Moving Banner

Friday, November 4, 2005

Sight Unseen - Guerrilla Camping 101.7

Draft originally posted at The Guerrilla News Network. Included here with GNN commentary courtesy of the GNN Archive.
4 years ago

I decided to skip mentioning camouflage makeup. I can’t imagine it being of use, and have never had reason to since the officers stopped making me do it. In my opinion, it’s gross.

The leg is almost better, so I’ll probably get to leave town on monday. Might have one more by then. Thanks again for all the feedback everybody.

4 years ago

You forgot lack of cotton.

I play airsoft from time to time. It is sort of like paintball, but hurts like hell when you get hit. A few of the guys who play have taken it to an exstreme level and used night vision scopes, since my friends and I cann’t afford such nice equipment to take out the other team, we use camcorders. turns out that these camcorder’s work better, when the opposing team wears cotton fabric camoflage.

Cotton Glows.

4 years ago

Interesting note. The only time I’ve used NVGs has been in military situations, and BDUs don’t glow. Does all cotton glow or only white? Do you know what causes it?

4 years ago

That’s funny! Spray paint is also good if you’re required to wear gold shoes for work.

4 years ago

Wilderness Survival Manuals > Survival, Evasion, and Recovery > Chapter I – Evasion > Camouflage

a. Basic principles:

(1) Disturb the area as little as possible.
(2) Avoid activity that reveals movement to the enemy.
(3) Apply personal camouflage.

b. Camouflage patterns (Figure I-1):

(1) Blotch pattern.

[a] – Temperate deciduous (leaf shedding) areas.
[b] – Desert areas (barren).
[c] – Snow (barren).

(2) Slash pattern.

[a] – Coniferous areas (broad slashes).
[b] – Jungle areas (broad slashes).
[c] – Grass (narrow slashes).

(3) Combination. May use blotched and slash together.

Figure I-1. Camouflage Patterns

c. Personal camouflage application follows:

(1) Face. Use dark colors on high spots and light colors on any remaining exposed areas. Use a hat, netting, or mask if available.
(2) Ears. The insides and the backs should have 2 colors to break up outlines.
(3) Head, neck, hands, and the under chin. Use scarf, collar, vegetation, netting, or coloration methods.
(4) Light colored hair. Give special attention to conceal with a scarf or mosquito head net.

d. Camouflage patterns (Figure I-1):

(1) Avoid unnecessary movement.
(2) Take advantage of natural concealment:

[a] – Cut foliage fades and wilts, change regularly
[b] – Change camouflage depending on the surroundings.
[c] – DO NOT select vegetation from same source.
[d] – Use stains from grasses, berries, dirt, and charcoal.

(3) DO NOT over camouflage.
(4) Remember when using shadows, they shift with the sun.
(5) Never expose shiny objects (like a watch, glasses, or pens)
(6) Ensure watch alarms and hourly chimes are turned off.
(7) Remove unit patches, name tags, rank insignia, etc.
(8) Break up the outline of the body, “V” of crotch/armpits.
(9) Conduct observation from a prone and concealed position

*Also See: Movement*

Post Modified: 11/05/05 00:26:19

4 years ago

4 years ago

Totally random thought. The other day, one of my students came to class with a camo t-shirt on, with the words “Ha! Now you can’t see me!” on the front. I laughed my ass off.

4 years ago

Man, I am so with you about the technicolor hiking gear. My brain cannot reconcile what is going on in people’s heads when they bring crap like that into pristine natural settings.

4 years ago

I dunno, it seems that most of the clothing is earthtones…which is great. And it’s actually quite possible to find a backpack that’s not that funky- mine is sort of gray-green and olive. I think one of the worst offenders is actually outerwear and other waterproof stuff; jackets, gloves, hats, tents, bivi sacks, etc. I have yet to find a tent that’s not fucking iridescent; mine is charcoal and white, which is OK, but it’s got a yellow rain fly.

It occurs to me that a lot of this stuff is so bright to increase visibility, such as to searchers looking for somebody lost.

4 years ago

That is the reason, Snark, to make sure you can be found. But some on. How many people who ‘need to be found’ are running around with tents? As for outerwear, I havn’t found much better than surplus gortex ECW (extreme cold weater) shell gear. It’s light, packs tight, and is camouflage. Still get wierd looks in the city though.

We used to joke about being invisibile in the army. Flip our collars up and start acting up. “You can’t see me. I’m not here.” Then again, in the military position of rest, you are to keep your right foot planted. When placed at rest, most of my squad would start shuffling in circles, like our foot was nailed to the groud, so I guess we were all a little goofy.

4 years ago

Oh yeah, was just going to write someting and stumbled upon the first draft of this article. I felt I rambled too much in it so I didn;t use it.

Camouflage is one of those things particular to a guerilla camper and not every kid with a backpack. If you are moving from place to place off established trails, Say, walking from Atlanta to Nashville, you will often have to impede on a variety of right of ways, camping in fields, under freeways, beside train tracks and in some of the most pristine wilderness you can imagine. There are a lot of people who don’t want you sleeping in those places and the best way to convince them they do is by not letting them even know that you’re there.

Camouflage is about more than not being seen, it’s about not being detected. Picking up your trash, hiding your scorch and burying your crap is camouflage. You do it so the next guy to come along can share in the feeling of being the first person on earth to see this undisturbed land (while setting his tent up on top of your cat hole). Camouflage is about not buying a BRIGHT RED tent and annoying the hell out of me by camping in a meadow my site overlooks, and making at least a moderate attempt to blend into the wilderness.

Civil society is all about standing out. When I leave society, I don’t want anything that advertises itself. No camping gear should be bright orange, except for a small nylon flag you use when camping in hunting preserves. Yes, sometimes you WANT people to know you’re there.


Camouflaging a campsite is not difficult if you choose the correct gear. Make or buy your gear out of earth-tone fabrics, brown, green, black and tan that occur naturally where you will be traveling. I don’t own anything white because I don’t do much snow camping, and when I have, I’ve always hoped to be found, cause it almost guarantees a ride to warmer environments. Yes, sometimes you really want people to know you’re there. Now, as you walk through the evening, look for places the same color as your tent or tarp.

Tan – Scrub, dry grasses, summer meadows, sandy areas, concrete.
Black – Conniferous tree clutsters, ledge shadows, under freeways.(But why?)
Green – Grass, bushes, etc. If you can’t find green in a forest…
Brown – Fallen tree trunks, dirt. See green.

Creating camouflage:

You can always use materials around you to create natural camouflage, but it has its limits. Do not try to cover a two man tunnel tent in grass. This is just another reason to go with tarps or ponchos; you can pitch them in a variety of ways to work with your surroundings.

The most important part of camouflage is hiding the outline. With tents and tarps this will always be the ridgeline, the straight strip along the top that works hardest to keep you dry. To break up the ridgeline, You can fold pleats in the fabric of a tarp, and tuck plant remnants into the folds. You can also pitch the tarp extremely low, allowing you to hide behind tall grass. Often you can find natural features, such as crevices that allow you to pitch the tarp almost flat. There is a place I found in California where two trees had grown in such a way next to a dry creek bed that it was actually possible to hang a hammock underground. If I hadn’t found it at nine in the morning, I would have stayed.


what do you think?

4 years ago

I’m lovin’ these posts, people need this information. I know there’s tons of ‘survival’ manuals out there, but I’m just finishing up Bradford Angier’s ‘How to Stay Alive In the Woods’, and I’m wondering what books, (besides the obvious Army Wilderness Training Manuals), you’ve read, and can recommend. I need to go on a trip…a hell of a long one, and learning long forgotten skills would sure as hell help me out.

4 years ago

Is the B.C. rollin’ through the barracks for inspection later or what? M-Nu’s a life-saver. haha. good stuff BP—all the guerrilla camping sections. I was an 11B, so I know what yer sayin’. Army issu ECW gortex gear works very well—I was stationed in Alaska, so I frequently put the gear to the test—expensive, but well worth it if you’re gonna be out in the cold or rain.

4 years ago

I’ve been a guerilla camper for over a year now too and I love the bit about fixing noisy gear and sloshing. I have been stalking so long that it becomes force of habit to stalk everywhere at all times making as little sound as possible.

I started practicing stealth techniques playing Airsoft in Vancouver with Canadian Forces guys. When it comes to woodland camo, CADPAT all the way. Many times I have crawled past enemy snipers, had enemy almost step on me, or hidden in plain sight with CADPAT. It really is too bad that it is so conscpicuous in civilian life to wear all CADPAT. However, in the United States most people don’t recognize the pattern and its digital nature almost makes it fashionable as opposed to scary.
A CADPAT Catalog

My 100L+ CADPACK).aspx
I wanted one third-line pack to pack them all and in the compression straps bind them. The LRPP swallows several smaller lighter sub-backpacks that compartmentalize second-line kits like my clothes and computing gear. And it has some military extras. Nice to know I can use the rapelling harness if I have to rapell off a building in a hurry carrying a 120L load. And the price isn’t as much as it seems because it is in Canadian dollars.

By the way Wolfe, I recognize you. We always meant to get together foar an airsoft op some time but never managed to. IR camcorders would be an interesting hack. Night fighting is psychologically harrowing as it is, but against people with NVG it is like being up against the invisible Predator.

With the exception of some wilderness trips I have stayed mostly urban and sought to maintain access to civilized staples like the convenience of a hot shower every morning.

What I love about your guides Blackpacker is the amount of field-testing your words clearly reflect. You have been there and tried things on a long enough timeline to discover Mean Times Between Failure and what is worth carrying when you are traveling long distances. Thank you for sharing your experience and I do hope you produce a book.

By the way, check out Patrolling, one of the shows my friend Sean Kennedy The Fucking Man has put together. Many of the episodes deal with guerilla camping survival techniques.

Patrolling with Sean Kennedy

No comments:

Post a Comment