If you have spent any length of time hunting, you have probably been faced with the question of how to store hunting clothes.
The answer to this question is often more important than one might think. If improperly stored, you might be harming your odds of success before your next hunt even begins.
Why Does It Matter?
You will be sprayed down with scent eliminator before going to the woods anyway, and that should be enough right?
The truth is, deer and other wild game can pick up on even the slightest foreign odor.
When this scent is detected, the game will often flee far from the source of the offending odor.
By simply storing your hunting clothes in a closet between hunts, as you would any other garment, you are exposing them to a wide range of typical household odors.
Many of which can quickly ruin your next hunt. These scents include the smell of:
By properly storing your clothing, you are able to keep your hunting gears away from any possible sources of scent contamination.
This is a very valuable strategy to take into consideration. By minimizing foreign odor prior to a hunt, there is less odor that you must contend with attempting to eliminate.
How to Store Hunting Clothes?
The key to proper hunting clothing storage is isolation.
Clothing must not only be stored away from foreign odors but sealed off to prevent contamination as well.
By sealing off your clothing within a contained unit, you have a secondary barrier between your clothing and hunt-ruining odors.
There are several ways of storing your hunting clothing that will accomplish the goal of scent prevention.
Some options serve as natural remedies for the issue at hand, while other strategies utilize store-bought products that exhibit the latest in odor-eliminating technology.
No matter your choice of method, all come with advantages and disadvantages with their use. Check it now:
1) Natural Open Air Storage
Simplicity is key to this strategy. No easier way of storing hunting clothing in a scent-free manner exists.
The clothing in question is removed from the interior of your house and laid about in a predetermined location outside of your residence.
By draping your clothing over the handrails of your porch, or hanging them on a clothesline, you are able to ensure that all odor is kept in check.
This strategy is effective because not only is clothing entirely isolated away from human odors, but scents natural to your area are allowed to permeate your clothing for an added level of human odor elimination.
# Pro Tip: When choosing where to position your clothing, make this decision count.
If clothes are stored for only a short period of time where the elements will not be an issue, choose locations based upon what can provide a natural cover scent.
Limbs of tree species that are rich in scents, such as cedar or pine, are excellent places to hang clothing.
2) Plastic Storage Totes
The use of plastic storage totes is yet another way to store hunting clothes while not in use. It gives a hunter a unique way to shield their clothing from typical household odors.
Once clothing is situated within the tote, the form-fitting lid snaps into place providing a barrier of sorts. The tote can then be conveniently packed away in a closet until your next hunting excursion.
Plastic totes can also be used to store gears that would normally be carried afield. Releases, binoculars, flashlights, calls, and rangefinders all fit nicely in smaller totes that can easily be stored away.
This can be immensely valuable, as it makes little sense to painstakingly protect your hunting clothes from foreign odor; only to then take scent contaminated accessories afield.
# Pro Tip:
When storing your clothes in a plastic tote, first layer the bottom with aromatic foliage or organic material.
When spread within the tote, items such as pine needles or cedar shavings put off a scent that will help to mask any remaining human odor that is present on you or your clothing.
3) Oversized Zip-Lock Bags
Oversized Zip-Lock Bags are a wonderful way of preventing your hunting clothing from becoming contaminated with household odors.
These bags typically come in a wide array of sizes, with some being as large as four feet wide by three feet in depth.
Excess air can be expelled from the bag and it can then be securely closed with the use of the built-in seal.
Numerous hunting manufactures sell such oversized zip-lock bags, and they are readily available at most sporting goods stores.
However, a smart shopper can often find bags of this nature in their local grocery store, located with other similar items of the typical size, for a fraction of the cost of hunting branded products.
# Pro Tip:
To prevent zip-lock bags from becoming punctured or ripped, it is wise to store all bags that are being used inside of a secondary bag for protection.
Trash bags, large duffle bags, or sizeable hunting packs are all great items for this use.
This method also helps to consolidate your gear should the use of multiple bags become necessary, making storage a breeze.
4) Ozone Generating Bags
In recent years, new technology has arrived on the scent elimination scene.
Ozone-generating products have become all the rage and for good reason. Ozone has been proven to eliminate virtually any existing odor.
The reason for this is because ozone molecules cling to molecules from other sources, therefore making them undetectable to deer or other game.
Ozone eliminates forms of bacteria, fungus, and mildew that are common causes of scent on hunting clothing.
Many companies now offer ozone-generating bags of the duffle variety.
You simply fold and place any clothing that is to be decontaminated and kept scent-free into the bag, zip it up, and turn the generator on.
You can then walk away in confidence knowing that the generator will run until the designated time expires, leaving your clothes free of scent.
The bag’s seal keeps new odors from adhering to your clothing.
# Pro Tip:
If clothing has been stored for an extended period of time, it is wise to enable the generator for an additional cycle just prior to embarking on your next hunt.
This gives your clothes one last decontamination before going afield, in the event that any odors have leached into the bag over time.
5) Ozone Generating Closets
The use of ozone-generating closets expands on the same principle of ozone use in the bag form.
Ozone is used to remove the scent from clothing once placed inside and is also used to store clothing for extended periods of time as well.
Many scent elimination companies have begun producing ozone-generating closets and several sizes are available.
These units typically include shelf space, clothing rods, and boot compartments, as to allow an entire set of hunting clothing to be placed within, decontaminated of all scent, and stored as needed.
# Pro Tip:
Once clothing is removed from an ozone closet, there is no longer any barrier to prevent the accumulation of foreign odors.
This becomes a problem if you have to travel in a vehicle to your hunting destination.
To overcome this obstacle, it is advisable to transfer your clothing to a plastic, zip-lock, or ozone generating bag before leaving for your hunt.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Clothing Storage:
There are several important items of business to attend to if you hope to get the most out of your hunting clothing storage.
It is very important to only store after descenting hunting clothes.
This is best accomplished through washing any hunting garments in a selective manner, always keeping the minimization of scent in mind. The use of scented detergent or dryer sheets is highly discouraged.
Hunting clothing should only be washed in scent-free detergents. Many hunting specific companies manufacture their own varieties of these detergents that can be found at nearly any sporting goods store.
Alternatively, many non-hunting specific companies offer unscented detergents. These can be used as well. However, prior to use, any bottle of detergent should be checked for the presence of UV brighteners.
The use of any detergent with these brighteners should be avoided, as deer and other game animals see in a different color spectrum than humans and can easily detect UV rich clothing.
In the same regard, dryer sheets should be carefully selected to avoid the use of any variety containing a fragrance.
Many hunting companies offer their own scent-free dryer sheets for purchase.
Earth scented varieties are also offered by many of these companies as well and can add an additional layer of protection against foreign odor.
Preparing For The Hunt
Another helpful strategy pertaining to proper storage of hunting clothing is to only remove your clothing from the chosen source of storage when you are ready to depart for a hunt.
If you remove your clothing from storage in its scent-free containment well in advance of a hunt, you are risking scent contamination.
Exposing clothing to typical household odors for any lengthy period of time, essentially undoes what has been gained from your storage efforts thus far.
The same is applicable if you must commute to your hunting destination. It is advisable to retain your clothing in its source of storage until you arrive afield.
Once you have arrived, you can change into your properly stored and scent-free clothing.
It is also important to avoid placing your clothing storage container next to anything in your vehicle that emits high levels of odor.
Gas cans, food items, and air fresheners all carry the potential to contaminate your storage container and clothes within with foreign odor.
Proper Clothing Storage Makes A Difference
A hunter free of human odor has an increased likelihood of a successful hunt.
Now that you know how to store hunting clothes, you will be able to reduce odors that are offensive to game animals and go afield prepared.
As always, feel free to comment or ask any questions.