Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac Pictures and Remedies   Recently updated !

Poisonous Plants Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac
*Click image to enlarge

Camping with Kids and Poisonous Plants

Make sure your camping kids know what to look for, and stay away from it!

Start by teaching them the old Boy Scout warning: Leaves of three – Leave it be!

Click to see enlarged pictures
Poison Oak pictures spring summer fall winter
Poison Oak
Poison Ivy Pictures Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Poison Ivy
poison sumac pictures spring summer fall winter
Poison Sumac
Poison Ivy Oak Sumac rash pictures
Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac rashes

Basic Information

  • All three plants, (Poison Oak, Poison Ivy, and Poison Sumac), are commonly found in most regions of the United States, in ALL seasons.
  • They are not restricted to wooded areas, they can be found anywhere there is brush or undergrowth. (even your backyard)
  • The danger is in the oils that are on and in their leaves and stems.
  • The symptoms of exposure can take one to three days to appear.

Important Tip: It is not just contacted with the plant that can cause the rash, it is contact with the oils from the plant. This means you can also get a rash from touching anything else that has come into contact with the plants, like; footwear, clothing, pets, and even camp gear that has been in contact with the plants. (like the shovel handle that flopped down on the undergrowth)

You can even get very serious poisonous exposure from the smoke of burning wood that has the vines or stems of these plants on them.

How Poison Ivy, (and Oak, Sumac), usually
look in warm weather camping areas.

Poison Ivy in grass

*same appearance when mixed in with other underbrush

You will also find Poison Ivy, (Oak and Sumac), climbing
trees, fence posts, and rocks.

Poison Ivy climbing on tree

*It will also climb fence posts and rocks

The Three Most Important Things You Can Do:

  1. Walk your camping area and look for these plants before your young camping kids do.
    • If you find any of these plants, do not try to pull them up, cut them down, or remove them. Show the kids what you found and mark the area so they know to stay away.
    • You can mark the spot with a sign on a stake or rope it off with a flagged line.
  2. Educate your young campers about these poisonous plants.
    • Show them what these plants look like
    • Tell them what will happen if they touch them
  3. As much as the weather will allow – have the kids wear clothing that reduces the amount of exposed skin. Like; long pants and long sleeve shirts.

What to do if a camper is exposed:

  • Carefully remove any clothing that may have contacted the plants and put them in a separate bag. Remember, you can get the oil on you from the clothes too.
  • Rinse the area with a lot of COLD water. A Lot of cold water!
    • Do not use hot water, it will open the skin pores and let the oil penetrate deeper.
    • Do not use a cloth to try to scrub off the oil, you will only spread the exposed area and rub the oil deeper into the skin.


  • The best remedy is prescription stuff you can get from a doctor. (Prednizone, (a steroid), seems to be the most effective)
    • Calamine lotion is not effective for rashes from these plants
    • Some folks say Aloe Vera Gel helps, (it dries the skin), but this seems to be relative to the person using it.

Some experienced outdoor campers and hikers have recommended these products:

Prevention is the best cure. Blockers like this help stop the poisonous oils from being absorbed by the skin. A great idea for very young or very sensitive camping kids.


For emergencies, Tecnu is one of the most respected and effective product lines that outdoor campers and hikers rely on. Their scrubs and cleaners are proven to dissolve and remove plant oils, and they also include pain and itch relief ingredients.

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More Camping with Kids Camping Items you might like:
*Note – all shopping links are my own Amazon affiliate links – which I only use to recommend good-quality camping gear – Gus

Here are some handy resources and pieces of camp gear you might be interested in:

Boy Scout Handbooks

A Boy Scout Handbook can be one of the most helpful pieces of general camping gear you can have when you are camping with kids!

This handbook contains easy-to-understand answers and how-tos for almost any camping question or situation. Plus, it contains plant and foliage identifications, campsite activity suggestions, woodcraft project suggestions, (with instructions), knot-tying tips and instructions, ( a great fill-in for bad weather situations), survival tips, and detailed primary first aid instructions.

Boy Scout Handbook

Here are some other examples of camping gear, accessories, and tools that will make your outdoor camping trip as fun and enjoyable as you want it to be. And you will be surprised at the value when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online.


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Rainy Day Survival Kit – Games and Activities
Personal Gear/Bedding Checklist
Camp Tools and Accessories Checklist

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