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 The Principles of Camouflage

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Pitbull
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Posts : 106
Join date : 2010-03-04
Age : 62

PostSubject: The Principles of Camouflage   June 22nd 2010, 8:47 am

by Aggressor of MAA

Alot of people are confused about what makes good camouflage. Some argue that the proper pattern is the key, while others argue that it is a matter of movement and concealment. The truth is a combination of the two, in this topic I will attempt to explain what makes an effective camouflage scheme and how to apply this scheme successfully.

Pattern:

The pattern of your camouflage is very important, as it will be the main factor in blending you in to your surroundings. When searching for a pattern, keep in mind your surroundings, a densely forested area with lots of green vegetation will call for darker camouflage while one with more wheat-colored plants will call for lightly colored camouflage. Alot of times this will depend on the season. A good pattern contains colors of a medium hue with few dark colors, and spots of lighter colors. For example, MultiCam is an extremely efficient way to camouflage yourself in multiple enviroments, however, ACUs (I must wear and train in these everyday, so don't argue the point that what I'm about to say is false as ACUs are soon to be phased out) are rather ineffective at concealing someone in anything but lightly colored vegetation. Although both are mainly lightly colored, MultiCam uses a medium hued brownish color to underly all of its pattern, as well as spots of black and bleached-white, while ACUs only employ very light colors all around. The main camouflage patterns are as follows;

Woodland BDU [dark colors including OD, Black, and Tan, all in equal amount]: effective in dark and heavy vegetation, tend to fade with time and can be too dark for some enviroments
Digital Woodland (MARPAT)[dark colors including Forest Green, Loath, and Earth Brown, ]: effective in medium to dark vegetation in a variety of densities of terrain, still too dark for some areas, don't fade easily
MultiCam: effective in a wide variety of enviroments, including all levels of vegetation color and density as well as well as being one of few patterns to boast an acceptance in urban settings, can be a bit too light for very dark vegetation (ex.setting up next to a dark tree can offset you from the enviroment)
TigerStripe BDU : effective in very thick and dark vegetation, ineffective in lightly vegetated areas and spotted much more easily than other types of camoflouge
DigitalX: same color scheme as MultiCam with the advantages of the digital pattern, however, not much difference in performance

Movement:

Perhaps the most critical aspect to proper camoflouge. The human eye is a honed and tested part of your body, it is greatly drawn to movement. I cannot count the number of times I have been OpFor for the Precamp program and I was passed over unseen by the PreCampers merely because I completely froze and ceased all movement. If you are trying to maintain concealment due to camoflouge you need to remember, everytime you move you must treat it as though you WILL be spotted. Keeping that in mind, move as low to the ground as possible, highcrawling is an effective way to reach somewhere with speed and keep concealment, usually during a firefight. However, the lowcrawl is the most effective way to move without being seen. The low crawl entails that you put your face into direct contact with the ground (stick your face in the mud) and keep your body flat to the ground, and slowly worm your way forward without lifting your body above your hips. This is very slow but highly effective. When you must, try and move from cover to cover (or concealment to concealment), in order to keep yourself concealed from vision (someone cannot see you if you are behind an object)Certain colors also attract eyesight to movement. I wont go over colors that aren't going to be seen on the field, so I will go over those that will. Black- yes, it attracts alot of attention to movement, when you wear alot of black and you move you can easily be singled out from the foliaged and identified as something other than vegetation by the human eye. Grey- while not as pronounced as black, grey can be more easily identified when not moving at all, it only takes a few seconds for the eye to figure this out. Blue- jeans are a bad idea, highly visible and undeterring in its ability to be spotted through foliage.

Silhouette:

This is a very overlooked and under emphasized aspect of proper camouflage . You must remember that the human brain seeks out shapes more so than colors. If something is in the shape of a head, and arm, a leg, or a torso, whatever camouflage you have on, the brain will connect the dots and form a shape of your body, making you visible. Placing branches and leaves around you can help to break your silhouette, but that is of secondary concern in face of the mistake that most people make. The big mistake I am talking about is marking yourself on the horizon. When cresting a hill, people drift to the top, its natural. This is a mistake, you will set your body against the sky, which is blue, grey, white, and very bright, this will cause your color scheme to be compromised but more importantly it will completely separate you from the vegetation around you, making a perfectly visable shape for the eye to lock on to. There is a maneveur called the Military Crest, it is simple and effective. When moving against elevated terrain you always need to stay at least 15 meters from the top of the terrain, so that you don't silhouette yourself against the sky. A big mistake that people make it trying to set an ambush from right on top of a hill. You will be easily spotted from a distance and when fire is initiated any movements you make will be clearly seen by your targets, making you just as viable targets for them. When behind cover, try and bring foliage over to yourself, to break up your outline, this can also be helpful with your weapon, as over time the brain will also learn to lock in on the shape of a rifle.

Placement:This is the one that no one really thinks over. You cannot just throw on a pair of pants and a blouse and expect to be camouflaged. Your hair is NOT camouflaged. Your skin is most definitely NOT camouflaged. Putting a cover (hat) on and a face wrap plus some gloves can make a world of difference in your effectiveness when camouflaged. Cover up all the spots on your person that are not camouflaged, and as I have seen in many of your pictures, at least when you get to the field and are in play, you guys aren't strangers to covering up that orange tip, so make sure that orange tip has some sort of camouflage over it as well. Nothing screams "HERE I AM!!!" more than a floating inch of bright blazing orange. Your shoes are also of concern, try going with black, brown, or dark green shoes, if not boots.

So the points to come away with from this are :

-Cover up
-Move with consideration
-Watch your horizons
-Be mindful of your surroundings


Noise discipline can also play a vital role in keeping yourself concealed, but in terms of camouflage it plays only a small role, you can make noise and be detected, but not be spotted. What I would recommend are a set of Woodland BDUs or a set of MultiCams, with tan boots, some sort of cover (hat), at least in OD, and something to cover your face with, like an old green rag. Hope this helps.
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