There have been a number of questions about how to treat snakebite over the years. The latest one to appear is an oldie -- What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake? -- and one of the answers recommends The Sawyer Kit, which I never heard of until now. (Should I buy one before spring?) Also, prominent underneath the question is this comment:

The answer is the same for pit vipers, which include rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins. Bites from these snakes are usually not fatal even without medical attention, and in most (or many?) cases they don't use antivenin because the side effects might be worse than a minor snakebite. Also, sometimes pit vipers bite without injecting much or any venom. (This leads to some invalid claims of being immune to snakebites.)

Would it be useful to write an authoritative answer, which would be a synthesis of the best of the old answers and would also specifically address misconceptions and/or erroneous information, and link to the other questions? I know I am proposing quite a bit of work for someone -- it should probably be a collaborative effort among two or three people -- but I think it would be a valuable contribution.

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    How would you want to do it? There is so much (unbacked) controversy there, that anything "authoritative" would have to be backed up by a really strong set of sources. And even there I would suspect (I do not know the field) that the topic is not clearcut. E.g. the mentioned kit: AFAIK this is a horrible idea in that the damage done is pretty big and the success rate (if any) way too low - I am positive that you find backup for both views. So a simple rewrite/synthesis of existing answers would IMO be pretty pointless.
    – imsodin
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:32
  • I didn't look at the kit in question and just assumed it is another one of those slice a huge area open and then suck. It seems this one only applies a vacuum. Seems like a hoax to me, but at least not very dangerous...
    – imsodin
    Dec 29, 2016 at 10:36
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    I think this a parcial solution to the problem meta.outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/883/… Dec 29, 2016 at 17:09
  • I have not looked at them, but are any of the questions duplicates? If not what makes them different? Jan 5, 2017 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


The answer to this is probably: If the OP thinks it is a good idea, why doesn't the OP take a whack at it and post a draft on Meta for users to comment on? And the answer to that is if we get a major snowstorm which keeps me housebound for several days, but with power, I probably will.

Like many "good ideas", this one probably wasn't.

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