By The Outdoors Man, May 26 2015 07:28AM
On a recent mediterranean trip, our avid outdoors man Michael stumbled across a very poisonous viper. This viper is native to the Med, as well as further afield in the Middle East, and the entire experience really shook him up. Fortunately, he received extensive training in his earlier years regarding snakes and spiders, and he was able to walk away from this encounter unscathed. But we wanted to put together a list of things that you can do to avoid a bite, or at least stand the best chances of survival if the worst was to happen to you.
If there's one thing that the Mediterranean is known for in the summer, it's the scorching heat. The heat makes it very tempting to wear short sleeved shirts and a pair of shorts. The truth is that just a simple protective layer of clothing is often more than enough to deter sharp fangs - but the thicker the better. Consider wearing boots with metal toe-caps, as well as combats or at least jeans. They can be loose if you prefer, in fact looser may be better - especially if a snake decides to strike as the extra wrinkles can take the bite and stop the snakes' fangs from breaking your skin.
Avoid Low Trees
In the heat, it's not uncommon for poisonous snakes and spiders to nest around the base of low trees. The low tree provides enough cover from the direct sunlight, as well as protection from predatory birds that use taller trees as vantage points. If you need to find shade, be sure to check the ground area properly using a stick rather than your hands. Between May and June, most spiders and snakes will be mating - and some may even have laid their eggs by this point. If you go anywhere near these locations; you'll be greeted by an incredibly aggressive animal, so steer clear at all costs.
If there's one thing that's guaranteed to trigger a response in snakes and spiders - it's fast movement. If you happen to come across a nesting parent, or a snake on its' travels, then be sure to stand entirely still. Don't shout, stamp or make any fast movements. Take a deep breath, gauge the situation and then retreat slowly. If possible, allow the snake to continue its journey as you remain in place. Snakes need direct sunlight for energy, so they'll often sit atop rocky outcrops, or within fields with stones. Just make sure to watch your step and listen for hissing from a few yards away to avoid the risk.