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Re: poison ivy preventive Could someone please tell me more about this rhus tox. Is it a shot, a pill or what? My mother who is in her 70's somehow came in contact with poison ivy while (believe it or not) sitting on a toilet seat at Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo. She had terrible pain and blisters all over her bottom and legs. She went to the ER and saw her own MD as well. After 3 months it finally all cleared up, but now she is afraid to ever again go in the woods or even to a park. Any solid info I could give her to alleviate her fears would be greatly appreciated.

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I agree, ticks are a greater threat. Here in California, i've been out hiking a few times around the American River, and without searching in the bushes for caches and sticking to trails, i've seen poison oak EVERYWHERE. It is encroaching some trails even, most of it in full bloom. I saw one plant that was so red it was almost purple. I find myself holding my breath when walking close to it. Not sure if it helps, but i'd hate to breath any of that oil into my nose.


Anyways, just a warning that Northern California is blanketed with Oak, and it out in full force.

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"At some point your immune system for poison ivy will not help you.. " And at what point exactly might that be? Mine seems to have been doing a fairly good job for over 40 years, is there danger of it breaking down anytime soon? :unsure:

My immunity lasted 31 years -- but only about two years after I regularly started encountering poison oak. I don't recall actually seeing poison ivy when I was growing up in Wisconsin. When I moved to San Diego and began geocaching, I very quickly learned what poison oak was, but I also discovered that I magically failed to get a rash, even when I went wading in it. I was a little leery of the stuff -- I'm allergic to practically everything else in the universe, so how lucky can I be? -- but often it was easier to just go on through than try to find a way around.


A couple of years later, we did a cache where we had to go crawling down a concrete pipe. Around the entrance, there was quite a lot of poison oak. I brushed against a little of it, but didn't really think much of it. Several days later, I developed a horrible rash all over my throat, arms, legs, side... practically everywhere. I must have gotten oil on my hands and spread it all over the place. It took a month for the rash to go away and in the process I discovered that nothing available over the counter actually helps all that much.


All I've ever gotten since is a lone blister here and there, but I'm pretty careful now.

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"At some point your immune system for poison ivy will not help you.. " And at what point exactly might that be? Mine seems to have been doing a fairly good job for over 40 years, is there danger of it breaking down anytime soon?


Indeed your immune system does change - folks that have been immune to something all their life can suddenly become susceptable to it!


Healthy folks get sick - that's often due to a change in their immune system.

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Poison ivy sucks, and has ruined many a good cache.

I'LL SECOND THAT!!! I'm currently suffering through the single worst case of poison ivy that I've EVER had...


But finding the cache was worth it...


Sad, isn't it.


Thanks for NOT putting the cache there.

Zanfel cream is now available for treating poison ivy after you been exposed. Its expensive but it works. More info on Zanfel

I just want to let everyone know that I went out lastnight and bought some Zanfel. IT'S AWESOME. The rash was significantly reduced (and almost gone) this morning after just one use. No more itching either...


And no, I'm not being paid for this.

that's good to know...that it works. So far, I've been exposed to Poison Ivy many times in my life, but have never had any adverse reactions to it. But knowing the stuff works is good info for my family and friends who might get it! Thanks.


As to all the hoopla about placing caches near poison plants....hey guys! It's just a game! :unsure:

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Go ahead and place it there. Just add a star to the terrain rating plus put a poison plant attribute on the cache page.


No problem.  :anibad:

I agree to go ahead and place the cache. There are caches that we will not go to until the poison ivy dies off but they are great caches. There are caches around here, E. Ohio and W. Pa., on state hunting lands. Just don't go there during hunting season and dressed in a deer costume! :rolleyes:



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I think that whether one places the cache or not places the cache is their choice. Hopefully if placed they will warn people who want to avoid it.

I had a similar circumstance. My son and I found a place to hide a cache in an out of the way park. I went through the procedures to get approval to place it but didn't get around to placing it for several months. When we finally went out there, we couldn't get within 50' of our planned hide because of the PI.

I didn't place it because one of my criteria for placing it is that it would have to be safe for my 7 year old to get to and I didn't think it was.

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I found out I'm really allergic to poison ivy (took steriod shots and drugs to get it under control) so now I'm paranoid about even coming close to it while caching. I wouldn't list this cache, but if you do, please note the poison ivy in the description, not just the little attributes icon. Anyone who's really allergic to like will appreciate it.

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I was going to place my first cache in a place I thought would be the neatest place in the world, I get all the gear together, have the cache stamped, full of many neat nick-nacks, and a White Jeep Travel Bug, I run a nice search before I go to see if anyone found any locals lately. And SOMEONE hid one in the sopt I was going to one hour earlier it was posted. You'd have to believe I was really let down, all that planning for nothing. So, instead of becoming angry, I've decided to make a VERY diffucult to get to cache, on a cliffside. And place the handy-dandy Jeep in there, this will probably get some DNF's or "saw it, and you can't make me go THERE" 's but making the plans for this was fueled by the let down. I guess let downs happen. Channel all that emotion into your best work. :rolleyes:

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And yes, there HAVE been cases of death from poison ivy.  Any kind of allergen can lead to anaphylaxis, which can be quite deadly.


Actually it's more complicated than that.


Anaphylaxis--what most people think of as an "allergic reaction" i.e. hives, eyes and throat swelling, trouble breathing is a Type 1 allergic reaction.


Poison Oak and Ivy cause a Type 4 allergic reaction which is handled by a different arm of the immune system, and only affects the skin or mucous membranes which come in contact with the allergen.


That's why you can be desensitized to grass or food allergies (Type 1) but it's almost impossible to desensitize someone to urushiol(Type 4)--they're very different processes.


Within 30-60 minutes of contact the oil sets off a 3-6 week chain reaction in your skin, so if you remove the oil after 30 minutes (which obviously you should) you'll still break out--unless you interrupt the chain reaction.


Disclaimer--if you inhale burning poison ivy/oak you can get swelling of your throat.

Edited by GeoWorms
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Poison Oak sucks. As I write this I'm scratching my legs. I got a bad case last weekend. I tried Zanfel with little success. I ended up going to the minor emergency clinic, getting a steroid shot, and oral steroids. With my insurance, the total cost of the doctor visit, the shot, and the prescription was cheaper than a 1-ounce tube of Zanfel ($44). :lol:


The doctor was cheaper and faster.

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Take some W-D40 and spray on the plants, it has been known to kill it out.

Don't do that. Someone will post a thread declaring you evil for killing the plants and demanding that your cache be archived.

I've got a cache location in mind, but the place gave me a wonderful rash. (two weeks later and the rash is still there) I'm going back in there with a BIG HONKING CONTAINER filled with Round-Up.


I'm going to look silly, sure, going in there with my hip waders and a 2-gallon stainless steel insecticide sprayer. Dag-nabbit, I want that cache location! I figure the PI oils will dissapate into the ground (PURE SPECULATION) after the plants die and I go back in on two more visits to strip the trees of the vines.


I guess some locations need a little cultivation (de-cultivation?) before they're ready for caches. People will know the path to the cache by the trail of dead plants. Maybe maps.google.com will show a brown stain among the green?


I'll take the advice of the Dawn advocates. I'll have another spray tank filled with soapy water. I'll use that to wash down before I leave. A couple of five gallon water jugs should finish the clean-up nicely.


Gonna change my name to Captian Urushiol.

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Good idea. While you're at it, maybe you could also place a few lovely caches in toxic waste dumps. Perhaps a nice "active minefield" cache or maybe even a "missile test range" cache (just be sure to add an extra star or two to the terrain). After all, not EVERYONE is going to get blown up.

we have a 12 abandoned/currently civilian owned atlas missle silos! there is a cache just outside of the gate to one of them.

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Take some W-D40 and spray on the plants, it has been known to kill it out.

Agent orange will kill it. Makes it a lot easier to find the cache, too. Who could complain about that?


Seriously, you're going out into nature to find a box of tupperware for no good reason. If you can't tolerate nature, look for the walmart hides and leave the woods to those of us who enjoy them. the plants won't die till long after you're gone, anyway--how does it help you?



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