I am sorry I started the snake-thing, we have hi-jacked Steve's thread. Bob G mentioned that a rattler can only "strike" from a coiled position. That is true, but it does not mean they cannot bite if they are not coiled. So keep your distance. Also, I have found that they do not necessarily rattle when you are close, but only when threatened. But don't assume they will not strike or bite if they don't warn with a rattle.
Where I live, they live, which is in the desert. So I am used to seeing them, but they are not as plentiful as most might think. I see most snakes at 5,000 - 7,000 feet.
My wife is terrified of snakes, and I think it detracts from here hiking enjoyment. She always sees the snakes before me, because she is focused/worried about them. But over the past 8 years, she has gotten better. She is slowly beginning to see that really are not a threat, unless we threaten them.
Bottom line is to enjoy your hike. If you are more comfortable with a shelter, footwear, leggings, etc. that will "protect" you, then use them. Better to carry a little more weight, than stress about it and ruin your trip.