Monday, October 21, 2019

Trekking Pole & Trail Tips, plus some photos

May 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Nature, Pole Tips, Trail Tips

As we head into our dryer Summer, we encounter different challenges on the trail than we experience in Winter or Spring.

The poison oak this year is obscene.  I got a bad case through clothing.    I had to step into the poison oak to help someone who had fallen down the trail.  He sat down to rest and kept rolling backwards down hill.  He ended up in a heap, upside down and backwards, in the poison oak.   It never occurred to me that the poison oak would seep thru my pant legs.  I got a very bad case behind my legs, not on my arms or exposed skin (where I vigorously washed with cold water, soap and Tecnu).

Avoiding the poison oak yesterday was practically impossible.  I had brought along a long sleeve shirt for TWO reasons:

  1. Poison oak protection
  2. To wet down in a cool stream which lowers my core and arm temperature.  I do this for comfort and to avoid a lymphedema flare-up.  On a hot day, this is HUGELY helpful.  It also helps extend drinking water if I’m running low (which I try NEVER to do, but on hot days, it’s especially  important to stay hydrated).  Check the trail tips section of this blog for more heat tips.

Oh, and what about our poles’ exposure to poison oak?   Well, we have to wash them with soap and water or – my favorite –  rubbing alcohol.  But do be sure to use enough alcohol to CUT the oil, not just spread it around.  I thoroughly soak a paper towel, extend the pole sections and carefully go over them twice.

Do you like my photos? 🙂 How on earth do we see such wonders?

    • we use our poles for stability on uneven terrain
    • we maintain good neck function
    • we lift our feet – this is a function of hip flexion and dorsi-flexion – when you put your attention to your form, you’re more mindful and your form improves.  Thinking of lifting your legs (kind of like marching) on uneven terrain helps us to more fully enjoy our adventures  🙂

Click on any photo to enlarge.


3 Responses to “Trekking Pole & Trail Tips, plus some photos”
  1. Ellen says:

    Yikes! This is my worst nightmare. Poison ivy (that noxious weed!)here in DC is fierce and EVERYWHERE! Thanks for the advise on clean-up and prevention. Although I always suit up before venturing into the woods (or the garden;-)), its always helpful to get a reminder. Cheers.

  2. Carole Cool says:

    It is good practice when we are knowingly in contact with poison oak, to immediately on returning home, shower with soap and change clothes. Oil from the poison oak is on the outside, usually on pants, and we unknowingly brush our hands in that area and spread the oil. Even when we think we haven’t touched any poison oak, if it’s seen in the area we’re hiking, it’s good practice to at least change pants.
    I enjoy your blog with good info and impressive pics. Thanks for all your efforts.


    • I agree. I peel pants off and both fold and wash them inside out. I try to limit exposure to ANYTHING I think may have come into contact. The rash appears (on me) 2 to 4 days later and lasts a long time.

      Some people may need to wash more quickly (like right away). I carry a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, which rinses quickly and easily and really seems to cut the oil.

      Today I went for a horse-back ride. We avoided the poison oak, but found about 60 ticks. We love being outside, but be mindful of the risks.

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