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Thursday, July 6, 2017

What Every Camper Should Carry into the Woods

ARA Content

(ARA) - Before you know it, temperatures will start warming up and everything will be green again -- the perfect inspiration for you to begin planning your next camping trip. Whether you're going to a state or national park, a Boy or Girl Scout camp, or a spot you discovered on your own close to home, you're going to need a lot of supplies.

In addition to food, clothing, a tent, sleeping bags, waterproof matches, a map, compass, pocket knife and flashlight, you also need to remember to pack a first aid kit, just in case someone in your party gets hurt. That kit should include bandages, antiseptic spray and ointment, a coban to wrap a sprained or injured limb, and something a lot of people don't think about -- a bottle of Tecnu Oak-N-Ivy Brand Outdoor Skin Cleanser.

Tecnu was originally developed in the 1950s by Dr. Robert Smith, a biochemist from Oregon, as a liquid skin cleanser people could use to remove radioactive dust. "Our Cold War fears never materialized, so my wife started using the cleanser to clean up around the house," says Dr. Smith. "Since it worked so well on oil, she decided to try it out on our kids' arms after they got into some poison ivy in the yard, and they never got a rash."

At the time the discovery was made, Dr. Smith worked at Oregon State University, and he convinced a whole class of forestry students to try Tecnu out. "When the results came back, I was 100 percent convinced of its effectiveness at preventing rashes and decided to start marketing it," he says.

Each year, about 50 million people get a reaction after coming in contact with poison ivy, sumac and oak. The wicked itch and bothersome rash are the result of exposure to urushiol oil, a potent toxin. All it takes is one-billionth of a gram on your skin to cause a reaction; and a lot more than that is released when the plant is disturbed. After exposure to the plants, the rash usually erupts on the skin anywhere from several hours to 3 days later. Tecnu works by removing the rash causing urushiol from the skin before the rash breaks out. The annoying itching that comes with the rash prompted Smith to latch on to the company's trademark phone number nearly 30 years ago: 1-800-ITCHING.

At first, Tecnu was sold mainly to industrial clients, like telephone companies that had to send workers into brushy areas to check lines. Eventually it found its way into drug stores across the country.

"To use, all you have to do is wipe the liquid on the area of your skin that's been exposed to the urushiol oil and either rinse or wipe off," he says. "The quicker you put it on the better." Not only is Tecnu effective for removing the oil that gets on people's skin, but also for removing it from chairs, sleeping bags, camping equipment, and even pets that have brushed by the toxic plants.

For more information about TECNU and help with poison ivy, log on to www.teclabsinc.com or call (800) ITCHING (482-4464).

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