Having gear in top condition is important but also having that gear blend into surroundings can be important too depending on the situation. You can buy readymade camo gear for a premium. Modern camo produced gear is durable but there are still advantages to do-it-yourself homemade camouflage.
Long ago before we had the dip coating and silk screening of commercially produced camo, your local outdoorsman had to make their own custom camouflage. There are several advantages to making your own custom camouflage. Most homemade camo is made with Krylon paint which adds an additional layer of protection from the elements and your pattern can match exactly where you travel the most.
Here’s a couple of tips to make the pattern to suit your needs in the specific terrain and vegetation you typically travel in. Paint your gear a base neutral color like tan or dull green. This will of course depend on the season you typically travel in the terrain, as well as how much green or tan there is typically. It goes without saying that if you were traveling through the desert on the regular, you should use tan and if you are going to travel through the woods you should use green.
Always use paint that has a matte or flat finish. A glossy or satin finish will be too reflective. Use small blotches of other colors on top of your flat background. This will help to break up the shape of your gear. You can use natural foliage as a stencil. For example, using pine needles laid against your gear and painting over them as a stencil. You can start with your background color and then stencil the darker browns and greens around your leaves and sticks, but you have to do it in reverse. For example, you would apply a base coat of green, lay down green foliage paint over it with brown, and then lay down brown sticks and paint over them with green. This makes sure that your foliage is the correct color at all times.
You can further break up the lines and pattern of your gear by draping netting or mesh over it. The mesh or netting should be sprayed a color which is neutral. Another way to break up any shape is to use a drizzle effect with your paint. Some quick short bursts from the spray can give your lines a softer shadowy texture. If you barely depress the nozzle of the spray can, the paint will sputter out into droplets and break up any pattern to make it look 3 dimensional.
On some gear, not tools, but other gear such as backpacks and frames and tents it is safe to add actual 3D items from the area you’ll be in. This can be as simple as hot gluing some pine cones to the side of your backpack or as complex as covering your tent with leaves, twigs, and grasses. Camouflage is very helpful if you want to remain hidden, especially when hunting, fishing, or generally trying not to disturb the local population.
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