WSMGS Field Trip to the Cooke City Mining District

WSMGS Field Trip to the Cooke City Mining District

Rockhound Safety

Here's the most basic fact of rockhounding: ROCKHOUNDING IS INHERENTLY RISKY. We work with heavy, pointed hammers, pry bars, chisels, sledgehammers and big heavy rocks in generally secluded areas where the earth is broken. Here are a few field safey tips to keep you safe and healthy:

Tick Removal

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.
Source: May 2012 Cheyenne Mineral and Gem Society Newsletter

Insect Bites

If stung or bitten by an insect, dissolve one fourth (1/4) teaspoon of meat tenderizer in two (2) teaspoons of water and rub this solution into the skin around the area of the sting or bite. This should relieve the pain.
Source: Dr. Harry Arnhold, Jr., AMA Journal

Rattlesnake Bites

An understatement: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!" when it comes to rattlesnake bites! If someone gets bitten by a rattlesnake, get them to the nearest hospital immediately. Limit the victim's activity if possible to keep their heart rate normal. Help the individual to remain calm and comfortable. Reassure the victim that it is not life-threatening. Wash the bite area with water and remove restrictive jewelry or clothing that would interfere with swelling. Position the affected bite area below the victim's heart. Call 911 to contact the hospital to alert staff to facilitate treatment instructions. Steps to Prevention:

  1. Wear high leather boots and / or snake-leggings.
  2. Stay close to vehicles and transportation routes.
  3. Do not rockhound alone.
  4. Always assume snakes are active even if the weather is cold and cloudy.
  5. Snakes are more likely to be out from under cover on cloudy warm days and especially at night.
  6. Use a walking stick or rock scoop/grabber to explore with or overturn rocks. (Baby snakes have venom!)
  7. Walk slowly in areas of thicker vegetation, create vibrations with your footsteps and your walking stick.
  8. Walk away from the shaded side of bushes or holes when it is sunny and hot.
  9. Walk around logs or large rocks or drop-offs where a rattlesnake may be resting.
  10. Be especially alert when climbing a steep incline, which could result in a snakebite to the upper body.
  11. If a rattlesnake is located slowly move away and warn others. Do not try to kill it and collect its rattles!
  12. Rattlesnakes do not always rattle-look for them.
  13. Final Prevention – Have good health insurance; rattlesnake bite anti-venom is very expensive!!

Source: Compiled from the June/July 2012 AFMS Newsletter

Heart Attacks

  1. Dissolve two (2) Bayer "Crystal" Aspirin in the victim's mouth & help them swallow some water.
  2. Call 911 and report that Heart Attack victim has taken two Aspirin and listen for directions.
  3. Transport victim to hospital. Make certain victim is sitting and not laying down.

Source: Compiled from the January 2012 RMFMS Newsletter


  1. Cool down the burned area with cool water gently applied.
  2. Apply white part of a raw egg to the burned area and let dry.
  3. Continue adding layers of raw egg white and letting each layer dry.
  4. Seek medical attention as soon as possible for severe burns.

Source: Compiled from the September/October 2011 RMFMS Newsletter

Note: The above tips were featured in the May 2013 issue of Jade State News.

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