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The Fix: Deodorize Your Gear

Does your pack smell like last summer's cheddar? Here's how to clean up.

A stuff sack that reeks of last year’s cheddar isn’t just a sign of sloppy packing, it’s a fragrant invitation to raccoons and other hungry wildlife. Rodents will chew through sacks, tents, and even packs in search of easy snacks. Keep the scavengers at bay by removing (not just masking) food, mildew, and sweat odors that build up in these rarely washed pieces of gear.

Stuff Sacks

STINK Food-storage bags absorb a smorgasbord of smells from leaky containers, sun-baked salami, and hastily stored leftovers.
CLEAN Eliminate food residue, bacteria, and mildew with McNett’s MiraZyme ($8; 8 oz., This cocktail of natural enzymes and microbes destroys odor-causing bacteria and produces only CO2 and water as byproducts. Fill a bathtub with lukewarm water and add 0.5 ounce of MiraZyme. Turn stuff sacks inside out and soak them for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove sacks from the water and let air dry in the shade without rinsing. MiraZyme’s ingredients leave no harmful residue, so bags are still food-safe.

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