(Continued from Part 1. This part concludes the article.)
Vehicles are a little more difficult to camouflage. The easiest way to get at least some camouflage on your vehicle is just to repaint it a flat earth tone. If you want to go more serious than that you will need some Hessian poles. These are long poles that stick in the ground and are draped with camouflage netting. They are designed to break up the distinctive outline of a vehicle. If you have any large length of scrap metal or smooth branches around , you can use them or “spreaders” at the ends of the Hessain poles. If your vehicle is small enough–such as a traditional “ride astride” ATV–then you may use some old clothes hanger T-bars fro spreaders. The netting doesn’t have to be as covered as heavily as your ghillie suit is. Just enough to break up the vehicle’s outline. Caution: Don’t merely drape the netting over the vehicle. Otherwise the shape of the vehicle will still remain.
Sniper Hides and Foxholes
Sniper hides are similar to a foxhole, but generally they aren’t deep in the ground, so they don’t provide much ballistic or indirect fire protection. You can use many of the same rules for these as you do a foxhole. To construct a sniper hide, you will need some sturdy, natural vegetation. You will be building this sniper hide in a dense wooded or brushy spot. (But not too dense!)
Put four or more firm (at least 1 inch in diameter) sticks into the ground. The sticks should be at least 1⁄4 -1/3 buried in the ground, or more if possible; they also should be protruding a foot or less from the ground. Then nail or screw more sticks together on the top of the original sticks until you have made a rim around the four original sticks. Then you can add netting, foliage, and more sticks. Rub some mud or apply flat earth-tone spray paint to any nails or screws to take away the shine. This is just one way of making a hide, so if it sounds different than what you have seen before, this is a different variant. Depending on how deep you have made your hole, you may want to heighten the roof for adequate seating.
Foxholes are similar to sniper hides, but they are dug in the ground. By traditional military doctrine, they are generally dug armpit deep. Then layer the inside with wood and supplies (if you want to make it more comfortable). Cover the top with a in irregularly-shaped oblong sheet of plywood and foliage.
If you live in a northern climate, you will want to be prepared for snow camouflage. Depending on where you live you may want to use white, a bit of black, brown, or a combination. There are advantages and disadvantages to having matching color schemes. An advantage is that you will be able to recognize your fellow teammates easier. A disadvantage is when enemies are looking for you and your squad mates. When they see a funny-shaped blotchy pattern they will just think it is an odd shrub. But when they see two or more people in the same pattern, they will notice more easily. Snow camouflage gear should be warm; you may have to sit still for hours. So make it oversize to go over heavy cold weather clothes. It should also be customized to its environment. It should have brown spots or branches in it if you are in the woods or shrubbery. But if you are out in open snow, it should be smooth and plain white.
It is handy to have mirrors and other reflective objects for communication with aircraft. But reflections are dangerous in combat. You will want to keep reflections to a minimum. One way to do this is to cover scopes/other reflective objects with thin netting. This breaks up the flash. Another way to do it is to put a very long cylinder of plastic or sturdy cardboard of some sort over the end of a scope. This stops the sun from hitting it 99% of the time. But this method can reduce your area of view from the scope. The best way to find out how to stop reflections and glares from your scopes is by trial and error, get someone to look at you while you hold it up with various disruptors.
Spotting Ccamouflage is an important skill to learn. If you need to wear camouflage, chances are that there will be someone else with camouflage, and a loaded gun. If you have a spotting scope or binoculars, you can use those, if you have a way to stop reflections. Lay very, very still and don’t talk. Scan the places that are most likely to have enemies in them (good sniper hide locations, cover, etc.) Look for the shape of a person not the color. You will be very lucky indeed if you have an intruder who is wearing tie-dye. If you see a reflection anywhere then look there, that may be a scope turning towards you.
Hearing someone in camouflage: If you are in close proximity to an enemy, you may be able to hear things, like radio headsets, the cycling or reloading of a gun, and when it very quiet, even breathing. In my opinion, the best way to get used to this is to constantly listen. As I write this now, I can hear scraping/stirring sounds from the kitchen, most people would notice those. But also (ironically) I can hear faint gunshots (we have a few properties with shooting enthusiasts around here.) Those gunshots are the sort of sound we naturally just block out.
We often don’t even hear when our names are called or someone calls for help. The next time you are in a mall or other public place, be quiet for a couple minutes. Don’t talk to anyone, just listen to everything around you. Soon you will be able to hear almost every word of other people’s conversations, you will hear cars on the road. You will hear all the sounds around you and be able to tell whether or not they are threats.
Route planning is not actually camouflage, but it is helpful when you need camouflage. I like to do the same training for this one as I do for listening. Next time you are in a public place, look at everyone around you. Pay attention whenever you see a weapon. Mentally plan escape routes if there happened to be an attack. This isn’t paranoia, this is common sense. When you have more time to think, revise your plans. Did your escape route keep you under cover? Would it have led you away from the mobs of people? Would you have been safe from gunfire in your final position? Would you have gotten out of the building or at least into suitable cover? Where you prepared to medically aid and defend yourself/others? I always like to bring a first aid kit with me when I go to public places. Not all public places allow you to carry an AR-15. But an Indidvdual First Aid Kit (IFAK)? Yeah, you can get away with that.
So, next time you are out and about, look at potential cover and concealment, use it, get yourself in prone positions, figure out how to draw your pistol while prone, listen, and watch for signs. One good way to get yourself in the right mindset is to have a little basket near your door. Put a medical kit, a knife, and an every day carry (EDC) kit in it. Take those wherever you go.
If you are allowed by law to bring a pistol (and you believe in that sort of thing), then you can take that, too. All these things are very handy to anyone who might be caught in the sort of sticky situation that only seems to happen in movies, until it happens in real life.
“It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.” – Clarence Worley, True Romance, 1993