by Den Mother – Backpacker.com
What should you do if you are bitten by a venomous snake (let’s say a rattler) deep in the backcountry? Is this when you make your peace? –Nicholas Moenck, via email
Yes, make the peace—but not with your mortality. Not yet, anyway. You need to calm down, so pray to your maker if that’ll help chill you out. Running around like your hair’s on fire is only going to pump the venom through your system faster. Ditto, rage-killing the snake. But you should try to ID it so you can get the right antivenin. This should help you relax: Fewer than five people in the U.S. die each year by snake envenomation. So, take a nice, big, deep breath. Now, check the wound. See two telltale holes on either side of the teethmarks? Those would be from the fangs. No holes, no venom. If you do have ’em, there’s no way to know how much venom you got, so may as well assume you got a little bite.