The Lone Star state retains its rugged, cowboy reputation of old Westerns, but really, it doesn’t possess many more dangers than other places in America. The outdoors just about everywhere will have similar risks: harsh weather, rough terrain, and snakes. Though common, these reptiles probably instill more fear in more people than any other animal. Fortunately, not many of them can actually hurt you. If you’re going to camp in Texas, you should know there are only a handful of venomous snakes in the whole state, which makes them easy to avoid.
- One species of coral snake does live in Texas, but it’s very rare. They have small mouths, are rarely aggressive, but pose a danger if encountered. They’re identifiable by the macabre little rhyme: “red and yellow kill a fellow,” because of their red, yellow, and black bands.
- Copperheads look like military personnel out in combat: their color patterning serves as perfect camouflage for blending into leaves. They rest in foliage, so care should be taken when rummaging through leaves or picking up old logs.
- Black, aggressive, and large, the cottonmouth is a water dweller, which can terrorize swimmers. Thankfully, they’re generally contained to areas around ponds, lakes, and rivers, but people should be on guard when swimming or hiking around marshes and bodies of water.
- So infamous that just about everyone can identify them, nine rattlesnakes are native to Texas, so they’re probably the most common venomous snakes to come across at a camp in Texas. Generally nocturnal, they’re most often encountered sunbathing and lethargic. Like all snakes, they avoid conflict if at all possible, so if you hear the characteristic “rattle,” consider it a fair warning and get away as fast as possible.