Poison Ivy Protection - Proof

Well, I finally did what I always tell people not to do:  If you want to avoid poison ivy, don't crash into a poison ivy patch.

I landed on some rocks, and poison ivy got crushed between stone and leg.

On a slow technical trail section I went down on my left side into a big ol' poison ivy field.  It was, by far, the worst poison ivy contact I've had.  My left arm -- from hand to shoulder -- and my left leg, from hip to calf, all took the brunt of the contact.

About two-hours later into the ride, I finally stopped and wiped off with a Cat's Tongue cleaning towel.  I've used these before as a poison ivy preventative and felt they helped keep me from getting poison ivy when I've ridden through it, or brushed it while riding.  However, I've never really had strong proof of their efficacy as a protective measure.  Well, now I have all the proof I can stand.  I wiped off and cleaned my left arm, including my hand, with the towel.  I didn't clean my leg -- for three reasons:  1) I thought my arm took the worst of it; 2) I thought my bibs would protect me from most of the contact; and 3) I wanted to run a control test to see if I would get poison ivy on my leg, arm, or both.

Well, the test was too successful.  I never got poison ivy on my arm.  And the control area - my leg - got poison ivy, and then some.  Surprisingly, I got a lot of poison ivy oil - urishiol - through my bibs. I don't think I'd ever have that happen before.  The best I can figure is that my hip and thigh landed on some rocks and the poison ivy got crushed between stone and leg.

So, the lesson is, Cat's Tongues work flawlessly as a urishiol remover.  Even a few hours after extreme contact.  This is not a promotion of Cat's Tongue towels specifically; I'm sure there are other items that may work in similar ways.

We've written about poison ivy before and have a list of what to do if you get it.

Now, back to the trails!