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Thread: Poison ivy

  1. #1
    New Member Ironchic's Avatar
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    Poison ivy

    I just got my first hammock and I plan on using it for backpacking. Ive been hanging it in my back yard and learning all kinds of stuff about it. Thank you HF. Ive also learned that poison ivy and poison oak can very easily get on my webbing and lines. I now have it on me and my webbing. Yep its been fun so far! How do you keep this stuff off your webbing and off your hands out in the woods backpacking? The last thing I want is to get this on me 15 miles out on a trail.

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    Senior Member otter's Avatar
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    Poison ivy manly grows in areas that have been cleared. I have the same issues around my house but it's not so bad in the woods I've noticed.
    God gave me two good legs and two good eyes I better use them.

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    I haven't had this problem, probably because I can spot poison ivy vines with or without the leaves on the vine. Seems like the best solution is to avoid it.

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    Senior Member Pipsissewa's Avatar
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    Sorry for your pain, Ironchic. Avoidance is indeed the only sure-fire way to prevent exposure. You must familiarize yourself with the hairy vine growing up the side of a tree and must never use trees with them.

    For limited protection (doing yard work, for example) this:

    Ivy block.jpg

    has worked for me so far. Apply before going out. It's not practical for backpacking however. So, keep your eyes peeled, sister!
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    Once it's on you, use pure Turpentine. Head for the hardware store not the pharmacy!!

    I prefer using disposable cloths for applying it to the rash so you can pitch them away after use but any clean rag will work. At first it will feel cold then after a few minutes it will start to warm up. If the area gets too hot for your comfort, you can wash it off with another disposable cloth and straight water or a very mild soap, but only do so if you absolutely have to for your own comfort. Obviously you need to keep it away from your eyes and mouth.

    Reapply 3 or 4 times a day.

    Turps will dry up rapidly spreading poison ivy rash in less than 48 hours.

    As to tree straps and stuff, I'd be inclined to soak them in a container of turpentine for a few minutes then squeeze out the excess and hang them to dry. You might want to take the rest of your hammock body/quilts etc and launder them too but in as hot a water as the equipment will handle and a strong laundry detergent (except for down of course).

    Just make sure you stay away from open flames while you're doing this.

    Oh, and it was an old country doctor in Kentucky who got me started on using turpentine. I already had one of every 'modern pharmaceutical' potion in my medicine cabinet and the dang stuff was still spreading. My partner was getting shots at the dr's for it cause we kept sharing it!!

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    Senior Member Yakfoot's Avatar
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    If I have gotten poison ivy I have found that the rash is sensitive to temperature change and intermittent touch. I wrap the affected area with gauze after some cortizone cream is applied. But learning to spot it is the key, pain really sharpens your eyes.
    "To turn from this increasingly artificial and strangely alien world is to escape from unreality. To return to the timeless world of the mountains, the sea, the forest and the stars is to return to sanity and truth." --Robert Burnham Jr.

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    njredneck's Avatar
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    A guy I work with sprays the rash with ether(starting fluid)normally clears up in a couple of days. I guess I'm immune or very lucky never had a reaction.

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    Popeye 62's Avatar
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    I use to make fun of folks that were afraid of poison ivy, as it never bothered me, until i got older. One night I was out on a search with my K-9 partner. One truth is when a boy needs to go in the woods, he goes. Needles to say I got poison ivy in a very serious place as well as near my eyes. A cortisone shot fixed me up jiffy quick. As far as turpentine that makes sense. My grandpa use to put rubbing alcohol on to dry it out.

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    'that' guy Chenvre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeye 62 View Post
    I use to make fun of folks that were afraid of poison ivy, as it never bothered me, until i got older. One night I was out on a search with my K-9 partner. One truth is when a boy needs to go in the woods, he goes. Needles to say I got poison ivy in a very serious place as well as near my eyes. A cortisone shot fixed me up jiffy quick. As far as turpentine that makes sense. My grandpa use to put rubbing alcohol on to dry it out.


    Immune to it myself, 28 years and counting... But the wife is not immune, so I will rinse in gasoline or similar substance to dry my skin and wash the oils. I assume this method works on webbing and the like. Since there is no prevention, be vigilant and look for the vines and leaves, and stay away.

    Also, take it from me, don't use solvants over your nice green grass yard. Do yourself a favor and do it over concrete.

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