While the estimates differ, on average there are 3000 snake bites a year in Australia. These bites result in approximately 500 visits to the hospital and at least two deaths. Brown snakes have highly potent venom and are the leading cause of snakebites in Australia, followed by the tiger snake and the red-bellied black snake.
The majority of Australians are aware of the basic tips for avoiding snake bites, such as not handling snakes, and stomping when they walk to create vibrations, however, sometimes a snake can be so well camouflaged that you do not see it until it is too late. The best way hikers and workers can reduce their risk of becoming a statistic and being bitten by a snake, is to invest in a well-made, comfortable pair of snake proof gaiters.
1. First and Last Line of Defence
Based on the chaps worn by cowboys and horse riders to protect their legs from unseen hazards, snake proof gaiters protect the ankles and legs from snake bites. If you are an avid hiker, or you work in the outdoors, a well manufactured, comfortable pair of snake gaiters should be viewed as an essential part of your kit and the first line of defence against snake bites.
If you have a hobby or occupation that brings you into close contact with snakes then PPE (personal-protective-equipment) really is the only option. You wouldn’t ride a motorbike without a helmet or weld metal without a mask so why go into snake habitats without gaiters? Handling deadly snakes in a pair of khaki shorts may have worked for the late, great Steve Irwin, but for me personally; I’ll take the low risk option, thank you very much!
2. Affordable Safety
Some people may cringe at the idea of buying another expensive piece of equipment to add to their work or hiking gear, but comfortable, well-made gaiters are not as expensive as you may think. A pair of Australian made and developed snake proof gaiters will cost as little as $149 (includes shipping and GST!). A small price to pay to improve your safety in the Australian outdoors. The snakeprotex gaiters will last a long time and are proven to be bite proof. If you’re still umming and ahhing, go ahead and check out the video showing a snake handler wearing a pair of these gaiters and letting a red-bellied black snake strike his lower leg over and over. You can view the short video here.
3. Additional Benefits
If you’ve spent any time in the Australian bush, you’ve already had the ‘pleasure’ of dealing with spear grass, cobblers pegs, prickles and the seemingly endless list of plants and weeds that scratch or irritate the skin around your ankles and lower legs. Wearing gaiters give the added benefit of protecting you from these irritations and giving you a more enjoyable experience while traversing the outback.
As well as protecting you from snake bites, gaiters provide a number of additional benefits. If you are trekking through muddy terrain, then gaiters can help to keep the mud out of your pants and boots. The same applies if you are working in sandy terrain. They can also help to keep the rain out of your boots ensuring your feet stay dry.
To find out more about snake gaiters, or to order a pair of Australian made snake proof gaiters, contact our expert team at Snakesaway.