Camouflage – It’s Not Just For You

Posted: November 11, 2014 in All Others, Bugging Out, SHTF Preparedness, Survival and Skills
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During a SHTF situation camouflage may save your hide. During TEOTWAWKI, camouflage will defiantly save your hide. Not just personal camouflage of blacking out your face, wearing the latest hunting or military issue camo, but understanding what camouflage is and the principles behind the concept. Let’s take a couple of minutes to look at the basics of camouflage, and not just for ourselves but also for our equipment and gear.

Now I could start by throwing out words like crypsis, mimesis and motion dazzle, but what good would those do us? Later you can take the time to google the meanings of all that. Let’s start by looking at what we are trying to achieve with camouflaging in the first place. The basic idea behind any camouflage job is to blend in with the surrounding area. Whether you are trying to hide yourself or a piece a gear, the idea remains the same no matter if you’re in the woods or in an urban setting – blend in.

Sniper Hide

Sniper Hide

In an urban setting blending in is an entirely different thing than trying to blending in the woods. Blending in within an urban setting will depend on where you are located and where you are moving to. If you’re moving through a highly populated city center during a period of urban unrest, you will want to look like you fit into the crowd. A business suit would not be your first choice of what to wear. However, you wouldn’t want to wear something that someone your age wouldn’t wear.

Urban camo with backpack

Urban camo with backpack

The best choice of camouflage I have found for moving in an urban environment at any time is a homeless look. Most people won’t give a homeless person a second look during most situations, even during civil unrest.

If you must try to camouflage a large item like a vehicle or trailer, the easiest way to camouflage it is to age it. Rub dirt on it, dent it up or even try spreading thickened caramel soda over the paint to give the paint a rusty look. Don’t forget about the tires, they can give you away as fast as a nice paint job. The goal is to make the vehicle or trailer as crappy as possible. No one will give a wreck a second glance, but a shiny new truck will draw the eye.

Now looking like a homeless person may work in an urban setting, but it’s not going to help you blend in in the suburbs or even the country side, in fact it may even get you shot faster! In a less urban environment more traditional concepts will provide you with a better chance of blending in. Let’s look at some concepts that will help you succeed in this environment.

Breaking Up Shapes – In nature you will hardly ever find a straight line or anything that mimics the human shape. You will want to break up the basic human shape and any straight lines with other shapes and layers. Using natural foliage from the area including tall grasses, leaves, and other vegetation to break up any unnatural shapes. When using natural foliage on things other than your body, there are a couple of rules that you must remember:

  1. Change the foliage frequently. Once you remove or cut the living plant, it will start to die and turn brown. Often the aging foliage will give you away quicker than not using anything at all.
  2. Don’t use the foliage from your immediate area. Always gather your foliage from a distance from your position. This way you won’t leave a hole in the foliage in your area.
  3. Don’t use foliage that cannot be found with your area. Don’t use tall grass if there is not tall grass in your area. Don’t use bushes if there are no bushes around.
Ghilee Suit

Ghilee Suit

Subdue It – Very rarely will you find anything shiny in nature. Most shiny objects in nature are found in streams and are wet. True, certain green leaves will have a waxy appearance, but most of these will be found of bushes near homes not in the woods. If an object you are carrying or evening a part of your body has a shiny appearance, you will want to subdue it. This can be done is several ways, below are a couple of suggestions and things that I have done in the pass:

  1. Use charcoal or ash to dull out any part of the body or any shiny surface that many reflect light.
  2. Rub a layer of dirt, mud or clay on any part of the body or any shiny surface that many reflect light.
  3. Use lens caps on optics when not in use. This will stop the light from being reflected causing a flash much like a signal mirror.
  4. Always put away any equipment that will cause a flash from a reflection of light.

Become a Shadow Critter – As most combat soldiers will tell you, the darkness is your friend”. Shadows mean life. If you are trying to blend in or hide, it’s a lot easier to do this from the shadows than in the wide open. Shadows will obscure a person vision while trying to find you. If you are standing in an open area trying to look into a shadowy area, you will have a hard time trying to see further than couple of feet. Together with breaking up the outline and subduing any bright reflective surfaces, the shadows will provide you even more camouflage, giving you the ability to blend in with the surrounding environment.

A camouflaged camp

A camouflaged camp

Also, as natural light fades, the shadows will deepen and provide you more invisibility. If you must move, travel at night. The shadows will deepen further and make it almost impossible to see through, making it harder to see you, even with night vision devices.

Don’t Be the Flash – Move slow, deliberate and consistent. How many time in your everyday life does you see something move out of the corner of your eye? The sudden movement or speed of movement catches your attention and you zoom in on the object trying to identify what it was. However, if the movement is slow, deliberate and consistent you most likely will not notice it. Take a cue from the animals that stalk their prey. If you notice, when the animals do move it is slow, deliberate and consistent. Their prey doesn’t even notice they are there until it is too late and the predator pounces.

This can also be seen in the sniper stalk. Snipers will often take several hours moving only a couple hundred feet. No matter what they are moving through while on the stalk, the sniper will always move slow, deliberate and consistent when moving. Always move like a sniper while moving, no matter what the environment.

Don’t Silhouette Yourself – Hill tops, tops of buildings and bridges will silhouette you if cross at the very top. Whether you are moving or setting up camp, always remember not to go straight to the top. Always stay within the “military crest” of the hills. Try to stay away from the top of ridge lines and avoid anything that will make you standout against the sky line.

Sniper in hide

Sniper in hide, breaking up shapes and subdued surfaces.

Deaden Sound – Sound can give your position away quicker than almost anything else. If you have loose equipment it must be tied down or baffled. Items like rifle slings, half-filled canteens and rattling weapons magazines will not only give you away while you’re moving, but also while you’re in a hide site. You always should button down what is loose equipment. Remember sound travels easy and it travels better at night and when it’s cold.

It’s Always Better with Two – Once you have yourself, your hide site and gear camouflaged, have someone check it out. Let them give you ideas on how to make it better, how to improve your camouflage job. This is a two way street. Check your partner’s camo job out and make suggestions on how to improve it.

Camo Bug

Camo Bug, I thought it was funny…

  1. Prepper Farm says:

    I learned while riding the bus for several years that looking like a homeless guy kept people from bothering me. Urban camo works for every day life, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Don’t forget your hair in an urban camo mode. A new or even not so new haircut will not complement your attempt to look homeless. It needs to be longer, unkempt and covered with a crappy hat.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. […] Source  : […]


  4. […] Camouflage – It’s Not Just For You […]


  5. […] Concealment – You will want to try to keep your location away from the prying eyes of others. Don’t go tell everyone and their brother that you have a location to head to when the SHTF. The further back from a road that you can place your shelter the better. Use camouflage to hide the entries and exits to the property. The main goal is to try to make the place look like there is no one around. If this can’t be achieved, the proper security measures will have to be emplaced and other protective actions will be required. […]


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