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Columnists : Anthony Navarroli
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Scent Containment - Scent Trends 2006, pt 2
By Anthony Navarroli
Jul 7, 2006, 08:59

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Scent Containment

Weíve covered scents and ways of dispersing scent, now the only thing thatís left is how to contain your scent to make the other measures youíve taken effective.  Putting down attractant and cover scent is a wasteful activity if you are going to include human scent in the mix.  Luck for all of us there are many companies working diligently on solving our smelly problem.  Most of the companies that make hunting clothing have at least started to address the scent containment issue.  A few companies stand at the forefront of the industry and have pioneered what promises to be the trend in getting closer to game. 

 
Robinson Scent Blocker

Just about every hunter has tried to tip the odds in their favor whenever in the woods and with the plethora of products available from Robinson Outdoors they can literally be your one stop shopping destination.  Still Steamin and Almost Steamin are their natural and synthetic lines, respectively, of attractant scent.  They have a wide variety of scents available in the market that can fulfill your scent needs.  What really put Robinson Outdoors on the map is their line of Scent Blocker products. 

Scent Blocker hunting clothing utilizes the highest quality carbon available for this scent absorption.  Their large pore carbon soaks in more scent molecules yet remains amazingly supple and comfortable.  An added feature to their field tested garments is ergonomically tailored materials that allow for unrestricted movement.  Any hunter trying to step over deadfall or cross a ditch can attest to the need for unimpeded movement.  To make their product even better they have their proprietary rain stopping material called Rain Blocker.  Rather than spray the material for water repellency, the Rain Blocker laminate is an actual layer that allows for moisture and perspiration to escape, yet refuses to allow water molecules to enter.  Jackets, pants and bibs are available in this remarkable material within their Outfitter and Prohunter series of clothing.  The Prohunter products have the unique reversible cape that goes from camouflage to blaze orange to aid in safety when dragging out your trophy.  It shares the same articulated arms and legs with the rest of the clothing line to keep movement as free as possible. As if all this werenít enough reason to go out and buy Scent Blocker clothing they offer an innovative Body Lock system that closes the areas that permit outgas (human scented molecules) to escape.  Through the use of scent proof zippers, pull ties, and hook and loop fasteners, the Body Lock system seals snugly, but comfortably around the neck, cuffs and waist of their coats and around the waist and legs of their pants.  The lesser the amount of outgas, the less chance odor and human scent has a chance of escaping into the wind and alerting game. 

The Underguard XT activated carbon undergarments are lightweight and further protect against seeping scent that may enter the air currents.  They allow for a scent absorbing layering of clothing to keep warm and scent free or stand alone as great warm weather hunting garments.  For more demanding situations in warm weather, you may want to look to their trend setting Safari line that is geared toward hotter climates while still providing the scent containment features of Scent Blocker.  For the ultimate in lightweight bowhunting stealth, the Dream Season suit is hard to beat.  It has super soft and supple fleece that is unbelievably quiet and scent free.  Other features include offset zippers for increased comfort and the exclusive Body Lock features.  Combine this or any other clothing with the Xtreme Liner system and along with more carbon you get the added bonus of an added antimicrobial layer to stop scent before it ever gets a chance to start interfering with your hunt. 

To further assist the hunter from being detected two excellent spray products are available for eliminating possible contamination.  Carbon Blast has activated carbon in its solution and neutralizes scent on clothing and equipment.  For those using lighter based colored clothing and equipment the breakthrough White Lightning spray uses a colorless synthetic carbon to mask scent without discoloring gear.  The scent free Laundry Detergent and Shower Kit will add the final details for eliminating more scent than you ever thought possible.  The Shower Kit uses mild soaps that are unscented and work great for general use for people with highly sensitive skin.   More lightweight and scent free items are on the horizon so keep a look out for additional Scent Blocker products in 2006!

The trend of antimicrobial fabrics started with Contain Clothing. They originated the antimicrobial process in hunting clothing.  Since then, they have been furthering the evolution of their antimicrobial impregnated base layer clothing line.  What makes Contain Clothing so attractive to hunters is that because the antimicrobial component is integrated into the fibers of the garments, there is no rejuvenation process.  As long as you are wearing it, it continues to work.  Their line includes base layers as well as some outerwear such as gloves and head covers.  Another added advantage to the Contain Clothing line is that it is easy to care for and maintain. Recently they started to produce some Coolmax blends of clothing that allows for greater comfort in exerting circumstances.  They are currently developing some soon to be released breakthrough products which should be unveiled by the time this article goes to print.

 
Scent Lox

Scent Lok, one of the originators of scent control outerwear, has been busy tweaking their lines of clothing.  What makes Scent Lok clothing so popular is the simple fact that it works.  The prodigious use of activated carbon along with smart use of wonder materials like micro fleece and W.L. Gore Industries Gore Tex allow for garments that arenít only quiet, but also scent free and weather proof.  With Gore Tex, they guarantee total waterproofing and wind proofing.  Spray on laminates work marginally and wear off in time leaving you wet when you least want to be.  Gore Tex keeps your body temperature regulated by allowing breathability through the fibers while positively stopping wind and water from entering the garment.

The current trend in scent containment clothing is the moving toward effective, yet lighter weight materials that allow for warm weather hunting.  The Savanna EXT line is the latest in quiet, scent free materials.  Many smart features make this line a possible staple in any hunterís closet.  Layer it for cold hunts or use it as is for the hotter locales. 

The Dakota line of clothing offers the hunter a mid weight option that allows for the use of quiet materials with more substance for chilly mornings and moderate weather.   

If you are seeking the ultimate in scent containment, weather proof clothing then look no farther than the Supreme line from Scent Lok.  Gore Tex and scent proof zippers make this line up of outerwear your best friend in all hunting situations.  Excellent movement and functional features drip from this line.  One especially nice and unique feature of the Supreme parkas is their ability to be worn like a backpack with internal straps.  Whenever you are hiking from one location to another and risk dangerous overheating, simply shrug the shoulders and arms off and your jacket is held in place by the internal straps.

Walking into and out of a hunting area is the most problematic for hunters from a noise and scent contamination perspective.  Perhaps one of the most effective and most overlooked facets of scent free hunting is footwear.  Many people use lace up boots either for ankle support or just out of tradition.  Advances in rubber boot construction have made them secure fitting and some provide excellent traction.  The added benefits of rubber boots being totally waterproof and reduced scent is just icing on the proverbial cake.  One misconception is that rubber boots is totally scent free.  Walk into a tire store, what do you smell?  The difference between the rubber on your boots and the rubber in tires is not as great as you think.  I recently walked into a sporting goods store and knew I was near the rubber boots section just by the smell of the rubber in the air.  Now imagine a deer with a near bloodhound scenting ability walking near you with your rubber boots. 

 
Elimitrax

Traditional cures were to spray boots with either a cover scent or scent elimination spray.  The drawback to this is that as you walk, the sole of your boots are flexing exposing unconcealed pores and contaminating your trail with a non-natural scent.  This may or may not alert game but add to this the leaching of outgases from the boots and you have a recipe for spooking game.  Elimitrax took an innovative approach to this problem and developed scent free leggings that totally encompass the hunterís boots and legs called the Overboot System.    These leggings completely encapsulate the legs and boots eliminating outgases from escaping and allow the hunter to stealthily enter the game zone.  The newest product from Elimitrax is their line of Elimiscent Gloves. Same principle as the Overboot System, they keep you from spreading your scent as you touch surrounding foilage and hunting equipment such as treestands, steps, etc. Elimitrax are constructed of a durable, 600 denier polyurethane engineered to be scent free, highly water resistant (almost waterproof) and windproof. To provide traction they scientifically researched materials that did not leave a scent trail and found a very high tech plastic that provided the durability, traction and scent free properties they were looking for.  The material used is a durable proprietary material called Elimiscent.  Elimiscent is a soft, yet durable plastic with many rubber-like qualities in feel and performance, but engineered and molecularly manipulated to eliminate scent. They look and feel like rubber; provide the traction like a rubber sole and are just as durable as rubber boots.  They just happen to have an advantage when it comes to scent control.  

I know that many people reading this and never having seen the product will starting thinking that there is no way they are going to enter the woods with plastic boots!  I first thought that too and after getting a pair I can assure you that the plastic is absolutely indistinguishable from rubber to everyone except chemists.  As stated before, these traction soles are designed to be scent free from a molecular level.  It doesnít wear off and it does not require any rejuvenation process.  As for effectiveness, the folks at Elimitrax were so confident that they would work they tested it against the best noses they could find; police trained tracking bloodhounds!  When used with scent control clothing, these bloodhounds could not follow the track of a person wearing the Overboot system.  If they can fool hounds trained to smell humans then they will fool deer in the woods.  The Overboot System has been independently scientifically tested and proven to be effective against scent transmittal and has been proven successful in actual hunting applications.

 
Insultex

A new and truly innovative technology available to the hunting community may be the single biggest development in clothing since, well, ever.  Innovative Designs Inc. has developed a material that is incredibly thin (a single layer is a mere 0.021 of an inch), super-lightweight, waterproof, quiet and provides a scent barrier between the wearer and the game.  Even more remarkable is it is an effective insulator from the cold in which many of us hunt and it is breathable!  It is so new and different it is almost impossible to imagine it being a real product.  Make no mistake about it, I.D. Wear is here and the potential practical applications are seemingly limitless. 

The component of I.D. Wear that makes it unique is their exclusive proprietary material called Insultex.  Insultex is not revolutionary it is evolutionary in the realm of fabrics.  Innovative Designs developed a material that is incredibly lightweight and is currently the most effective insulation available in clothing.  According to Innovative Design, a single layer of Insultex material weighs less than one half ounce per yard (0.42 oz.) yet is effective in keeping a person warm in minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit!  Some of their garments are double layered and will allow you to hunt anywhere you desire.  The material is quiet and makes for a prototypical-insulating layer.  It is versatile enough to be sewn or laminated into existing shell fabrics or it can stand alone as an outer garment.  

A unique benefit to this insulation is that it is naturally buoyant.  It is so buoyant that a mere 8.8 ounces of material can float over 280 pounds of body weight.  A potentially life saving feature is that a jacket can act as a personal floatation device that keeps you warm.  This feature should be especially appealing to those that like to hunt in remote areas or where close proximity to water poses a potential threat to the hunter, camper, or fisherman. 

As far as being a scent barrier, Insultexô has been tested by an independent laboratory that can perform scent molecule testing.  Their results showed that Insultex is an empirically proven effective scent barrier.  Additionally, this material is very user friendly in that it requires no activation, or rejuvenation.  All you need to do is put it on and zip it up.  Most hunters will appreciate this low maintenance feature.  

Most like proven endorsements and there may be no more stringent qualification process than getting a material accepted by the United States Olympic Committee.  Starting in 2002 and going to the current Turin Games, I.D. Wear has kept American and Canadian athletes warm.  If it worked for them, it will work for you. 

Conclusion

Much has been covered and the choices can seem overwhelming at times.  The most important thought to keep in mind is that you should go to inspect as many products as possible.  Go to the websites of theses companies, ask questions but be prepared to be your own person and purchase what you think will work for you based on the information available.  A lot of times the degrees of separation between products is almost immeasurable.  Do your homework, and base your choices on information, not opinions.  Remember, everyone has an opinion, not everyone has facts.  Hopefully this article has given you at least a foundation of information and will be an asset when you make your choices.  Ultimately, the goal is to see more game and maximize your outdoor experience.

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