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Are there specific seasons or temperatures that increase the likelihood that a hiker would encounter a snake? I go backpacking solo in the mid-Atlantic (US) and carry a snakebite kit as an extra precaution. But I'm considering whether I can lighten the load by not carrying it when snakes are dormant.

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Any time you're on a plane... –  MaskedPlant Sep 5 '12 at 17:01
    
You don't need to really be in the UK - adders are our only poisonous ones over here, and as far as poisonous snakes go they're pretty mild! (This isn't to say you shouldn't seek medical attention if you get bitten though.) –  berry120 Sep 5 '12 at 21:41
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

I hike in generally the same area of the country, mostly on the AT around NC and VA.

Snakes in this area will be most active during spring and fall months. Generally they will be more active in moderate temperatures. In extreme cold and extreme heat you'll see less snakes.

In the summer they will be more active in the early mornings and evenings. During the winter they will be more active during the peak heat of the day.

Additionally you should be aware of snakes after large rains, as flooding can push them out of their homes.

Finally, I should note that there are many species of snakes in the region and they all have different tendencies, so there is no time of the year that is 100% safe.

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Thanks. I've seen suggestions that they are most active between 70-90°F. I may lighten my load in the late fall/early spring. –  BMitch Sep 5 '12 at 22:14
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