As you would have deduced from my last post, I upgraded my day pack. As I was moving my essential day hiking equipment across to the pack I thought I should go through my first aid kit. It was a good thing that I did as my emergency supply of pain killers was out of date, some of the bandages were worst for wear, the safety pins were rusted and the suncreen tube was empty.
So I went to the chemist to buy some replacements. I noticed a dedicated snake bite bandage for pressure immobilisation which has an indicator to show the correct tension required. I ended up buying the bandage as I thought it could be used for a variety of emergency situations. I've been fortunate over my life, I've stepped on a snake on two occasions and avoided being bitten. Both times the snake (copperhead) appeared as shocked as I was and we darted off in different directions. I should point out that the incidents occurred whilst working on a farm, moving livestock to another paddock. I always hate that feeling after sighting a snake, it makes me so hyper-alert for the rest of the day (not necessarily a bad thing). Perhaps New Zealands absence of snakes is why I like hiking there so much?
Here's an interesting statistic, the actual number of people who die each year from snakebite is pretty low, according to wikipedia around 28 deaths in Australia over the last decade. In 2019, there were 1415 deaths as a result of Melanoma, so I'd say carrying a tube of sunscreen is perhaps more of an essential item than a snake bandage. A broadbrim hat and longsleeved shirt are also high on my list for summer outings as is plenty of water and a water filter.