Spiders & Snakes

Kermit56
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Spiders & Snakes

Postby Kermit56 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:29 am

Hi All,
So I'm doing Melbourne to Adelaide in 6 weeks time, and my wife is certain I'm going to be ravaged by spiders and snakes while I'm camping. (not a problem here in NZ)

So to appease her, I said I'd ask the experts (you guys) if there is anything I need to know, be aware of, or precautions to take regarding said creatures?

Apart from a couple of bush camps, I'll be in caravan/holiday parks etc.

Thanks in advance.

Kermit

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WarrenH
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby WarrenH » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:57 am

Australia leads the World in venomous snake bite recovery. You'll be in the right country if you get bitten ... if you are close to medical help.

As a person who has been bitten by an Eastern Brown Snake, I would certainly recommend doing research into snake identification within the regions you're travelling through. Avoidance of snakes is about being hyper vigilant.

Knowing the correct maintenance procedures of the wound if bitten, is life saving. Perfect wound maintenance is having the right gear, like carrying two compression bandages, and knowing how to correctly fit them, if needs-be ... especially when it may take time before help arrives.

Not many people realize this. It is now thought that there may be as many as 40+ different wide spread species of Funnel Web Spiders in Oz. Not just a few species, like the well known Sydney Funnel Web and the tree dwelling Funnel Web and the smaller funnel webs found in the High Country.

The first live Funnel Web spider that I saw, apart from those in the High Country, was at a camping ground in Victoria in a takeaway food container. The driver had driven from Northern NSW and he didn't know what spider he had just trapped and was holding. A Funnel Web Spider can bite through a finger nail let alone a flimsy food container ... it was an Atrax formidabilis, the tree dwelling Funnel Web Spider, found in the forests around Warchope. At Point Hicks on Victoria's Wilderness Coast, this spider was way out of area.

I don't know what the ticks are like in New Zealand or in Victoria, but I do in NSW, about the Paralysis Tick found on the NSW South Coast. It might pay to learn about these nasty little spiders ... with so many people travelling and hauling trailers.

Have a fabulous trip.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.

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Warin
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Warin » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:09 am

For the most part - you leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

There are some exceptions! I have been fortunate not to come across them, as I think most have this luck too in not coming across the territorial aggressive ones. Don't sneak around - make normal noises to give them warning of your presence, open your ears to hear their warning.

The number of compression bandages you may need will depend on your length. Try applying compression bandages to your leg, top to bottom, to find out how many you need. It would be best to do a first aid course ... 'remote area' ones are best if your going remote, but they take at least 3 days or training if not more. A half day course is fairly useless - I think of them as refreshers.

Like most, you probably won't have a problem with the wildlife.

Sparx
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Sparx » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:24 am

I would be very careful with trying to identify snakes. There is a huge variation of colour and markings within many species. Just leave them alone and they will leave you alone.

Learn how to apply a compression bandage, keep your eyes open but don't be overly stressed.

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RonK
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby RonK » Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:26 am

Kermit56 wrote:So I'm doing Melbourne to Adelaide in 6 weeks time, and my wife is certain I'm going to be ravaged by spiders and snakes while I'm camping. (not a problem here in NZ)

Yeah sure - we know enough New Zealanders (and Poms) to understand that it's not just the women who are paranoid about bities. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Do you really think that Aussies walk around peering constantly at the ground in case something might slither by?

Learn what to do in case of bites by all means. And carry a compression bandage - you'll need it for the sprained ankle you are likely to suffer jumping at shadows. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Oh, and be very careful of the drop bears. :wink:
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

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Warin
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Warin » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:36 pm

RonK wrote:Do you really think that Aussies walk around peering constantly at the ground in case something might slither by?


:lol: ... But I do keep my eyes open. Example? Rolling up my tent out at the old Aboriginal campsite at Kings Canyon ... scorpion under the tent floor. :shock: No bites.. very thankful for a tent with a bathtub floor.

bagelonabike
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby bagelonabike » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:12 pm

Kermit56 wrote:Hi All,
So I'm doing Melbourne to Adelaide in 6 weeks time, and my wife is certain I'm going to be ravaged by spiders and snakes while I'm camping. (not a problem here in NZ)


Kermit


Hi Kermit

Fellow kiwi here. I rode that route via the coast a few years ago and saw not a single snake or spider, although have seen snakes 5 or 6 times in the greater Melbourne area!! But they seem to be more likely to be seen at the start of summer in Sept & October. Snakes will back off given half the chance so just give them space if you do see one...kinda obvious really....

Drop me a line if you need any further help - you'll love the trip its a fantastic ride :mrgreen:

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baabaa
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby baabaa » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:54 am

Australian spiders have evolved to live in shoes, not burrows or webs.
If you prefer to sleep with your shoes outside of your tent, drop them in a plastic bag overnight and then give them a good bash around before you put foot in shoe. A throbbing swollen toe in bike shoe is never fun.
With snakes make plenty of noise and you won’t know they are about. Some can be slow and cranky if they have just had a feed. If you see one out on the bike just stop and let them move on (hint, get a loud rear hub) when walking in long grass, listen out for birds making a fuss as they seem to know when a joe blake or a big lizard are around.

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Leaf T
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Leaf T » Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Warin wrote:
RonK wrote:Do you really think that Aussies walk around peering constantly at the ground in case something might slither by?


:lol: ... But I do keep my eyes open. Example? Rolling up my tent out at the old Aboriginal campsite at Kings Canyon ... scorpion under the tent floor. :shock: No bites.. very thankful for a tent with a bathtub floor.


Ouch! Scorpions are meant to be very painful. When working near Wiluna in WA I was always impressed by the size of the centipedes we had there. At least 25cm long, as thick as a thumb and huge fangs. One night I had one crawl over my bare feet while talking on the phone to GF in Perth. It was still on my right foot as it crossed my left. If you've seen them riled up and how they attack you can understand why I froze. GF thought I'd hung up.

Kermit56
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Kermit56 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:50 pm

bagelonabike wrote:
Kermit56 wrote:Hi All,
So I'm doing Melbourne to Adelaide in 6 weeks time, and my wife is certain I'm going to be ravaged by spiders and snakes while I'm camping. (not a problem here in NZ)


Kermit


Hi Kermit

Fellow kiwi here. I rode that route via the coast a few years ago and saw not a single snake or spider, although have seen snakes 5 or 6 times in the greater Melbourne area!! But they seem to be more likely to be seen at the start of summer in Sept & October. Snakes will back off given half the chance so just give them space if you do see one...kinda obvious really....

Drop me a line if you need any further help - you'll love the trip its a fantastic ride :mrgreen:



Hi

Just wanted to say thanks for your reply.
I've just read your blog on your Adelaide to Melbourne trip...great read, I picked up a few tips as well.

I'm looking forward to the trip, and I'm planning to take my time and take a couple of weeks, so my longest day will be about 99kms. And a couple of rest days on the way.

Thanks again

Cheers

Kermit

Kermit56
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Kermit56 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:54 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated.

Kermit

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WarrenH
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby WarrenH » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:46 am

A Black beside the track on the Ginninderra Creek cycle path. This cycle path is in the NW suburbs in the ACT.

Image

This is the second snake on that path in a couple of weeks. The first was an Eastern Brown right beside the path. I doubt that I would have seen the Brown until I was upon it. A bloke walking his barking dog and taking a wide birth around the snake, drew my attention to it. Although the barking dog was giving the warning, firstly. The dogs don't bark at grass for nothing, around here.

The third this summer was an Eastern Brown that I spotted in the National Botanic Gardens while I was sitting down eating lunch beside the restaurant. The only way I spotted the snake, was that parts of a low leafy ground cover about 15cm high, moved a bit and then moved again, when there was no wind. I walked over to see what I thought was a Blue Tongue or an Eastern Water Dragon only to find it was an Eastern Brown. I wonder how many of these wrigglers have seen me over Summer?

A teenage girl was bitten in a paddock next the Bicentennial National Trail in Chapman in the ACT, two weeks ago. She was attending to her horse, when an Eastern Brown attacked her. Fortunately it was a dry bite, she was not envenomated.

On the TV (if it isn't fake news this time) it has been reported that there has been a record number of people bitten this year in the ACT. The average for the ACT, that was told to me by the doctor who attended to me when I was bitten, he thought that the ACT averaged about 22 people a year. One of the snake catchers in the ACT interviewed on TV, said, that on a normal day she removes two snakes from people's yards or even inside their homes but on some days, as many as seven snakes are caught. Nearly always removed from homes that adjoin reserves.

When I go cycle touring, I like to walk as well, to explore the bush a bit. When I walk I wear gaiters, Wilderness Equipment's 'Bush Gaiters'. They are double woven canvas and double layered to above the ankle.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.

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RonK
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:38 pm

Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

tmac100
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby tmac100 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:09 pm

When I first went to OZ to bicycle tour in 2006 along the Savannah Way I got all sorts of advice from Canadian folks who had only read about spiders and snakes. Lots of doom and gloom. I ignored them all! Some still warn me about the poisonous beasties - and the dingos - even though they have NEVER been to Australia! They much prefer pontificating in front of a slot-machine at some casino. Such is the credible "expertise" of some "travellers". Glad you are asking for advice on this forum. LOTS of Australian expert bicycle tourers hanging out here.

I kept my shoes in my Hennessy Hammock at night when I slept, instead of on the ground outside . I never had an issue. However, I did see some snake "tracks" as well as couple of dead snakes which were driven over by vehicles - the vehicle tracks "swerved" to run the snakes over in the dirt road between Normanton and Borroloola (Queensland).

Otherwise, I have NEVER had an issue. The bush sleeping in my Hilleberg Akto was issue-free in July 2015 between Perth and Peterborough SA. Similarly, this July on the Cape (York) Peninsula Development Road I will take precautions.

In closing, more folks are killed by horses in Australia than by poisonous beasties. At least that is what this article states - but I am no expert on horses!

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38592390

Enjoy your bicycle tour on OZ :D

Parker
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Parker » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:29 pm

I shouldn't have read this. Eeek!

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Warin
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Warin » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:29 pm

tmac100 wrote:I kept my shoes in my Hennessy Hammock at night when I slept, instead of on the ground outside . I never had an issue.


Fellow I know had a shoe taken from outside their tent ... by a dingo .. took quite a few hours to find it too. The shoe that is. This was near the Simpson Desert.

I had a loaf of bread raided over night by kangaroos inside my panniers. Freycinet National Park, Tasmania.

Best to keep your gear tidy and inside something secure.

Have a good trip.

tmac100
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby tmac100 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:13 pm

Parker wrote:I shouldn't have read this. Eeek!


You mean all the deaths caused by horses? :?

I suppose it would be instant death if a Clydesdale rolled on you. :roll:

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Cardy George
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Cardy George » Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:47 pm


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The best thing for snakes is to let them call the shots, don't block their escape and just make your 'normal' level of noise. They're (generally) more scared of you than you are of them.

Walked in on a Baby Brown in the shed the other day. He begged his pardon and high-tailed it (boom-tish :P) out the side door once he realised I was there.

The Drop Bears on the other hand..... Geez :(

tmac100
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby tmac100 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:04 am

Love the pics - and especially the one of the air intake pre-cleaner on the vintage International Harvester tractor. It brought back memories from the early 1950s when my God-father (still alive at 98) let me sit on his lap while driving a WD-4 with the same air-pre-cleaner. He taught me how to empty the glass jar - AND he also taught me how to ride a bicycle. Good on ya Uncle Steve -for both "terachings". :mrgreen:

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Cardy George
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby Cardy George » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:34 am

tmac100 wrote:Love the pics - and especially the one of the air intake pre-cleaner on the vintage International Harvester tractor. It brought back memories from the early 1950s when my God-father (still alive at 98) let me sit on his lap while driving a WD-4 with the same air-pre-cleaner. He taught me how to empty the glass jar - AND he also taught me how to ride a bicycle. Good on ya Uncle Steve -for both "terachings". :mrgreen:

Thanks Tmac! That's was on a farm about 30km south of us. There was soooo much stuff to take pics of I didn't know where to start! I have more but we are waiting for the internet to be connected at our house and image files are too big to upload thru my phone

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RonK
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Re: Spiders & Snakes

Postby RonK » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:38 pm

Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

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