Camouflage, camouflage basics for camouflage on the ground, plain clothes, camouflage equipment and shoes.

The word “camouflage” comes from the French verb meaning “play a joke”. In other words, fool your enemy. Partly science, partly art, camouflage uses visual deception to exploit weaknesses in the way the human eye and brain process visual information. 

Camouflage, camouflage basics for camouflage on the ground, plain clothing, camouflage equipment and shoes.

A key point is understanding how the brain and eye work together. For example, the human mind automatically looks around the environment, noticing that something is different, and not something that looks like something else. The better you resemble something, the more likely that the eye will run past you.

The edges of the object from a visual point of view are much more important than its inner part, because the eye and mind quickly determine the object according to its contours or shape. Notice that both the white and the black silhouette have distinct edges that define the shape of the person.

Camouflage, camouflage basics for camouflage on the ground, plain clothes, camouflage equipment and shoes.

But on the silhouette depicted in the center, wide dark spots are used to blur the edges and blend the actual contour of the object. Dark colors – not light – create the illusion of empty space and false edges. The figure shows how to use this principle when your partner breaks the outline of your body with black paint, applying it to your shoulders, arms, and hips.

In SOG groups, we did this half an hour before landing helicopters, putting on our full equipment, backpack and everything else, and found it very, very effective. This not only breaks your outline, but also mixes together your clothes, weapons, unloading system, and backpack, which leads us to the next question.

Plain clothing, disguise equipment and shoes.

Plain clothes do not hide you as well as camouflage, which breaks your contour. This is proved by the photo, which shows how much less clear the jacket is compared to black trousers. It also shows that your camouflage must be uniform in order to be effective..

Camouflage, camouflage basics for camouflage on the ground, plain clothes, camouflage equipment and shoes.

Do not mix clothing items with different patterns or colors, otherwise you will create a visual contrast that attracts attention. It also requires the same masking of all items of equipment, so you must wrap your scope with burlap when you are in a Gilly costume, and your boots also need masking material.

Indeed, I often saw how badly disguised shoes unmasked a well-disguised sniper student. Heels also reflect sunlight with their shiny back.

Remember that nature is characterized by randomness and curved lines, while straight lines and symmetry instantly shout: “Man!” You must overcome the urge to “balance” camouflage, whether you paint your face or wrap fabric on your rifle.

Do it as randomly and randomly as possible. A random group is “more natural” than a uniform group that is evenly spaced. Various colors and textures mix in nature, it does not balance them.

Note also that the eye is easily deceived by depth when anything that looks three-dimensional due to shading and dark coloring, which is much less suspicious than flat, painted two-dimensional surfaces. If your enemy thinks he is looking through you, you really cannot be there.

Based on the book “The Perfect Sniper. Study Guide for Army and Police Snipers ».
Maj. John L. Plaster, USAR (Ret.)

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