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Thread: Sheep Sense of Smell and Personal Hygiene

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    Default Sheep Sense of Smell and Personal Hygiene

    I am trying to determine if it's worth the weight to carry some laundry detergent (a small amount) on a sheep hunt to clean my undershorts/shirt every few days or so. I am trying to keep my pack as light as possible and was planning on only bringing one T shirt and one pair of shorts and then washing every three days or so to keep them fresh. In previous hunts I've just changed my underwear every fews days, but it may be unnecessary weight.

    The synthetic T shirt and shorts that I currently wear do a pretty good job at fighting the smell (unlike the poly pro that I used to wear!) but after a few days the BO will always come back. From everything that I've read, the sheep have a great sense of smell and I need to be very careful of the wind currents - I know that whatever I do, I will never be able to get rid of my scent. I carry a small stick of unscented anti-perspirant/deoderant and a small bar of unscented soap to help out as well.

    I'd appreciate it if you could let me know if my attempts at keeping clean are worth the effort and the weight.

    Thanks,

    John

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I don't and can't see ever doing so. I switched away from synthetics over the last couple years moving to merino wool and it is more comfortable and resists the funk better than any synthetic available.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default Sheep Hunt- No

    I have never been concerned about laundry detergent on a sheep hunt, which for me are backpack hunts.

    But on Moose-Brown Bear-Caribou-Wolf hunts...I take a small "travelers box" of detergent. After getting covered in blood from the back of my shoulders to my heels, it is nice to toss that set of camo shirt and pants into a 5 gallon bucket and wash em out enough to pretend that they are clean. Clearly on these types of hunts, float hunts for me, I have a more liberal weight allowance.

    As you already know, cotton fabrics are out. Sweat and blood soaks into each strand of fabric and they never get clean in the bush, and it never dries out. I do prefer synthetic fabrics because they do dry super fast, even in the bush where you may never see a sunny, warm day. Also, critter crud and your own sweat will not soak into each individual strand of fabric. Even after packing moose quarters and being covered in blood, much/most of it will fall off the fabric as it dries. In my experience, synthetic fabrics smell less, retain less funk and crud, than all other options.

    At the end of your sheep hunt you and your hunting buddy will both smell like ammonia. Neither of you will recognize it until you get to your vehicle and go to a restaurant for a burger. Then, everybody in the restaurant will know you have been through ten great days in the bush!

    Dennis

  4. #4

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    I have never observed a Sheep nosing the wind. By the time a Sheep 'winds' you, it is too late for them. Whatever you decide to wear on the hunt, DON'T get emotionally attatched to them. Be prepared to throw them in the fire, right after you shishkabob some Sheep meat.
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    dennis have you tried merino wool?

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    Default merino wool probably great...

    LuJon...for socks only, Yes. And those are the best socks on earth. But for my 60 days in the bush... No, not for shirts and pants and shorts. (it still stings when I consider spending $25.00 for a pair of synthetic shorts!)
    Not suggesting you are innaccurate. But for my four sets of hunting "bush gear", I gota stick with what has worked, and dried fastest, for me.

    Concerning the terrible smells associated with hunters and sheep hunting...watch the wind whenever possible. I have had rams spook downwind of me, but they still died.

    Time to go rafting again....chit, I'm late!

    dennis

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    DO NOT bring any laundry detergent !!!!.....any animal will smell it for almost a good mile....if it bothers you that much, bring single packets of non-scented wipes, you can use this for your body and your butt, when you go. Do not throw or bury them, burn them. The best way is like what Lujon said, rough it out and smell bad, animals will still smell you, but they get used to your natural smell if your not a threat.

    If your flying air transport, the pilots never once complained too me, just the wife, when she picks me up...oh well. My ritual coming off the a great hunt, is that I must have a cheeseburger !!!.....Love going into McDonalds smelling like you know what.........nobodies ever said anything....LOL

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Pirog View Post
    "...let me know if my attempts at keeping clean are worth the effort and the weight..."

    Thanks,

    John
    Certainly worth the effort with your feet, groin and maybe your teeth. Any attempts to "mask" your scent by bathing or whatever is a giant waste of time. Their sense of smell is outstanding - but - doesn't matter how good the sense is if you're paying attention to the wind and not running over hill and dale (ravines) trying to hunt sheep.
    Rather than "extra" bars of soap might think about extra socks!
    Good Luck with your hunt.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Default Other concerns...

    I would recommend you have a keen awareness of air current, i.e. updrafts and downdrafts in the mountains. To me, this is much more critical to ones success. If you play your wind and stalks right, it won't matter that you have funk coming out of your pores. I do use a non-scented detergent on my clothes prior to departure from home- my clothes consist mostly of capilene, synthetic t-shirts and my sitka ascent pants. I also put a few coatings of scent killer on my raingear, whites, and other items- don't really think it matters a ton, just trying to keep variables on my side. If you're rifle hunting you should be fine, if you're archery hunting...things become a bit more critical.

    I second Kaha with the unscented wipes- shower in a bag baby!!! Helps keep the swass and fromunda away. Good luck

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    Member shphtr's Avatar
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    All of prior posts have all the bases covered. I am a big synthetic fan and almost of all the newer synthetics are synthesized to significantly decrease BO. Much to my surprise the newer merino wools are also quite effective. In general regarding hi-tech garments, you will get what you pay for .... and some of them are not cheap - but seem to work well. On a 10 to 14 day hunt: one change underwear, two sets long johns (one light, one med), 4 to 5 pair socks. I do my laundry at home. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shphtr View Post
    All of prior posts have all the bases covered. I am a big synthetic fan and almost of all the newer synthetics are synthesized to significantly decrease BO. Much to my surprise the newer merino wools are also quite effective. In general regarding hi-tech garments, you will get what you pay for .... and some of them are not cheap - but seem to work well. On a 10 to 14 day hunt: one change underwear, two sets long johns (one light, one med), 4 to 5 pair socks. I do my laundry at home. Good luck.
    Did you steal my packing list?

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    I quit bringing extra clothes......since my last sheep hunt, what I got on is what I will wear for the next 7-10 days, with the exception of my rain jacket...yep only 1 pair of socks, the one i'm wearing....and will be wearing them again this year, they will start out clean and fresh, but they will smell at the end of the hunt, but they are strong merino wool (Darn Toughs).....Yes one pair of boxers, the one I'm wearing too....

    Having a shower is not important to me, as long as I have the wipes.... I've gone 37 days w/o a shower and no wipes in the Mtns of Afghanistan, covered with dirt, sand, fuel, and hydraulic fluid......never got a rash, fungus or any skin irritations....Thats how we do it...when your in the Air Force assigned to an Army unit !!!!!!

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    I'm more worried about sheeps eyes than noses. No extra clothes. I am able to layer up and wear all the clothes I bring if needed. But, unlike kahahawai I do bring extra socks. And some of those anti-bacterial wipes.

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    Smile

    Agree with Kahahawai, a few wipes are all thats needed, pits, crotch, feet and butt wipe.
    if you want to go lighter, don't wear shorts.

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    Never worried about being smelly. I take one change of socks and and in past, if a week or more one extra boxers. Now with Merino I might forgo that. I do take a very small bottle of concentrated, all purpose liquid soap. I have washed my socks when I switched.

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    Default Air Force gets dirty?

    kahahawai, I have never heard of Airmen getting dirty, but if you were assigned to an Army unit then that makes it seem more feasible!!! hahaha

    Typically, I will take 2 synthetic tshirts, 2 synthetic boxers, 1 pr silk liteweight longjohns, 2 pr sock liners and 2 pr merino wool socks on a sheep hunt. Each nite I let the ones that I wore that day air out, then put on the the other set. This rotation works for me and I never wash anything. However, I do take wetwipes and clean myself at least every other day. Footpowder always goes with me too and is used on feet and groin daily. I feel fairly clean, the silk doesnt get smelly, and the synthetic shirts stay tolerable as well.

  17. #17

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    well i guess I am in the middle of extremes between taking no clothes extra and some clothes. Starting a week plus hike or hunt generally I just have the same pair of Cabelas fishing pants on and a merino wool or synthetic t-shirt one pair of socks and my undies . In my pack is an extra pair of socks (my sleeping socks) and merino wool top and bottom layers. Also insulation coat (barney's supercub jacket which is an intergal designs rundle, and mountain hardwear compressor pants)' and my raingear.

    No way you'd find me at 5000 feet with just what I am what I wear to start out the hunt, I like to be able to throw on some extra layers if needed. Kaha, you do have a coat or jacket besides your rain jacket to throw in I presume, as I highly doubt you hike in your jacket all that much when its warm out it must be in your pack?? I 2nd the Darn Tough socks. Smart wools are great but the DT socks are even better. Need to pick up another pair. I like have the extra pair of socks in my pack knowing that no matter how wet my feet get I have a dry pair waiting for me when I finally go to bed that night.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    I'm living out of a small log cabin out in sheep country right now. On the wall is written:

    Sheep can't hear thunder
    Sheep can't smell a dead horse
    Sheep CAN see through rocks!

    - Old Indian Saying


    Just thought I'd throw that out there...

    Yk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    I'm living out of a small log cabin out in sheep country right now. On the wall is written:

    Sheep can't hear thunder
    Sheep can't smell a dead horse
    Sheep CAN see through rocks!

    - Old Indian Saying


    Just thought I'd throw that out there...

    Yk
    Great saying and I like to see that you are really roughing it. Must have a satellite connection.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    I do have satellite internet out here. I set it up in the "office" tent this spring. Works good too. Where I spend the night though is a 12x14 log cabin that I share with my wife and 1 yr old. Good times.

    Back on subject though, I usually take one extra undershirt and one extra pair of underwear. It's not for stink control though, it actually because I find that sleeping in synthetics feels really nasty and clammy and using the one I wore during the day makes it worse.

    I picked up a set of 95% silk blend bottom and top this year, which so far I really like. Much better feel on the skin than synthetic and I'm less prone to both chills and overheating. They don't dry like synthetic, but these year I'm taking one of each.

    Ok, I'm headed off to my little cabin for the night.

    Later,

    Yk

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