This is again, a banner year for Poison Ivy. It is thriving just about everywhere. What many people do not realize is that Poison Ivy not only grows as a ground plant, but can turn into a small bush or vine up the side of a tree. In fact, it is these vines that cling to the sides of trees, that most often get to us.
Your walking down the trail…..there is a short vine extending out from a tree a foot or so into the trail….we use our hand to brush or hold this vine to the side as we pass by. We just brushed aside Poison ivy. before we know it, we slapped away a “Skeeter” from biting and just spread the Poison Ivy juices and rash. This is a very common scenario for getting Poison Ivy.
Something else to remember is that Poison Ivy can leave it’s infective oils on your boots or clothing for quite some time. So……you have been Hiking for a bit, and you have stepped off the trail a few times to take a picture of one of the wild flowers you have passed by. As you continue down the trail, you notice your boot lace has untied, so you stop and retie your boots.
But…….when you stepped off the trail earlier to take those pictures, you stepped through some Poison Ivy. It didn’t matter then, because you had long pants on and socks, inside an ankle high boot. But when you stopped to retie your boot laces, the oils from the Poison Ivy you had stepped through earlier, had remained on the outer parts of your boots and pants. You re-tied your boots, and also got some of that Poison Ivy oil on your hands. Again…..You got it without even trying. Many times this is just how most people have their first encounters with poison Ivy.
Knowing how to ID Poison Ivy and also adding a few precautions to your actions while out on the Trails can decrease your possibilities of getting it, tremendously.
1. Be careful what vines or branches you just push aside while out on the trails. It maybe Poison Ivy, or have the vine growing on it.
2. If you have to retie your boot laces while out on the trail, be prepared to wash your hands well afterwards or clean them with alcohol.
3. learn to ID Poison Ivy. The old saying of, “Leaves of three, let it Be” is not enough. The vast majority of plants have leaves of three. There are some tips you can follow to be much better able to ID Poison Ivy.
Watch the Video Link below and get an idea on how to do this.