Camouflage is one of the survival basics, and it can be used in a wide variety of survival situations. Whether you're hunting, bugging out, or evading an enemy, the right camouflage can keep you concealed and out of sight.
A survivalists really can't go without camouflage, especially in a wilderness survival situation. In many survival situations, it's important that you go without being noticed, and camouflage is the best way to achieve this.
Camouflage for Concealment and Evasion
The purpose of camouflage is easy to understand. It helps you blend in with the environment, making it easy to become invisible to an enemy or from your target when hunting. Of course, your success greatly depends on proper knowledge and use of camouflage.
Camouflage and Evasion: Staying Hidden While on the Move
Personal and shelter concealment particularly during a tactical situation is a survival skill that if you cannot master, will leave you exposed. Typically, your camouflage strategy in a wilderness environment would be “crypsis” which means you blend into your background to avoid detection.
You want to resemble your background, to confuse the human eye, and you want your shelter to blend in as well. Humans instinctively look for and try to identify a face in virtually any situation. This is likely an instinctive reaction that was used thousands of years ago to locate predators in the brush.
Animals know what a human silhouette looks like and anyone tracking you most certainly will know.
People look for faces in everything they see, and then try to identify a body to go along with it. People will look for a head, hanging arms and legs. In a tactical situation, you would look for headgear, and equipment that you would normally expect someone to be carrying such as rifle and pack. All of these features need to be broken up so what someone is seeing cannot be pieced together and identified as a human body.
Trackers will scan with their eyes and never focus for long periods at any one object, and this is particularly true when hunting for others in darkness. You would use peripheral vision to spot movement while scanning at night.
The human face is unique, so your camouflage routine must break up your facial patterns and this can be done by various methods.
You skin will reflect light or shine, in other words, and thus must be subdued with mud, “camo” sticks or paint, wood ash, boot polish or charcoal. Oily skin in particular will shine. You want to break up the face, so it is not recognizable as a face as the eyes pass over it.
Camouflage in the context of survival is used to escape from the enemy and avoid confrontation as much as possible. Remember that your goal is to be alive and stay alive. You did not get this far only to be taken down by the enemy. You have made it through a very tough time. Taking risks in this situation will not increase your chances of survival.
The best use for camouflage after a disaster or the aftermath of the unthinkable, apart from helping you escape captors, is for hunting game to be used as food. Animals are known to have strong sense of smell as well as vision. When you have the right camouflage combined with your skills in staying out of sight, you will definitely have something to eat.
How would you go about hiding from the enemy? How would you make your own camouflage?
Feel free to leave your ideas on the comments.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 25, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.