What is an ozone generator anyway?
While the healthcare industry has been using ozone technology to sanitize for over a century, Ozonics introduced this form of scent elimination to the hunting community nearly 15 years ago with the launch of its in-field ozone units. It didn't take long for other hunting companies to come up with their own versions, especially for bowhunting enthusiasts where getting close to your quarry is vital.
If you're a chemistry novice like I am, the concept can seem confusing -- if not impossible. According to Scent Crusher, this is a simple breakdown of how ozone machines work:
"Ozone, or O3, is the tri-atomic form of oxygen. Stated simply, it is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. O3 rapidly oxidizes organisms like bacteria it comes into contact with, then converts safely back into oxygen (O2). Scent Crusher's ozone generators produce on-demand O3 (ozone) which is attracted to bacteria and contaminants that cause odors. The ozone attacks and kills odors and bacteria through oxidation, and then converts safely back into standard oxygen, leaving your gear scent-free."
From mildew and smoke smells to wet dog and body odors, ozone technology can kill it all. Now other companies such as Scent Crusher and ScentLok offer ozone systems to treat your hunting clothes before heading into the field -- like closets, totes, and gear bags that can cut down on washing -- as well plug-ins for your home or car. Most allow you to adjust the ozone output and amount of time the generator runs based on the odors you need to eliminate.
Drawbacks of Ozone
While ozone technology can have a huge impact on your hunting, it's not a perfect, end-all be-all scent control solution. And if we're being realistic, nothing ever will be the perfect solution. It's simply another tool designed to give you an edge, especially archery hunters.
There are stories out there that ozone generators can be rough on some hunting gear that contains elastics or rubber, so leave out items with stretchy waistbands and suspenders.
While ozone generally isn't harmful to humans, it's not healthy to inhale in large quantities. So, it's probably best to avoid using home or car units while you're in the area.
Finally, ozone doesn't continue to kill odors after you've treated your clothing. So, even if you're using an Ozonics unit in the field, it's best to combine ozone technology with other scent control solutions for the best results.
So, are ozone generators worth it? Well, that's going to depend on who you ask. While ozone technology still has its skeptics, the science behind the machines is solid and many of hunting's biggest names swear by the revolutionary scent eliminator for deer hunting. If you are curious about one of our own staff writer's thoughts on the machines, make sure to read his review of one.
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