How To Store Your Hunting Clothes 

Whether it’s the end of the season or in-between weekends in the field during the rut, how you store your hunting clothes could make or break a hunt. Plus, properly storing hunting clothes is a crucial way to keep hunting attire lasting as long as possible. Below are expert-recommended end-of-season as well as in-season strategies on how to go about storing hunting clothes.

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End-of-Season Strategies for Storing Hunting Clothes

The end of the hunting season can have different meanings for different hunters. Some may be ready for the pastimes of a new season while others may have more difficulty saying goodbye to their favorite time of year. Because hunting clothes generally do not need to be readily available after the season closes down, the name of the game at the end of a hunting season is organizing, storing, and de-scenting. Here’s more on each.

Organization

Goal: easy identification for when it’s go-time again.

When your hunting clothes are officially ready to be put away for the season—cleaned to whatever extent (hopefully not washed with normal laundry detergent), take a moment to come up with an organization strategy. A few approaches include:

  • By season, species, and pattern. For example, bow hunting clothes vs. rifle hunting clothes vs. waterfowl hunting clothes.
  • By material. For example, base layers vs. mild-weather hunting clothes vs. tech gear vs. cold weather gear, etc.
  • No organization. All hunting clothes go into a pile and stored as such.

Pro Tip: While organizing your hunting clothes, be thinking about a labeling strategy. By labeling, you can easily distinguish what’s in your bin or bag and will save you the hassle of rifling through gear when it’s go-time again.

Storing

Goals: please your family by keeping your hunting clothes out of the way while extending their lifespan.

Now that your hunting clothes are organized, it’s time to put them away. We like two methods for end-of-season storage: bins or vacuum-sealed bags.

  • Plastic bins can work very well for storing. Save space by only using the size of bin the organization strategy requires. Label the bins by organization strategy so you know what to pull and when. For example, bins with base layers and heavy duty socks won’t need to be opened until the temps drop. Save desiccant (moisture absorber) packets that come with many online garment orders and toss them into your bins to keep moisture to a minimum.
  • Vacuum-sealed bags are also a reliable storing method. Advantages of storing hunting clothes in vacuum sealed bags include:
    • Vacuum-sealed bags guarantee your hunting clothes stay dry and scent free. No need for moisture absorber packets or odor eliminators.
    • Vacuum-sealed bags offer a lot of storage volume without taking up an equivalent amount of space.
    • Vacuum-sealed bags are transparent, giving you a glimpse of what’s in them.
    • Vacuum-sealed bags are lighter than bins and can be easily tossed around.
    • Similar to the bin storing method, be sure to label vacuum-sealed bags based on your organization strategy for easy recollection as you’re gearing up for the next hunting season.

Keeping Your Hunting Clothes Scent Free While in Storage

Goal: don’t blow an early-season hunt because you smell like a storage bin.

Scent control can allow hunters an extra second before game notices them. It may be the second that separates being successful or getting busted.

Wash hunting clothes if you must, but only using water with a little bit of baking soda . Be selective. It makes sense to wash hunting clothes that touch your skin such as base layers and socks. But do you really need to wash outerwear? Soak hunting clothes that need to be washed in a bathtub vs. putting them in your normal washing machine that smells like laundry soap. Air dry washed hunting clothes instead of adding to your dryer (which also probably smells like laundry soap or dryer sheets). Below are a few additional tips:

  • If you use the bin storage method, consider cleaning your storage bins with warm water and airing them out prior to placing hunting clothes in them.
  • Putting a box of baking soda in the bin works to trap moisture and odors. Some hunters sprinkle it over their clothes and boots as well.
  • Some hunters will add some natural elements from their hunt with their stored clothing. These could include pine or cedar boughs or any natural samples from the terrain.
  • Keep your storage bins or bags as far away from the kitchen as possible, such as in the basement, garage, or shed. This is one extra step to prevent household scents from permeating your hunting clothes.

Wildlife Research Scent Killer is widely trusted to help keep hunting attire as scent free as possible. https://wildlife.com/Hunting-Scent-Product-Complete-Listing.php

Photo: Heartland Bowhunter

In-Season Strategies for Storing Hunting Clothes

Goal: keep hunting clothes scent free and readily available.

The easiest and possibly most effective way to store your hunting clothes while in season is to simply store outdoors. This method is low effort and low tech. There is a caveat however: you need to make sure your storage area is covered to protect from the elements, particularly dew. Hang your clothes from an old clothes rack under a covered patio or porch, let the air circulate, and nature will do its thing. After a few days of storing your hunting clothes outside, especially after a few days of cold, the odor of “outdoors” in your hunting clothes will be pretty overpowering, which is exactly what you want and could be enough to mask your personal scent in a hunting scenario.

If a hunter does not have a covered porch and wants an effective way to store their clothes, they can use a scent control hunting bag or a classic storage bin while adding an open box of baking soda just like you would in the fridge. There are some scent-eliminating pouches in the market that you can place in your bin as well.

There are also several different scent-elimination sprays on the market. Typically, these sprays claim to be 98% effective and can come with natural scents to blend in while in the field. 

Another tool to consider when storing clothes is ozone. After being used to remove odors for decades among construction workers, ozone grew immense popularity in the hunting community. Ozone units come in all sizes for different articles of clothing. 

Here is where you can find some useful ozone products: https://www.ozonicshunting.com/

Storing Hunting Clothes Pays Off

Dedicated hunters know that sometimes one extra step can make all the difference. Knowing the best methods to store hunting clothes pays off in the long run. Even when the season is over, hunters can know they are already a step ahead for the next hunt when their clothes are stored accordingly. 

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