These boots are awesome. They look like hiking boots on steroids. They are tall—coming up to just below his knees. They lace up in front and also have a zipper on the side for easier access. They are made of a material that snakes cannot bite through and are also waterproof. The camouflage strips on the sides make them very stylish in a backwoods kind of way.
Boo used to carry a golf club with him when we walked, for protection. Then he made himself a stout walking stick out of a shovel handle which he wrapped with rope at the top to make it easy to grip. But when we got to South Carolina the second time, he somehow found out about snake boots…the ultimate protection against snakes. So we found a store that carried them and he bought a pair.
In the US, only about 5 people die of snakebite per year. Included in these 5 are people who keep venomous snakes as pets, people who attend rattlesnake roundups and hold the snakes, wildlife researchers who handle venomous snakes as part of their jobs, pest control workers who remove snakes from their hiding places, and religious snake handlers who are proving their faith. Oh, and trying to kill snakes greatly increases your chances of getting bit.
The truth is that snakes don’t want to be accidentally stepped on by us any more than we want to accidentally step on them. I have been doing a little research on snakebites. I found a great article by Andrew M Durso called Life is Short but Snakes are Long, in which he compiled data from 100 different sources. He claims that more than 1 in 20 people in the United States have a pathological fear of snakes. And he says this is unfounded.
Boo is afraid of snakes. He has never actually seen a snake in the wild (unless you count common garter snakes) although he thinks he heard a rattlesnake once. We have spent a fair amount of time walking in “snake-infested” areas in South Carolina and Florida and the closest we have come to seeing a snake was when a woman in our campground claimed her dog had just chased one into the bushes. We looked around the area (cautiously) and never saw it.
How We Roll
And he strides confidently through piles of leaves where snakes might be blending in with their surroundings. It’s still been cold here though, so snakes are most likely not out much, being cold-blooded and all. The true test will come when the weather warms up. Naturally, Boo now volunteers to go first on trails, so I am protected too. Woot, woot.
In the course of my research I learned another interesting fact. Lots of snakes “dry bite” if they are biting in defense. “Estimates for dry bites range from 8% to 80%, with North American rattlesnakes, one of the best studied groups, injecting venom only 20-25% of the time when biting in defense, compared to more than 99% of the time for predatory strikes.” The point is, snakes conserve their venom. They need it for killing their food. This comes from a scholarly paper on the subject of snakebites if you would care to read it.