Three Letters Re: The Importance of Making Your BOV Less Visible

Mr. Rawles,
For those of us whose BOV is their primary POV, even using flat one-color paint would draw unnecessary attention. Even if your vehicle needs a “normal” (not flat) paint job, my recommendation would be that you keep your choices of colors dull, and earthy.
Charcoals, browns and dark tans are good colors to use, generally popular and available, yet are much harder for they eye to detect than other colors. In daylight and low-light conditions, these colors blend
with every background. Even at night, a moving, flat black vehicle will stand out more than a moving dark gray/dark tan vehicle.
Matt on the Tennessee/Kentucky border


Hey Jim,
Wanted to comment on the visibility of a persons BOV in the everyday world as well as while in the bug out mode!
Camouflage has nothing to do with fancy patterns of earth tones panted on your vehicle and everything to do with blending in and being able to pass unnoticed. It is the art of traveling without standing out
or being singled out as something unusual or interesting!

My 25 year-old maroon Mercedes 300D with an almost constant light coat of road grime on it can go anywhere without notice!! The diesel engine is very dependable and gets pretty good fuel mileage and the trunk is large enough to keep a decent kit, spares and tools ready and at hand. It is the kind of BOV that you could walk by in the parking lot of any sized town or city and never look at twice! It is also a lot farther down the list of [most often] stolen vehicles which is also something that should be considered when looking for transportation.

Yes, I have and think that it is smart to have 4×4 options available for bugging out. But I used the same kinds of thoughts when choosing that vehicle, too! Mine looks like (and actually is) an old work truck [with a Reading/Utility “tool” or “service” body]! Once again it blends in due to its low visual attention drawing looks not any fancy paint work. Tools like a More Power Puller and a H-Lift Jack can be safely hidden away and allow you to go most places you want to go with out the attention grabbing camouflage paint, jacked up 4X4 [suspension] with winch bumper and mud tires that towers over the parking of lesser vehicles! – SD in WV

In reference to the article on camouflage for your BOV. Your point is well taken as to not drawing attention to your vehicle by use of abnormal paint schemes before and during travel to your secure site. A very simple way to camouflage a vehicle after arrival at your site is to simply cover it with mud. Once it bakes on for a few days it seems to become impervious to rain. This is quick, simple, and requires little preparation depending on your location. I’m sure you have seen 4x4s coming in from a weekend playing in the back country and it is sometimes hard to determine what make they are let alone what color. I’ve spent a couple of weeks at a time camping and hunting in back wood areas and due to the accumulation of mud on my 4×4 it began to blend in quit well with the surrounding landscape. Once I had a hard time locating it from a distance when it was parked in the edge of a meadow next to pine timber. From across the meadow, about 300 yards, it was near invisible and I knew where to look. If the paint is already a good background color such as brown, tan, gray, this will help with the process. Also eliminate as much chrome as reasonably possible. Parking in a shaded area such as under trees also helps. – Jack R.