Do Snake Gaiters and Snake Chaps really work?
I'm often asked, "Do Snake Chaps and Snake Gaiters really work?". Without hesitation, I answer "Yes - yes, they do". Most snakes can strike as far as 1/3 to 1/2 of the length of their body, which generally lands most snake bites between the ankle and the knee or on the foot. Likely, the second most common snake bite strike zone would be the leg, between the knee and thigh. These are the areas where Snake Chaps and Snake Gaiters focus their bite protection.
Truth be told, fatalities from Snake Bites in the United States are becoming more and more rare. That's largely in part due to accessibility of anti-venom. Other factors, no doubt, also play a role in that statistic including; education about preventing bites, the ability to treat snake bites in the field with the use of kits and tourniquets along with.... protective clothing.
I once met a Forester who was bitten about 8" above his knee by a Copperhead Snake in Arkansas while cruising timber in the woods. Obviously, he survived - which is the foremost goal of course. However, he talked of indescribable pain, weeks in the hospital and nearly a year of rehab to make a recovery. Needless to say, he is a huge advocate of Snake Bite Protective Clothing now. In my opinion, the question everyone should be asking is "If I could invest a small amount of money to save myself from the possibility of months of pain and recovery, why wouldn't I?"
While you can actually be bitten on the arms, hands and even the face, these are less common and most often come from people handling snakes. Snake Gaiters and Snake Chaps aim to protect the legs and feet of those who inadvertently step on or too near a snake. I've honestly never heard of a snake chap or snake gaiter failing to protect. That doesn't mean it hasn't ever happened. However, all snake clothing we carry is tested for performance and from reputable manufacturers whose products have proven success in snake bite protection.
Please note: Most manufacturers do not make the claim their products are Snake "Proof", only Snake "Resistant", with the exception of one brand... Crackshot Corporation does claim and market their products as Snake Bite "PROOF" and each pair is backed by a $1 million product liability policy, In 26 years, they've never had a claim against that policy. Otherwise, there are many types of Snake Chaps and Gaiters offering different levels of protection, some which have an adjustable fit, and some that are so lightweight, they feel like you're wearing absolutely nothing. I always advise folks, whether they wear a snake gaiter with metatarsal (top of the foot) protection or not, always wear a good pair of thick boots or even snake proof boots if you're so inclined. If you decide to make this purchase, please check out our selection of snake gaiters and chaps here.