Put on a good pair of snake chaps, and you are guaranteed an amazing hunting adventure! This is especially true if you are going after rattlesnakes. But any rattlesnake hunting pro knows it's important to take preemptive measures against possible snake bites.
Most hunters will usually prepare themselves adequately for upcoming dangers in the wild. But if you're new to rattlesnake hunting or just looking for a few more tips, you can help stay protected from rattlesnakes and other poisonous snakes with a pair of rattlesnake chaps.
Why Are Snake Chaps A Must-Have For Rattlesnake Hunting?
While outdoor activities like hunting seem fun, dangers along the way may spoil a fantastic experience. This may arise from a thorn scratch or an unexpected snake bite.
Snake bites are not only painful but harmful, some causing death if not treated immediately. Therefore, it is advisable to carry out activities like rattlesnake hunting with protective measures in mind.
Snake chaps are the first and most important protective measures you can use while on the hunt. They can be your first layer of protection because the thick layers can help snake fangs from reaching the skin.
Are Rattlesnake Chaps Snake-Proof?
Before we answer this, it's important to understand the term 'snake-proof.' Brands use this term to describe the nature of their protective gear being made to potentially reduce the injury of a snake bite.
Snake-proof chaps do not provide a 100% guarantee from a potential snake bite. Furthermore, is it practical to assure safety in a possibly dangerous environment, especially one that has poisonous snakes?
That said, wearing snake chaps can be considered the initial line of defense against a snake bite. However, protection should not stop there. Other factors have to be considered to increase the chances of protecting yourself from snake bites.
Some chaps offer full protection, while others offer knee protection. Full protection snake chaps provide total protection on the upper and lower leg. This, of course, means a higher price point compared to others.
Snake gaiters, on the other hand, protect your legs from the ankle to the knees only. While they can still protect you from poisonous snakes, depending on your outdoor activity they may not offer all the coverage you need.
When choosing the right snake-proof chaps for use in snake country areas, it is important to consider the type of material and the number of layers it is made from. The strongest snake chaps are made of Codura nylon.
This heavy-duty synthetic fiber used in items such as military clothing, backpacks, and luggage, paired with a rugged nylon construction, will guarantee you strong and durable chaps.
The more layers the snake chaps are made of, the more protection you have against poisonous snakes. Therefore, making sure the size fits is crucial. If possible, take measurements of yourself to determine better the right size of snake chaps to wear. For example, the length of the chaps needs to be 2-3 inches shorter than your regular pants.
Waterproof and water-resistant snake chaps are also your go-to if you'll be hunting or hiking in rainy weather or during morning hours when the grass is wet.
Finally, you want to go for snake chaps that have been field-tested. Knowing that your chaps have been tested on live snakes or a force mimicking a snake bite will give you additional comfort.
What Other Gear is Important for Rattlesnake Hunting?
1. Snake Gaiters
As we mentioned previously, snake gaiters can help protect the area between your trousers and boots. They are made of strong material that runs like a cut sleeve with an attached loop on the bottom to strap under your boot easily.
The gaiter covers the entire length from the ankle to the knees. They are particularly used for hiking but have since been considered an additional layer of protection against potential snake bites.
Gaiters have adjustable straps to tighten or loosen against your pants, depending on how comfortable it fits. Typically, gaiters act as a shield against moisture, whether hiking through wet terrain or snow, enhancing breathability. Therefore you are guaranteed protection against snake bites on your ankles, feet and lower leg.
The fewer types of gaiters you can find in the market are:
i). Ankle gaiters
Ankle gaiters are the most common type you will find. Running from the ankle, they protect the uppermost part of your shoes to the bottom of the trousers. Ideal for any hiking activity, they are lightweight in nature and often used along dry trails and in moderate weather conditions that are not very harsh or wet.
ii). Mid-length gaiters
As the name suggests, the mid-length gaiters protect the entire lower leg area between the knees and the ankles. They measure between 8 to 12 inches and are best applicable to keep road trail debris and rain out of your boots.
iii). Full-length gaiters
Measuring around 15 to 18 inches, they offer extra protection to your lower leg. Mainly designed for rugged conditions, the full-length gaiters have water-resistant fabric
2. Snake Tongs/Hook
After snake chaps, these have to be one of the most important rattlesnake hunting accessories or gear. A pair of tongs is required to grab, hold and transfer the snake into a restraining tube.
The main advantage of using snake tongs is that they help you handle snakes from a safe distance to avoid being bitten. This is made possible by the long handle, usually made from either stainless steel or aluminum alloy.
On the near side is a pistol grip that connects to a wide jaw on the far end using a metallic string like a bicycle brake cable. You can squeeze the handles to shut the jaws through it, holding the snake firmly to lift them off the ground.
Additionally, snake hooks are good for holding by the underbelly, allowing you to use the other hand to grab the tail. Experienced rattlesnake hunters prefer the latter.
3. Snake Restraining Tube or Sack
This long transparent tube with a lid on one end is useful in determining the sex and length of the snake. It is also advisable to have a cooler box for storing snakes, as it also helps in calming their nerves.
Gloves ensure that you avoid direct contact with snakes. This has to be on top of your list for beginner rattlesnake hunters, as you may experience a phobia of handling live snakes.
Leather gloves will also come in handy when hiking through rainy weather conditions and thorny bushes.
5. Heavy Boots and Thick Socks
A pair of boots made from thick leather or heavy-duty rubber offers more protection than regular shoes. However, since some of the snake bits can still penetrate rubber and leather, it is advisable to pick boots that have been labeled 'heavy-duty' because of their added thickness.
Thick socks inherently offer additional comfort, which is important for ensuring that your foot stays in place.
How to Wear Snake Chaps
4 Steps to Wearing Snake Chaps:
Undo the zipper to open up the chap
Step through the top opening, sliding the chaps over your jeans/pants
Use the adjustable strap to attach the chap to your pants by the belt or belt loop.
Close the zipper on each leg all the way down
Additional Rattlesnake Hunting Tips
Wearing snake-proof chaps doesn't guarantee you complete safety. Therefore, taking other necessary precautions is key to staying protected.
The tips below will help ensure your safety when rattlesnake hunting.
1. Avoid Bushy And Tall Grass
This goes without saying, but snakes typically like to hide near old structures, under rocks and grassy vegetation. Therefore, it is advisable to stay on clear paths and trails because snakes like to stay hidden.
If you have to walk off the trail, grab a stick to help you probe and scan the ground ahead of you
2. Use Snake Chaps Together With Additional Safety Material
This means combining a good pair of snake chaps with other clothes that enhance protection. A pair of denim jeans offer better protection than regular trousers or sweat pants. While flexibility is important, safety is key.
3. Learn About Snakes in Your Area
Educating yourself is crucial to understanding the snakes' behavior in their natural environment. In addition, learning the difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes will help you anticipate situations better when hunting.
Rattlesnakes tend to rattle their tails as a warning. However, the major difference between venomous and non-venomous snakes is that the former leaves two fang bite marks on contact while the latter four.
It is good to preempt in the event of a snake bite. If a snake bites you, immediately call 911 or visit the nearest hospital. It is advisable to position the bitten part of the body below or at the heart level. In addition, get rid of any jewelry or tight clothing on that part before the swelling starts.
Note that placing ice on the bitten part of the skin won't help. So is attempting to suck out the venom. While waiting for help, it is recommended to stay calm.
For this reason, it is prudent to review first aid tips for snake bites before embarking on a hunting spree.
Learn More About Stone Creek Snake Chaps
We value your safety at Stone Creek, so we work extra hard to produce quality hunting gear. The chaps are made in our Pennsylvania warehouse here in the U.S.A, so you are assured of their protection and quality.
Stone Creek rattlesnake chaps are made to be durable, comfortable, and lightweight. We ensure that chaps worn by every customer fit easily on the legs, from the belt to the knees.
So, visit our online store to get yourself a pair of chaps or talk to us directly by calling 814-627-2316 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In addition, visit our blog page to learn other important tips for rattlesnake hunting, including why professional adventurers swear by rattlesnake chaps.