Snakes terrify many people unnecessarily. They are really more afraid of us than we are of them. Seriously folks, they are not lying in wait for human flesh 24/7. Unless startled, snakes rarely strike out and sink their sharp teeth into the skin of equally startled people. However, snake bites do happen, and it is far better to learn how to deal with such wounds now instead of waiting until after you can't call 911.
Last summer some very young copperheads were swimming in the shallow water next to a bank where my trusty horse Ruby stopped for a drink. The watering hole was down a narrow embankment and had only enough room for a few horses to water at a time before moving along up the other side and back onto the trail.
Thankfully, my Ruby did not notice the tiny copperheads. Another horse and rider were making their way down the slope after I saw the baby snakes, and several more were lined up for their turn as well. I whispered the word, "copperheads" as calmly as possible without moving Ruby's head a single hair. I told the other riders to back up, and they did so with as much speed and quiet as they could muster. Click here to read the rest of my survival first aid for snake bites report for Survival Based.