Question: Can you build your own ozone generator for reducing scent from your hunting gear?
I use my clothing and packs for sweat-inducing hunts during the early season but also want to use the same gear for tree stand hunting. I’ve tried a number of things and started looking at ozone systems for reducing scent from my gear. That way I could use the same clothing/packs for late season stand hunting without constant washing. The commercial systems are very good, but American to Canadian dollar makes them rather expensive here, and I like to tinker…so I thought, can I make my own?
How does ozone reduce scent?
Ozone (O3) is a unstable molecule, which means that it looking to dance (react) with another chemical molecules. These reactions allows it to drop one Oxygen molecule to become O2, what we need to stay alive, but which is also a much more stable arrangement. It reduces scent by reacting with, and therefore breaking down, odour causing molecules.
It is used in commercial applications such as restorations after smoke damage. It is done safely by only being done in vacant areas, using a relatively large generator, for a prescribed time period, and then fully ventilated before people being allowed to return. (Using generation plates that produce 3.5g of ozone per hour)
However, we can’t use this size of system for our hunting gear. The concentration of ozone generated would be much too high in the smaller space that we use to hold our gear for cleansing.
Also, we need to be careful with ozone around our gear. It will react with odour causing bacteria but it will also react with (and deteriorate or destroy with repeated use) items in our gear and clothing (elastic, nylon). So for hunting gear, smaller concentrations of ozone must be used (using plates that produce 200 mg or 0.2 g of ozone per hour).
Ozone is a toxic gas. Please do not use ozone generators inside your home or in any enclosed spaces that have not been properly vented. Also, do not use on life-saving gear (ropes, harnesses, etc).
Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 0.1 ppm. While this makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level.
As you might, I went to YouTube and found a couple of videos. There was one that stood out to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kckkiVo-D_k
I wanted to keep it real simple, and for that you only need a few items. A container or case, a battery, an ozone generator, and a fan to move air over the plate. I used:
Case: I repurposed a case that I was no longer using for a piece of camera gear. Interior dimensions (7in x 10in x 3 in)
You can get something similar here:
Battery: Talentcell Rechargeable 6000mAh Li-Ion Battery Pack – around $35
Ozone generator: Search ebay or Amazon “200 mg ozone generator” – around $20
Fan (computer fan): Arctic F9 – around $10
I place gear in large bags, typically used for recycling and make sure that it isn’t overstuffed (so that there is enough room for air flow). On my back deck, I lay the recycling bag on its side, wrap the opening around the outlet of the ozone case and secure with an elastic. I run the generator for 15 minutes, and then open the bag for 15 minutes to allow for fresh air to enter and flush. If it is a backpack, I will consider it finished. If it is a bag of clothing, I often shuffle the bag to provide a fresh surface and do one more 15 minute interval. After a solid flushing of fresh air, I clip the bags closed to keep scent free – ready for use in a tree 🙂
Depending on how far you have to walk to your stand, you can use this type of system in a tree as well. However, I have found it effective in simply reducing my scent BEFORE I get into the tree. I can smell a difference, so I know that I am just a little less stinky in the tree.
Because we all know that deer’s noses are extremely good, and it’s always tricky when you have to stay in one position.