Base Layers: The First Line of Defense

One of the aspects of a proper scent control regimen that is not required yet is an aid to both the longevity of your exterior activated carbon lined jacket and pants and your scent control is the bottom layer garments you wear against your skin.

ScentLok has had offerings in base garments for years and now they are offering new Nexus base carbon garments in both top and bottom with Carbon Alloy® technology throughout for odor adsorption and Gold+ Alloy technology throughout as an anti-microbial for odor prevention.

These new Nexus Hi-Tech base carbon garments were just introduced and are currently available in a lightweight series.

The Gold+ Alloy in ScentLok base garment acts as an anti-microbial and unlike many other undergarments in the industry that use an anti-microbial treatment which can eventually be washed out, Gold+ Alloy is permanent.    

The purpose of using anti-microbial Gold+ Alloy garments as bottom layers against the skin is to kill bacteria on our bodies. Killing bacteria keeps it from reproducing as rapidly and therefore aids in lowering odor related to bacteria. Anti-microbial only garments do nothing in adsorbing the hundreds of other odor molecules emitted from the human body or the odor molecules from the bacteria it kills. The new Nexus base carbon garments have Carbon Alloy® as well to adsorb odors.

The generous cut on all ScentLok’s jackets and pants leaves ample room for a couple layering garments. Wearing the new base carbon garments will add longevity to your exterior ScentLok jacket and pants as they will adsorb a high percentage of the odor molecules you emit before they reach the suit.

Carbon Alloy/Gold+ Alloy base carbon undergarments require the same reactivation process and storage as ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy lined garments.

Packs are a huge part of a scent control regimen as most hunters get into their packs before and or after each hunt to reload or re-organize them and likely 95 plus percent of the time, do so with their bare hands. I would also dare say that well over 95% off all hunters using ScentLok garments use non-technology packs which is like taking a huge human odor scent wick hunting with you and of course when they get winded, they blame it on their ScentLok garmnents.

ScentLok offers backpacks have the exact same Carbon Alloy technology in their fabrics as ScentLok’s Carbon Alloy lined garments and require the same reactivation process and storage.


  1. Once purchased, all ScentLok Carbon Alloy lined garments require reactivation prior to use in the field.
  2. Reactivation is achieved by placing garments in a clean household or commercial dryer for 30 to 40 minutes on the highest heat setting available. Heat causes the carbon and the lightly bonded odor molecules to energize and expand, and break free from the weak ionic bond causing thermal de-adsorption. Visual examples of low heat causing energetic molecular motion (expansion) are obvious in expansion joints in highways and steel bridges. Without expansion joints bridges and highways would buckle from molecular expansion when temperatures exceed 90 or so degrees.
  3. Once the dryer stops remove the garments and put them in an air-tight storage container (Scent Tote, carbon bag, or air tight bag). Never put scent wafers, pine boughs, cover scent items or any non-carbon lined garments in the container as doing so will prematurely load the carbon with odor molecules from whatever you placed in the container. Activated carbon is always adsorbing molecules and can’t differentiate between human odor and other odor related molecules.
  4. Reactivation process (steps 2 and 3) should be repeated at least every 6 hunts or once about every 40 hours of field use.
  5. Store your ScentLok Carbon Alloy lined garments in the air-tight container until used in the field. Do not wear in the house, vehicle, getting gas, around the campfire, in restaurants, etc., just during the hunt. When finished hunting all carbon lined garments go back into the storage container prior to getting back into vehicle or entering the house.
  6. While not recommended as a standard practice, ScentLok garments can be washed periodically (once per season) if they have physical dirt or blood on them. Wash on gentle cycle using a small amount of ScentLok’s carbon detergent. Put garments in dryer on air only cycle and once dry, refer to steps 2 and 3 for the reactivation process.

Standard Hunting Tips:

    • It is advised to wash all non-carbon lined undergarments and layer garments in a scent free detergent and store them in a similar manner as your carbon clothing but not with it.
    • It is advised to shower and shampoo with scent free soap and apply scent free anti-perspirant prior to hunting.
    • It is imperative to wear clean knee high rubber or neoprene boots and drape your pant legs outside them. When walking, every time you take a step air is displaced out of your boots and the carbon in the pant legs will absorb the odor molecules.
    • It is advised to use a carbon lined pack and reactivate it when you do your clothing.
    • For non-carbon lined packs, frequently wash them in scent free detergent to eliminate odor. Store your loaded pack in its own air-tight container.

NOTE:  If you; wear face paint to look cool, wear a non-carbon lined logo cap, don’t keep your pack scent free, don’t wear clean rubber or neoprene boots, or don’t use carbon lined gloves when ascending trees, and you get winded, don’t blame getting winded on your ScentLok garments because getting winded was totally your fault.

Scent control regiments are a matter of degree: For instance if you just wear a properly cared for ScentLok jacket, pants, and clean rubber boots you may adsorb or contain as much as 70% of your human odor, but you’ll still expel enough odor from your head and hands that wind direction will be a factor. Add a ScentLok headcover with drop down facemask that covers all your hair, neck and face (except your eyes) and a pair of gloves and the amount of human odor expelled outside the garments will be at such low levels that wind direction can be ignored.

Everything must be done properly and in conjunction with each other to make wind direction irrelevant during a hunt.   

By: John Eberhart