Okay, your first response is “duh, you get bit by a snake so you call for help. Some sage advice.” Or perhaps it was “your phone won’t work in the wild so it’s worthless. Also some sage advice.”
Sure, it’s nice to be able to call for help when you need it, but there’s more to it than that. And your smartphone can help even if you can’t get reception.
Warm spring weather brings out the snakes, so here are 6 ways your smart phone can help in case of a snake bite:
Okay, yes, if your phone works use it – but not to call your girlfriend, mother or best friend. Being bitten by a poisonous snake is serious business. Dial 911.
TAKE A PHOTO OF THE SNAKE
No, not a selfie (click here to see what happened when one guy did). A picture will allow identification of the snake. If it’s not a poisonous snake, that’s good to know. If it is poisonous, then you better get serious.
Different snakes have different venoms and are treated with different anti-venoms. If you have reception you could email the photo into medical providers so they are ready. If you don’t it’s still good to have the photo on the phone to show doctors when you arrive.
There is a good online snake identification source at TrailQuest. By the way, DO NOT try to kill the snake to get its picture. You would be surprised how many people get bit a second time trying to do this. Not helpful.
USE YOUR PHONE’S LOCATION FEATURES
There are a number of apps people can use to locate you via your phone. These would be especially useful if help needs to find you – especially if you pass out.
Android’s Find my Friends app is free (not to be confused with Apple’s Find My Friends app for iOS). Google’s social networking service, Google+, offers the ability to share location.
Each of the four major US wireless providers offers its own particular Android app or service for keeping an eye on loved ones. All four feature a number of free services and individual options tailored to the user; paid features come at a monthly premium. Worth checking out if you’re in the woods a lot.
If you have to wait for help, it would sure be nice to be able to tell rescuers exactly where you are.
Even if you have no reception, many navigation apps will work anyway, since they are using the GPS satellite system. Maybe that will help you find the best and easier route out, if you have to do it on your own. One thing for sure, you don’t want to be both snake bit and lost. That would be bad.
FIRST AID ADVICE
Even without reception, you can still review the Red Cross advice on handling a snakebite via their free app, downloadable at Red Cross App, if you have pre-loaded it onto your phone. This is actually a great app for any kind of medical problem outdoors.
Do not panic, and do not get your heartbeat going faster – it spreads the venom. Talking to someone can help you remain calm. Or if you are waiting for help to arrive, listen to some calming music.
You’re going to have your phone with you. If you’re bitten by a snake – or have any kind of medical emergency – remain calm, be smart and use that phone.