An Important Layer in
Scent Control Hunting
The hype about scent control clothing for hunting, like Scent Blocker, Scent-Lok and No Trace has less good science behind it than people think. The research that is used for advertising purposes is often from flawed science models.
Scent-Lok and Scent Blocker, the carbon embedded types of scent control hunting clothing, become gradually less effective with time, starting immediately. Any carbon containing clothing must be “reactivated” with heat, but the science does not show that the common household dryer is hot enough to be able to reactivate it over and over again.
Also, the carbon clothing traps gases, so heat may not escape as easily either. Something to keep in mind during archery season or on a hard climbing hike.
The carbon suit manufacturers admit that the odor reducing effectiveness begins to diminish after about 18 months, assuming the product is used and treated just right for about 18 six hour hunts per season. Most hunters can’t take care of it properly anyway. That doesn’t sound like a good deal to me, but if money is no object, these can add a measure of scent reduction.
No Trace uses cyclodextrins embedded into the fibers of the clothing to “adsorb” odor molecules. The cyclodextrins do trap odors. The odors are then freed from this binding when the clothing is washed. No Trace is about half the cost of the carbon suits and is easier to “reactivate”, by simply washing them in odor free soap.
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Be aware that there are so many variables that can keep these expensive scent control hunting garments from being effective, you really don’t know if you’re getting your money’s worth. There are no reliable testing standards for odor absorbing fabrics. They do provide some scent control properties.
I would recommend using the clothing with silver fiber, next-to-the-skin anti-bacterial under garments (see below). Outer scent control clothing isn't nearly as effective as silver fiber as a first layer, next to the skin.
The least expensive thing you can do toward scent control hunting is to use the anti-bacterial, fragrance free soaps that I have described on that page. My favorite camo, ASAT, has many products with VaporTech Nano Silver Odor Suppression built into it (ASAT Elite Performance Series). The silver fiber clothing is quite effective at killing bacteria and reducing odors, especially when worn next to the skin. The silver kills bacteria on contact.
All you really need is the undergarment shirt, pants and socks putting the silver fiber next to your skin to kill those bacteria growing on body moisture. An outer shirt with silver fiber in it will not provide much more benefit, not being next to the skin. Silver fiber clothing will also pick up odors that are not caused by growing bacteria.
Add a silver fiber laden hood to your scent control clothing and you will eliminate a big source of odors. They also make gloves with silver fiber, but remember that the gloves will pick up odors from touching surfaces.
I have found the wicking properties of these layer garments to be superb. When I get sweaty, it is amazing how quickly I dry up, minimizing the effect of getting cold after a sweaty climb or bike ride. Put some silver fiber hunting clothing next to your skin and wash it often.
Add scent control clothing to scent control sprays, soaps, detergents (click here for that discussion) and you have a good start at minimizing human associated odors when elk hunting, but first manage the wind!
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