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Posted: 7/23/2013 7:40:23 AM EST
I am frequently hiking on trails that are prone to rattlesnakes, and I have been working on some lower leg protection ideas (nothing new). I always keep an eye out for snakes, heavy walker, tapping with walking stick, etc., but I am a fast hiker and had a very lucky run in with a rattler recently that is making me reexamine my sheit.

My first purchase was the Chippewa Snake Boots ($250), which offered full protection from the knee down. These boots were very comfortable from the start and the upper was 10oz of leather which they claim is good protection from a snakebite, however after doing two 5 mile hikes my feet had blistered horribly. Because your foot slides into the snakeboots, I had to get a size larger to allow my foot to fit in the boot, which caused a lot of movement behind my achilles, etc and caused blistering. I returned these for a full refund from Takken Shoes on Amazon Prime... highly recommend this vendor if you are looking to get these boots. I love the Chippewa boots, they are just not for MY application of active hiking.



I am currently on my second attempt at snakeproof hiking utopia. I purchased Turtleskin gaiters for knee to ankle protection.



So here is what I am thinking, I am going to pair the above gaiters with either:
1) 4" hiking boots that have 10oz leather upper or in the toe area
2) New Balance running shoes - Plan A - glue and stitch together a bunch of leather and wet-form it around my New Balance shoes to give me protection with the comfort of running shoes. It would be a temporary shoe cover for when I hike and can be easily taken off once I make camp.
3) New Balance running shoes - Plan B - in a similar manner to Plan A above, but use Kydex to form around my shoes.

I am able to do #2 and #3 but would love a suggestion for a good hiking boot that has a 10oz leather upper to offer some protection.

Some of you may remember my dinner thread and Big Sur/Redwoods trip (not where I need snake protection)

Link Posted: 7/23/2013 7:49:26 AM EST
Gaiters and hiking boots should be fine.

Your absolute BEST protection will be to keep your eyes pealed and understand the habits of rattlesnakes, their typical habitat and times of activity.

Stick to the basics, avoid tall grass if you can, don't step over logs/rocks if you can't see what's on the other side, etc.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 7:52:29 AM EST
I have snake boots, pants and chaps. I use the boots for short distances in the swamps. Hate the pants. For hunting where hiking is excessive I use the chaps and a mountaineering boot like this:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/asolo-titan-gore-tex-mountaineering-boots-waterproof-for-men~p~75878/?filterString=mens-mountaineering-boots~d~305%2F&colorFamily=70

These worked quite well in the knee high grass of the Central Coast area by Vandenberg. I do not think they are "technically" snake rated, but when I compare the leathern thickness and rigidity to snake reted leather boots the mountaineering boots blow them out of the water.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 7:55:05 AM EST
When you come up with tick and chigger proof hiking I want to know
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:09:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 9:08:33 AM EST by navvet89]
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Originally Posted By Makarov:
When you come up with tick and chigger proof hiking I want to know
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I use a combination of deet (for mosquitoes) and permanone/permethrin (for ticks) on my hunting clothes, no problems from any insects while wearing the above and I typically turkey hunt in a hardwood swamp.


I use a pair of heavy waterproof goretex leg gators over waterproof goretex boots for snake protection.

eta to clarify: heavy nylon with goretex liner
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:11:14 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Laramie:
Gaiters and hiking boots should be fine.

Your absolute BEST protection will be to keep your eyes pealed and understand the habits of rattlesnakes, their typical habitat and times of activity.

Stick to the basics, avoid tall grass if you can, don't step over logs/rocks if you can't see what's on the other side, etc.
View Quote



Yep I already mentioned being aware of the basics you stated. At the time of my encounter, I was looking for snakes and I still walked up on one and had it between my legs as I hiked. I ended up jumping with both legs off the trail and the snake struck where my back foot was a moment before.

Would love suggestions for good hiking boots with a thick leather, etc upper. :)
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:14:23 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:



Yep I already mentioned being aware of the basics you stated. At the time of my encounter, I was looking for snakes and I still walked up on one and had it between my legs as I hiked. I ended up jumping with both legs off the trail and the snake struck where my back foot was a moment before.

Would love suggestions for good hiking boots with a thick leather, etc upper. :)
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Originally Posted By Laramie:
Gaiters and hiking boots should be fine.

Your absolute BEST protection will be to keep your eyes pealed and understand the habits of rattlesnakes, their typical habitat and times of activity.

Stick to the basics, avoid tall grass if you can, don't step over logs/rocks if you can't see what's on the other side, etc.



Yep I already mentioned being aware of the basics you stated. At the time of my encounter, I was looking for snakes and I still walked up on one and had it between my legs as I hiked. I ended up jumping with both legs off the trail and the snake struck where my back foot was a moment before.

Would love suggestions for good hiking boots with a thick leather, etc upper. :)


You forgot one important piece of gear...CAMERA! Arfcom loves rattlesnakes.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:21:18 AM EST
You get bit a lot?
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:25:45 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Laramie:
Gaiters and hiking boots should be fine.

Your absolute BEST protection will be to keep your eyes pealed and understand the habits of rattlesnakes, their typical habitat and times of activity.

Stick to the basics, avoid tall grass if you can, don't step over logs/rocks if you can't see what's on the other side, etc.
View Quote


FPNI, again.

Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:26:47 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:

Yep I already mentioned being aware of the basics you stated. At the time of my encounter, I was looking for snakes and I still walked up on one and had it between my legs as I hiked. I ended up jumping with both legs off the trail and the snake struck where my back foot was a moment before.

View Quote


Then you weren't looking hard enough.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:27:49 AM EST
Carry around hundreds of mice to throw down. According to GD, snakes are the only solution. They'll be so distracted you'll be safe.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:32:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 8:36:05 AM EST by ripcurlksm]
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Originally Posted By 74novaman:
Then you weren't looking hard enough.
View Quote


I 100% agree, I suck at it, hence the extra pro

Here is a baby rattler from last week... no rattle. The last snake I almost stepped on a few months ago was ~4'



Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:34:54 AM EST
Back on topic

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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Would love suggestions for good hiking boots with a thick leather, etc upper. :)
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Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:36:55 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:45:29 AM EST
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Originally Posted By cowboy:
I've used gaiters with tall hiking boots in the past with good results. They get HOT though, especially in humid Arkansas summers. It was not uncommon for me to have to change socks multiple times a day trying to keep dry.

View Quote


Yea I can imagine you might not want waterproof boots either, my snakeboots I posted above were waterproof and after a day of hiking, I took them off and dumped out a few shotglasses worth of foot sweat.

What boots did you wear cowboy? Someone posted gortex earlier, I think I want to shy away from this for something more hearty (guessing)
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:45:45 AM EST
I have a pair of these: http://tongs.com/snakeguardz-1.aspx. They fit nice, appear to be durable, and are light weight, but they sure make you sweat! After my brother got bit by a diamondback and seeing the agony he went through I wear these anytime I am working in the fields.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:46:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 8:47:55 AM EST by Rogueco]
I have a buddy who swears by these "Snake Guardz" - thingys. Not sure his are this brand, but same principle. He had gators for a while, but he likes these better, as you can wear them a little loose for better air circulation when it's hot.



Link

ETA: Dupe by 1 minute!
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:51:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 8:51:51 AM EST by ripcurlksm]
Thanks for the last two posts guys... these are very similar to the gaiters I posted as well.... Now I need hiking boots to wear UNDER them for foot/toe protection. Can you suggest any hiking boots with a leather 10oz upper?
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 8:52:10 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:01:34 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:


Yea I can imagine you might not want waterproof boots either, my snakeboots I posted above were waterproof and after a day of hiking, I took them off and dumped out a few shotglasses worth of foot sweat.

What boots did you wear cowboy? Someone posted gortex earlier, I think I want to shy away from this for something more hearty (guessing)
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Originally Posted By cowboy:
I've used gaiters with tall hiking boots in the past with good results. They get HOT though, especially in humid Arkansas summers. It was not uncommon for me to have to change socks multiple times a day trying to keep dry.



Yea I can imagine you might not want waterproof boots either, my snakeboots I posted above were waterproof and after a day of hiking, I took them off and dumped out a few shotglasses worth of foot sweat.

What boots did you wear cowboy? Someone posted gortex earlier, I think I want to shy away from this for something more hearty (guessing)


GoreTex is a liner on the inside of the boot. It allows the body to breath and expel that trapped moisture. If you get a chance, go to a place like REI and check out a mountaineering boot and see for yourself how tough they are.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:31:40 AM EST
Rocky makes a very comfortable pair of snake boots
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:42:14 AM EST
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Originally Posted By chadjetlag:
Rocky makes a very comfortable pair of snake boots
http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u318/chadjetlag/9a40b9caff759d3a5b7553b994d0ced1_zps787822c0.jpg
View Quote


Do you own these and have you hiked long distances in them without issue? I had read a few reviews on these about blisters. And part of me is thinking that boots this high naturally create a lot of achilles/heel rubbing, which is why I am looking for a shorter boot, possibly. Please advise!
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:48:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 9:49:37 AM EST by bluduk15]
Those turtleskin gaitors you have in the OP are great, very protective, very tough. Apparently, they use that fabric for safety clothing for workers who use very high pressure waterjets, sandblasting, etc.

It has one big drawback--it's not breathable at all. I wear them on the outside of my pants when hunting in the desert for protection from cactus, thorns, etc. It's only comfortable in the winter, and I still get sweaty under the gaitors.

They are flexible and don't restrict hiking and climbing. One other minor annoyance is that the front protective flap tends to move off the top of your foot as you walk, sliding to the outside. There is no understrap that goes under your boot to keep it in place.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:50:58 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:


Do you own these and have you hiked long distances in them without issue? I had read a few reviews on these about blisters. And part of me is thinking that boots this high naturally create a lot of achilles/heel rubbing, which is why I am looking for a shorter boot, possibly. Please advise!
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Originally Posted By chadjetlag:
Rocky makes a very comfortable pair of snake boots
http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u318/chadjetlag/9a40b9caff759d3a5b7553b994d0ced1_zps787822c0.jpg


Do you own these and have you hiked long distances in them without issue? I had read a few reviews on these about blisters. And part of me is thinking that boots this high naturally create a lot of achilles/heel rubbing, which is why I am looking for a shorter boot, possibly. Please advise!


Yes, I own a pair and hike a lot carrying bowhunting gear. No blisters and good ankle support.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:52:54 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:


Do you own these and have you hiked long distances in them without issue? I had read a few reviews on these about blisters. And part of me is thinking that boots this high naturally create a lot of achilles/heel rubbing, which is why I am looking for a shorter boot, possibly. Please advise!
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Originally Posted By chadjetlag:
Rocky makes a very comfortable pair of snake boots
http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u318/chadjetlag/9a40b9caff759d3a5b7553b994d0ced1_zps787822c0.jpg


Do you own these and have you hiked long distances in them without issue? I had read a few reviews on these about blisters. And part of me is thinking that boots this high naturally create a lot of achilles/heel rubbing, which is why I am looking for a shorter boot, possibly. Please advise!


I have a set and they do cause me problems in the heel. I only wear them on short hunts where little walking will happen. My wife uses a set also but has no problems. She also has a more normal foot. My feet are narrow which could contribute to the problems. I will say If I found a set that did fit me well I would use them much more often.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 9:54:35 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 10:15:33 AM EST
If you run into any snakes that can bite thru these you need to stay out of the woods.

Alico New Guide Mountaineering Hiking Boots

Link Posted: 7/23/2013 10:32:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:11:27 AM EST
They are a 3mm upper leather. The Chippewa boots were 4mm.

Thats pretty good so far
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:15:34 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:20:52 AM EST
Almost all hiking boots are thick enough to deflect rattlesnake bites.

There aren't many places in the US I would bother with the gaiters. One of the places I would is the SoCA coastal grasslands, shit tons of snakes and thick enough grass that you can't see them.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:28:25 AM EST
I wear socks, they work fine for the alaskan snakes.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 11:32:48 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Windustsearch:
Almost all hiking boots are thick enough to deflect rattlesnake bites.

There aren't many places in the US I would bother with the gaiters. One of the places I would is the SoCA coastal grasslands, shit tons of snakes and thick enough grass that you can't see them.
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Thanks for the tip. I find it ironic that I am covering my feet in something that fangs were designed to penetrate

The majority of my adventures are in heavy chaparral
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 12:33:43 PM EST
What happened to the old fashioned idea of juice cans between your socks and your pant legs?

I never tried it, because I never needed to, so maybe it's bulshit.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:01:34 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Him:
What happened to the old fashioned idea of juice cans between your socks and your pant legs?

I never tried it, because I never needed to, so maybe it's bulshit.
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Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:11:06 PM EST
Gokey makes snake boots in leather and Cordura (the ones in the middle).



they're designed for hunting, which in my experience is hiking punctuated by bangs.

Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:16:09 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Makarov:
When you come up with tick and chigger proof hiking I want to know
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Take it from a surveyor… this stuff works!

Spray your boots, socks & pants the day before, let it dry (you don’t want it on your skin right out of the can, this is NOT bug spray)

http://www.forestry-suppliers.com/product_pages/View_Catalog_Page.asp?mi=5997
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:23:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 1:40:54 PM EST by ripcurlksm]
Ok so I spoke to Danner and their Light Hiker II boots have a 3.2mm leather upper and are a pound lighter per foot than the Alico Guide boots posted above
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:41:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By callgood:
Gokey makes snake boots in leather and Cordura (the ones in the middle).

http://www.orvis.com/orvis_assets/prodimg/09E8HH.jpg

they're designed for hunting, which in my experience is hiking punctuated by bangs.

View Quote


I agree! However I tried a boot of similar style and had no luck
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:46:40 PM EST
Hey question for you!

I am interested in those Turtleskin gaiters.

Do you know if they fit a large calf? I am 6'5, 300 Lbs.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:47:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 1:58:54 PM EST by OnlytheTip]
More people get bitten when they sit down to relax and put their hands on the ground or near rocks, usually a more comfortable sitting place than the ground itself. Snakes love sunning on rocks during dusk and dawn. Like previously mentioned, watching where you are walking is your best bet, but checking where you choose to relax is job number 1.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:49:32 PM EST
Snakes? I live in Eastern WA,/Desert area, loads of Rattle snakes, I wear trail runners and use my trekking poles to move the snakes off the trail..
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 1:49:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 9:50:13 AM EST by Him]
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Originally Posted By OnlytheTip:
More people get bitten when they sit down to relax and fut their hands on the ground near rocks, usually a more comfortable sitting place than the ground itself. Snakes love sunning on rocks during dusk and dawn. Like previously mentioned, watching where you are walking is your best bet, but checking where you choose to relax is job number 1.
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I know a guy who got bitten three (3!) times, by rattlesnakes, while stepping over logs.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 2:46:15 PM EST
I just got the XL turtleskin gaiters in the mail, I am 6'5" and 240lbs and it fits over my pant legs with room to spare around my calves.

I think I am set on trying the Danner boots
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 2:55:39 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
I just got the XL turtleskin gaiters in the mail, I am 6'5" and 240lbs and it fits over my pant legs with room to spare around my calves.

I think I am set on trying the Danner boots
View Quote


Cool thanks!!!!
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 2:59:45 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Ok so I spoke to Danner and their Light Hiker II boots have a 3.2mm leather upper and are a pound lighter per foot than the Alico Guide boots posted above
View Quote


Make sure they are the boots with lots of padding 1/3" or so, or that they are leather. Those hiking low top "shoes" they sell these days don't have enough. A snake can easily put a fang through a thin layer of gortex, which many of those have.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 3:23:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 3:23:53 PM EST by ripcurlksm]
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Originally Posted By Windustsearch:


Make sure they are the boots with lots of padding 1/3" or so, or that they are leather. Those hiking low top "shoes" they sell these days don't have enough. A snake can easily put a fang through a thin layer of gortex, which many of those have.
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Originally Posted By Windustsearch:
Originally Posted By ripcurlksm:
Ok so I spoke to Danner and their Light Hiker II boots have a 3.2mm leather upper and are a pound lighter per foot than the Alico Guide boots posted above


Make sure they are the boots with lots of padding 1/3" or so, or that they are leather. Those hiking low top "shoes" they sell these days don't have enough. A snake can easily put a fang through a thin layer of gortex, which many of those have.


I think I may have posted the wrong boot, here is what I was looking at


http://www.amazon.com/Danner-Mountain-Light-II-Outdoor/dp/B002OSY04S
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 3:26:05 PM EST
Those should be great if they are comfortable for you. Might want to try them on first if possible.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 4:37:38 PM EST
We just do a couple wraps of chicken wire. Cheap, flexible, and keeps snakes out.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 7:27:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/24/2013 7:28:04 AM EST by ripcurlksm]
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Originally Posted By thehellbringer:
We just do a couple wraps of chicken wire. Cheap, flexible, and keeps snakes out.
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