If you have ever had a deer wind you while on stand, you know how frustrating this can be. And if you take bow hunting seriously, you’re probably a scent control freak. However as much as we shower, wash our clothes and spray down our boots before going into the field there’s always a certain amount of odor we have a hard time eliminating. Enter Scent Crusher. This new company that knows or ‘nose’ a thing or to about scent control and may be able to help in your quest to go scent free. They are using a smart application for an old molecular discovery. Let’s take an in depth look at a new gear bag from Scent Crusher and how it works.
Unboxing The Scent Crusher Gear Bag
In a nutshell, the Scent Crusher Gear Bag is a large duffel bag combined with an ozone generator. The ozone generator pumps O3 into the bag containing your gear, and effectively deodorizes it for you without having to spray it or wash it.
Why Use Ozone?
Think about this; humans have about 5 million olfactory scent receptors. Deer have 297 million. Dogs by comparison have 220 million scent receptors. Point being, if you don’t pay attention to your scent control you should. Scent control or what I like to call “gear hygiene” is a process. Here, more than ever, it’s fail to plan or plan to fail.
Most of us know that we should pay more attention to reducing scent on our bodies, hunting clothes, and gear. But the problem is that it’s so darn inconvenient sometimes. Do you treat your rangefinder, cell phone, or wrist sling? Probably not. That’s why Scent Crusher came up with a solution using an Ozone or O3 (O3 = 3 Oxygen Molecules) combined with a large 33.5”L x 15.7” W x 13.3” duffel bag for a convenient way to apply the Ozone treatment. Ozone has been used commercially for years to deodorize buildings after fire, remove smoke smell from cars and even deodorize drinking water. Now you can give your hunting gear a direct ozone odor killing application.
How Ozone Technology Works
Ozone is a naturally occurring gas produced by nature to keep Earth’s mildew and bacteria in check and also protect our Earth from getting too hot. Remember ‘Save the Ozone Layer’?. Thanks to the Scent Crusher Ozone Gear Bag, we can have Mother Nature’s glorious gift in a duffel bag.
In all seriousness Ozone is a 3-part Oxygen molecule. Normal Oxygen is a 2 part oxygen molecule (O2). When Ozone is produced, the 3rd molecule is combined onto the O2 molecule but in a loose state and looking to jump somewhere. When exposed to organic scent molecules it oxidizes (leaves the O2) and the byproduct is harmless Oxygen after it dissipates. That free Oxygen molecule then permeates the cell walls of scent causing bacteria which causes death to that cell of the living bacteria. Bacteria, as we know, is the cause of stinky odors. Why? Bacteria breaks down sweat causing an acid release. This acid STINKS. That is partially the reason why areas of the body that don’t air dry sweat quickly tend to create more odors. The sweat on hunting clothes, boots, or other gear has proteins that bacteria love to eat an multiply on which causes them to stink.
A Look Inside The Scent Crusher Gear Bag
The bag comes with 1 wall adapter for standard AC use and 1 car adapter for use on the go. Both cords are about 5 feet in length. The bag seems like a standard duffel quality with an added clear plastic pouch to hold the Ozone unit and disperse the Ozone into the bag via a rubber hose. The Ozone producing unit is maintenance free and has a 20 year life span. There is a nice sized 12” x 12” zipper pouch on the front of the bag that won’t be handed a direct dose of O3. This pouch is handy to store the power cords so they don’t get misplaced.
Once the unit is plugged in, it takes one push on the center button to turn the unit on and then a sequence of up or down buttons to select the run time from 5 – 30 minutes. Why would you only want to run it for 5 minutes? While Scent Crusher does recommend longer run time for stronger smells, O3 has also been known to break down rubber / elastic with prolonged use over time. So, if you want to deodorize your rubber boots (which you probably should), Scent Crusher recommends treating them for not more than 10 minutes and they do not recommend multiple cycles in an 8 hour period.
Gear and hunting hygiene is a serious process, but it can be broken down simply. The more you smell like nothing, the better your chances of success. The human body naturally secretes chemicals that have odors called pheromones. Different factors effect them such as diet or stress levels and the body chemical releases through sweat.
Safety is Essential
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has an exposure limit of 0.1 ppm to Ozone because at high levels or prolonged exposure it can have harmful effects on the body including lung irritations and has been linked to certain types of cancer.
I did notice on 2 occasions where I didn’t let the room ventilate as recommended in the instructions, that I did smell the distinct Ozone smell strongly. I am not sure if I am overly sensitive to the smell, but I felt a bit nauseous shortly after! Please follow the directions and let it properly dissipate. The bag is not airtight, so some of the produced gas does escape. Also, friends that have used similar equipment in a hunting blind said they had the same reactions and then placed it outside the blind instead.
If you plan to drive a vehicle with the unit running in the passenger seat, I recommend making sure the windows were down with a good airflow. I think the safest option to use it while traveling to a hunting spot is to run it in the bed of truck. Unfortunately, the vehicle power cord supplied with the unit is not long enough to reach through the back window which I think would be a really nice addition. Some newer trucks may have a plug in the truck bed. If that’s the case for you, you are golden. Although, if you know you are going hunting, run the bag for 30 minutes before you leave, grab the bag when its finished and go hunting. This season I plan to wash my clothes as I normally do with scent free laundry detergent, but give all of my gear an Ozone treatment refresher every time I hunt to save time.
If you wanted to deodorize the interior of your vehicle and the gear inside the vehicle (tree-stands, bow, etc) you could remove the machine from the bag and run it inside a vehicle for 30 minutes and then open the doors to let is dissipate. Just don’t forget about it and drain your car battery like it did. This multi functional use of the product is what I am most excited about.
Ozone Testing – Does It Really Work?
I have to be honest, the first test I performed with this bag I had little faith. I had left a towel at a friends house who are smokers and they couldn’t tell that it now smelled like cigarette smoke, but I sure could! I was about to put it in the washing machine and I thought “Hmmm I wonder if the Scent Crusher Gear Bag would get rid of the smell?”. Needless to say, I was a skeptic. I ran the bag with the towel by itself for 30 minutes and when I tell you after the first application the smoke odor was gone, it was completely gone. It literally smelled as fresh as a spring morning. I could not believe it, and a few weeks later still no smell.
While researching for this article, I discovered that Bow Hunt of Die’s very own Tyler Rector used an ozone machine a few years ago to deodorize tractor interior air filters that were permeated with a smoke smell from a field fire. He ran them through an application of Ozone and the smell was gone
Diesel Gloves and Pet Urine Test
I treated a pair of gloves that were saturated with diesel as another test. One glove came completely odor free while I think the other could have used another application. I also tested a paper towel that had dog urine on it. I ran this for a few 30 minute treatments.
The ozone removed the dog urine on the paper towel on the outside but didn’t work between the tight layers of the paper towel. I don’t think this is a reflection of the product as much as the layers of the paper towel were too tight together. As I mentioned earlier, for best application on you clothes and gear keep them loosely packed so the Ozone can permeate freely.
How intense you want to get eliminating odors is up to you. I believe all hunters realize the importance of remaining as scent free as possible – although we all take it to different levels. Eliminating scent on your gear is now as simple as throwing it in a bag. The Scent Crusher Ozone Gear bag allows us to scientifically eliminate odors by a chemical process and use it on non washable gear like releases, trail cameras, game calls, cell phones and other gear that we previously haven’t been able to properly clean. I believe deer associate the threat level of danger by the intensity of the smells they pick up on. With a strong scent of human, the deer brain triggers high alert to leave or avoid the area. The more we can reduce our smells our chances go way up. This product definitely offers a unique advantage for hunters to take their gear hygiene game to the next level.
Want to try one for yourself? Our friends at Lancaster Archery have them in stock and ready to ship. MSRP $199.99