Our local home-school group had a field trip a few weeks ago with a local search and rescue team. They taught the group that having a scent article for each member of the family was a prudent thing to have on hand if going hiking, camping, fishing, etc.
When this information was shared with me, I started thinking about what a good idea it might be to always have a scent article for each family member in each of our vehicles, our 72-hour kits and/or other survival gear/kits as applicable.
Many of us have seen shows on TV where a child comes up missing and mom/dad grab the first article of clothing they can find for the dogs to use to track the child.
This method is not a good way to provide a person's scent however. Whatever article of clothing you have on today also has scents from everyone else you came in contact with, food odors, pollution odors - it is covered up in scents other than yours and would not be the "best" article to use for your scent article.
Here's how the local search and rescue team taught our group to make a scent article:
**If you are assisting someone, such as a child or elderly person, in making a scent article, make sure to use latex gloves when handling the article and the zip bag.
~1 sealed handkerchief or gauze pad
~ 1 quart-size freezer zip-lock bag
~ 1 sharpie marker
~ 1 pair latex gloves if assisting someone else
Steps for making your scent article:
1. Remove handkerchief or gauze pad from sealed package.
2. Rub the handkerchief or gauze pad all over your body for several minutes.
3. Open zip-lock bag and place handkerchief or gauze pad inside.
4. Seal bag.
5. On the bag, write the person's name, date the article was made and FOR SEARCH AND RESCUE TEAM ONLY.
6. For best results, store in the freezer.
**Scent articles should be updated about every 6 months to ensure freshest scent, although some people have had theirs tested up to a year later and found the scent was viable.
**If you go hiking, camping, fishing, etc., leave the scent article on the front seat of your vehicle so that rescue personnel could easily see it.
Think about what a great item this would be for a family with a loved one who has Alzheimer's Disease that might wander off - the possibilities where something like this could come in handy are numerous, so I thought I'd share it with you all.
Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone provided by Alltel