Poison Ivy and Poison Oak Treatment – Tecnu Outdoor Skin Cleanser, First Aid and More!

Hey everybody Brandon Mason here with
Eastmans’ journals and today we’re going to take a look at one more piece of
equipment that’s a handy thing to have in your emergency kit no matter what part
of the country you’re recreating in. A few years ago we here at Eastmans’ had an
employee that was exposed to poison oak without really knowing it until the next
day. We went back the next day to the spot that he was fly-fishing in and we
realized that in our own backyard right here in Wyoming there are poisonous
plants that we didn’t even know existed. Everybody’s pretty familiar with poison
ivy, poison oak poison sumac that exists in the northwestern part of the country,
in the eastern part of the country, but in the dry Intermountain West we don’t
often correlate poisonous plants to the landscape that we live in because we
don’t see them often enough. Well in our river systems they are there and it’s
definitely a risk that you need to be aware of especially when you’re spending
time in the backcountry, but really this is applicable no matter what activity
you’re doing whether it’s fly fishing, hunting, camping with your family, hiking,
whatever the activity is in really any part of a country this is something that
you need to be thoughtful of. Well a few years ago we started working with a
company called Tecnu. They’ve been around for a long time. Their inventor
Dr. Robert Smith was a chemical engineer during the Cold War and he was trying to
develop a product that would waterlessly remove a radioactive dust from
skin. Well he succeeded. On accident his wife was exposed to poison oak in their
own backyard and she decided to see if it would work for wiping off the
poisonous oil that come off poison plants and sure enough it worked. Well the
product has evolved into what’s called Tecnu Original and their son then years
later Steve Smith who’s now owner of the company discovered that exposure to
poisonous plants is the number one cause for workers comp cases in the part of
the country that they live. Now Tecnu has become an integral part of first-aid
kits for field personnel around the country and
it’s something that we even carry in our first-aid tax into the backcountry. One
of the great things about Tecnu is it can be used by wiping it on your skin
and rubbing for two minutes and then rinsing it off of water or if you don’t
have water a simple cloth can wipe it off. It’s both a waterless and a water
application. So it’s a very handy product to use. In addition to that there’s been
other uses that have been discovered from using Tecnu. Now this poisonous
plants oils can also get on your tools or our camera gear, our hunting equipment.
It can get on your clothing. It can get on your pets and it can be used to
remove those oils from all of those scenarios. It’s also great at removing
tree sap and pitch from clothing or gear. It’s really a pretty universal product
that can be used in multiple applications including even removing
skunk oils. Our editor Dan Turvey got to figure out what that was like a few
years ago on his trapline. He got sprayed by a skunk and it worked famously. There was
no bathtubs full of tomato juice to take off the oil from him or anything. He
simply used Tecnu and he was good to go. So that’s this week’s tip. Remember to
subscribe to our YouTube channel for more helpful tips just like this to help
you become more safe and more effective while you’re spending time in the
outdoors no matter what your preferred activity is.


  1. This stuff is great! My buddy who does landscape architecture told me about it years ago. After clearing tons of brush I ended up with major contact dermatitis and had to relearn this; hopefully I won't forget again. Now I give myself 2 hours and do the Technu session and all is well. Thanks for the video, cheers!

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