PREPARDNESS - SCORPIONS AND SNAKES
The precautions for sharing wild areas with wild creatures are all based on common sense. Research carefully before venturing into any unfamiliar wild areas to determine what dangerous wild creatures may be present. The list of inhabitants will vary from place to place, but in most areas will at least include insects and rodents. Of more concern are snakes and scorpions. Bites from some species of scorpions and many snakes can be lethal to humans. Bears, foxes and the big cats, under the right conditions, can be a threat to humans as well.
Make camp in full daylight and always in a clear area. Never turn over rocks to see if anything might be hiding underneath - you might not need to know. Always take boots and clothing into the tent at night. Anything left outside the tent must be thoroughly and carefully examined before using. Scorpions love to invade hiking boots. In the morning when packing the tent look for scorpions clinging to the underside of the floor where they have sought the warmth of the human bodies inside the tent. When you see a scorpion or a snake it's best to leave it alone and stay away - they usually will scurry away when they first see you.
In the Sahara the horned viper is one of the desert's most venomous snakes. It uses the classic side winding motion to travel across the sand. American deserts are home to the venomous rattlesnake. Leave them alone and stay away.
If bitten by either a snake or scorpion and you cannot receive immediate medical help it was recommended to us that we wash the bitten area with soap and water and then apply a firm but NOT tight bandage approximately three inches above the wound and if possible keep the affected area above the level of the heart. The older traditional method, which is now discontinued, was to make a small incision and attempt to squeeze as much blood as possible from the wound. This method has been discontinued due to possible infection of the wound site. Suction kits which draw out the venom without making an incision should be taken into any areas where poisonous snakes or scorpions could be encountered.
Preparedness is the brother of survival.
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