There are many options out there when buying snake protection. The hardest question can be what to buy and why to buy it. Here at Uplanders, we talk to people from Texas to Montana and Florida to California to help them figure out what snake protection is best for them.
Fit, activity, climate, size, color, style, and cost are not the only factors that help choose the best option but they are usually high priorities for those in the market. Below is information about these variables that can help you choose the best snake protection.
Chaps , Gaiters, or Boots:
Let’s start with protection area. A full protection chap, like the Turtleskin Total Protection Chaps or the Crackshot Full Protection Chapz, will give you protection throughout the length of the chap. In areas with high brush or elevation, where snakes can be higher than ground level, chaps offer added protection to the upper leg. In brush snakes can crawl to a higher level and in if you are going up a steep hill a snake on the ground will be higher than a snake on the ground on flat land. For bushwhacking through brush, chaps have added protection from brush and burs.
If you like the benefit of a full chap, but only need snake protection on the bottom of the chap, both Crackshot and Turtleskin offer a full length chap with snake protection on just the bottom portion, see the Crackshot Snake Chapz Regular Protection and the Turtleskin Knee Protection. The top of the chap still gives you protection from burs, briars, thorns, and other brush but does not have the snake protection.
A University of Florida study revealed that 85% of “legitimate” bites -meaning unprovoked- occur below the knee. Gaiters provide protection for the lower leg below the knee, generally about 16-18 inches. Less expensive snake gaiters are made out of hard plastic and PVC, more expensive gaiters are made out of high quality puncture proof fabrics. Most would agree the puncture proof fabric is cooler and more comfortable than the hard plastic but puncture proof fabric can cost quite a bit more. Turtleskin uses snake proof fabric and Crackshot use hard plastic inserts for snake protection. If covering a significant distance the gaiters can be an excellent choice.
The final option for snake protection is boots. Boots give your feet 100% protection and a portion of your lower leg. The Danner Pronghorn Snake boots are 18” tall and the Irish Setter Viper boots are 17” tall. Snake boots a more rigid than your standard boots and for that reason if your plans include covering a lot of miles snake boots may not be the best option. If however, you are going short distances they can be a great choice. Boots come in both lace up as well as slip on styles. The Danner Pronghorn Snake boots are a lace up style and the Irish Setter Viper boots have a zipper that runs on the inside of the boot for easy on and off.
No matter what option you choose, boots, chaps, or gaiters, a huge factor will be finding the right size for you. Most important part is the “right size for you”. I would NOT recommend placing a priority on the item you like and have sizing come second. If you get the wrong size comfort will be an issue and you will be very tempted to leave them at home or in the truck.
Boots are easy, Danner and Irish Setter come in standard shoe sizes, from size 8-13. Gaiters and chaps come in a range of sizes. That being said, make sure you get the right size to avoid blisters or plain discomfort from a boot that is too big or too small.
The Crackshot Snake Guardz have 6 sizes, from small that fits kids to 3XL that can fit a large adult. Turtleskin SnakeArmor Snake Gaiters come in two sizes. However, the flexibility of the Turtleskin material makes them versatile enough to fit a range of leg sizes.
Chaps from Crackshot and Turtleskin come in a range of sized for build as well as length. Both companies offer a regular and husky, as well as short, regular, and tall length.
With each option we sell here at Uplanders Warehouse, you should be able to find the correct fit.
Color can be one of the most important or least important. Depending on how you are using the boots, chaps, or gaiters. If you are hiking the color might not make a bit of difference for you, but if you are say turkey hunting the color is going to be very important.
Crackshot and Turtleskin sell a few colors for the chaps and gaiters. Crackshot has seven color options from Blaze Orange to a few camo pattern options. Turtleskin has three options, camo, sage green, and khaki. If you are a hunter looking for a camo pattern, Crackshot has more traditional patterns. Turtleskin has a unique camo pattern,it is hard to describe so take a look by clicking here.
Assuming that most snakes are in warm weather, ask yourself, “Will you be using your snake protection in a moderate or very warm climate?”
Snake boots can be warm if you are in them for long periods of time in hot weather. If you are only going a short distance snake boots might be a good choice.
In very warm climates, gaiters can be a great option. When covering a long distance in heat, gaiters will be far cooler than a full length chap. However, gaiters do not provide the same coverage as a full protection chap. The Turtleskin material is the most breathable material for snake protection and is ideal for warm weather. Crackshot Guardz, the gaiter style, is designed to allow for airflow between the leg and the Guardz to stay comfortable in warm weather.
Time in snake country:
For long distance trips into snake country the chaps and gaiters will be more comfortable than snake boots. This includes hiking or hunting. If you have a more leisure or shorter trip, take a look at the snake boots. There is no rule of thumb here, it comes down to your preference, but for activities where you are moving a lot, I would stick with the gaiters or chaps.
No matter if you go with boots, gaiters, or chaps the cost can be a HUGE savings vs. medical treatment for a snake bite. The most economical option for chaps and gaiters we have here at Uplanders Warehouse are from Crackshot. Remember, puncture proof fabric is cooler and more comfortable than the hard plastic but puncture proof fabric can cost quite a bit more. Turtleskin uses snake proof fabric and Crackshot Snake Guardz use hard plastic inserts for snake protection. Crackshot gaiters or chaps might be the best option for you, but don’t make the decision solely based on cost. Go through the options and select the best option for you. The Irish Setter Viper boots might be the best option or the Turteskin Total Protection chaps might be a better fit. Do your due diligence and pick what works best for you. If the cost is a major factor for you, having some type of snake protection will be better than none!