Shake, shake it–your hammock that is! Out of the countless places you can string up a hammock, it’s hard to beat two good trees. And as Leave No Trace endorses, hammocks are great in the way that they have a minimal impact on the life of the forest floor. Sometimes however, this can also translate into sharing habitats–like your hammock for example!
So, the lesson of the story is to shake that hammock. If a spider or another creepy crawly critter sneaks into your hammock while your back is turned fastening your tree straps, you don’t want to be sharing your DoubleNest with it!
Nothing beats hanging out in the trees with your friends. Carefree lounging and just plain being with nature is a great way to relax. Nevertheless, it’s important to know what to do if one of your fellow hammockers get bit by a spider. Preparedness is a key element to outdoor leadership.
Step 1: Identify The Specimen
Now you can only do this if you happened to save the spider (squashed or not.) Most spiders are not poisonous so don’t freak out yet. If you do not have the culprit, move on to step 2. In the U.S. the only two poisonous spiders you need to fret about are the Black Widow and the Brown recluse. Learn how to identify them and their bites.
Step 2: Clean The Bite
Use a gentle soap and cool water to thoroughly clean the bite. This is important to prevent infection. If you’re trail hiking, find a stream and use any camping soap on hand. The cool water will also soothe the pain!
Step 3: Keep it Cool
If you’re out of the woods (and if you’re not yet, you should be on your way at this point) apply an ice pack. Wrap the ice pack in a dish towel and rest on affected area. Also elevate the part of the body where you’ve been bitten. Both of these methods will bring the swelling and pain down.
Step 4: The Waiting Game
And now we wait. Rest, take some aspirin and keep a watchful eye on it. Don’t obsess or poke the bite site. If the affected area spreads, go see a doctor. Most of the time though, swelling will go down and the affected area should become less painful.
Step 5: Are you going to see a doctor?
Know what symptoms to look for. If you experience: difficulty breathing, lesions, muscle spasms, nausea or anything icky like that. Trust your gut and get a family member to take you to the doctor. Better safe than sorry.
Step 6: Hammock on!
Hammock on ENOpians!! Remember to shake, shake it before you climb on in and your mind will be at ease as you begin to relax 🙂