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 Post subject: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:08 am 
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soo i've been doing a lot of mountain biking in WV and a lot of the area's im in seem prime for timber rattle snakes and copper heads. What is the best snake bite kit out there?? do snake bite kit's work?? it would also have to be pretty small/compact to fit in my camelbak.

any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:29 am 
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Most snakebite kits are worse than doing nothing. The only one you want is the Sawyer Extractor kit. You can operate it one-handed, no cutting involved. Fits just fine in my Camelbak Lobo pack. It's pretty much universally regarded as the only snakebite kit to buy.

How well it works depends on where the bite is and how quickly you put it to use. Keep in mind you might have to shave the bite area to get a smooth surface for suction (the kit comes with a disposable razor), so time is crucial. Practice with it so you know how to use it. More than three minutes and the effectiveness is greatly reduced. In a meaty area like the calf, the venom is absorbed faster. In a bonier area like the ankle, the venom will often pool up like a blister, which makes it easier to get more of it out.


Last edited by jeepskate on Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:32 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:40 am 
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Go to Wal-Mart and buy the "Complete Bite & Sting" kit made by SAWYER. The kit can be found in the camping section. They claim to be "the only suction device proven to remove snake venom".

"An easy to use suction pump which can safely and quickly remove significant quantities of venom (poison) or irritants from bites or stings."

How does the pump work?

"The Extractor pump was designed specifically to provide the most powerful suction available to safely remove venoms and poisons. Its suction of 750 millibars is so powerful there is no cutting necessary. This eliminates using and carrying the dangerous scalpel blades or knives recommended by less effective kits.

The Extractor pump removes the poisons which cause the pain. The suction is created by simply thrusting the plunger downward using the thumb and two fingers."

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:43 am 
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jeepskate wrote:
The only one you want is the Sawyer Extractor kit.


I went to grab the kit out of my backpack and was relaying the information as you were already posting it. Great minds think a like, eh?

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Last edited by dieselenthusiast on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:51 am 
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dieselenthusiast wrote:
jeepskate wrote:
The only one you want is the Sawyer Extractor kit.


I went to grab the kit out of my backpack and was relaying the information as you were already posting it. Great minds things a like, eh?


Hah! Yep. It's the only one worth buying.

Edit: Oops, brain fart. I said in my first post that my pack was a Camelbak Mule. It's a Lobo, not a Mule.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:21 pm 
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great info thanks a lot guys. i'd like to be prepared just for a piece of mind. i really hate snakes haha..

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Well in all my wilderness survival schools I have been to all say don't use the kits just use your belt or what ever you can find as a tourniquet as quickly as possible. The suck out and cut out kits are just not worth it go buy a good compression strap if your truly worried.

This is the one I use http://combattourniquet.com/

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:16 pm 
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That's good advice, a compression strap or belt (not really a tourniquet) is a very good idea, but you need to do it right. Don't cinch it down and cut off blood flow completely.

As far as snakebite kits go, the Sawyer is the only one I've heard anything good about.

I've seen two studies that show the Sawyer extractor isn't very effective, but both studies waited three minutes before applying the extractor. The instructions with the extractor emphasize that it's very important to get the extractor on the bite as soon as possible and that after three minutes it won't be very effective. So there's agreement on that. I haven't been able to find any independent studies where the extractor was used promptly. There is apparently a risk that the extractor can increase localized tissue damage by concentrating the venom in a small area around the bite.

What it comes down to, I think, is how far you are from medical help. If I'm hours from a hospital and can get the extractor on the bite right away, I would try it. I'll take localized tissue damage over the alternative in that circumstance.

If you do a lot of travel outside cellphone coverage, the best thing you can carry is a Spot or inReach satellite communicator. I've had both. The inReach is more expensive but has better satellite coverage and two way communication so you can get confirmation that your SOS was received.


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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:29 pm 
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like i said.. i do al ot of mtn biking.. and most the time there is no cell coverage... and if i get hit with a copperhead or timber rattler 6 miles up/down/in the mountains my heart rate will be through the roof the whole way out to my vehicle... i figured it would circulate pretty quickly through my system. by no means can it be a good situation if i get bit but i'd like to be prepared the best i can. Thanks for the advice!!!

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:17 am 
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I hate snakes as much if not more than most people, but there’s not much I can do to avoid them. Living in the Southwest, I see rattlesnakes frequently when I’m out hiking or working. As a matter of fact, we saw 2 snakes today when doing a 3 mile hiking route. I typically wear boots and gaiters when I’m out hiking, hunting, cutting firewood, etc. During the summer and warmer temperatures I stay on the track for most of my jogging. One advantage that I have is the cool morning temperatures. Even in the summer, we are in the low 40’s so the snakes are pretty much out of sight.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:08 pm 
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FYI: snakebite kits are worthless... this includes the suction devices. In most cases, they just suck out plasma and extracellular fluid when used and they just give you a remedial task to do while the venom does its thing.

Please, do not put a tourniquet on yourself... that's just a bad idea.

Rattlesnakes and whatnot are generally classified as a "that sucks" kind of bite... unless you are allergic to the venom, it's just going to make for a good story and cause some pain. With the nature of rattlesnake venom and its effect on the body, any efforts to contain it to a local area will just make things worse.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:14 pm 
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I’m with Durango this this. I’m going to return my SAWYER kit to Wal-Mart. It’s too big to carry and more added weight that I don’t need.

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 Post subject: Re: best snake bite kit?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:17 am 
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I have a suction kit that I'd be willing to try, but I have little faith in it. But who knows won't hurt.
Tourniqueting is generally a no-no for snake bites, especially rattle snake bites. Their venom is a hemotoxic and directly affects the blood and tissues causing tissue necrosis. Applying a tourniquet will cause more damage in the local area of the bite due to decreased blood flow. Think of it as remaining concentrated and unable to dilute out and the cells not able to get oxygen to fight back. In the end you will be more likely to loose the appendage. Granted if you know you won't be able to get help for a day or two then maybe it would be worth it. But if you're within 6 hours or so then don't bother it'll cause more harm than good. Now if the snake has neurotoxic venom (like a coral snake) there is some research saying that a tourniquet may beneficial in prolonging the spread to your core. However, at minimum a restrictive dressing should be used for these snakes. I personally would go with a tourniquet though.
For either type of envenomation, the victim should remain as calm and relaxed as possible while waiting for definitive treatment, given plenty of water and be prepared to receive manual ventilation.

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