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This forum is used to discuss trips and topics in Southern California.

New to California
Total posts: 1
Joined: 7 year(s) ago
Posted 8:36 PM 5/31/2011

Hello everyone.

My wife, son, and I recently moved to Southern California from Michigan. We used to camp a lot in Northern Michigan and are now looking to start the adventures here. In Michigan we had a 30' travel trailer, but that's not the type of camping that we want to do here as we would like to get more rustic. We like the idea of some small hikes (to start with) and camp for a weekend and explore the area.

Our initial thought was to try Crystal Cove, but we are a little nervous about the rattlesnakes, we are not familiar with these types of creatures and would like to avoid them if possible. As a result, we are looking for something that may be a little more safe (understanding of course that there are always risks).

I look forward to the experiences.



Total posts: 393
Joined: 14 year(s) ago
Posted 2:19 PM 6/6/2011
From what I've read there are rattlesnakes in Michigan as well.
I say its time to read up on these friends of the hills. They can easily be avoided. They want no more of you than you of them.
Want to find out about good hikes?
100 Hikes of the Angeles by John Robinson.
I don't know where you are located so go to Sports Chalet or your local REI and get a few books on the hiking trails in your area.

Hike Smart & Hike Safe!!
Total posts: 1
Joined: 7 year(s) ago
Posted 3:09 PM 8/16/2011
Hey Jeff -
I just came upon your post about rattlers in our area, but since we've advanced well into snake season here, and there was only one other response,I thought I'd drop a line as well.
Well, first, you've moved into snake central, and it runs from here all the way to Mexico, so if you're going to be outdoors, even in your yard in a lot of places here - including where I live, you've got to be alert to their presence. We've also had them in the garage.
Since I came down here from the Pacific Northwest, my pup just has no sense of snakes at all, and will chase anything that moves, so if I take him on the trails now, I keep him on a leash.
That being said, the only thing you can do, then, if you're not going to give up and stay in the house, is always be alert anytime and anywhere you're outside until the cold weather returns.
When you're camping, try to do so in cleared areas so you can see what's approaching, or has recently approached.
Also, if you're sleeping on the ground, be aware when you wake up in the morning, as reptiles will seek out the warmth of a sleeping bag on cool nights, and they don't like surprises before they've had their coffee. If you should feel you've got company, calmly and quietly get someone to slowly unzip your bag and peel it back while you remain absolutely still.
If necessary, removal should be swift, not giving the snake the position and opportunity to strike. Optimal is a situation in which the head is available to be immobilized, of course.
That's a rare situation, though, as is contact for that matter, and you can all enjoy the outdoors here with, I suspect, little more caution than was necessary in Michigan, since as I understand it, you have some pretty large specimens there too.
In closing, a good idea is to always hike with a stick, and where you can't see clearly in front of you, let the stick go first. Loose pants and good boots are also wise.
Welcome to OC and best wishes to you and your family!