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Essentials of Camouflage

There will be times that you want to be seen, but other times, you may want to blend in to the surrounding environment.  You need to understand the essentials of camouflage for those times, when you wish to remain hidden.

Essentials of Camouflage

Anyone can spend money on camouflage clothing and gear at the military surplus store, but these items can help you start to blend in, but without proper application, they won’t let you disappear into your surroundings.

Humans don’t have built in adaptive skin or any natural camouflage skin patterns, so we need to rely on external tools to help us hide from predators or observers.

Cheetahs are so darn lucky


Here are some very basic initial camouflaging techniques to work with and build on.

One of the essentials of camouflage is to break up your outline with mud, grass, leaves, twigs or whatever else you can find around you.  Try to look like the environment around you. Look around the great outdoors and you’ll see that there are no clearly defined shapes.

camo head
I should have added more grass.


While working to camouflage yourself, try to obfuscate your human shape to help you blend in. This is where leaves, vegetation and items like ghilli suits, ghilli blankets, or camouflage tarps or camo ponchos will help break up your distinctive human shape. Hang these items from your body and drape them around and over yourself.

Camouflage clothing shouldn’t be discounted as it can be very helpful in disguising the human silhouette, but keep in mind that regions will have different natural vegetation. You don’t want to wear a woodland camo when you are heading out to a savannah or to the desert.

The human face is quickly recognizable, so try to break it up and change the typical landscape of your face, with some camouflage face paint, or different colors/shades of dirt and mud. Add lighter colors to the dark areas of the face: around the eyes, under your nose and under your chin; then add dark colors to the lighter/brighter areas of the face: forehead, cheeks and nose.

Once you have your dark and light areas covered up, add some random streaks or blobs of another color from natural palette for the region you are in.

You will need to really practice to become proficient with the essentials of camouflage. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different things to find out what works the best. The more time you spend in the outdoors, observing how nature looks,  the better you will become at blending in with your surroundings.


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