When camouflaging yourself, consider that certain
shapes are particular to humans. The enemy will look for these shapes. The shape
of a hat, helmet, or black boots can give you away. Even animals know and run
from the shape of a human silhouette. Break up your outline by placing small
amounts of vegetation from the surrounding area in your uniform, equipment, and
headgear. Try to reduce any shine from skin or equipment. Blend in with the
surrounding colors and simulate the texture of your surroundings.
Shape and Outline
Change the outline of weapons and equipment by
tying vegetation or strips of cloth onto them. Make sure the added camouflage
does not hinder the equipment's operation. When hiding, cover yourself and your
equipment with leaves, grass, or other local debris. Conceal any signaling
devices you have prepared, but keep them ready for use.
Color and Texture
Each area of the world and each climatic
condition (arctic/winter, temperate/jungle, or swamp/desert) has color patterns
and textures that are natural for that area. While color is self-explanatory,
texture defines the surface characteristics of something when looking at it. For
example, surface textures may be smooth, rough, rocky, leafy, or many other
possible combinations. Use color and texture together to camouflage yourself
effectively. It makes little sense to cover yourself with dead, brown vegetation
in the middle of a large grassy field. Similarly, it would be useless to
camouflage yourself with green grass in the middle of a desert or rocky area.
To hide and camouflage movement in any specific
area of the world, you must take on the color and texture of the immediate
surroundings. Use natural or man-made materials to camouflage yourself.
Camouflage paint, charcoal from burned paper or wood, mud, grass, leaves, strips
of cloth or burlap, pine boughs, and camouflaged uniforms are a few examples.
Cover all areas of exposed skin, including face,
hands, neck, and ears. Use camouflage paint, charcoal, or mud to camouflage
yourself. Cover with a darker color areas that stick out more and catch more
light (forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, and ears). Cover other areas,
particularly recessed or shaded areas (around the eyes and under the chin), with
lighter colors. Be sure to use an irregular pattern. Attach vegetation from the
area or strips of cloth of the proper color to clothing and equipment. If you
use vegetation, replace it as it wilts. As you move through an area, be alert to
the color changes and modify your camouflage colors as necessary.
Figure 21-1 gives a
general idea of how to apply camouflage for various areas and climates. Use
appropriate colors for your surroundings. The blotches or slashes will help to
As skin gets oily, it becomes shiny. Equipment
with worn off paint is also shiny. Even painted objects, if smooth, may shine.
Glass objects such as mirrors, glasses, binoculars, and telescopes shine. You
must cover these glass objects when not in use. Anything that shines
automatically attracts attention and will give away your location.
Whenever possible, wash oily skin and reapply
camouflage. Skin oil will wash off camouflage, so reapply it frequently. If you
must wear glasses, camouflage them by applying a thin layer of dust to the
outside of the lenses. This layer of dust will reduce the reflection of light.
Cover shiny spots on equipment by painting, covering with mud, or wrapping with
cloth or tape. Pay particular attention to covering boot eyelets, buckles on
equipment, watches and jewelry, zippers, and uniform insignia. Carry a signal
mirror in its designed pouch or in a pocket with the mirror portion facing your
When hiding or traveling, stay in the deepest
part of the shadows. The outer edges of the shadows are lighter and the deeper
parts are darker. Remember, if you are in an area where there is plenty of
vegetation, keep as much vegetation between you and a potential enemy as
possible. This action will make it very hard for the enemy to see you as the
vegetation will partially mask you from his view. Forcing an enemy to look
through many layers of masking vegetation will fatigue his eyes very quickly.
When traveling, especially in built-up areas at
night, be aware of where you cast your shadow. It may extend out around the
comer of a building and give away your position. Also, if you are in a dark
shadow and there is a light source to one side, an enemy on the other side can
see your silhouette against the light.
Movement, especially fast movement, attracts
attention. If at all possible, avoid movement in the presence of an enemy. If
capture appears imminent in your present location and you must move, move away
slowly, making as little noise as possible. By moving slowly in a survival
situation, you decrease the chance of detection and conserve energy that you may
need for long-term survival or long-distance evasion.
When moving past obstacles, avoid going over
them. If you must climb over an obstacle, keep your body level with its top to
avoid silhouetting yourself. Do not silhouette yourself against the skyline when
crossing hills or ridges. When you are moving, you will have difficulty
detecting the movement of others. Stop frequently, listen, and look around
slowly to detect signs of hostile movement.
Noise attracts attention, especially if there is
a sequence of loud noises such as several snapping twigs. If possible, avoid
making any noise at all. Slow down your pace as much as necessary to avoid
making noise when moving around or away from possible threats.
Use background noises to cover the noise of your
movement. Sounds of aircraft, trucks, generators, strong winds, and people
talking will cover some or all the sounds produced by your movement. Rain will
mask a lot of movement noise, but it also reduces your ability to detect
potential enemy noise.
Whether hunting animals or avoiding the enemy, it
is always wise to camouflage the scent associated with humans. Start by washing
yourself and your clothes without using soap. This washing method removes soap
and body odors. Avoiding strong smelling foods, such as garlic, helps reduce
body odors. Do not use tobacco products, candy, gum, or cosmetics.
You can use aromatic herbs or plants to wash
yourself and your clothing, to rub on your body and clothing, or to chew on to
camouflage your breath. Pine needles, mint, or any similar aromatic plant will
help camouflage your scent from both animals and humans. Standing in smoke from
a fire can help mask your scent from animals. While animals are afraid of fresh
smoke from a fire, older smoke scents are normal smells after forest fires and
do not scare them.
While traveling, use your sense of smell to help
you find or avoid humans. Pay attention to smells associated with humans, such
as fire, cigarettes, gasoline, oil, soap, and food. Such smells may alert you to
their presence long before you can see or hear them, depending on wind speed and
direction. Note the wind's direction and, when possible, approach from or skirt
around on the downwind side when nearing humans or animals.
Sometimes you need to move, undetected, to or
from a location. You need more than just camouflage to make these moves
successfully. The ability to stalk or move without making any sudden quick
movement or loud noise is essential to avoiding detection.
You must practice stalking if it is to be
effective. Use the following techniques when practicing.
Take steps about half your normal stride when
stalking in the upright position. Such strides help you to maintain your
balance. You should be able to stop at any point in that movement and hold that
position as long as necessary. Curl the toes up out of the way when stepping
down so the outside edge of the ball of the foot touches the ground. Feel for
sticks and twigs that may snap when you place your weight on them. If you start
to step on one, lift your foot and move it. After making contact with the
outside edge of the ball of your foot, roll to the inside ball of your foot,
place your heel down, followed by your toes. Then gradually shift your weight
forward to the front foot. Lift the back foot to about knee height and start the
process over again.
Keep your hands and arms close to your body and
avoid waving them about or hitting vegetation. When moving in a crouch, you gain
extra support by placing your hands on your knees. One step usually takes 1
minute to complete, but the time it takes will depend on the situation.
Crawl on your hands and knees when the vegetation
is too low to allow you to walk upright without being seen. Move one limb at a
time and be sure to set it down softly, feeling for anything that may snap and
make noise. Be careful that your toes and heels do not catch on vegetation.
To stalk in the prone position, you do a low,
modified push-up on your hands and toes, moving yourself forward slightly, and
then lowering yourself again slowly. Avoid dragging and scraping along the
ground as this makes excessive noise and leaves large trails for trackers to
Before stalking an animal, select the best route.
If the animal is moving, you will need an intercepting route. Pick a route that
puts objects between you and the animal to conceal your movement from it. By
positioning yourself in this way, you will be able to move faster, until you
pass that object. Some objects, such as large rocks and trees, may totally
conceal you, and others, such as small bushes and grass, may only partially
conceal you. Pick the route that offers the best concealment and requires the
least amount of effort.
Keep your eyes on the animal and stop when it
looks your way or turns its ears your way, especially if it suspects your
presence. As you get close, squint your eyes slightly to conceal both the
light-dark contrast of the whites of the eyes and any shine from your eyes. Keep
your mouth closed so that the animal does not see the whiteness or shine of your