de·o·dor·ant a substance that removes or conceals unpleasant smells, especially bodily odors.
Almost all big game animals have a sense of smell that far exceeds that of us humans, and it is something each of us must consider every time we walk into the woods. Most hunters prepare their stand locations based off of wind patterns and deer travel routes. Some go as far as purchasing clothing that supposedly contains their scent, and keeps it from escaping.
Whatever method of scent control you use, you will most likely wear deodorant. Most hunters will head down to the local sporting goods store and find something produced by a manufacturer specifically made for scent control. You know, something made by hunters and for hunters. These companies do have our best interest in mind – right?
I have used almost every type of ‘hunting’ deodorant and I have come to one conclusion – It stinks.
Okay, maybe that was harsh, but it does truly stink after multiple days in the field – especially if you can’t shower. The best way to describe most hunting deodorants: white, flaky, gunky, and they act as a pore blocker. You know what I’m talking about. Most hunting deodorants are antiperspirants, antiperspirants contain ingredients that interact with sweat glands and help stop perspiration. That sounds good, right?
Well, it is good if you can take a shower right after your hunt. What if you can’t? You end up with a lot of gunk to remove from your pit. Not to mention the fact that you now have this paste stuck in your shirt. In all reality the deodorant these manufacturers are making is doing what an antiperspirant is supposed to do.
You see – the deodorant is doing its job by creating a ‘plug’ in the sweat gland. What else does that do? Well, it keeps you from producing sweat through your pit, which is not what God intended because you begin to overheat! Not very good if you are hiking a couple miles with a treestand on your back, or if you decide to go on a backcountry hunt in the mountains.
As I began to do some research on the topic of deodorants in preparation for my trip to Montana. I knew going in that I would not be able to take conventional showers. I also knew that I would only wear one or two merino shirts the entire trip.
So I did what any man would do – asked my wife. She schooled me on the topic, and also convinced me that I would soon die, (ha ha) if I didn’t make changes to my deodorant choices. Under the circumstances, I took her up on the offer.
She also convinced me she could make this deodorant, and to my surprise, she did, in fact, make the perfect hunting deodorant. First, she was able to put it in a small roller-ball stick that served perfect for backpack hunting. Next, it wasn’t white and flaky, but it was a clear roll-on version.
I used it all summer leading up to the hunt, mainly during workout sessions, and her deodorant passed all of my concerns. There was no gunk buildup, and it did an excellent job killing the odor.
Before my trip, I actually ran out of her magic potion and ended up purchasing Tom’s Of Maine, unscented. Again, this deodorant was a home run, and you can purchase it in stores. I actually wore the same First Lite shirt the entire trip and had surprisingly very little body odor smell afterward.
If you are looking for a deodorant on your next adventure I would highly recommend giving Tom’s a try – or here is my wife’s essential oils recipe:
Travel size natural deodorant:
1. Fill a one-ounce roller bottle with witch hazel
2. 5 drops of lavender essential oil
3. 5 drops of cypress essential oil
4. 5 drops of tea tree oil
**Test this, and any new product on a small spot on the underside of your wrist to make sure you don’t have any issues with any of the ingredients before applying to a large area.
Note: It is important to use a reputable company for your essential oils, we can make suggestions for one if needed.
If you have other recommendations, or DIY tricks feel free to post them in the comments below.