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If It Has Leaves Three, Leave It Be or If Nobody Else Will Do It, Chris’ll Review It

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Regular readers of know that we have a very talented team of reviewers here. What you may not realize is that there is sort of an unspoken pecking order among the team members about who gets to do which review.

For instance, if the product has four wheels or a screen bigger than 19″, you can bet Judie is gonna write the review. If it is the latest, most technologically advanced PDA or phone, Clinton and Mitchell are the “go-to” guys. Allen is a real gearhead when it comes to games and gadgets. If it is whimsical or might be considered a toy, Kerry Woo the Wonderdawg is your man.

But when the times came to review a new product from IvyBlock, the silence was deafening. Even the crickets on Judie’s family’s ranch stopped chirping for fear of being misconstrued as volunteers. After several calls for reviewers, an idea was born: “Let the new guy do it.”

If It Has Leaves Three, Leave It Be or If Nobody Else Will Do It, Chris'll Review It

Yes, me. The redneck liberal arts major from Tennessee.

Not that there’s anything wrong with IvyBlock. It’s a product that could potentially be very valuable to anyone who regularly works around poison ivy or poison oak. It’s just not very sexy as a review topic. Plus it’s kinda dangerous if it doesn’t work.

When you were growing up, did you ever buy a random assortment of fireworks from a roadside stand? You know, the kind of fireworks with names like Flowering Delight of Sparky Fire and Super Bang Bang Boom Rocket. There was always one device with a really short fuse and no decipherable description of what it was or what it was intended to do. If you were lucky, there might have been an arrow pointing to where you were supposed to light it. And there was always one crazy kid who was willing to fire it up and run for his life.

That was me.

So it turns out that I’m your IvyBlock man. Besides, I thought, how bad can it be? They also make products designed to soothe and treat any rash caused by an outbreak of poison ivy in case the IvyBlock doesn’t do the job. Go here to check out IvyCleanse and IvySoothe.

If It Has Leaves Three, Leave It Be or If Nobody Else Will Do It, Chris'll Review It

Oops. They didn’t include those in the package with the tube I’m supposed to review. We’ll just have to trust them and hope for the best.

I own a cabin in the woods midway between Nashville and Chattanooga. Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a big yard work trip for me. Most of the flowering pants have receded, so it’s time to trim everything back so that my house doesn’t get completely overrun by greenery during the weeks I can’t get here. Plus it’s usually when the poison ivy is in full growth, so I need to weed-eat it back from all the trails. I can pretty much count on an itchy June.

Maybe not this year. I applied the IvyBlock as directed just like sunscreen over all exposed flesh a half hour before I went out to the yard to work. I cut grass and trimmed vines for about three hours this morning before removing and bagging all of the clothes I wore for a separate trip through the washing machine.

I know I was exposed to a LOT of poison ivy. I didn’t go out of my way to roll in it or anything in the name of an exhaustive GearDiary review, but trust me, if this stuff doesn’t work, I’ll know about it.

According to the IvyBlock website, the gestation time from exposure to the urushiol oil to a rash is usually a couple days. Luckily, I have the IvyBlock advantage of Bentoquatam, a patented substance that actually absorbs urushiol before it irritates the skin. Check back here later this week and I’ll let you know how I’m doing.

And maybe you can catch Judie unboxing a new SmartCar.

All photos courtesy of

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