Scent Lock Clothing Does It Work?

Tips From The Pro’s

The Scent Control Debate
By Matt Sayer

For the past decade the issue of scent containment in the field has been a hot-button issue. With the advent and marketing of “scent blocking/absorbing” technologies, an entire industry has grown around the containment and elimination of scent. Every year more and more products appear on shelves, in catalogs and are promoted on television shows. The products obviously sell yet there is still an intense debate pertaining to their effectiveness. Some even say they are worthless, a complete sham. Recently a lawsuit has even been filed against a major producer of these products, challenging the company’s claims of scent reduction.

Most scent containment clothing relies on activated carbon to absorb scent- human scent being the target. The premise is that carbon fibers absorb and hold various scent molecules, containing the scent before it is released into the air. It is advertised that carbon clothing can be recharged by running it through a high heat cycle in the dryer. The heat allows the carbon fibers to release the absorbed scent molecules, allowing them to absorb more.

Several studies have been done as to the effectiveness of these products and they have come up with different conclusions- essentially allowing the debate to continue.

As an avid big game hunter with extensive experience using scent containment products, I feel the truth, as usual, is somewhere in the middle. When used properly, I feel that scent elimination clothing and other products are a valuable tool, particularly for the bow hunter. They will not make you scent free but are an effective tool in helping reduce in the amount of scent we release into the air. Getting high above the ground, not smoking, chewing or allowing ourselves to break a sweat are other ways we can help contain our scent. Touching as little as possible on the way into a stand also helps.

Many people expect too much from carbon clothing and don’t understand its limitations. The amount of scent a garment can absorb is limited so it is very important to protect clothing from everyday odors such as getting into the cab of your truck, refueling or from breakfast. Storing them in plastic bags and putting them on in the field and taking them off before leaving will help. Recharging often is another way to insure the clothing is as effective as possible. Keeping your body as clean as possible is another way to cut down on scent; hair is notorious for holding scent.

There is no way to be entirely “scent free” and you should always hunt the wind.

Unfortunately many factors in the field are out of our control, so reducing the amount of scent we release into the woods may just buy us that extra ten yards or ten seconds that we may need to take an animal.