Camping & snakes

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Russell Coight
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Hi All,

I'm building up gear for solo camping in my local bush reserves, but I'm curious how people prepare for snakes in summer? I'm in regional Vic so in winter we are snake free (as far as I can tell :O) but in summer it turns into snake city.

When I read some of the old posts here, it sounds like people only come across snakes every so often, but I've had summers where I come across multiple snakes a day. Maybe it's because my bush reserves are small (3 to 5 Km wide) so they have less space to escape to. I MTB ride so I've had a few close calls, usually I can stop in time but I've ridden over them when going too fast. My experience so far has been to stop, back away and eventually they move on. I've never been chased by one or seen them get aggressive, but I could be lucky.

Much as I hate the idea, I think from now on summer is going to be cargo pants and boots instead of shorts and runners. I'm curious how you all prepare your camp sites though, some of you sleep on the ground under tarps without much protection. I'm planning to use a hammock but I'm sure they can climb if they want to. My guess is to clear the area you want to sleep in for the night, avoid camping near logs, grass and water. Lighting a fire I'm guessing wards them away, but we get plenty of fire ban days.

They seem to mostly want to get away from us, but I wonder if that changes when we are sleeping and still. The army sleeps with hoochies so it mustn't be a major issue, but I'm curious what other's experiences have been.
 

Le Loup

Rüdiger Nehberg
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Hi All,

I'm building up gear for solo camping in my local bush reserves, but I'm curious how people prepare for snakes in summer? I'm in regional Vic so in winter we are snake free (as far as I can tell :O) but in summer it turns into snake city.

When I read some of the old posts here, it sounds like people only come across snakes every so often, but I've had summers where I come across multiple snakes a day. Maybe it's because my bush reserves are small (3 to 5 Km wide) so they have less space to escape to. I MTB ride so I've had a few close calls, usually I can stop in time but I've ridden over them when going too fast. My experience so far has been to stop, back away and eventually they move on. I've never been chased by one or seen them get aggressive, but I could be lucky.

Much as I hate the idea, I think from now on summer is going to be cargo pants and boots instead of shorts and runners. I'm curious how you all prepare your camp sites though, some of you sleep on the ground under tarps without much protection. I'm planning to use a hammock but I'm sure they can climb if they want to. My guess is to clear the area you want to sleep in for the night, avoid camping near logs, grass and water. Lighting a fire I'm guessing wards them away, but we get plenty of fire ban days.

They seem to mostly want to get away from us, but I wonder if that changes when we are sleeping and still. The army sleeps with hoochies so it mustn't be a major issue, but I'm curious what other's experiences have been.
I mostly camp in winter Boogers, so as you said, no snakes. However, this may change due to anthropogenic global warming & climate change. The winters here in the New England area are getting warmer, & we are not seeing any snow now. I am an 18th century living historian, so I camp using 18th century clothing, equipment & methods. As a woodsman I wear leather leggings & moccasins. The moccasins have higher flaps which wrap around my ankles & go underneath my leather leggings. This gives me more protection from snakes when walking. To date I have never had a snake in my bed, not even when I lived in the Territory, but we had King Browns in the house, one in my son's cot one time & we had one in the caravan bedroom one time.
I have no solution to keeping snakes out of one's bedroll Boogers.
Regards, Keith.
KH 1700 equip (6).JPG
 

Askew

Ray Mears
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No suggestions for keeping snakes out of your bedding, but get yourself a compression bandage(if you don't already have one) and practice putting it on.
 

Kindliing

Lofty Wiseman
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Hi All,

I'm building up gear for solo camping in my local bush reserves, but I'm curious how people prepare for snakes in summer? I'm in regional Vic so in winter we are snake free (as far as I can tell :O) but in summer it turns into snake city.

When I read some of the old posts here, it sounds like people only come across snakes every so often, but I've had summers where I come across multiple snakes a day. Maybe it's because my bush reserves are small (3 to 5 Km wide) so they have less space to escape to. I MTB ride so I've had a few close calls, usually I can stop in time but I've ridden over them when going too fast. My experience so far has been to stop, back away and eventually they move on. I've never been chased by one or seen them get aggressive, but I could be lucky.

Much as I hate the idea, I think from now on summer is going to be cargo pants and boots instead of shorts and runners. I'm curious how you all prepare your camp sites though, some of you sleep on the ground under tarps without much protection. I'm planning to use a hammock but I'm sure they can climb if they want to. My guess is to clear the area you want to sleep in for the night, avoid camping near logs, grass and water. Lighting a fire I'm guessing wards them away, but we get plenty of fire ban days.

They seem to mostly want to get away from us, but I wonder if that changes when we are sleeping and still. The army sleeps with hoochies so it mustn't be a major issue, but I'm curious what other's experiences have been.
you can get one of the Australian army box type mosquito nets that can hang from the tarp line as a basic starting point .And tuck it under your mat.


for the hammock you can get a big cocoon that surrounds the hammock and has a zip. Some hammocks have the net attached of course these days some don’t.
Been seeing a few cheaper ones lately online.
I recently bought a hammock bliss one I think it was if my memory is right.

I sleep better knowing that they’re kept out , and mosquitoes , ticks , centerpedes and all that stuff too.
 

Boogers

Russell Coight
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I mostly camp in winter Boogers, so as you said, no snakes. However, this may change due to anthropogenic global warming & climate change. The winters here in the New England area are getting warmer, & we are not seeing any snow now. I am an 18th century living historian, so I camp using 18th century clothing, equipment & methods. As a woodsman I wear leather leggings & moccasins. The moccasins have higher flaps which wrap around my ankles & go underneath my leather leggings. This gives me more protection from snakes when walking. To date I have never had a snake in my bed, not even when I lived in the Territory, but we had King Browns in the house, one in my son's cot one time & we had one in the caravan bedroom one time.
I have no solution to keeping snakes out of one's bedroll Boogers.
Regards, Keith.
The leggins and moccasins look really good, they look like they should stop a bite. It sounds like snakes are more a problem when they end up in our homes than out in the bush. I've been wondering about them coming out on warm days too, they started appearing very early last year for me, though slow and groggy.

you can get one of the Australian army box type mosquito nets that can hang from the tarp line as a basic starting point .And tuck it under your mat.


for the hammock you can get a big cocoon that surrounds the hammock and has a zip. Some hammocks have the net attached of course these days some don’t.
Been seeing a few cheaper ones lately online.
I recently bought a hammock bliss one I think it was if my memory is right.

I sleep better knowing that they’re kept out , and mosquitoes , ticks , centerpedes and all that stuff too.
Yeah I got a bugnet with the hammock when I saw they existed, I'm gonna practice setting it up this weekend and see how it closes up. It should do the job, just gotta watch out getting up in the night to water the plants. I guess I would hang my boots from the ridgeline inside the net at night. I don't have compression bandages though, that's something I should pick up, the technique to wrapping the limb sounds a bit tricky though; you need to get the right amount of pressure.
 

Kindliing

Lofty Wiseman
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The leggins and moccasins look really good, they look like they should stop a bite. It sounds like snakes are more a problem when they end up in our homes than out in the bush. I've been wondering about them coming out on warm days too, they started appearing very early last year for me, though slow and groggy.



Yeah I got a bugnet with the hammock when I saw they existed, I'm gonna practice setting it up this weekend and see how it closes up. It should do the job, just gotta watch out getting up in the night to water the plants. I guess I would hang my boots from the ridgeline inside the net at night. I don't have compression bandages though, that's something I should pick up, the technique to wrapping the limb sounds a bit tricky though; you need to get the right amount of pressure.
Re: the gaiters , everyone probably has their favorites .
I like my highlander Xtp. Nice and loose for snakes and not like other tight ones I have had that cause sweating .
 
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Le Loup

Rüdiger Nehberg
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I will add that in my experience snakes are not fond of a stick littered forest floor, they like the lower levels with grass. They don't mind rocks so much, but I have never found any where there is a stick littered floor. This undoubtedly has something to do with the way they move, but also most of their food will be found in wetter greener areas such as the bottom of the valleys & along creek banks & around ponds.
Keith.
 

Kindliing

Lofty Wiseman
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I will add that in my experience snakes are not fond of a stick littered forest floor, they like the lower levels with grass. They don't mind rocks so much, but I have never found any where there is a stick littered floor. This undoubtedly has something to do with the way they move, but also most of their food will be found in wetter greener areas such as the bottom of the valleys & along creek banks & around ponds.
Keith.
went to take the dogs for a swim before,
Got to the water hole heard a rustle and there was a brown snake which slithered fast into the water , which ended the plans and left .

last weekend 2 snakes on the road,
A few weeks ago we came across 1 in long grass.

suppose snakes don’t take much time off up here.
 

Mozzie

Richard Proenneke
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We have been camping for years had lots of close encounters, always make sure we are in clear areas if ground campng, extra carefull if near creeks or water soaks, not worried if in hammocks but never leave shoes or gear on the ground. No matter the weather will always be Aussie snakes kicking around. Just be savvy that they are there even if you can't see them.

Here is a video of a python sliding under the hammock and through camp

 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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I'll second the gaiters - gaiters and pants or gaiters and shorts.

I'm not deliberately noisy, but I don't make an effort to be silent. Sometimes I clap a bit when walking through tight bush … to give snakes a chance to get away

Always use a light when moving around camp at night - I never used to bother until someone shon a torch at night when we were up North. All of a sudden I could see the snakes ...

Here are some videos I've linked in the past about pressure immobilisation (No Affiliation to any of these, but I do like their kit design)

and

These are the bandages I like (No affiliation)
 

Wentworth

Bear Mears
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I wear gaiters, but given the sewing machine needle had no trouble going through them, not so sure mine would stop a bite. They keep the lower legs from getting scratched up when wearing shorts at least
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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I wear gaiters, but given the sewing machine needle had no trouble going through them, not so sure mine would stop a bite. They keep the lower legs from getting scratched up when wearing shorts at least
Yes, gaiters are NOT snake proof at all, they are usually designed to prevent debris, scratches, mud, water and snow.

But many snake bites are shallow, or "dry", and on some occasions snakes end up biting clothing fabric, rather than the person.
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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Hi Keith, was your Son in the cot when the King Brown slithered in, and if so, how on earth did you get rid of it?
Wayne
 

Randall

Rüdiger Nehberg
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I've seen snakes in the bush, and despite what many people say, they haven't been bothered by me at all. If anything they were curious. I have seen the same with goannas, just wandering through camp at their leisure. I imagine it is because they haven't come across people, so don't know to fear us. I used to swag all the time in the kimberlys, and never gave it a thought. Hot days and cold nights - snakes seek out warmth, which is why some people have found them in their swags :ROFLMAO: The stories I've heard all involved the occupants lying still and waiting - what else could you do? One dude, a ranger in the Bungles, only ever slept in the back of his ute when I knew him - he was one of those who shared his swag with a snake :ROFLMAO: - he never used a swag again. Stock men there would stuff their socks into the top of their boots to keep out spiders and scorpions but not worry about snakes. I think a hammock would be good - they're not actually out hunting us so they would have no reason to climb up. You can always get a bog standard tent that zips up and keeps insects out - that's my routine, mainly because I hate mozzies.
 
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MisAdventure

Russell Coight
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Hi Kieth,

I hike and regularly see snakes over summer whilst I'm hiking, but they tend to move on pretty quickly. Only ever had one rear up as if to strike, nearly stood on two others, but after May they always start to settle down with brumation. I've heard of one being under someone's tent floor once, but generally I think they stay away from humans.

I wear decent gaitors while hiking because having another layer can't hurt.

As others have suggested, pack your swag up safely during the day and you should be okay.

I don't think venemous snakes will climb - certainly Taipans don't.

While it's possible you could end up with a snake under your mat and sleeping bag/tarp, I think it's unlikely. :)
 

Boogers

Russell Coight
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It sounds like, apart from unfortunate swags, no one has had bad experiences.

I practiced setting up the hammock and bugnet and it's fairly easy, you could hang boots from the ridgeline and stuff them with socks too.

We're pretty lucky we don't have bears and big cats, snakes seem much easier to deal with :O
 

Kiwisailor

Les Stroud
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It sounds like, apart from unfortunate swags, no one has had bad experiences.

I practiced setting up the hammock and bugnet and it's fairly easy, you could hang boots from the ridgeline and stuff them with socks too.

We're pretty lucky we don't have bears and big cats, snakes seem much easier to deal with :O
Contrary to popular belief, we do have predator cats here in NZ.

I saw a cougar at the local drinking hole last night....
 

Randall

Rüdiger Nehberg
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It sounds like, apart from unfortunate swags, no one has had bad experiences.

I practiced setting up the hammock and bugnet and it's fairly easy, you could hang boots from the ridgeline and stuff them with socks too.

We're pretty lucky we don't have bears and big cats, snakes seem much easier to deal with :O
yes, those in bear country have to haul their food up with a rope over a branch about 3m or more off the ground. Here in tassie at altitude I've had marsupial mice chew holes through my tent to get at food inside. One cheeky f***er came and sat on my boot while I was still swearing at the discovery. I've had to punch a wombat trying to barge it's way into the tent (very ineffective) and got woken once by a wallaby pawing at my face through the side of the tent - I suspect it could smell the food too. Photo from the hut at Mt Eliza :ROFLMAO:

IMGP3984.JPG
 
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