How to Camouflage Equipment

Some articles tell you how to camouflage yourself-ghillie suits for example-others tell you how to build a hide, but people always forget to make themselves totally invisible, they must also hide their equipment.


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    Firstly, lay out all the equipment you are going to use-whatever pattern it is. These instructions should cover rucksacks, webbing, weapon, helmet and vehicles.
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    Start with your rucksack, this is the biggest piece of your personal kit so needs the most camouflage. The rucksack forms a large part of your silhouette, so its distinctive shape needs to be broken up. Do this by attaching pieces of scrim to tabs on the sides and top of the rucksack, being careful not to cover any zips or openings. Once this is done, you can attach local camouflage. As you come across it. If you can, stand back and look at the bag from a few meters away, and check that the shape is hidden.
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    Next, move on to the helmet. British Army helmets have a camouflage cover in Woodland or desert DPM and have straps and tabs for attaching camouflage. Start by breaking up the shape with scrim, hessian, burlap and cloth. Once this is done, push local vegetation into the straps. Make it secure and check that it does not impair your vision. Check that the shape is hidden entirely.
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    Be careful with webbing. Webbing is a dangerous bit of kit to camouflage, you mustn't camouflage it in such a way that you may not be able to access any part of it quickly. Put some scrim between the pouches, stitched with a few stitches of cotton. Also make a loop that you can slide over the belt buckle, especially if it is metal, and sew scrim strips to the loop. Repeat this for any other buckles on the webbing (this also helps to dampen 'jingle').
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    Be extremely cautious when disguising your weapon. Your weapon is the most important item you are carrying. In the case of automatic and semi-automatic firearms, you must be careful not to cover the magazine, cocking handle, trigger, forward hand guard or pistol grip, select-fire switch, stock or the SIGHTS! So, there is not much left to camouflage then... Well the modern weapon really requires a paint job to be camouflaged. Diagonal strips of 3-colour scheme paint should do the job, though ensure the width and pattern varies to stop a pattern from appearing. If heavier camouflage is required, scrim around the barrel can be attached, but ensure that this does not block the sights. Scrim can be wrapped around Sniper rifle scopes, and put a lens cap over both ends to reduce reflections.
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    Vehicles really need a vehicle camouflage net. Put up a frame over the vehicle to destroy its silhouette then spread the net over that. Most modern vehicle nets are double-sided, to give the best camouflage for the situation. The more expensive nets are IRR proofed, so that the vehicle's infra-red signature is reduced-so it may be used for personal camouflage. Try to damage surrounding ground etc... as little as possible.


  • If you are going up against a technically advanced opponent, then investing in IRR proofed materiel really helps
  • If you need camouflage like a ghillie suit, but temporary and not so expensive, try making ghillie strips: strips of material with other strips of material sewn on to them, then tied around the arms, legs, torso, neck and kit
  • Cheap kits are acceptable-though if you invest more you will get a better standard of performance and wear


  • Be careful if you are using this in a military scenario, when near your own lines, you may be shot by accident if you don't identify yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Strips of material
  • Spray paints as necessary
  • Scrim netting
  • String
  • Needles+thread
  • Burlap and hessian

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Outdoor Recreation