My Search for the Right Camouflage

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    • #107144
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
      Moderator

        In my career I’ve used Woodland (a few variations), Desert in 6 and 3 color, and even OD.

        A few specialty camo patterns both as a civilian and military.

        Something I feel many forget is military camouflage is a compromise that hopes to be effective in a variety of Worldwide locations. Never know where the next wars location will be.

        I however will not be deploying Worldwide. I am in Florida with the Southeast being the farthest I am likely to go realistically.

        Max’s Thoughts on Camouflage Clothing Blog post has some excellent advice and the “Team Coyote” concept has merit for many situations.
        (Edit: Yea, even though I communicated with Max on it, I forgot his true purpose regarding “Team Coyote.” A better phrase would be a solid earthtone like coyote.)

        I’ve been looking at non-military or at least not current issue patterns.

        In the past I have used Vietnam Tiger Stripe with good results here in Florida and the ones I used had excellent Near Infrared (NIR) performance (this could vary with brand and even batch/lot).

        It has gotten harder to find at a price I felt worth it’s value though.

        I still have a lot of Woodland BDU’s, but surplus stocks are pretty rare and besides price for new ones, I’ve seen some with NIR glow not related to laundry detergent.

        This lead me to Mossy Oak and Realtree camouflage, both have a variety of excellent patterns for my Florida AO.

        It’s interesting to note that Mossy Oak was included in initial U.S. Army (Natick) tests and did very well in woodland areas, in fact it was better than Multicam.

        The limited testing I have done so far with Mossy Oak Break-Up and Obsession is excellent including NIR. Anyone choosing this route would need to verify this in their own AO.

        I have some Realtree Xtra and Realtree Xtra Green on order and will report what I learn.


        Realtree Xtra


        Realtree Xtra Green

        YMMV

      • #107145
        farmer
        Participant

          Yes, the Realtree looks more realistic. but , does anyone make tops & bottoms that would take extended hard use?

          A question for the hunters in the crowd- How well do the commercial Realtree type clothes hold up?

          Also, what is ” NIR glow “? Near InfraRed

          farmer

        • #107146
          Andrew
          Participant

            We have some camo for hunting down here in southern and western Texas that works pretty well. Some of it is pricey…

            https://bushlan.com/product-category/outerwear/

            http://brushcountrycamo.com/Products/product/1-camo-executive-sportsman-short-sleeve.html

            I have used, and still have, brushcountry pants and shirt. They have held up well. Also have their outer jacket that is plenty warm for most of our winters and would probably work for you.

            I’ve used Realtree also and it has held up pretty well. I used some of the Tiger stripe stuff when I was working on the River down in S. Texas. Lots of palmettos etc. down there works well.

            It’s probably heresy, but for working nights, solid black BDUs have served me well down on the river also. I’ve also gone down to the river with Wrangler jeans and denim shirts, but that was usually hurry up deals.

          • #107147
            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
            Moderator

              Yes, the Realtree looks more realistic. but , does anyone make tops & bottoms that would take extended hard use?

              I have ordered 3 sets of 5.11 brand Realtree X-tra Taclite Pro Pants and Long Sleeve Shirts. My limited experience is with a pair of 5.11 Canvas Tactical Pants I received as a gift. They have proven to be extremely durable.

              A question for the hunters in the crowd- How well do the commercial Realtree type clothes hold up?

              I would like to here of anyones experience with different brands.

              Also, what is ” NIR glow “? Near InfraRed

              Yes, Near Infrared (NIR) is approaching the visible spectrum (approximate wavelengths of 750 to 1,200 NM). Many observation devices (NVG, CCTV,etc…) can view this spectrum and the natural environment (foliage, rock, dirt…) reflects this NIR differently from the inks and material of camouflage.

              Basically it can make camo stand out when viewed.

            • #107148
              hellokitty
              Participant

                The “Woods” in different parts of US means different patterns. In the mid to north East the trees are mostly hardwoods which have a lot of leaf litter making multicam ideal. Southeast and south have more pine, so darker camo like woodland work better. Then you push further west and multicam starts to be a great choice. And then you get really West and your back to Woodland types.

                I had woodland camo when I lived in East TX. I used for hunting and training. When I moved to East TN, I went to multicam.

                HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                FOF X3
                OPFOR X2
                CLC X2
                RIFLEMAN

              • #107149
                hellokitty
                Participant

                  BTW, I have used Realtree but I beleive it works best when bow hunting in a tree stand because it blends with bark of tree. But I don’t care for it Otherwise. IMO

                  HEAT 1(CTT) X 3
                  HEAT 2 (CP) X1
                  FOF X3
                  OPFOR X2
                  CLC X2
                  RIFLEMAN

                • #107150
                  farmer
                  Participant

                    The limited testing I have done so far with Mossy Oak Break-Up and Obsession is excellent including NIR. Anyone choosing this route would need to verify this in their own AO.

                    So the above quote means that it WOULD NOT stand out in the NIR spectrum?

                  • #107151
                    Corvette
                    Participant

                      I’ve been using multicam and Team Coyote lately. Still like Woodland and DPM too. As far as hunting patterns, I like Mossy Oak Original Bottomland.

                    • #107152
                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                      Moderator

                        …multicam…

                        I am not impressed with multicams nighttime performance when viewed with observation devices. (In my area of Florida)

                        I’ve been looking at non-military or at least not current issue patterns.

                        As noted above multicam isn’t even a consideration for me.

                      • #107153
                        Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                        Moderator

                          So the above quote means that it WOULD NOT stand out in the NIR spectrum?

                          Yes, but this must be verified by brand and batch.

                          Note: Some non-issue military camo has a problems in NIR. Just because it is a military pattern doesn’t mean military performance.

                        • #107154
                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                          Moderator

                            Just to be clear, I am not telling anyone here to choose any particular pattern.

                            I am providing information that may be of use and hope to provide some examples of performance under different settings and a variety of equipment. All of this is geared towards my AO.

                            Note: Realtree alone represents over 14 different patterns and is one of many so-called hunting pattern options.

                          • #107155
                            Anonymous
                            Inactive

                              IIRC the issue with hunting patterns is that they work really well when a person is still (as one would be when hunting), but with movement the patterns become much more visible, according to the military’s own testing. I will admit I’ve looked at hunting patterns as well. There are some companies that actually make BDUs, pouches, and whatnot (even helmet covers, apparently) in Mossy Oak and Realtree which is pretty neat.

                              The only issue I can see is perhaps that such visibly made-for-hunting camo could make any group acting as a local security force look less “official” and look more like “milishuh” in a WROL situation. At the same time it could be useful if you’re behind enemy lines and need a bit of plausible deniability, so to speak.

                              It’s interesting to note that Mossy Oak was included in initial U.S. Army (Natick) tests and did very well in woodland areas, in fact it was better than Multicam.

                              The limited testing I have done so far with Mossy Oak Break-Up and Obsession is excellent including NIR. Anyone choosing this route would need to verify this in their own AO.

                              Mossy Oak Brush is also pretty interesting. It’s very similar to All-Over Brush, which actually won the Army’s camo competition in the early 2000s. Probably not green enough for your AO, though.

                              There are a couple of other hunting patterns that look less fuddish (ATACS, Predator, Under Armour), but then you’re looking at higher prices, which defeats the point of experimenting with Mossy Oak, i.e., ease of access and affordability that more niche patterns don’t have.

                              This dude does a lot of neat camo videos and made one with Mossy Oak Obsession which was pretty neat, it could work.

                              Looking forward to seeing the results! :good:

                            • #107156
                              Anonymous
                              Inactive

                                I’ve been using multicam and Team Coyote lately. Still like Woodland and DPM too. As far as hunting patterns, I like Mossy Oak Original Bottomland.

                                I was going to mention Bottomland too, it has a nice strichtarn look to it.

                              • #107157
                                Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                Moderator

                                  …the issue with hunting patterns is that they work really well when a person is still (as one would be when hunting), but with movement the patterns become much more visible.

                                  This is one of the biggest false statements ever made and for some reason very common.

                                  There is no camouflage that works with movement!

                                  Movement is the number one target indicator period.

                                • #107158
                                  Anonymous
                                  Inactive

                                    …the issue with hunting patterns is that they work really well when a person is still (as one would be when hunting), but with movement the patterns become much more visible.

                                    This is one of the biggest false statements ever made and for some reason very common.

                                    There is no camouflage that works with movement!

                                    Movement is the number one target indicator period.

                                    Apparently you quoted the original version of my post, before I added the addendum “according to the military’s own testing.”

                                    I trust you over a goofy-ass Army board that threw out the results and gave us shitty UCP pattern, don’t worry lol.

                                    Really, I remember being in ROTC and thinking that there’s no way in hell I don’t stand out with how light these ACUs are against these dead-ass leaves I’m trying to hide in.

                                  • #107159
                                    Max
                                    Keymaster

                                      Couple of points:

                                      1) why do hunters wear camouflage and an orange fucking bib, and deer are color blind anyway? :scratch:

                                      2) IMO you are best off with earth tone colors, and general camo such as multicam, which is excellent. Tactical life SHTF will involve movement and interaction. Hunting camo has merit more in that in some places everyone wears it. At the market, you will fit in. Its irrelevant in the field.

                                      3) Team Coyote isnt about coyote. Noboby knows what it is about. If you have a patch, you may have a clue. Nobody talks about team coyote.
                                      B-)

                                    • #107160
                                      Andrew
                                      Participant

                                        1) why do hunters wear camouflage and an orange fucking bib, and deer are color blind anyway?

                                        And then sit in a tower blind 100-150 yds from the pen the deer come to feed in? :unsure:

                                      • #107161
                                        DiznNC
                                        Participant

                                          Eye yea yeah. Camo swamo. So many variables here. Use what works for you.

                                          Seriously I think damn near any camo would work in damn near any environment, as long as the basic coloration is close.

                                          On the NIR thing, yeah that can make a big difference. A lot of that stems from washing with bleaches and brighteners, regardless of what you start with. But in general, the modern mil-spec stuff will perform better than commercial. That being said, I have seen multicam which really blooms under NIR cuz it got washed and faded, and multicam that is very stealthy.

                                          But here’s the deal. I have solid color commercial stuff that preforms better than some camo pattern stuff. But I have also seen solid color commercial that stands out like blaze orange. When you talk about NIR, you are getting into a whole new deal. What works really well in visual range can look like shit in NIR, and vice versa.

                                          For example, I really liked the blended patterns that came out not long ago, with the black removed. To me, they represented the perfect camo, visually. But it totally sucked under NIR, because nice blended patterns became a solid green blob.

                                          I used to rail about the “shoot me w’s” and “dog bones” in woodland camo, until I saw how black worked under NIR, at least on real NIR treated material. The contrast is what makes the difference.

                                          Some of the best camo I’ve ever seen under NIR is DPM. It maintains the best contrast to break up your outline. Desert DPM is right behind it.

                                          So you have to do your estimate and figure out how much of your movement will be in day time and how much at night. Perhaps two separate requirements.

                                          And yeah, this sight is not cleared to discuss Team Coyote.

                                        • #107162
                                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                          Moderator

                                            1) why do hunters wear camouflage and an orange fucking bib, and deer are color blind anyway? :scratch:

                                            Because hunting is about more than deer. ;-)

                                            Even with the so-called color blind animals, breaking out your outline with light and dark is helpful.

                                            If I was still hunting deer I am not particularly worried with camo, but I prefer the challenge of stalking when I am not as concerned about meat in the freezer.

                                            Now turkey is where the challenge is at. Depending on the source turkeys have the equivalent vision of a 3 to 8 power scope, but they lack depth perception due to eye distance, but gain 300° field of view. They not only have color vision they also see in the UV range. UV is different than NIR, but same factors that give a tell apply to both. This gives the turkey a significant advantage. The skills needed for a turkey hunt have some application to skills we need.

                                            3) Team Coyote isnt about coyote.

                                            Yea, we have talked some and it slipped my mind. :cry: ;-)

                                          • #107163
                                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                            Moderator

                                              Even with the so-called color blind animals…

                                              Why so-called?

                                              Current research suggests deers ocular cone cells can see portions of UV and NIR. So even though though their color perception is drastically different than ours, their ability to detect light outside our range is similar to some of our electronic observation devices.

                                              This research has been changing the inks/materials used in hunting camo, remember too the Hunting Industry represents over 30 billion dollars in revenue.

                                              As Max touched on, hunting camo is ubiquitous in my AO, yet all current military patterns stand out as unique.

                                              Note: Unique in a negative way. Military pattern camo is accepted for Military Active/Reserve and children. For adults it’s considered weird and cause for caution. These negative stereotypes exist in many areas.

                                            • #107164
                                              Corvette
                                              Participant

                                                3) Team Coyote isnt about coyote. Noboby knows what it is about. If you have a patch, you may have a clue. Nobody talks about team coyote.

                                                Well, I’m a dumbass, so there you go, lol. B-)

                                              • #107165
                                                Corvette
                                                Participant

                                                  I have moved to coyote or tundra colored Truspec pants with knee pad inserts and then some kind of USGI spec camo top; depending upon AO.

                                                  Kind of like the German SS smock approach during WW2. You can wear civy under the smock in case you need to blend into civy populations.

                                                  But a good darker camo like US woodland, DPM, ATACs IX, USMC marpat and others work well. And then a mid color camo like ATacs FG, Multicam, NAVY AOR2 etc for the early fall, fall browns, winter brown (mixed with white).

                                                  In my AO (Utah) I can move from treeline (woodland) across sage brush (Multicam) back to treeline in 20 minutes. The multicam is too light for treeline and the woodland too dark for sage brush.

                                                  The best of both worlds that I have found so far is ATACS IX.

                                                  The other question will be “what camo are the bad guys wearing?”

                                                • #107166
                                                  Corvette
                                                  Participant

                                                    ATACS IX reminds me of Tiger Stripe from Vietnam. The coyote the Marines came up with reminds me of khaki from the beginning of the twentieth century, I have a suspicion OD green isn’t totally bad either. I recently saw the US Army is looking at putting wool back into uniforms as a fire retardant. It all boils down to what’s old is new and nothing remains settled. I have always found the quest for that which works interesting and life is not static so we strive constantly and therefor change remains the only constant.

                                                  • #107167
                                                    DiznNC
                                                    Participant

                                                      Damn there’s words of wisdom.

                                                      At Bragg yesterday it was interesting to observe multicam from 100m as we pasted targets and looked back at the line. My buddy was rocking out MC arid and I had regular MC. Now those are two very different patterns but you know, when he proned out in the grass, I could barely make him out. Now the regular MC was obviously better when standing, but even if a guy was kneeling, close to the ground, the arid still blended in pretty good, from 100m.

                                                      So I am just offering some observations on this stuff. The pattern just needs to be earth-tone colors, and something close to what your AO looks like. Your fieldcraft techniques are much more important than your camo, IMHO.

                                                      And yeah funny how cotton and wool work so well, especially under NIR. Not to mention burlap. Although the newer polyesters are rapidly catching up. Not to mention heat radiant materials. Heh heh.

                                                    • #107168
                                                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                      Moderator

                                                        Your fieldcraft techniques are much more important than your camo, IMHO.

                                                        I agree with this.

                                                        I think many are too invested in this type of thing and maybe I wasn’t clear enough about my reasons to avoid military look camo.

                                                        As Max touched on, hunting camo is ubiquitous in my AO, yet all current military patterns stand out as unique.

                                                        This isn’t about necessarily choosing the ultimate pattern. It might be ultimate pattern for my use in my AO though.

                                                        I do standby the following though.

                                                        Something I feel many forget is military camouflage is a compromise that hopes to be effective in a variety of Worldwide locations. Never know where the next wars location will be.

                                                        I however will not be deploying Worldwide. I am in Florida with the Southeast being the farthest I am likely to go realistically.

                                                        Imagine…

                                                        And yeah funny how cotton and wool work so well, especially under NIR.

                                                        …natural material appearing natural! ;-)

                                                        I have never seen a quality write up on hunting camo for our use, I intend this to cover that and will move this to “Review” section when done.

                                                        So we’ll see the results of my testing and my conclusion.

                                                        If this is helpful to you, great.

                                                        If this doesn’t apply to you and your AO, that’s fine since it’s about my situation and AO.

                                                      • #107169
                                                        Corvette
                                                        Participant

                                                          I agree with skywalker, the german world war 11 approach of camo smock makes sense. Especially if you don’t want to appear threatening by your clothing. Think undercover cop, dress to blend in, put the camo smock on only when needed. Look at some of the you tube videos of Brit Royal Marines or Norwegian troops in the arctic. Camo white pants on the bottom, regular dark camo on top. To my tired eyes it seems to work good in snow covered ground among the trees.

                                                        • #107170
                                                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                                                          Moderator

                                                            …camo smock makes sense.

                                                            I’ve discussed this before and in particular as part of bugout/get home situation.

                                                            Under some circumstances the use of over sized (slip on over other clothing) cheap “Walmart camo” could be of use to allow a rapid blending back in after a mission.

                                                            Especially if you don’t want to appear threatening by your clothing.

                                                            In my area hunting camo already accomplishes this, additionally a Mossy Oak/Realtree top with earth tone pants and vice versa is also common fashion in my AO.

                                                            Regarding smocks, Arktis B110 Combat Smock in Real Leaf.

                                                            Arktis Real Leaf products.

                                                          • #107171
                                                            Jamison
                                                            Participant

                                                              So, I find that in my AO (NW Washington) you can’t beat USGI Woodland, ATACS FG. Or probably, although I haven’t tested it, multicam tropic.

                                                              Lot’s of green about 90% Of the year, there’s about two weeks in the summer where it’s more brown than green. In fact,

                                                              I’ve used just plain OD to very good effect.

                                                              Most of the time, I find that you can do a lot with earth tones, browns, and greens. So if you want to look non threatening, run a brown pair of pants and a green shirt, or something like that.

                                                            • #107172
                                                              Corvette
                                                              Participant

                                                                Or, you could just run into battle wearing nothing and painted in woad. ;-)

                                                              • #107173
                                                                Anonymous
                                                                Inactive

                                                                  Not gonna lie, from the photos Real Leaf almost looks like DPM until you get up close, which is pretty neat. Plus the fact that they have combat jackets and whatnot in the pattern too. Because I have been horrifically spoiled by the usefulness of shoulder pockets.

                                                                • #107174
                                                                  Jamison
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Or, you could just run into battle wearing nothing and painted in woad. ;-)

                                                                    Skippy says that WOAD is not an authorized camouflage.

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