We work so hard to prepare when we go hiking – wearing the right gear, packing the first aid kit, spraying the correct bug spray, etc. add kids in the mix and our preparation is kicked into high gear. Knowing that you’re prepared will help make hiking safe and fun!
Have you heard the rhyme “Leaves of three leave them be, leaves of five – stay alive?” It helps us to remember which plants are Poison Ivy. This is a good trick on remembering how to identify (and avoid) this itchy plant. Did you know there are other plants that we should know to avoid? Don’t let poisonous plants ruin your fun – know how to identify them and keep your crew safe!
Poison Ivy – Everything about this plant should be avoided, even burning them and inhaling the vaporized oils can cause irritation. Read a full description here.
Poison Oak – Equipped with the same itchy oil that Poison Ivy has and its appearance is similar too. However, the leaves and tips are more rounded. These can be found in path edges, walls, roadways, etc. Read a full description here.
Poison Sumac – Moist grounds like the woods of the Adirondacks is the habitat for this woody shrub. Stems are always red, in summer Read a full description here.
Tips from avid hikers:
– Layer up! Wear long socks and pants with your hiking boots to help protect your skin from plants, insects, and the sun. As you get hot, remove layers, but try to keep your socks pulled up!
– Watch where you’re stepping to avoid tripping on roots, sticks, and the person in front of you!
– Bring lots of water and snacks, don’t eat the plants or berries.