You might not have given it the thought it deserves, but correctly storing hunting clothing is a major factor that can influence how successful you are on a hunt.
In this article, I’ll run through why it is so important and offer some invaluable tips on the best ways to store your clothes. I’ll also look at other factors to consider to keep the moisture out of your correctly stored clothes.
Why Does Storing Your Hunting Clothes Correctly Matter?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that correct storage isn’t the be-all and end-all. In all likelihood, you’re going to be using some pretty intense scent eliminator anyway, right?
Wild game, as we know, has an incredible sense of smell. And the truth is they can easily detect even the smallest amount of foreign odor.
So, when they smell you, that potential kill is going to get as far away from you as quickly as possible.
If you store hunting garments the way you store your regular clothes, whether it’s in the closet, on the floor, or over that neglected and unused treadmill (I ain’t judging, by the way), your hunting attire is being exposed to numerous household odors.
The list of potential scents is pretty inexhaustible, but it includes the likes of the following things:
- Air fresheners
- Cleaning products
- Pet hair and odor
In order to keep your hunting gear as scent-free as possible, correct storage is an absolute must.
It’s a valuable strategy that you should really consider. No one likes a wasted hunting opportunity. And by allowing smells and odors to lock themselves into your clothes, this is precisely the issue you’re going to be facing.
3 Ways To Store Hunting Clothes
When it comes to hunting apparel, the thing you need to keep in mind is isolation. Isolation away from foreign odors. This means not only storing them away from these scents but also sealing them off to prevent the risk of contamination.
There are 3 main options open to you. Below, I’m going to discuss them in more detail, alongside the pros and cons of each.
Open Air Storage
Kicking off the list of options available for storing your clothes during hunting season is open-air storage.
There’s no easier and more straightforward method around.
Keeping your clothes away from the interior of your home is going to perform a scent control function, removing the risk of the transference of an abundance of odors from your home. The clothing can be hung on your porch, clothesline, or even in the trees. Or anywhere you like, really, as long as it is outdoors. The latter has the distinct benefit of allowing your clothes to adopt a nature-filled scent.
All-in-all, it’s a good strategy to use. Firstly, your clothing is isolated from human odors. And it also ensures natural outdoorsy smells are contained within the fabric, meaning deer and other wild game aren’t going to suspect a thing.
- Doesn’t cost anything
- Eradicates the risk of odor contamination from your household
- The clothes will adopt the scent of the outdoors
- Doesn’t take up any space within your home
- Opens your clothes up to the mercy of the elements
- Should only be used for short periods and not during off-season
Plastic hunting storage totes are a great way to store hunting gear when not in use. The container acts as a barrier to typical household smells.
It’s not just clothes, however. These totes have a form-fitting lid and come in a range of sizes big enough to store all types of hunting gear, including flashlights, releases, and rangefinders.
It makes sense that if you look after your clothes and keep them away from smells, you don’t want to undo all the effort by scaring away pry because they get suspicious of the smells emitting from your equipment.
- Both clothing and gear can be stored for longer periods of time, including over off-season
- Comes in a wide range of sizes
- Highly reduced chances of contamination
- Easy to store and stackable
- Can be stored outside your home and won’t be affected by the weather.
- Easy to transfer
- Can be bulky and take up a bit of space
- If the tote isn’t sealed correctly or isn’t 100% airtight, the odor can still contaminate
Oversized zip-lock bags are another option for fending off smells that could pollute your hunting clothes. Usually, these come in an array of sizes, some being as big as 4 x 4 and 3 feet deep.
Excess air is pushed out of the bag after the clothes have been placed inside and then are secured closed, thanks to a seal.
There is a wide range of these zip-lock bags, and they are readily available. You can also opt to use bags of a similar nature from your local supermarket, which can sometimes cost less than ones specially designed to hold hunting clothes and equipment.
- Practically all scents are eliminated, thanks to the airtight seal
- Easy to store and lightweight to move around
- Doesn’t take up too much space within the home
- Easy to transport
- Can tip or the seal may come undone
- After multiple uses, the bags can spoil
- If you have bulkier items, you might require multiple bags
How To Get The Most Out Of Clothing Storage
To get the very most out of the correct storage of your hunting gear and clothes, regardless of your preferred method, there are some important factors to keep in mind.
There are several important items of business to attend to if you hope to get the most out of your hunting clothing storage.
One really important factor to remember is that you must always, always de-scent your hunting clothes before storing them! It goes without saying, but I just wanted to insert a friendly reminder.
When washing your hunting clothes, you want to limit any scent as much as possible. For this reason, it’s counterproductive to use heavily scented detergents which will just add layer upon layer of smell to your hunting attire.
Use scent-free detergents when it comes to your hunting gear. There’s a wide range of these specifically designed and manufactured by hunting brands. You can find these readily available online or in sports stores.
However, you don’t have to opt for hunting-specific detergents. There are plenty of popular household brands that offer unscented versions of their detergents.
Regardless of which type of unscented you choose, always check the bottle for the inclusion of UV brighteners. The inclusions of these make clothing more visually intense to deer and other game animals because they see in a different color spectrum.
Generally speaking, dryer sheets should be avoided for the reasons mentioned above, as many carry a fragrance that works great on regular clothes but isn’t what a hunter needs when it comes to their gear.
There are dryer sheets that come scent-free, so if you want to use them, opt for this kind. There are even earth-scented ones that will add extra protection to reduce the risk of prey sniffing you out.
Only remove your clothing from its storage once you are ready to leave for the hunt.
Removing it too early can make it vulnerable to smells that you’d rather not have wild game know anything about.
If you have a bit of a commute to your hunting destination, it’s a really good idea to keep the hunting clothing in its storage vessel until you arrive. Then, once you have made it to your location, you can change into your hunting gear.
Wearing hunting clothing when traveling means scents and odors can be procured from whatever environment you are in, such as traveling in your car.
How can I protect my hunting clothes from insects?
One tip I always recommend is using cedar chips. Place these in a cotton bag in your storage space alongside your clothing and other hunting gear. If, however, you’ve already got an infestation, placing the clothes in the freezer for 72 hours in a plastic container or vacuum-sealed bags will be enough to kill them off.
What’s the best way to store bulky items when it’s not hunting season?
Not all of us have the storage space readily available for bulkier items, like hunting boots and equipment. If this is the case, you can store it in an outhouse or in your car. Ensure you use a storage method that is suitable for longer periods of time, like storage totes.
Does baking soda help to eradicate scent from hunting apparel?
Yes, baking soda can be a great way to get smells out of clothing. You can store your hunting clothes with the addition of an open box of baking soda for the best results when it comes to scent control.
Will hunting clothes fade in the sun if I store them outside?
Some brands will fade in the sun over time. If you are concerned about this, you shouldn’t store or dry your clothes in areas of natural sunlight.
Final Thoughts On How To Store Hunting Clothes
Proper storage is vital to your chances of success when it comes to your prey. Given the advanced sense of smell that deer and other wild game are equipped with, they can pick up any unusual scent from a pretty sizable distance.
Storing your hunting clothes correctly, away from the presence of scents, will irradiate the risk. However, just remember that it’s equally as important not to use strong detergents and not bring your apparel out of storage until you are ready to leave for the hunt – or, better still, once you are at your location.
If you’re in need of any hunting clothes, like hunting hats, in time for hunting season, then you should go to the Hunting Jack website to see what products we have on offer.