake is still there and can worsen the situation. Compose yourself and stay as calm as possible. If you panic, you won’t be able to act in your best interest. Look for a safe place and ask for help.

Remove Tight Clothes and Accessories

In most instances, a snake bite can lead to swelling. With this, once you are in a safe location, take care of anything that could be constricted when swelling occurs. Your first aid kit for a snake bite should contain scissors that will make it easy to cut accessories and clothes for the part with the snake bite to breathe when it starts to swell.

Clean the Wound

The next thing that you have to do is to clean it. You need to have the right tools to be able to do it. Avoid flushing it with water. At all times, do not cut or open the wound, especially if you do not have medical knowledge. It would be best to clean it with water and an antibacterial soap. Avoid using soap with harsh chemicals and alcohol as this can only lead to irritation.

Cover the Bite

After cleaning the snake bite, you should not leave it open as it can be exposed to external elements that could result in an infection. Allow the surface to dry after cleaning and cover it with a loose and sterile dressing. Do not cover it if the wound is still bleeding.

Execute the Pressure Immobilization Technique

This is one of the most effective ways to deal with a snake bite, specifically if it is in the arm or leg. It uses both pressure and immobilization to prevent the venom from affecting the other parts of the body, which is possible as it slows down the lymphatic flow. You will need to have a bandage that will restrict the flow of the venom.

Follow Up

Once first aid has been given, a medical follow up is necessary. For instance, if you have been camping in the forest, it would be best to cut the trip short and visit the nearest hospital where you will be given medical attention. This way, a doctor can provide precautions and medications to make sure that the venom won’t incapacitate your system.

type of water snakes

florida water snakes

You may want to see: Best snake repellent – How to Keep Snakes Away

Vital Extreme Cold Weather Gear for Outdoor Sleeping


Extremely cold temperatures do not mess around, so you cannot either when it comes to cold weather sleeping preparation. You need to be prepared as much as you possibly can to survive your night’s sleep in freezing conditions.

Protection against a cold environment calls for the necessary gear to get you in and out alive. The following gear puts the warmth straight back into you and keeps it there throughout the night. These eight categories contain all the essential items and measures you need to take to survive this type of outdoor sleeping.

Before you embark on such of an expedition, make sure you brush up on or learn basic survival skills in freezing conditions. Sleeping in sub-zero conditions can seriously injure or kill you – especially if you do not have the right equipment or knowledge.

Water

First and foremost, your body needs plenty of hydration to accomplish anything and operate smoothly. Without it, you can call your sweet night’s sleep goodbye. Keep water as your number one priority throughout your venture.

Be sure to get an insulated double-wall container – such as a 64-oz. growler with filtered water. Since you will most likely finish the water that you brought from the start of your journey, bring a water filtration system as well. Then, you can convert river water, ice, or snow to your much-needed water reserve.

Food

You need food. Period. For your metabolism to keep running properly, well-planned nutrition is essential to keeping your body warm.

While in freezing conditions, focus on bringing foods that will generate heat for your body: ginger root, hot soup, onion, oats, beans, and tree nuts store them in airtight containers, to avoid getting wet when exposed to water or spilled. Aim to achieve serving the food as warm as you can possibly handle it because the thermal nature of the food will heat your body.

Avoid extremely cooling foods such as bananas, lettuce, tomato, and drinks with ice. These foods are designed for high-heat climates or circumstances to cool the body down. Your entire goal to get a good night’s sleep is to stay warm.

Fire

While camping in the frigid wilderness, you will already be accustomed to gather appropriate materials to start a fire for warmth. If you do not know how to start a fire in regular conditions, do not attempt to go outdoor sleeping in extreme cold weather.

When you are ready for fire starting, bring a few matches and a lighter just in case one or the other checks out of service. Lookout for dry brush, leaves, and thin sticks to start a burning ember. Then, add more dry wood accordingly to the wind and environment conditions.

Just in case, bring an emergency fire starter kit if you come across an unexpected situation of restricted access to basic fire-starting materials.

Multi-Tool

A Swiss Army knife or other useful multi-tool is a vital part of any backpacker looking to forgo a bitter-cold night. It will help preparing brush for the fire, fixing other gear, preparing food to eat, and a plethora of other situations you might find yourself in to prepare for the night.

You also might need to skin an animal you hunted or descale a fish you caught with it. It is small, compact and is designed to be your best sidekick in extreme weather conditions.

Shelter

If possible, invest in a tent or at least a bivy sack to get you through the long night of sleeping. Find a tent or sleeping bag with an insulated pad to place over the hard, cold ground. At night, most of heat escapes you by way of the ground underneath you. A well-place insulated pad can be the difference between life and death.

Furthermore, having a shelter that you can set up easily and quickly can save you from spending precious time and energy building a snow wall or snow cave.

Insulation

If you get the basic water, food, and fire gear sections down-packed, keeping yourself warm using the classic greenhouse effect is the extremely vital to your sleeping survival.

A heavy insulated jacket, multi-insulated sleeping bag, wool socks, waterproof and steel toe boots, thermal underwear, fleece mask, wool beanie, and wool gloves are your best bet for keeping the heat within that you worked so hard to generate. Invest more in these items because the heat that is keeping you alive is the heat your own body cultivates. So, keep it close, and keep it hot!

Navigation

In today’s technological age, it is easy to think GPS first; but, have your primary method of navigation as a physical map. It won’t lose battery when you need it the most and it will not freeze. You may fall asleep and may not recognize where you left off on your route. So, to counter this, mark the spot where you are before you fall into your snooze.

Of course, bring a compass and GPS as well. But, primarily use the compass and map in tandem, and store away the GPS as a last reserve for way-finding.

First-Aid Kit

We never expect when we may get hurt. Especially preparing for and during a freezing night. A first-aid kit is a critical component to this list. It can be easily overlooked as something to not be that concerned about, but it could be your largest chance at life when you need it the most.

Make sure your first-aid kit at least contains gauze dressings, bandages, tweezers, anti-bacterial wipes, a reflective blanket, and a flashlight with working batteries for your night out. These items are always handy helping you out of several predicaments.

Summary

Feel free to take notes of this list and read it several times before you have a deep understanding of what gear it takes to survive a night out in the freezing cold. Sleeping in frigid weather is not an undertaking for the faint of heart, so be sure in yourself before you set out on your voyage.

Warm food, clean water, fire creation, a Swiss Army knife, insulated clothing and shelter, dependable navigation, and an emergency kit are all necessary to prepare and successfully carry out night in the dark, unforgiving cold. To always have a sharp knife a knife sharpener is suitable for you when going camping see more here.

Trail classification

General information

Gunung Agung BaliPlease note that this classification is based on guidelines for difficulty assessment set by the Swiss Alpine Club difficulty and is generally suited for mountain areas.The rating given on each volcano or mountain is based on the most difficult section found along a trail. For example a relatively short ascent and as such a very easy climb to the summit might have one short section of perhaps only 10, 20 or 50 meters that requires very special skills or can pose a potential risk such as a very steep rock face, or a steep forested section that can be very slippery and muddy when wet. In this case the classification is based on this particular section.However we will make every effort to highlights these critical areas and recommend possible alternative routes. Overall the hike is straight forward and an easy “walk” V2, however due to this one critical section the mountain gets a V3 or even a V4.

Forested and vegetated areas

Batukaru BaliForested and with it lower areas in general are easier to conquer and offer less hazards. The woods protect from sudden weather changes, strong winds and sun shine and normally offer even track conditions and with it better holds. Paths are mostly well defined and orientation is easy.

Volcanic rocky upper sections

Gunung Agung BaliAlpine areas are posing the hiker greater difficulties. Exposed sites, boulders and debris, remoteness, high altitude, the possibility of rapid weather changes and often-pathless routes that may change depending on conditions and time of the year are all factors that make up alpine regions. Even to the experienced mountaineers we recommend to keep a lot of respect for these mountains, which as any other high altitude mountain pose potential risks for the careless.

 V1: Easy:

Kelimutu floresTrail well cleared, area flat or slightly sloped, no fall hazard.

Often secured by hand rails; steps lead up to higher sections

  •  No special equipments are required
  •  Walking or running shoes are sufficient
  •  No physical demand
  •  Always bring a rain coat and a warm jacket

 

V2: Moderate:

Gunung Butak JavaTrail well defined with continuous line and balanced ascent

Terrain not too steep, often across rocky sections, or up a forest across roots. Lower sections across farming areas on well defined trails. Fall hazard possible.

  • Hiking shoes recommended
  • Some sure footedness
  • Previous hiking experience recommended
  •  Some physical demand

V3: Advanced

Gunung Agung BaliExposed sites may be secured with ropes or chains, possible need to use hands for balance. Here it gets steep and rocky. The steps up and down get higher. In higher sections one might have to make ones way across steep rocky sections, making it essential to secure each and every step. Accidental slips will result in falls and injuries are easily possible

Gunung Ebulobo Flores

  • Good hiking shoes essential
  • Well sure-footed
  • Hiking experience recommended
  • Some ability for terrain assessment
  • Physical demandin

V4: Demanding

Gunung Rinjani LombokTerrain very exposed. Here it can get dangerous. Often steep sections over loose surface. Steep terrain in forests can be very slippery when wet. It is always advisable to carry a rope for additional security. The path often is not well defined, and can become extremely difficult to find during sudden weather changes.

Gunung Agung Bali

  •  Good solid hiking boots essential
  • Familiar with exposed and often steep terrain
  • Able to assess terrain
  • Prior hiking experience essential
  • No fear of heights
  • Physical very demanding
  • Local guide highly recommended
  • Always keep sudden weather changes in mind

 

V5: Critical difficult

 

This is a multiday adventure where one conquers well over 2000m altitudes. The trail includes every aspect of Indonesian mountaineering. Starting in low altitudes across vegetable plantations, then into and up often very steep forested sections. Then further up across very jagged rocky lava fields where it is difficult to locate a track. In these sections there are often very challenging passages that require hands and ropes are advisable for additional security. High altitude camping obviously will require additional gear and as such will mean additional weight in your backpack and as such physical demands rise. For comfort we highly recommend to employ a local guide who will often also carry most of your gear.

Gunung Semeru Java

  • Good solid hiking or mountaineering boots essential
  • Familiar with exposed and often steep terrain
  • Reliable assessment of terrain
  •  Prior hiking experience essential
  • No fear of heights
  • Physical very demanding
  •  Local guide highly recommended
  • Always be prepared for sudden weather changes

Best Equipment for Trekking Indonesia’s Volcanoes

A word of caution

As with any other adventure into remote parts of our magnificent planet it is absolute crucial to keep a few simple basic points of survival in mind. This to be able to bring home lots of photos, memories, and stories that you can tell all your loved ones. Here are a couple essential points to check before heading into the harsh wilderness of Indonesia’s spectacular volcanoes.

Guide

Never climb without a local guide. He knows the trek inside out and will bring you safely back even if the weather turns bad on you. These delightful humble locals will become an incredible source of local information and tales and at the same time will carry your heavy back bags.

Hiking boots

Just as with any other mountain do not attempt a climb with your running shoes. Good shoes will offer additional grip in loose gravel, and protect your ankles. Never use new boots, something everybody seems to know and always bring a spare pair of good quality socks. Ignorance of these basic rules will result in a rather painful and most unpleasant experience and can shorten the life span of your new shoes drastically.

Warm cloth

Most visitors to Indonesia believe that the warm, humid tropical climate will follow you all the way to the top of a mountain. Wishful thinking!!  Setting up camp at an altitude over 2500 meters during the later part of the afternoon is often an incredible memorable moment as sun sets have to be among the most powerful and colourful ones anywhere. You always have a very small pocket of a few minutes when nature is transformed into an incredible orange. However the moment the sun sets the temperature will drop quickly down to the freezing point and this requires very warm clothing. Always bring a change of two or three t-shirts and preferable warm thermal underwear, a jumper and a good jacket that will protect you from the often-torrential winds. I always bring a second pair of socks, a warm hat to cover my ears as well as a pair of claves that I will also wear on the way down. That way I can hang on to bushes to slow me down and whenever I slip and fall, which always happens, they protect my hands from injuries, well sort of as my broken little finger proves the opposite.

Raincoat

As on any other mountains the elements can change incredibly quickly; one minute you bask in the sun and a minute later a horrific thunderstorm seems to appear from nowhere. What works best for us is a heavy – duty raincoat as used by the armed forces. They are big, well, a little heavy but easily cover a large surface including your backpack. They are normally not too tight allowing comfortable hiking. There large size and durability have in many instances made a perfect shelter for our guides who normally spend the night next to a fire trying to keep warm.

Fluid

Always check with your guides on the availability of water, as it is crucial to stay well hydrated. Keep in mind some of the ascents will take up to 8 hours or even longer and that you will stretch your physical strength to its absolute limits. Just as with any other endurance sports you will need to replace an incredible amount

of fluid. If not done, then the first symptoms of dehydration are an uncomfortable headache, which very quickly results in fatigue and drowsiness. Go by the same rules given to us by race doctors when I cycled several times across the Simpson Desert in Central Australia. Drink a lot, water is the best and make certain you have plenty of bathroom stops, or in our case bush or rock stops.

Tent

If you decide to spend a night close to the summit, then it is absolutely essential to bring a good quality tent that is water proved and resistant to torrential winds. Remember that after sunset the temperatures quickly drop into the low tens and it becomes unbearable to sit for too long in the open. Yes your guides will mostly look after a rather large fire throughout the night to keep them reasonable warm. I always feel sorry for these poor porters as they hardly ever bring anything warm to protect them from the chill and the elements. No socks, no shoes and mostly only a thin jacket are just about all for their protection. Some cut grass as a mattress, a sarong, and a simply rice bag as a sleeping bag accounts for just about all their belongings. I feel guilty when we crawl into the small tent, which within a few minutes warms up to a comfortable 16 to 18 Celsius. Then a high tech thermo mat on the floor, next snuggle into an equally high quality sleeping bag, which will be the guarantee for a comfortable warm night. Warm certainly it is always but unfortunately we find it extremely difficult to sleep at an altitude over 2500 meters. Most nights are rather restless turning from one side to the other and waking up every 15 minutes. Strangely enough and to our total dissatisfaction the only time we seem to fall into deep sleep is when time arrives to get up and head off for our final ascent to the summit.

Hand phone

Please keep in mind that many of these hiking adventures will take you into very remote, and often seldom-visited parts of Indonesia. Therefore make certain prior to your departure to inform friends or contacts of your intentions to climb a particular volcano, this together with an indication when you expect to be back. Always bring along a fully charged hand phone which in emergencies can be a vital link to the outside world. Often we are totally astonished when our guides started to call or text their friends and loved ones from the most isolated places.

Permits

Many volcanoes are in the centre of national parks and to climb them requires a permit, which can be obtained at ranger or national park stations. In order to get these essential permits, Indonesian bureaucracy requires detailed personal information. As such it is wise to always carry several copies of your ID card, passport, driving license, pass port photo, and if possible the same of your friends and relatives. The more you can show, the easier it seems to get these essential documentations. Enter these offices always with a few packets of local cigarettes, and be prepared to spend some time negotiating a reasonable price. Here it helps greatly if you already have hired a guide prior to entering the office as you can ask him to organize the permits. Often all this paperwork seems to be a waste of time, but then again this paperwork can be your life saver in emergencies.

First Aid Kid

Make certain prior to your departure that you check your basic first aid kit, not only for content but also for the quality of the medication. For many years I simply picked up my little bag with all the essentials and never actually checked the inside. Then one nice day after wearing a new pair of boots for my journey I developed massive blisters that needed attention. Then when I opened my little bag, and  I found that the antiseptic lotion had dried up and the plasters would not stick to absolutely anything. There is no need to bring a large medicine bag but a few essentials to look after cuts, bruises and most often blisters.

Fitness

Unfortunately far to many people completely underestimate the size of Indonesia’s volcanoes and mountains. Europeans think that the Alps are the only place with high peaks, and often back packers rave about their adventures in the Himalayas. Keep in mind that on many volcanoes you will need to conquer at least 2000 altitude meters, which is substantial. I have not many friends back in Switzerland that ever climbed a mountain starting their hike at 1000 meters and end up over 3000 meters. In most cases a cable car ride offers a comfortable alternative for the first part of the journey. Please be honest and ask yourself how much you actively exercised during the past 12 months. If the answer is nil, then you better marvel at the volcanoes from a distance and do not attempt a climb. How often have we heard that one served in the elite forces in the British army, or have taken part in an ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert or survived to Kokoda trek in the jungle of Irian Jaya? Unfortunately all this was in the past and we ended up in several instances carrying these elite talkers back down the mountain side. Many of these volcanoes and mountains are extremely challenging on your endurance and will become torture, especially on the way down. If however you are reasonable fit, then each and every adventure will become an exceptional memorable journey.

GPS

Even with guides, there is absolute no guarantee that they will find the way through thick fog, especially in higher rocky sections. In these areas it takes so little to come off route and consequently it is almost impossible to find your way back safely, unless you record your way on a GPS which then will bring you precisely the same way back as you came. Furthermore the recorded trek can then later be uploaded on Google Earth for future reference.

Head light

A good quality headlight and spare batteries are absolute imperative if you hike at night through thick forests. The same light is also of great use when spending long hours in the tent plying cards and waiting for the early morning hours.

Back pack

Beside my obligatory camera bag with rain cover I keep all my gear in an 80 litre back pack that stores all the camping gear as well as food provisions. This pack weighing around 16 – 18 kg fully loaded is normally carried by our guides. Then I bring a second smaller back bag that I personally carry which contains all the essentials for en route. Raincoat, change of t-shirt, warm alpine felt jacket, hat gloves and then of course some snacks and plenty to drink. Here it is worth to spend a little extra money for good quality. Ensure they are fitted out with a rain cover.

Various

10 meters of strong rope always always comes in handy. Perhaps as a cloth line to dry your wet clothes, or when you have to build a shelter with your raincoats, or even as a safety line in difficult passages.3×4 meter tent cover made from water proof materials. Again this can be used as a shelter or as an additional cover on the floor  should the ground be wet. Light weight sleeping bag for a temperature range between 5 – 10 Celsius. A pair of thongs come in handy around your camp site. They allow you to take off your boots and give your feet time to recover from the strenuous passed hours of hiking. I remember one hike to the summit of Gunning Tambour when I would have paid a fortune for a pair of thongs, when I was on route in my brand new army hiking boots that caused blisters the size of small steaks. Then a light weight adventure towel for the well deserved shower after returning from the mountain. A good quality camp cooker keeps your spirits up as they make it easy to whip up a feast of flavours even at higher attitudes. A hot coffee in the morning or perhaps a cheese fondue at night will add a bit more twist to your already great adventure. Last but not least and very  important is a good stock of tissues which come in handy when nature calls. As water is always in short supply a few wet tissues can work wonders. Then just as in the army never leave home without a pocket knife for which there is always a need. Emergency whistle and a small mirror to be heard and hopefully seen in a serious situation. Always handy is an oversize plastic bag, big enough for the back packs to fit in, as well as smaller plastic bags to carry back all your garbage.