Anyone who lives in or traverses around snake country knows how important it is to protect your legs and feet from snake bites. For this reason, you need to follow safety precautions and invest in protective clothing, like snake chaps, to protect yourself in case you encounter live snakes.
There are different types of protective clothing to help boost your safety while outdoors. These include snake chaps, snake gaiters, leggings, and snake boots. However, snake chaps and gaiters are the most common, bringing us to the question, which one is better?
Snake Chaps Vs. Snake Gaiters: What's the Difference?
CDC research shows that at least 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes annually in the United States. While this is a big number, the total fatalities have greatly reduced, thanks to the discovery of snake anti-venom and, you guessed it, snake-proof clothing for extra protection.
This shows how important it is to watch your steps while in the snake country. Unfortunately, snakes are so good at camouflaging outdoors, so it makes it hard for you to see them at times.
Therefore, it's necessary to have full protection against the deadly fangs whether you're hunting or taking a stroll in the woods.
With that in mind, let's look at snake chaps and snake gaiters and how these clothes can keep you safe and protected in the wild.
Snake chaps are designed to be worn over your pants to offer full protection for your legs against snake bites. They are similar to other types of chaps, but snake chaps are made for wear when hunting, hiking, or touring around snake country.
Snake chaps cover the entire leg, from the ankles to the thighs, providing full protection. This ensures that the area above your knees is also protected when you wear them. Additionally, when compared to snake gaiters, snake chaps offer more protection, so they are usually preferred by hunters, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Snake chaps also have several layers of protection that can help prevent punctures from fangs and subsequent bites. Unlike regular hunting gear that may provide safety from thorns and briars, a good pair of snake chaps can help block the fans from penetrating during a snake attack.
What Are Snake Chaps Made Of?
Snake chaps are made from various materials, like Cordura nylon, heavy-duty nylon, polyester, denim, and heavy-duty ballistic fibers. The goal is to ensure that the fabric used is strong, durable, has several layers, and has a tight weave.
And when it comes to the design, you can find ones that are lightweight, breathable, flexible, comfortable, and durable. While additional security from snake bites is the main goal, you can also walk comfortably and spend long hours in the chaps regardless of the weather.
Provides full protection against a snake bite
Easy to wear
Breathable and comfortable
Protects against weather elements and water
If you find a pair made with super thick layers, it could be hard to move around comfortably depending on your activity
Image Source: razergaiters.com
Snake gaiters, also known as trail gaiters, offer protection to your lower legs from snake bites. Snake-proof gaiters are also worn over your pants, but they cover your leg from the top of your boot to the area just below your knee. These are known as low gaiters.
Conversely, high waist gaiters, also known as leggings, offer protection above your knees.
Similiar to chaps, gaiters offer additional protection against snake bites when they are designed with several layers that can help prevent snake fangs from penetrating and injecting venom when hunting or exploring outdoors. Gaiters are also adjustable to fit around your legs and shoes.
What Are Snake Gaiters Made Of?
Snake gaiters are also available in various materials, such as Nylon, Leather, Cordura, Kevlar, and even plastic. A combination of these sturdy materials is durable to protect against a snake bite and you do not have to lose out on comfort or flexibility.
Protect your legs from the ankle to the knee
Made from durable materials
Offer additional safety from insect bites, water, and weather
Comfortable for long wear
Do not provide full protection for areas above the knee
Are Snake Chaps and Gaiters Really Snake Proof?
Snake-proof chaps and gaiters can be your first line of defense during a snake attack, blocking against skin penetration from a bite.
However, although gear can be listed as snake-proof, there's still no 100% guarantee that you will be protected from a snake bite. So in addition to the right protective wear, like snake chaps, gaiters, and leggings, you should also follow the other safety protocols.
Try to stay on walking paths when possible
Avoid stepping into holes or rocky crevices
Why Do Snakes Attack?
A snake will attack you if it feels cornered or startled. Unfortunately, most incidents of snake bites occur because people accidentally step on them.
It's also important to know that not all snakes are venomous. Nonetheless, it would be best if you take precautionary measures no matter what when outdoors.
Additionally, most snakes will strike nearly 1/3 0r 1/2 the length of their body. This explains why most bites are located between the knee and ankle or on the foot. For this reason, snake gaiters and chaps are a must-have when outdoors for additional protection.
Factors to Consider with Snake Chaps and Gaiters
Now that you are conversant with the differences between snake chaps and gaiters, the next question that comes to mind is how to choose the best protection clothing. Below are a few factors you should consider before you make a purchase.
Getting the right fit is important when buying snake chaps. You want to ensure that the chaps fit you when wearing jeans or other outdoor pants. So, ensure that you get your inseam measurement and thigh thickness beforehand.
When it comes to snake gaiters, one size fits all. This is because gaiters have adjustable straps that you can tailor to your size.
2. Layers and Materials
Layers of cloth made from tough fabric, durable fabric make it harder for snake fangs to penetrate, so layers for chaps are important.
Since the layers and materials used will not be the same for all snake chaps and gaiters, you can focus on the number of layers to ensure you're getting enough protection. Ideally, snake chaps and gaiters should have at least 3-4 layers.
The outermost layer should be thick and tough material to withstand a forceful bite. The second and third layers hinder the fangs from penetrating and piercing your skin. In addition, the last innermost layer enhances comfort, making it easy to wear and take off the clothing.
For gaiters, you'll want to look for layers or thickness depending on the fabrics and materials used. For example, if plastic is the main component, you'll want to look for around 0.05-inch thickness.
3. Warmth and Breathability
The warmth and breathability of your protective clothing are especially important for comfort depending on your environment and the time of year. So if you're thinking of heading outdoors during the rainy season, waterproof chaps help keep you warm by repelling rainwater.
On the other hand, if you plan on hiking during the hot summer months, lightweight and breathable materials will be the most important to look for in your clothing.
Lightweight chaps can help ensure that no matter where your next adventure takes you it's not a hassle. Often, more layers could limit your movement and flexibility, which beats the whole reason for being outdoors.
But 420 denier nylon is one of the materials that check the lightweight, flexible, strong, and durable boxes, making it great for snake chaps and gaiters.
Stone Creek Snake Chaps
It's easy to understand why many people have a fear of snakes, but you can still enjoy the outdoors by taking smart safety precautions and by wearing the right protection.
At Stone Creek, we specialize in snake chaps and other outdoor gear to ensure you feel comfortable when enjoying the great outdoors.
You can also trust that our snake chaps are high quality since they're manufactured in the USA out of our Pennsylvania warehouse.