How to Step into the Wild and Vanish: Concealment and Camouflage Basics

What’s the goal of most survival situations? Get yourself rescued or stay alive until you can manage to get yourself back into fighting form.

But what happens when you don’t want to be found? Whether you’re hiding from hunted prey or from dangerous humans, you’ll want to blend in with ease.

1. Avoid Symmetry
Very few things in the wild obey the rules of symmetry. Avoid making one side of your face or clothing looking exactly like the other side.

Our vision tends to expect and enjoy things that line up well, so distracting eyesight with oddly placed and haphazard covering is a great way to confuse the mind of your prey.

2. Match Color Schemes
If you know the area in which you’ll be hiding, research the colors and patterns. Take the time to observe how things like wind, sunshine, and shadows change the appearance of the area.

Whenever possible, use items taken directly from the area in your camouflage. Use the leaves, plants, and soil from your surroundings in your outfit to be sure that colors really blend.

3. Masking Scents
Your scent gives off a surprisingly large amount of information about you. If it’s animals you’re hiding from, they’ll be especially sensitive to what you’re wafting.

Just as you’d use the plants and soil nearby to cover your colors, use them to mask your scent as well. Mud, leaves, and water from nearby ponds or lakes will help to cover any overly human odors.

4. Hiding Guns and other Accessories
You may need to be on the move, or you may end up being stationary for long periods of time. Plan accordingly by wearing clothes that can adapt to a variety of weather types.

Many items you’ll be carrying feature shapes and colors that are not found in the wild. Dull any shiny or eye-catching areas of your equipment and firearms.

Use hair-ties or elastic bands to attach grass, small tree branches, and stems of leaved plants to any surfaces that are symmetrical shapes or otherwise stand out.

Keep these basic rules in mind as you prepare your camouflage. As with any survival skill, it takes work and practice to get right.