Tips & Tactics

A Little Dirt Never Hurt

A Little Dirt Never Hurt

By Ken Piper

Extend the life of your expensive hunting clothing by neglecting it (a little).

While deer hunting is just heating up in parts of the deep South, the season is a memory to the rest of the nation’s whitetail hunters. As you prepare to store your gear for the off-season, don’t stress too much about your clothing.

Smart whitetail hunters are scent-control freaks, which also means we can be a bit overzealous when it comes to washing our clothes. Truth is, washing your clothing is one of most significant factors in wear. What’s more, the washing process often removes or reduces the effectiveness of water and scent repellents. It also can weaken the seams and cause leaks in clothing with waterproof membranes.

Since you’ll wash your clothing before heading afield next season, it’s okay to put it away dirty – to a point.

Caked-on dirt and mud is also harmful to your clothing. As the mud dries, it pulls moisture from the fabric and contributes to early wear. It also clogs the pores of membranes, which keeps them from breathing and functioning properly. With that in mind, go ahead and wash muddy or extremely foul-smelling clothing. Also remove mud from your boots for the same reasons.

Hang-dry your hunting clothes when possible, and use a lower heat setting when you must use a dryer. The exception is scent-reduction garments that require more heat to release trapped odors. For those items, read the manufacturer’s care instructions, which often recommend they not be washed since the dryer releases the odor molecules.

For clothing that has simply been worn, however, hang it up or drop it in a bin and forget it until next season approaches.

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Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd