If you see yourself bugging out into the woods and keeping yourself hidden from other people who may try to attack you and take all of your belongings, being able to remain undetected will be your greatest asset. This means learning how to camouflage your equipment, as well as knowing how to not leave any trash or tracks behind that can signal your whereabouts. Here are tips on how to camouflage your gear, your weapons, and your gun optics. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
Muting the color of your gear is necessary. Any shine coming from metal equipment needs to disappear. Usually, time and wear can get rid of the shine. Flat black, brown, green or gray spray paint can also be applied to any metal fittings. Not only will it get rid of the shine, but it’ll also mottle its appearance and help your gear blend in with the environment.
Harness snaps for your gear will be trouble. They may shine and they can also leave a mark on your ribs and kidneys. Wrap these snaps in dark-colored duct tape or spray paint regular shiny gray duct tape in flat colors. Alternatively, for a more permanent solution, replace the snaps with a short length of green or black paracord. This can also be done with any clip pouches, canteens or holsters that need to be attached to a harness with snaps. Alternatively, nylon buckles can also be used. They’re easy to attach, lightweight, quiet and they usually come ready-made in a dull, dark color. (Related: Prepper essentials: A guide to camouflaging your property.)
Rifles, assault and hunting, shotguns and other firearms can benefit greatly from properly applied camouflage. For shiny metal barrels, wrap them in dull-colored cloth electrical tape. Strips of burlap can also be tied to any area of your weapons to get rid of their shine, so long as wrapping won’t interfere with any of their moving parts. The areas to steer clear of would be bolts, operating rods, trigger housings, safeties and magazine wells. If you live in a snowy region or are bugging out during winter, strips of white cloth can be used.
You can also consider using commercial camouflage tape. Sporting goods stores will sell it in different patterns, one of which is bound to match the wilderness you plan to bug out to. If you want an alternative, spray painting your weapons with flat colors, brown, green, gray or off white, is also effective. The color you use will depend on your environment.
Optical equipment, such as binoculars, rifle scopes, cameras and other equipment with lenses also need to be camouflaged. The glare coming off lenses will make it difficult to observe any threat without being seen. Glare from mirrors and lenses can reflect and be seen from miles away. Consider painting with a dull color your camera and lens bodies, as well as your rifle scopes. You can also wrap them in non-reflective material similar to how you would for your weapons. Camouflage tape can be just as effective for a pair of binoculars.
Remember not to restrict the movement of critical parts of your optical equipment, such as adjustment knobs, camera lens aperture rings and image focusing barrels. Mask them instead with cloth electrical tape or camouflage tape that won’t leave a lot of sticky residue when removed. Lastly, remember to use optics from a shaded area, even when the sun is barely shining. You can never be too careful.
If you’re out in the field when SHTF, there are ways you can camouflage yourself and your gear using what nature can provide. Mud, dirt, clay or a combination of them can help create patterns on your gear and skin that’ll dull the shine and help hide you blend in with your environment. Adding dirt, sticks, leaves and even moss onto your gear will also help you blend in. What’s important is that you’re prepared and know what you need to do when the time comes and you have to bug out: Remove the shine from metal objects, mute the colors, be sure your camo blends in with the surrounding foliage, and avoid giving off glare. Remember these, and you may be better prepared for when SHTF.