By: John Eberhart.
Before scent reducing and eliminating products and garments hit the market “just play the wind” was the only number in town. Even today the vast majority of hunters claim there is no way to completely fool a deer’s nose and dismiss wind direction, basically meaning they believe scent control doesn’t work or doesn’t work well enough to negate the wind. To put it bluntly, that is absolutely not true.
You can fool a deer’s nose and I’ve done it dozens of times each season for the past 17 years. Please allow me to step back in time to one of my typical seasons before implementing a strict scent control routine.
During my spring tree selection and preparation process I would occasionally ignore the best tree and set-up a secondary tree better suited for the prevailing Westerly fall winds. Secondary tree choices almost always put some runways or signposts out of range, or didn’t offer as good of concealment cover.
Before each hunt I’d check the wind direction then select a location from a host of prepared locations for that particular wind. During the hunt I’d remain hopeful the wind would remain constant and not change directions or swirl.
Swirling winds were a dilemma and were always an unknown entity that could ruin the best-laid plans especially when hunting undulating terrain features such as saddles, hills, ridges, or edges and corners of timber such as along perimeters of open fields while the foliage was on.
There were saddles and ridge locations that I simply quit hunting due to thermals and swirling winds. I also quit setting up new locations in such areas.
Prior to losing their leaves, tree foliage acts in a similar manner as a brick wall. Whether along perimeters of openings in the woods or a field’s edge, a constant direct wind will not totally penetrate through tree-line foliage and the portion of wind that deflects will follow the tree line and spook anything in that direction as well.
When deflected winds hit tree-lined corners the wind will again deflect creating swirling winds in all directions similar to a whirlpool at a river bend. Many times I would hear snorting in the timber without a sighting.
Entry routes were another issue as I would try to take routes that didn’t cross any runways I expected deer to use during that hunt. Deer have a sense of smell hundreds of times more sensitive to ours and even though I’d trapped fox and knew to wear knee high rubber boots, my faint scent ribbon was enough to alert mature deer.
During entries, brushing against vegetation with any portion of my body during was yet another issue because deer would easily smell me if they moved along the same route which is very common as they often take the path of least resistance which would be my entry route.
Non-targeted deer would appear from upwind and pass downwind and spook alarming every deer within hearing distance. A few times, a hot doe being pursued by a buck would spook and that hunt was abruptly over as well.
A thin blanket of human scent also went into the area downwind of my entry trail. Mature deer approaching from downwind of the scent line would, at very minimum, would be on a higher alert level than normal, and I’m quite certain that many deer simply smelled me and never appeared.
Lastly, with Michigan’s November 15th gun season opener falling dead center of peak rut it was not uncommon that some bow locations saved strictly for the pre and early rut phases would never get hunted because the wind direction necessary for them never occurred during that short time frame, or on my days off work.
To state that wind direction dictated where I hunted more than deer activity did, would be an understatement.
Those are all realities of having to hunt the wind that unfortunately rarely get mentioned on TV and in videos because media hunters hunt in managed areas where mature bucks don’t get targeted until they reach a specific age or antler criteria so they have a very high tolerance of human intrusions and odor. We don’t have the luxury of hunting in areas where there are lots of mature bucks and they are relatively simple to kill.
In heavy consequential hunting pressure areas survival instincts are immensely greater than those of their brethren in the lightly hunted and micro-managed areas the TV and video hunters hunt. When bucks are allowed to pass by hunters without consequence until they reach an age or antler criteria before being targeted, they have a much higher tolerance of human intrusions and odor. When there are no consequences during hunter encounters while growing to maturity, there’s little reason to fear future human encounters.
Now please allow me to describe a typical year while implementing a strict scent control routine wearing properly cared for ScentLok activated carbon lined garments.
During post-season scouting and tree selection process I choose and prepare the best tree for that particular location with no concern of wind direction, bringing all runways and signposts into play.
Having a general seasonal plan already in place, prior to each hunt I decide which tree to hunt based solely on seasonal and daily timing and current sightings and signposts.
Whether hunting saddles, hills, ridges, tree line edges and corners, or any types of terrain features, I pay no regard to wind direction and don’t care if during a hunt it changes or swirls.
Entry and exit routes are now dictated only by the likelihood of spooking deer during entries and exits due to being visually seen or heard.
I’m not concerned about non-targeted deer appearing from upwind and passing downwind or crossing my entry route and spooking due to human odor.
Lastly, during the all-important pre and early rut phases I can hunt my best locations without concern of wind direction or getting winded.
Current deer movements and proper seasonal and daily are the dictating factors for the locations I select and the wind direction has nothing to do with it. This may seem like a very bold statement, but the proof is in the pudding. After being winded many times each season for decades, I now have deer directly downwind almost every hunt without having them spook.
Early-on activated carbon lined-ScentLok suit tests:
“Even during the stone-ages wind direction influenced how animals that relied on their sense of smell for survival were hunted and during the first 34 of my 52 bow seasons, the same basic stone-age principles of “hunting the wind” were it and what I relied on! Sure, there were some field sprays and cover scent precautions that would help, but the thought that wind direction could be ignored was inconceivable.
Millions of deer have been bow killed while hunting the wind but make no mistake, wind direction and not current deer activity has dictated how, when, and where experienced bowhunters have hunted.”
In the 90’s I heard about activated carbon lined suits but had serious doubts as to whether they worked as advertised. I knew what activated carbon was and how it was utilized in many worldwide industrial and military applications for adsorbing molecules. Always searching for every slight advantage that made sense, I saved up and purchased a ScentLok jacket, pants, head cover with drop down facemask and gloves and learned how to properly care for them and what to use in conjunction with them to achieve a non-detectable, scent-free regiment.
After my first few early-season hunts of having deer downwind without being winded, I still hadn’t had a specific visual instance where it was blatantly obvious that I could let my old “play the wind” guard down during the upcoming rut phases.
During the October lull on heavily pressured public land, in a secondary location where the chances seeing a mature buck were near zero, I purposely performed getting-winded tests to see to what extent the activated carbon lined suit worked.
There were two well-used east-to-west runways coming out of a cedar swamp that lead to a bordering alfalfa field. My tree was set-up south of the runways so that with a prevailing north wind direction I would be downwind, but for the test I waited for a south wind direction that would put me directly upwind of the 15 and 25 yard runways.
For the first hunt/test I wore my properly cared for ScentLok suit with head cover and drop down facemask and gloves, clean knee high rubber boots, and my backpack which I’d washed in scent-free detergent that morning.
About an hour before dark a big doe with twin fawns stepped out of the swamp, browsed along the 25 yard runway on route to the field, passed directly downwind, and never even raised her nose to test the wind. I was stunned because there was absolutely no way that doe wouldn’t have winded me in the past. Another doe with a single fawn passed later down the closer runway with no reaction either.
The next evening I wore one of my old Mossy Oak Apparel brand chamois cotton suits which had been washed the previous day in scent-free detergent with my backpack. The wind was still out of the south at a similar speed and the first doe and fawns came out at nearly the exact same time as the prior evening.
This time however when she was downwind of me she stopped, immediately turned her head in my direction, and began snorting. She spent the next five minutes snorting and stomping her hooves, letting every deer within hearing distance know this was not a safe place to be. She then turned and went back into the swamp and needless to say the second doe never showed. I’m also quite positive several other hunters on the public land heard her as well and wondered what was going on.
From that moment on I was absolutely convinced that activated carbon lined suits were extremely effective. Since PROPERLY using them, I see many more mature deer than in the past and because I don’t pay attention to wind direction anymore, at least half the deer I see are directly downwind at some point, and they don’t spook.
On rare occasions I’ve had deer test the air, but within seconds they’ve always continued on their way, evidently convinced there was no immediate danger.
Another over-the-top excellent visual example happened in 1999. While perched 18-feet up a white oak and wearing full ScentLok (jacket, pants, head cover with drop down facemask and gloves), I had three mature does and two fawns saunter in to feed on acorns. They came in from upwind and once near the tree the curious lead doe visually picked my body silhouette and made it known that something was out of place by stomping the ground and staring at me in the tree.
Immediately the other does became nervous and soon were also staring at me, trying to catch any slight movement. While staring me down and working their noses in overdrive mode, all three does cautiously made a wide circle around the tree to get downwind.
When directly downwind they moved about ever so slowly with necks stretched and noses straight up in the air trying to pick up any hint of human or foreign odor. After about ten minutes they gave up, wagged their tails as a sign everything was OK, and moved back under the tree with the fawns to feed.
They kept a close eye on me to the point that even if I wanted to take one, I doubt I’d have been able to move enough to get a shot, but as hard as they tried, they never winded me. I positively would have been scent busted in the past and they would have immediately left the scene.
The October lull wind tests not only eliminated my doubts, they solidified my previous knowledge of the molecular adsorption capacity of activated carbon. There’s no question that activated carbon lined clothing works if cared for and stored properly and used in conjunction with clean knee high rubber or neoprene boots and an activated carbon lined or frequently washed in scent-free detergent pack.
Scent is something we can’t see, so it’s impossible to judge, however since implementing a proper scent-free regiment, over the past 18 seasons I’ve probably had several hundred visual confirmations of deer being directly downwind without any indication of me being there.
Why activated carbon?
I was fortunate to already have some basic knowledge of what activated carbon was and how it functioned before purchasing a ScentLok suit, but most hunters that don’t own one, definitely are not. So please allow me to shed some factual light on activated carbon technology.
To assume hunting personalities, myself included, and hunting related companies always tell the truth when endorsing or advertising product technologies is extremely naïve and scent elimination rhetoric gets the grand prize as the most deceptive. Because odor is something hunters can’t see, it’s easy for manufacturers to baffle us with false technology rhetoric and the downside is there are no federal agencies policing their legitimacy.
Scientific technologies worth their weight were researched and developed by large industries, pharmaceutical companies, and worldwide governmental bodies. For example, the average cost for a pharmaceutical company to bring one new drug to market is about $2,000,000,000. R&D laboratories and scientists are expensive and hunting companies are way too small to afford either and therefore they have no option but to take advantage of existing technologies developed by much larger industries.
Technology information on hunting company websites and hang tags is oftentimes relatively meaningless because they have a monetary reason to stretch the truth or flat-out falsify their information. To confirm to what extent a scent reducing or adsorption technology works, it can easily be done by Googling the technology or Googling Wikipedia and then the technology.
When Googled, here are a few of the hundreds of adsorption applications activated carbon is used for outside the hunting marketplace:
Gas purification, decaffeination, gold purification, metal extraction, drinking water purification, refrigerant gas adsorption, sewage treatment, every countries chemical warfare suits, by NASA in primary life support systems better known as space suits, gas masks, water softeners, paint respirators, filters in compressed air, volatile organic compound capture, dry cleaning processes, automobile filtration systems, gasoline dispensing operations, groundwater remediation, to adsorb radon for testing air quality, for oral ingestion in hospitals worldwide to treat overdose patients, in intensive care units to filter harmful drugs from the bloodstream of poisoned patients, to adsorb mercury emissions from coal power stations and medical incinerators, to filter vodka and whiskey of organic impurities, and being researched by the US Dept. of Energy to store natural and hydrogen gas.
In 2007, West-Flanders University in Belgium researched water treatment after festivals. An activated carbon installation was built at the Dranouter music festival in 2008, with plans to utilize the technology to treat water at this festival for 20 years.
During WW I thousands of soldiers and in 2013 thousands of civilians and fighters was killed in Syria by chemical warfare. Chemical warfare suits and gas masks worldwide use activated carbon technology to adsorb these dangerous and oftentimes fatal chemical molecules. When soldiers went into Bagdad during the Iraq war, they wore activated carbon lined chemical warfare suits for protection.
Activated carbon is used in EMT units and hospitals to treat poisonings and overdoses following oral ingestion. In cases of taking oral poison, medical personnel administer activated carbon on the scene or at a hospital’s emergency room.
Activated carbon is used in Intensive Care to filter harmful drugs from the blood stream of poisoned patients. Activated carbon tablets are used as an over-the-counter-drug to treat diarrhea, indigestion, and flatulence.
Both American College and Webster’s dictionaries define the word ADSORB as: “to gather a gas, liquid, or dissolved substance, on a surface in a condensed layer, as when charcoal adsorbs or sucks in gases”.
Scanning electron microscope evaluations show that if all the surface areas of the primary, secondary, tertiary pores, and exterior surface of each particle of activated carbon were flattened and laid on a surface:
-A single gram of activated carbon particles has a surface area equal to 2.17 tennis courts.
-A tablespoon of activated coconut carbon particles has a surface area of over 3 ½ football fields.
-One pound of activated carbon particles (a small butter tub) has a surface area equal to that of approximately 100 acres (more than a half mile in length and a quarter mile in width).
The amount of adsorptive surface area of activated carbon is why it’s the most adsorptive substance known to man and why it’s used in literally thousands of filtration and adsorptive applications.
A few years ago ScentLok was sued by several hunters from Minnesota for false advertising and in an independent lab at Rutgers University it was proven for a United States District Court that ScentLok garments worked as advertised and was able to be re-generated, or what many incorrectly refer to as re-activated.
The next two paragraphs were taken from the Court’s stipulation dismissal ruling.
“Expert scientific testing found that, using highly elevated odor concentrations that were likely ten thousand fold greater than a human body could produce in the course of 24 hours, ScentLok carbon lined clothing blocked or adsorbed 96 to 99 plus percent of odor compounds, and essentially 100% of surrogate body odor compounds”.
“Expert testing also found that after drying, or washing and drying, ScentLok carbon fabrics continue to be highly effective at blocking odor permeation”.
Just as NASA, auto industry, U. S. Dept. of Energy, hospitals worldwide, and every Dept. of Defense in the world didn’t pull activated carbon out of a hat and say, hey let’s use this stuff, neither did ScentLok when they applied for and received the U. S. patent to use it in hunting garments.
It’s very simple, if a hunting garment doesn’t have a ScentLok hangtag, it doesn’t contain activated carbon. US patent law prohibits it and ScentLok has had to protect their patents with litigation on several occasions.
Activated carbon technology has been around since the 1800’s and to me its implementation by ScentLok into hunting garments in the early 1990’s has been the most significant development to bowhunting since the compound bow.
Activated carbon technology
That activated carbon is the most widely used substance in the world for the adsorption of molecules of differing structures and sizes is a fact. As mentioned prior, there are no hunting companies with research and development labs staffed by full-time scientists and just as ScentLok did, other hunting garment companies had to piggyback on technologies researched and developed by and for large worldwide industries and governmental bodies. ScentLok just happened to be the first company to apply for and receive the patent to use of activated carbon in hunting garments.
Many of the activated carbon technology applications mentioned earlier also had to be approved by governmental policing agencies such as our FDA before they could be used in hospitals or for anything to do with human health.
So were not discussing activated carbon technology as though its functionality requires further endorsement or proof of validity from our little hunting market. That activated carbon technology is the worldwide leader at molecular adsorption has been firmly established worldwide no matter what any little hunting company that falsely advertises to the contrary or any hunter endorsing some inferior technology may say.
There is however much confusion concerning what activated carbon is, what is the process to create it, exactly how porous is it (porosity was highlighted in red above), how and to what extent it adsorbs molecules, and how and to what extent it can be de-adsorbed for further hunting purposes?
Activated carbon is produced from carbonaceous materials like nutshells, wood and coal.
Differing carbonaceous materials have differing pore sizes and structures.
The general activation process of carbonaceous materials involves heating those materials to 1450 degree Fahrenheit or higher while under pressure.
Side note: ScentLok chose activated carbon derived from coconut shells because its variations of pore structures and sizes are best suited for human odor molecules
Through the heating procedure all the exterior and interior surface areas within (pores) activated carbon becomes charged, meaning it has electrons that readily interact with surrounding molecules in the immediate environment.
There are literally hundreds of different volatile molecules that can emanate from the human body.
As our odor molecules and other molecules in the immediate environment near the electron charged activated carbon particles in an activated carbon lined garment they are drawn into the carbon pores or onto their surface and held with a weak Van der Waals bond named after the man that discovered the process. This bond lightly holds the molecules and for hunting garment purposes, keeps them from passing or permeating through the garment and into the outside environment beyond the garment.
Activated carbon adsorption of human odor molecules is a physical process, in that there is a weak bond with the carbon which allows for partial desorption under low temperatures.
The commonly used term reactivation has been wrongly used in the hunting marketplace. No matter the amount of molecular saturation a carbon lined garment would have, reactivation would require the garment to again go through the 1450 degree activation heat process while under pressure, which would bring the saturated carbon back to its original pristine (no bonded molecules) state. Obviously for fabric garments, that isn’t going to happen.
For activated carbon lined garments, the terms partial regeneration or partial thermal de-adsorption are more accurate. To serve hunter’s needs 100% industrial reactivation (pristine state) is not required for continued use for hunting purposes.
When activated carbon garments are heated at household dryer temperatures (125 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit), the weakly bonded human odor molecules as well as the carbon become more energetic. The higher the temperature of the dryer, the more energetic or rapid the movement of the adsorbed molecules as well as the carbon becomes. The more rapid the movement of both the molecules and carbon causes expansion or enlargement of both which causes a portion of the previously bonded and now more energetic odor molecules to break free of the light Van der Waals bond and eventually be sucked out the dryer vent.
The easiest way to describe how the heat/energy, expansion/enlargement processes works is with commonly known and seen visual examples. Concrete highways, expansion bridges, and tall steel structure buildings, to name a few examples, either have expansion joints or take molecular expansion into consideration during construction, otherwise on warm or sunny days when temperatures are above 60 degrees the molecular energized expansion would cause the constricted concrete to buckle and the steel to bend, causing their eventual if not immediate destruction.
The dryer heat/energy/expansion/enlargement process of both the carbon and bonded molecules is what causes partial de-adsorption. It’s partial because not all bonded molecules are removed and for continued hunting purposes, they don’t need to be. An excellent example would be a sponge. You can absorb water into a sponge until it won’t take on any more, then you can squeeze it out. Once squeezed out the sponge is still holding some water yet you can soak up a lot more again. It’s obviously a different process, but the end results are the same.
The moment activated carbon lined ScentLok garments are removed from the somewhat enclosed dryer the partially de-adsorbed activated carbon begins adsorbing whatever molecules are in the environment. That’s why the garments should go immediately into an air-tight container or bag to limit the amount of molecules it can adsorb until further use in the field when hunting.
Activated carbon can’t differentiate whether you’re hunting or not and I doubt it would care, it’s adsorbing whatever molecules fit into their pores 100% of the time and an air tight container dramatically limits the amount of molecules it can adsorb.
The activated coconut carbon, treated carbon and zeolite that make up ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy (patented) liner become a filter that adsorbs human odor and other environment molecules from escaping beyond it. In all of ScentLok’s permeable suits (windproof and waterproof garments without polyurethane membranes) the Carbon Alloy liner is also adsorbing molecules passing through the exterior fabric from the outside environment as well. Like any filter, or the aforementioned sponge example, it will eventually saturate to some extent, but can periodically be partially de-adsorbed for further hunting purposes.
It’s not an all-or-none situation! It’s about having enough de-adsorption to be able to adsorb your human odor molecules for several more hunts before de-adsorption is again required.
Thermal de-adsorption or regeneration of ScentLok branded Carbon Alloy® lined garments.
Again, no other manufacturer can use ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy® liner in hunting garments without a licensing agreement approved by ScentLok.
In 2012 ScentLok added two other adsorptive substances into their activated carbon liner and trademarked the name Carbon Alloy® to symbolize all 3 ingredient technologies. ScentLok did not reduce the amount of activated coconut carbon used, however added an additional 30% of treated carbon particles and 5% of zeolite to the activated coconut carbon to create Carbon Alloy®.
My question to the owner of ScentLok at the time was, why alter what already worked to near perfection? After all, in an independent laboratory at Rutgers University, expert scientific testing found for a United States District Court, that ScentLok carbon lined (activated coconut carbon only) garments blocked (adsorbed) 96 to 99% of the odor compounds, and essentially 100% of the surrogate body odor compounds tested. And the testing was done using highly elevated test odor concentrations that were “likely 10,000 times greater than a human body could produce in the course of 24 hours”. That’s a lot of molecules to adsorb!!!!!!!
So why add more adsorptive ingredients? To put it simply, ScentLok wanted to close the adsorption gap even more than their already 96 to 99% plus adsorption rate!
There is literally hundreds of differing gaseous and liquid type molecules that emanate from the human body and while activated coconut carbon is perfectly suited for adsorbing the vast majority of them, treated carbon and zeolite were added because they can adsorb some very specific sized molecules at a higher and more effective rate than activated coconut carbon.
What is treated carbon? Through an additional proprietary process created by other industries, what was activated carbon becomes treated carbon which greatly increases the carbons pore properties. The capacity and kinetics of treated carbon is better suited for adsorbing oxidized chemical molecules like chlorine, chloramines and hydrogen sulfide than activated coconut carbon. Treated carbon therefore has a greater adsorptive capacity for hydrogen sulfide gas which is one of the gaseous molecules we exhale as breath odor.
What is Zeolite? Zeolites occur naturally and form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater. Zeolites have very specific, narrow pore size ranges and are best suited for very small molecules and when used in conjunction with a primary adsorbent like activated coconut carbon, zeolite has additional benefits even though they are very limited due to their pore size properties.
While other companies only use zeolite particles because they can’t legally use active carbon (ScentLok holds the patent on the use of activated carbon), zeolites can’t provide adsorption of human odor molecules larger than their pore sizes will accept, which makes it a less that satisfactory performer when used as a stand-alone technology for adsorbing the many differing sizes of odor related molecules that emanate from the human body.
So there you have it, ScentLok added treated carbon and zeolite to their already 96 to 99% rate of adsorption from their activated coconut carbon liner to create Carbon Alloy® for the sole purpose of adsorbing a fractionally larger spectrum of specific odor molecules to bring the adsorption rate of all human sized odor molecules closer to 100%.
For hunting purposes regeneration or de-adsorption is not an all-or-none situation and the 3 adsorptive ingredients that make-up Carbon Alloy® have such huge surface and interior pore areas that de-adsorption of only a tiny fraction of it is necessary to allow for further adsorption of human emitted molecules for several more hunts.
The ability of animals to smell odors is dependent on the concentration of the odor substance, and the distance the substance is from the animal. No matter the amount of odor, the farther it gets from the source, the more it diminishes by convection and diffusion into the environment or atmosphere. This convection into a larger atmosphere or area is called Brownian molecular motion.
Example of Brownian molecular motion: I reside about a mile from a small plant that produces wood pellets and uses a wood burning furnace for the process. When the wind is from the northeast the residents residing within a quarter mile southwest of the plant complain to the city council (which I am on) about the odor emitting from the stack. I reside about a mile southwest of the plant and never smell it because by the time it gets to me the odor has diminished by diffusion into a larger area of the environment to levels my neighbors and I can’t detect.
Alarming deer with human odor is similar in that it is a threshold event. Other than my annual one-week Midwestern out of state hunt where there is minimal hunting pressure, all of my bow hunting in Michigan is done on public land and on knock on doors for free permission properties in heavily pressure areas. In every square mile (640 acres) in these rural areas it’s common to have 20 plus property owners with two to ten acre parcels and a few small 40 to 120 acre farms interspersed throughout. In these areas there is some form of diffused human odor floating around 100% of the time and the local whitetails have no option but to accept trace amounts of human odor without being alarmed, if not, they would never move.
The tolerable amount of human odor for daytime movements by mature bucks in one area for instance, may differ greatly from that of another area. The managed areas where TV and video hunters hunt are a great example of human odor tolerance as well even though it derives from a totally different perspective.
In managed areas all hunters abide by age and or antler kill criteria’s which equates to having many bucks grow to maturity without having any negative consequences from hunter encounters while doing so. In such areas those mature bucks have a very high tolerance of human odor and that’s why you see the TV and video personalities get away with murder concerning scent control. I’ve never watched any TV personality that had an adequate scent control regimen for hunting areas with educated and highly pressured mature deer, they simply don’t have to in the nearly zoo like areas they hunt in.
No matter the area, when wearing a complete and properly cared for ScentLok Carbon Alloy® suit in conjunction with a scent free pack and clean rubber or neoprene boots, the 1 to 3% of body odor that may pass through a suit would rapidly diffuse into the environment via Browning molecular motion to the point of non-detection or an alarming level to a downwind whitetail.
Thermal de-adsorption, care and storage of Carbon Alloy® lined garments
The bond of human emitted molecules to a ScentLok Carbon Alloy® liner is a weak bond that permits thermal de-adsorption with the low temperatures of a household dryer. A clean household or commercial dryer is recommended for the thermal de-adsorption of Carbon Alloy® lined garments to free-up pore and exterior surface space for further adsorption and use.
General Electric and most other brand name manufacturers of household dryers use these standardized dryer cycle temperatures:
Low Heat setting (delicate/gentle) – 125 degrees Fahrenheit
Medium Heat setting (permanent press) – 135 degrees Fahrenheit
High Heat setting (normal/cottons) – 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Commercial and professional grade dryers that are used in large households, uniform cleaning services, and laundromats reach temperatures as high as 175 degrees Fahrenheit on their highest heat setting.
The amount of time a Carbon Alloy® lined garment is in a dryer along with the temperature of the cycle directly influence to what extent the garment is de-adsorbed.
The higher the dryer temperature the more energetic the carbon and adsorbed molecules become and the faster the molecules come off and the carbon is partially de-adsorbed. The lower the dryer temperature the less energetic, resulting in requiring additional dryer time for a similar de-adsorption result.
Example: Suppose you have a pan of water and it takes 3 hours of brisk boiling (well over 212 degrees) to completely evaporate it. If you took that same pan of water and left it at room temperature (72 degrees), it would still evaporate, but it may take weeks or months to do so. If the pan of water were put on simmer (212 degrees), it would take less time to evaporate than at room temperature, but longer than if on a brisk boil. Just as the temperature of the water has a direct effect on its evaporation time and rate, the temperature of a dryer effects the de-adsorption time and rate of molecules from the carbon.
Simply put, the higher the dryer temperature, the faster and more efficient the release of molecules from the Carbon Alloy® liner.
De-adsorption process, care instructions, and what to use in conjunction with your Carbon Alloy® suit to maximize your scent free regiment.
Scent Control: The definition for scent is “odor” and the definition of control is “to have power over”. To have power over your body odor and have a proper scent control regimen requires a ScentLok Carbon Alloy® Lined “suit” and a “suit” refers to: an exterior jacket and pants, gloves, and a head cover with drop down facemask. Any missing part of the “suit” will compromise a proper scent control regimen.
Covering all of your hair, beard, face, neck and mouth is vital to a proper scent control regimen as these are all hot spots concerning bacteria and the emitting of human odor molecules and a ScentLok head cover with drop down facemask is required to cover these hot spots. While it’s common on TV and in videos to see hunting personalities wearing a ScentLok Carbon Alloy® Lined jacket and pants and a ScentLok ball cap with exposed hair hanging out, wearing what they consider as cool looking face paint, having exposed faces, neck and oftentimes beards, any of these lapses will compromise a proper scent control regimen.
Headcovers with drop down facemasks are vital to a proper scent control regimen and they should be reactivated twice as frequently as the exterior jacket and pants, or have 2 headcovers and alternate them. *So as not to impede your anchor point and shot while wearing a drop down facemask, reach up and pull the lower portion of the facemask down beneath your chin before taking the shot.
A proper scent control regimen is not totally complete without wearing clean (clean of all odors including the new rubber or neoprene odor of new boots) knee high rubber or neoprene boots and either a frequently washed in scent free detergent pack or a ScentLok pack that can be de-adsorbed with your suit. During season, most hunters reload their packs after every hunt using their bare hands, yet never wash their packs. If a hunter does everything else correctly, yet takes a human odor contaminated pack in the tree with them and gets winded, no doubt their “suit” would wrongfully take the blame.
- Once purchased, ScentLok Carbon Alloy lined garments will require thermal de-adsorption prior to use in the field. A ScentLok Carbon Alloy® Lined “suit” refers to: an exterior jacket and pants, gloves, and a head cover with drop down facemask. Any missing part of the “suit” will compromise a proper scent control regimen.
- Thermal de-adsorption is achieved by placing garments in a clean household or commercial dryer for 30 to 40 minutes on the highest heat setting available. Heat causes the carbon and the lightly bonded odor molecules to energize and expand, and break free from the weak physical bond causing thermal de-adsorption. Visual examples of low heat causing energetic molecular motion (expansion) are obvious in expansion joints in highways, steel bridges and structures. Without expansion joints bridges, steel structure buildings, and concrete highways would buckle from molecular expansion in hot weather conditions.
- Once the dryer stops, partial thermal de-adsorption has been achieved. Immediately remove the garments and put them in an air-tight storage container (Scent Tote, carbon lined bag, or air tight bag). Those $5 to $10 Rubbermaid and Sterlite tubs are not air-tight. Never put scent wafers, pine boughs, cover scent items or any non-carbon lined garments in that container as doing so will prematurely load the carbon with odor molecules from whatever you placed in the container requiring more frequent de-adsorptions and shortening the suits life expectancy. Activated carbon is always adsorbing molecules and can’t differentiate between human odor and other molecules in the environment.
- The thermal de-adsorption process (steps 2 and 3) for suits should be repeated at least every 4 to 6 hunts.
- Store your ScentLok Carbon Alloy lined garments in the air-tight container until used in the field. Do not wear in the house, vehicle, getting gas, around the campfire, in restaurants, etc., just during the hunt. When finished hunting all carbon lined garments go back into the storage container prior to getting back into vehicle or entering the house.
- Washing Carbon Alloy® lined garments does not thermally de-adsorb the garments and is not recommended as a standard practice. ScentLok garments can be washed periodically (once per season) if they have physical dirt or blood on them. Wash on gentle cycle using a small amount of ScentLok’s carbon detergent. If washed, put garments in dryer on air only cycle and once dry, refer to steps 2 and 3 for thermal de-adsorption.
Standard Hunting Tips:
-It is advised to wash all non-carbon lined undergarments and layering garments in scent free detergent and store them in their own categorized air-tight containers as well. This is only a preventative recommendation that adds longevity to your exterior Carbon Alloy® lined garments.
-While not mandatory, it’s advised to shower and shampoo with scent free soap and apply scent free anti-perspirant prior to hunting. If you get off work, stink and don’t have time to shower, the Carbon Alloy® lined suit will do its job and adsorb your odors. Showering simply decreases the amount of strong odor molecules the Carbon Alloy® liner has to adsorb, lessening the length of time between de-adsorptions.
-It is imperative to wear clean knee high rubber or neoprene boots and drape your pant legs outside them instead of tucking them in. Every time you take a step air is displaced out of your boots and the carbon lined pant legs will absorb the odor molecules.
-It is advised to use a carbon lined pack and thermal de-adsorb it when you do your clothing. For non-carbon lined packs, frequently wash them in scent free detergent to eliminate odor. Store your loaded pack in its own air-tight container. Hunters typically reload or reorganize their packs using bare hands before and or after each hunt, yet never wash their packs. Having an unwashed pack is like taking a large human scent wick in the tree with you.
–Always wear your exterior ScentLok jacket, pants, and gloves during entries and exits so as not to leave odor on any vegetation your body may brush against.
A scent control regiment is a matter of degree or percentages: For instance if you just wear a properly cared for ScentLok jacket, pants, and clean rubber boots you may adsorb or contain as much as 65% of your human odor, but you’ll still expel enough odor from your hair, neck, face and hands that getting winded by downwind deer will be likely. Add a ScentLok head cover with drop down facemask that covers all your hair, neck and face (except your eyes) and a pair of gloves and the amount of human odor expelled outside the garments will be at such low levels that wind direction can be ignored.
Properly caring for your Carbon Alloy® Lined “suit” and using it in conjunction with scent free rubber or neoprene knee high boots and scent free pack will offer a serious scent control regiment that will undoubtedly raise the amount of opportunities you receive when pursuing game animals that rely on their sense of smell as their primary survival instinct.
*Important: If you; have some strange reason to wear face paint to look cool like many of the TV and video personalities do, wear a non- Carbon Alloy® lined logo cap to promote a sponsor like many of the TV and video personalities do, don’t keep your pack scent-free, don’t wear clean rubber or neoprene boots, don’t use carbon lined gloves when ascending and descending trees, and you get winded, blame it on yourself, not the ScentLok Carbon Alloy® lined suit. You compromised the effectiveness of the regimen and need to accept the blame for getting winded.
Some common TV and video visuals are; wearing logo ball caps with exposed hair hanging out the back, having exposed beards and neck, having exposed faces covered in face paint, spritzing with sprays as a total scent control regiment, and wearing breathable Cordura or leather boots both of which allow foot odor to pass through due to their permeability. Any one of these lapses throws a serious scent control regiment totally out the window.
More than likely most hunters reading this are somewhat on the same page as me and don’t have the luxury of hunting such pristine areas as the TV and video hunters do. You have to pay attention to detail and work hard for what you kill and I guarantee that if you follow the serious scent control regiment I laid out in the text of this document that your mature deer sightings and kill rate will go up tremendously. – John Eberhart