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Outdoor Afflictions

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac

Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac all produce an oily allergen known as urushiol. When coming into contact with skin, urushiol gets absorbed by the epidermis and causes inflammation. Washing away the urushiol as quick as possible is of the utmost importance. As much as 50%  can be absorbed within 10 minutes.

Poison Ivy
photo credit: cliff1066™ via photopin cc


Poison Oak

photo credit: Franco Folini via photopin cc


Poison Sumac

photo credit: Rusty Clark via photopin cc




If you come into contact with any of these plants:

  • Use rubbing alcohol on the contaminated area
  • Wash area with soap and cold water
  • Put all your contaminated clothing into a plastic garbage bag and seal it up
  • When washing your clothes, add Tecnu in with your detergent

The Sun

The best ways to circumvent a sunburn while camping are:

  • Using a sunblock with an SPF30 or higher. For thin area skin, an SPF50 (i.e., nose, ears, around the eyes).
  • Staying in the shade during peak hours. Hours vary depending on the season, but the general window is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


If a bear approaches:

  • Make a lot of noise to scare them away
  • Use a whistle
  • Bang Pots/Pans/Lids
  • Yell at them and wave your arms around
  • Set off your Car Alarm
  • It’s always good to have backup protection: Bear Attack Deterrent Spray

Black Fly Season

  • Primarily in the Northeast Region of the United States, including parts of Michigan and Minnesota.
  • Between Late April and Mid-July; the peak being Late MayEarly June.