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Old 09-13-2007   #11
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
Lots of good poison ivy/oak advice here. Having suffered the monster case of poison oak from a Tuolumne trip 20 years ago (which comes back!) I have done some research on poison oak/ivy prevention. The oil (urushiol) is really tenacious. Think of it like axle grease. Any thing that gets off heavy grease/dirt, gets off the oil. AND you have several hours, (not all day) to get it off. Use anything, (and I DO mean anything) that cuts grease after you know you have been in it. Use it like you are getting off serious grime, but avoid harming the skin. All of the things people have mentioned are good, but I have also had success with
Windex, WD-40, alcohol wipes, etc. I take windex on my mtb, really.
I have heard Coleman fuel works.
I get it pretty bad, so if I know I have been in it, I don't rely simply on soap and water. I'd probably even waste some (some) tequila on my skin to cut the oil if I had no choice.
And yes, your gear (your dog, your paddle, your SO) can give you the oil for a LONG TIME after exposure. I have read the oil can last for 7 years on objects.
The prevention stuff that I like is called Ivy Block. Here in Poison Oak land (SoCal) they sell it at the chain drug stores. It has the same stuff in it as Ban Deordorant. The other after-exposure stuff that folks mentioned is Tecnu. Both Tecnu and Ivy Block have good web sites with factual info.

Oh and once you have it (bad), my home remedies (in addition to cortisone, which you NEED once it is mas bad) are ICE and Clorox. Ice it down if its driving you nuts. And if you want the no guts, no glory cure for active rashes....scratch it to death, have a few drinks and douse it with Clorox. Don't skip step 2.

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Old 09-13-2007   #12
C B, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 29
thanks for all info!!!!!!!!!!!
a little bit of everything and it will be alright?

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Old 09-13-2007   #13
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,302
A ziplock bag with a sponge and lot's of dishsoap will be the lightest option in the Black. Soap up at the start of the portage, and hike through. Jump in the river at cave camp, then get out and soap up again. Rinse off again and carefully take off your gear and dry it out. Then rinse off again.

I was on the labor day trip with Nick...the ivy is drying out, but you won't be able to avoid all of it. It isn't very thick this year.

Pack light. Enjoy.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 09-13-2007   #14
Davis, California
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 71
yup, even salad dressing will work. any oil or solvent
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Old 09-14-2007   #15
Silverthorne, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 32
So, has anyone ever gone through that portage and not been affected, while their paddling partners were heavily affected?

I have not yet paddled through Black Canyon, but the reason I ask this question is because in my entire life I have never been affected by poison ivy, even as a kid when I was on group trips where other people were heavily affected.

I am guessing I am lucky to not be as sensitive to it, but is it really possible to be completely immune to its affects?

Does anyone else fall into this category of not getting a rash, when everyone else in a group does?

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Old 09-14-2007   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
rubbing alcohol...

soap & water does not kill the oily poison, only speads it around
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Old 09-14-2007   #17
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 272
tyvek suit works really well. then you just need to burn it at the cave. just make sure you don't get the crappy cloth type painter suits. they don't work at all.
"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 09-14-2007   #18
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
If you get it, use an over the counter stuff call Zanfel. It is the bomb! It is a sandy lotion type texture that you rub into the affected area. It feels great because the sand relieve's the itch, removes the oil, and cures the problem all at once.
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Old 09-14-2007   #19
washington D.C., Maryland
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13
If you do happen to get that Zanfel stuff works with a quikness. Gone in one day. I swear by it, I'm highly allergic.

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