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  1. #1
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Default Have an itching to hike the Georgia AT?

    Looks like a bumper crop this year. Poison Ivy as far as the eyes can see. Image taken today just north of the old grassy gap roadbed about 1 mile north of Gooch Gap.

    PoisonIvy.jpg

  2. #2
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Ugh, makes me itchy just looking at it. What's challenging is them tight places where it grows over the trail and not letting it hit you. It would be great if someone could develop something like permitherin spray but a spray for clothes and skin that keeps the poison oils from sticking to you.

  3. #3
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    There is always going to be poison ivy on some parts of the trail. It does not grow well at high elevations. I didnt get any rashes when I thruhiked the trail but I learned along time ago to spot it. It also grows on vines that hang from trees along the trail. The norther part of the trail does not have much.

  4. #4
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    I'm one of the lucky ones poison ivy does not bother me. I can sleep in it and not break out. My wife is jealous of me because she just needs to look at it and break out.

  5. #5
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    I got it real bad a long time ago. 75% - 80% of my body. (long story) I should have been in the hospital, but no insurance convinced them to give me the meds and bought bathtub soaks. Suffered for 2 weeks. After I got better the Doc gave me a shot in the ass once a week for5 or 6 weeks and some pills to take for a couple of months. After that, I have not had any trouble with it at all.

    FatMan - what else are you seeing in your area, Tallgrass, Blowdowns, etc?
    ______
    /l ,[____],
    l---L -OlllllllO-
    ()_) ()_)--o-)_)


  6. #6

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    My grandfather insisted one of the first lessons I learn in the forest was how to identify poison ivy. This proved to be exceptionally valuable through life and the many opportunities to pass on that knowledge to others. I'm sure most in this forum can identify poison ivy, but some may not and a review may be in order.

    Poison ivy, like other vine plants, thrive on CO2. With climate change and the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere has acted like a steroid and turbocharged poison ivy, increasing its rate of growth, range of where it is found, and it's virulence. I see a lot more poison ivy these days than I did 10-years ago, in a lot of areas where it typically did not grow.

    Urushiol is the chemical that causes a rash and itching in poison ivy which people have varying levels of sensitivity, however no one is fully immune to it. This oily chemical resides throughout the plant from root to leaf and can adhere to clothing, tools, pets, literally anything that it contacts. It can remain active on these surfaces for long periods of time, resulting in a skin reaction a long time after contact when it may be not associated with plant contact. Rashes of varying degree can develop on skin where urushiol contact from the plant (or clothing/pets/tools that have had direct plant contact) has occurred. Rashes can be minor spots of itching, or develop into blisters, lasting from one to three weeks. Fortunately, blisters do not contain urushiol and will not cause the reaction to spread if the blister breaks.

    Many people having had no issue with poison ivy contact over time develop a higher sensitivity with repeated exposure and eventually develop reaction symptoms. The increased virulence of this plant makes it especially concerning to those with high sensitivity levels that have to protect themselves from even minor contact and those with lower sensitivity to urushiol will probably start seeing oil reactions as contact opportunity increases with the spread of the plant.

    Poison ivy camouflages itself quite well and can take on many different appearances. Leaves can be dull or shine, toothed or smooth or wavy, have hair like structures or not, and appear to be stand-alone, clustered, or on vines. There are only a few common features of the plant that do not change, the plant has compound leaves in clusters of three (leaves of three - leave it be), and leaves alternate on the stalk, with the terminal (top) leaf having a heartier stalk than the lateral (side) leaves.

    If one has contact with poison ivy, rinse off the area as soon as possible with cool/cold water to remove the oil. Avoid using hot water, this can cause the oil to spread and open pores in the skin to receive it. There are several commercial post-contact washing products on the market that can help neutralize the oil if used in time.

  7. #7
    Registered User cneill13's Avatar
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    Poison ivy is one of the reasons I take a sponge with me in the summer and wipe down head to toe twice at day's end.

    I can't remember the last time I got poison ivy and I spend pretty much every weekend in the mountains.

  8. #8
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by V Eight View Post
    FatMan - what else are you seeing in your area, Tallgrass, Blowdowns, etc?
    Early spring up here at elevation. You can see from the image that the leaves are just starting. Other than poison ivy we have wild flowers everywhere. In my neck of the woods the trail is in great shape, the best I have seen it ever in the Spring for the obvious reasons. What a treat to go hiking in April and not dodge thru-hikers every 25 yards.

  9. #9
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    I used to get poison ivy much worse as an adolescent (or maybe the poison ivy in Oklahoma is more virulent). Nowadays if I know I've been in it, I can usually resist those first itches and in a day or two the urge is gone.

    But not always. I've been cutting a trail through thick vegetation on our property. Picture tall trees covered in greenbrier, grapevine, poison ivy, Virginia creeper (and honeysuckle - how could I forget honeysuckle?) with dense debris, foliage, and stems at ground level. Ain't no avoiding it, and I've been scratching! If I can just keep it off my face, I'll probably survive.
    Last edited by illabelle; 05-01-2020 at 05:42.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMan View Post
    Early spring up here at elevation. You can see from the image that the leaves are just starting. Other than poison ivy we have wildflowers everywhere. In my neck of the woods, the trail is in great shape, the best I have seen it ever in the Spring for the obvious reasons. What a treat to go hiking in April and not dodge thru-hikers every 25 yards.
    ,

    Thanks, I've heard from several folks that the trail is looking pretty good. Not many big blowdowns to deal with. Lots of solitude.
    ______
    /l ,[____],
    l---L -OlllllllO-
    ()_) ()_)--o-)_)


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