The time to prepare your gear for the next hunting season is at the end of this one. But it’s important to know the steps involved on how to store your hunting clothes scent free.
Animals have a keen sense of smell and all our usual washing methods introduce fragrances to our clothing because we like to smell fresh. This is extremely bad if you are a keen hunter.
So we are going to look into the methods I use to clean, wash, prepare, dry and store all of our hunting gear and equipment ready for the next season. I also like to make my own homemade scent cover spray for deer hunting so be sure to check those DIY instructions.
Aside from having your hunting gear ready to go, anything you may need to purchase new or as a replacement will very likely be available at lowered prices at the end of hunting season. With a little bit of decent effort as the season has come to an end, you can keep your dedicated hunting gear safe and in good condition. This means its ready to go when you are.
Let’s Start with Hunting Clothes
You have dedicated clothing for hunting, whether it is comprised of camouflage components or other pieces. You will want to wash all your hunting clothing separate from your regular wear.
There is a logical reason for this and its because we want to prevent the absorption of human or mechanical odors onto our hunting survivalist gear. Remember that animals have a very keen sense of smell. Also if there is any color leakage from either piece of clothing during the washing process it won’t be transferred to the other clothes.
The last thing I need is my camo gear smelling like the paint factory I work at. It may seem trivial but if you are serious about the game of man vs beast the way you smell will play a huge part.
Take the following steps on how to store hunting clothes scent free.
- Wash everything in a scent-eliminating detergent or baking soda. I like to use Seventh Generation Natural 4x laundry detergent.
- Line dry clothing outdoors to further prevent picking up any scents from the dryer or previously used dryer sheets.
- Fold dry clothes neatly with camos folded inside out to hinder fading of the patterns – faded camo can cause you to stand out from your background thus betraying your presence.
- Store clothing in scent-free storage bags.
- Select a storage bin or case with a well-fitted lid to keep out pests or rodents and any pervasive odors that could foul the cleaning.
- Place some natural vegetation in with your clothes. Saw for instance when I pack my camo jacket and pants in a PVC container I always add in a few pine cone chips which release a natural scent over time.
- Avoid storing your gear in the garage, tool shed, or any location that also stores gasoline and other mechanical fluids. These are powerful odors that permeate clothing. For good measure, you can place handfuls of leaves or some pine bark chips either in the storage unit or alongside your gear.
You can get commercial scent wafers like white Oak shown below or make your own by placing some cedar chips in a bag with a few holes in it. Use these measures to infuse clothing with natural scents.
Undoubtedly, your hunting boots are your tracks. Only wear your hunting boots for hunting to avoid picking up unnatural odors like gum and grease. When cared for properly at the close of hunting season, your boots should last a very long time.
Follow these steps to ensure your boots are clean, scent-free and ready for storing:
- Rinse off any dirt and debris and make sure to fully dry out in the sun.
- Use a scent-free soap or use baking soda in water to clean them both inside and out.
- You can use a low odor conditioner to preserve the rubber or leather after which you can apply a waterproofing agent.
- Allow boots to completely dry before storing.
- While in storage, you can spray your boots occasionally with scent elimination spray or use natural products like pine chips.
Take stock of your electronic gear that you like to have while hunting. You may have a radio, a GPS unit, LED lights, Lasers, and other devices. Check each one to ensure it is in proper working order and always remove the batteries before long-term storage. This is because sometimes batteries can leak, which will cause damage to the delicate internal parts.
You don’t want to find the connections fouled from corrosion when you are ready to go for next season. Wipe down your devices with scent-free baby wipes before carefully storing.
Guns, Optics, and Other Tools
The best of intentions won’t get your guns cleaned before the start of next season. Do it now so you can go over everything to make sure all the parts are working well. You want to remove any fouling and apply a light coating of gun oil to preserve the barrel.
If you have excessive fouling, you can safely shoot the weapon a few times. The friction helps to heat up and expand the barrel’s surface making cleaning a lot easier.
Do not over oil the weapon as this can gum up with dust even in storage if left in the open. If you cannot control the humidity or temperature of storage, you can use a desiccant to pull the moisture out of the air.
Store your guns barrel in the upward position up to prevent warping. If you noticed any problems with your firearm while using it, now is the time to have it checked for repairs with the gunsmith. You don’t want to wait until the start of the next season when you likely will not have the time.
Always clean, oil and sharpen your knives so they are ready to use when needed.
Optics need to be wiped clean and stored in protective soft cloths or encasement to avoid scratching them. For these and other pieces that represent your gear ensemble, you are better off storing them in a bin or a case where they are all together, so they are easy to find.
Recurve and Compound bow care.
Check all of your strings for damage and re-wax. Tighten up any Allan screws that may have come loose over time. Wipedown all the limbs with a sent free wipe and towel dry.
Recure bows will need to be unstrung, this protects the limbs from damage so they will retain their spring. High power compound bows are ok to leave strung up but make use to either lay flat or hang them up in a dry place.
Duck Reed Care Tips
Call care is super important in maintaining the diaphragm performance. Treat your reeds with care all season they are a musical instrument. If your call reed is sticking you can pull it apart in the field for a quick repair.
It’s important that after every use, you rinse the diaphragms with mouthwash or tap water. Be sure to dry them carefully with a lint free paper towel.
I like to insert a small flat toothpick tip between the top and bottom reed.
- Let the duck call sit and air dry for several hours, not in the direct sunlight.
- Remove the toothpicks.
- Store your mouth call inside the original case.
- For long-term storage, I like to place my duck call in the refrigerator as this is a low moisture environment.
Finally, again be mindful of where you are storing all your gear. The same shed or garage where you keep your gardening equipment including gas cans, pool chlorine, paints, and oil all present the risk of these odors permeating into everything. I like to store the hunting gear I have just cleaned and prepared in my attic apart from the guns which are in an appropriate safe.
If you are struggling for storage space at your home or apartment, plan to rent a storage unit from a company like Kloke for moving and storage where only your hunting gear is kept. I have used them before and found them quite professional.
Now you know how to store hunting clothes scent free. So at the start of the next hunting season when you want to just grab your gear and go, you will be so glad it’s all nicely prepared and guess what it will smell natural as well.