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Hey there, so I'm finally at a job that will have a combination of office time and fieldwork but since that means trekking around on undeveloped land for environmental reports, I'm looking for something to help protect again brush and possible snakes. None of the gaiters I've seen on the REI website mention snakes, just keeping debris out of footwear and occasionally protection against rock/ice. Would love to know if those would be comparable/applicable for this use! I have hiking boots and would likely wear jeans or hiking pants, but am reluctant to just buy super heavy duty pants as Texas summers don't match well with thick layers.
I wear 6.5-7 shoe with a very slim build so that also somewhat limits what I can buy - many places cater mainly to men for this sort of gear and would be too big on my calves.
Hey @Megan! That sounds like an awesome job you have! Unfortunately we don't have any gaiters that are rated for snakes. It will offer more protection over nothing though! I thought this Outside Magazine article was a good read about snake bite protection.
Here are some great options for those hot Texas summers:
Looks like with your shoe size you will need a size small according to most of the size charts. Also, here is a great Expert Advice article that might help narrow down exactly what you want in "How to Choose Gaiters." Hope that helps and best of luck with your job!
Your best defense against snakes are high top boots. Most snake bites on people who are upright and fairly low on the leg. Of course, high top boots are not ideal for hot weather either.
Your best defense is care in moving through brush. A trekking pole is useful, placed periodically in your front, especially near suspicious brush clumps. Stay alert, especially during the cool morning hours.
My eperience from similar jobs in Arizona brushy terrain....
Thank you @REI-EllisB for the great info on size and fit! I also read the article on materials. Unfortunately the REI article you linked only makes references to fit and keeping the elements out of your shoes; snakes are not mentioned a single time and when scrutinizing the REI products, they all look pretty thin which is too bad.
@hikermor - Yep, I was hoping to stay away from tall, hot, stiff boots if possible. I have leather winter hiking boots but they aren't over my ankle by a whole lot and I'd prefer to wear my fabric, more breathable summer hiking boots if possible. Going to see what other options I can find!
Also, wanted to include a quick reminder that even though you posted your question on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, you may get ideas and suggestions from community members who are not REI employees. Just know that our employees will show up with a title of "REI Employee," "REI Community Moderator" and/or "REI Community Manager."
Other options are available: https://www.forestry-suppliers.com/Search.php?stext=snake%2520proof&key=BP2&msclkid=418b8a3898281ca9...
These and other comparable products are helpful, but nothing beats careful movement and awareness in snake country.
REI unfortunately an't carry everything...