Photo by: Fahad Asmat
Hiking the Big Cypress Preserve:
One thing I have learned from friends and those who know the glades to a far greater level than I ever will. Never ever hike alone, always have a partner, a plan, and emergency supplies. If you have a Conceal Weapon carry it, you can never be too safe. I do not encourage people to go out there and start shooting at anything unless you have a valid reason such as if your life was in danger, or during hunting season and that is providing you have a hunting license. Shooting at anything for mere fun and pleasure may lead to hefty fines from Florida Fish & Wildlife.
I will be honest, on all my travels I have yet to shoot at anything. I found it is far easier to use my walking stick to push away any venomous snakes that are too close. I also have come to terms with leaving wildlife along and never pester a gator. Just go in there and enjoy your experience, your journey and trip and leave only with your memories and photos. Make sure if you are hiking the glades to buy a good knee high set of anti venom snake boots. They will come in handy and it is far better to have a pair than to be caught by surprise, snake bites are not fun and some can be extremely painful and life threatening.
When I travel out there, I sure as heck do not hike the swamps alone. Now some people will state that it is okay to do so, and I will not argue their debate. If that is what you want to do then go for it. However if something happens, I am certain you will rethink that thought real fast, especially when there is no one there to assist or help you. Bear in mind I do not claim to be an expert at this, I am just passing along some common sense. In my opinion, I have no time for macho bravado in the glades or miscalculated moves, I have no time for ego thrill seekers or people who want to harass wildlife. All it takes is one stupid move, one move to make things go from good to bad real fast, and that is an outcome I cannot afford to take.
Stay safe, and Hike on!