7 S’s of Camouflage

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

There are seven parts to camouflage that need to be taken into consideration if you want to be successful in hiding yourself. Camouflage isn’t just for wartime, hunting, or playing games like a manhunt. It can be essential to primitive camping and bugging out.

  1. Silhouette- The silhouette is something that needs to be broken up so that you cannot see the human form or shape. Not only must you break up the human form by wearing a ghillie suit or some other camouflage but think about the environment. If you’re running on top of a hill in a ghillie suit, your outline as a human will still be visible. Crawling would be a better option in that environment.
  2. Shadow- Be careful of casting shadows and try to move within the shadows yourself to avoid this. No matter how decent you are at camouflage, hiding your shadow is very difficult. A shadow can be a dead giveaway.
  3. Shape and Shade- beyond your silhouette, look at the shape of your environment and the color of your environment. Any camouflage that you’re wearing should use the exact same shades and shapes that surround you. It’s not enough to just throw on a ghillie suit and call it done. Add some natural items to your camouflage and it will make it blend in better. This can be done with elastic or rubber bands that match the color of your suit.
  4. Shine- Man-made items tend to shine and this is something that needs to be eliminated to properly camouflage yourself. It’s easy enough to dull a shine, but finding everything that can shine requires a methodical sorting. Matte spray paint on rifles and scopes will help, but so will fabric tape for mesh. Having a mesh outside with matte flat paint for water bottles will also help.
  5. Smell- An often overlooked area of camouflage is the smell. Dogs roll around on dead carcasses in order to camouflage their smell. While I’m not suggesting you do the same, ensuring that you don’t have a scent that is foreign to your environment is imperative to camouflage. One way to do that is to avoid using colognes, deodorant, smoking cigarettes, and using things that do smell like your environment. There are specialty markets for deer scent and predator sense, but rolling around and the dirt, until you get your human smell off, would work in a pinch.
  6. Sound- Of course not talking is important, but so is making sure that when you walk there is no jangling of buckles or gear. Additionally, walking in such a way that reduces the sound of footsteps is important. Walk on the outside of your feet from heel to toe in order to minimize the sound.
  7. Speed-How you move and how fast you move are both very important. Typically, when there is no emergency, movement should be as slow as possible. Fidgeting, wiggling, and generally moving about in nervousness will give you away. Always turn your head slowly to scan the area. Always carefully move your weapon into place with slow deliberate actions. Make sure that your suit or other camouflage does not impede your view so that you won’t be moving it constantly and giving yourself away.


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