By Jayden Mark
Whether you are a skilled hunter or an outdoor lover, it’s important to know a thing or two about who you are sharing the wild with. Your roommates include a combination of animals that all rely on one basic sense to decide if you are a meal or a foe – the sense of smell.
If you are a hunter, the last thing you want is to have a particular musk that animals can smell from miles away. I can guarantee that you won’t be getting any game or trophies. But if you are an average hiker or self-proclaimed friend of nature, stinking up the joint with your scent might spell even more disaster for you. There’s nothing more attractive to deadly snakes and hungry predators than a human with no idea of the term scent control. Your scent will be very crucial to a successful mission in the wilderness, not to mention making it back home safe and sound. Of course, you’ve most likely heard about wearing scentless snake proof boots. But even the professionals know that this is just the first step. If you really want to make it in the wild, then here are 5 ways to become truly scent free.
Tips on Staying Invisible in the Wild
1. Wash Your Gear
It’s just common sense guys. You’ve worn your favorite pair of boots for weeks now and as a result, they tend to stink. If your fellow humans tell you that your boots or hunting jacket reek, then chances are that there are a few animals already on your scent.
We’ve all heard about the unfortunate hunter who slipped his feet into his boots only to be greeted by the sharp fangs of an Eastern Diamondback rattler. His boots probably stunk the place, and snakes love a warm, tight and cozy space. So make sure your clean your gear thoroughly and often. Use only scent free detergents and other soaps with UV killers and ensure your equipment is fully dry before wearing it.
2. More Showers, Less Baths
Simply put, showers allow you to rinse off all the bacteria and dirt much easier than baths. Now, granted that this may be a bit tough out in the wild, the key is using unscented soaps and cleaning thoroughly. Pay attention to certain areas of your body that produce the strongest odors such as armpits, groins and other regions. Unscented shampoos and soaps keep you clean while leaving behind no trace for animals to pick up. After you are done, wash towels in unscented soaps and store in plastic or other scent free containers.
3. Quit Smoking
You’re so proud of your new, scent free boots but still can’t understand why snakes keep seeking you out. For starters, it could be from all the smoke you are bellowing out from a dozen packs of cigarettes. Imagine cleaning up your clothes with scent free soap only to ruin it with putrid smoke. Whether you are hunting or trekking in dangerous territory, it’s of the utmost importance to avoid smoking before and during the adventure.
4. When Nature Calls, Tell Her You’re Busy
All professional hunters know this for a fact. If you plan on doing any hunting, then nothing ruins your chances like taking a leak or a massive dump in the woods. Just like all the other animals, you will have marked your territory and left your scent to fly for miles. So try going to the bathroom long before you get to the woods and before showering at home. But if you find yourself in a desperate situation with no bathroom around, make like a cat, dig a shallow hole, do your business and cover it up. It might save your life and keep you hidden from dangerous animals.
5. Avoid Red Meat
Hold your horses guys, I’m not trying to make you go on a diet or anything, but there is some sense to the point. While this tip is the most difficult, it might not be absolutely true so here goes. For centuries, the natives reduced their intake of red meat because they believed their hunters would smell like predators. Science has backed up this statement by proving that people who eat meat carry different bodily enzymes than vegetarians. What is not really known is whether animals can tell. But if you are going hunting or hiking in areas with poisonous snakes and other deadly predators, I’m sure you don’t want to be smelling like a rival.
There are over a thousand ways that people use to remain as invisible as possible in the wild. From nasal camouflage to blending in with the environment, all these serve a fundamental purpose. Remember, you are trespassing in foreign territory where the only language animals understand is kill or be killed. So while you may be super proud of your scent free, snake proof boots, they may not be enough to save your life when it comes down to it. Make sure the rest of you doesn’t stink first, and your boots will work just fine.