Denizen, you've got to come down and join us on a 3-4 day trip in the Everglades so you get a better understanding of the environment. When you first see the Everglades, most people are a little underwhelmed. It looks a bit like the serengeti w/o all the animals. When you first do some trips--especially if you do them solo--it can definitely be a bit intimidating. As you become more and more familiar with the Everglades, you realize that all of the animals are at least as afraid of you as you are of them. That is when you first begin to be comfortable in the Everglades. Regarding pythons, if the rangers and others wage a strong campaign to get rid of them, they, like all other animals will develop a healthy fear of humans and stay away as far as possible.
Personally, I never leave my tent open (except on a very hot afternoon, if I am trying to take a nap), because I don't want mosquitos or noseeums getting in. Think about it, if mosquitos/noseeums can't get in, how is a snake going to get in. No experienced Everglades camper I know, sleeps with his/her knife handy. They might have done that 120 yrs ago when outlaws and unfriendly indians roamed the 'glades, but times have changed, a lot. The only animals in the Everglades that occasionally break into your tent (when you are not in it) are raccoons. Do not leave smelly food-like items in an unattended tent at night.
Denizen, please look at the trips we have done--check the pictures. Does it look like anyone is worried about pythons, alligators, or crocodiles? Mostly we are worried about whether we are going to catch fish for dinner, and usually we don't worry about that. Our trips: http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=7276&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15
Scroll down the page if necessary.
Ron, hopefully, we can all (you, Bill, I and others?) can do the trip starting Mar 9. But, you have to get your boat, and get some experience and gear.
Bill, I've sent an email--please check it.