Military camouflage: There’s a right way and a wrong way

Author: Eric Sof

Last modified:

Most soldiers often misunderstand camouflage. It is designed to aid you in concealing your position while stationary or moving at prolonged rates. It is not the end-all, be-all of staying stealthy. Noise, light, and litter discipline are also needed to reduce your signature to enemy forces, not merely good camo. It is also an important part of small-unit tactics.

Personal camouflage

For this article, I will only cover personal camouflage; eventually, I will return and address vehicular and positional camouflage and defeating technology concerning camouflage.

The first point must be made is that if one part of you is not camouflaged, you’re not hidden. A great many soldiers mourn the reality of masking exposed skin and equipment. That is to be expected, but it really must be done. However, there are a few tricks to use that will make camouflaging easier and more effective.

Wear a thin camouflaged veil over your face. Wear a thin camouflaged veil over your face; instead of using camouflage paint or a stick on the face, wear a thin veil over your face. This also has the added benefit of keeping bugs and insects off you in humid environments. Instead of painting up your arms and hands, wear gloves. Even in moist environments, it is advisable to wear gloves as even a thin pair will reduce the number of nicks, scrapes, and minor cuts you get when operating in any tactical environment for a while.

Camouflaged soldiers in the jungle environment
Camouflaged soldiers in the jungle environment (Photo: XY)

When using burlap strips or jute to camouflage yourself or your equipment, ensure that the material is suitably aged and/or weathered. A rucksack with new strips of burlap looks amazingly like a rucksack with fresh strips of burlap. The burlap should be left outside for at least a week and rained on several times. If you cannot do this, get the burlap wet, rub it in mud, dirt, or rocks for a few minutes, then throw it in a washing machine and keep it there for a few cycles. A few cycles in a dryer don’t hurt, either.

Choose right uniforms

Stay away from all-black uniforms for a tactical environment. Very few things in nature are black. The black splotches on uniforms simulate shadows, not look neat. I question the decision to use black on uniforms for the following reason. If you’re operating in the woods, the shadows are already provided, and they stay stationary, but if you have “moving shadows,” that is a significant indicator that they are not natural shadows.

Important part of camouflage is to choose right BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) for right environment
An important part of camouflage is to choose the right BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) for the right environment (Photo: XY)

If you are operating in an area with no trees or other objects to produce shades, the black makes you stand out. There is also the fact that the black on BDUs is a much darker color than 90% of all shadows.

Camouflaging weapons

When camouflaging weapons, it mustn’t interfere with its’ operation. An excellent way to camouflage weapons is with tape. Use masking tape (tan) and packing tape (dark brown) for a desert environment, Green duct tape and packing tape for woodland, and masking tape for an arctic environment. It’s quick, easy, and effective.

Camouflaging weapons: The right way to conceal your weapon
Camouflaging weapons: The right way to conceal your weapon (Photo: XY)
Share on:

You might also like:

Leave a Comment