Monday, February 4, 2013

Camouflage and Evasion

          In our daily lives we are constantly looking for different ways to be prepared. Many times a lot of us however tend to focus on the stuff for survival. How much food, water and supplies we need. However skills are also very important to have as well, and we have to remember not to neglect learning and maintaining skills that could be important for survival. One skill that we should all know is evasion and camouflage.

      Why would we need to know how to camouflage ourselves and how to evade someone? When you first say it, this skill doesn't sound like something that would be useful when shtf. It sounds more like something that army or special forces would need to know. However, if you think about it, this skill is definitely something that could be useful.

      When shtf, there are going to be many different types of people out there that are trying to survive, and not all of them are going to be friendly. People who want your supplies could try and track you down to take them. You may need to keep yourself hidden to stop these types of people from getting on your trail in the first place, or, as terrible as it sounds, to keep the desperate, who have no supplies, from finding you as well. When shtf, we will have limited supplies, and there will be many people who will have none, and will want ours. Therefore we have to be prepared to make sure that others don't take them, because what we prep today could be the difference between life and death in the future.

      So lets start with camouflage first, because evasion, our second topic, isn't necessary if you can't be found in the first place. As a person you have a distinct shape, that is easily recognizable to other humans, because it is a shape that we are so familiar with, and identify with. So the first thing you must consider is your own shape. You can be completely covered in camouflage clothing and camouflage gear, and you won't be hiding if your just standing straight up out in the open.

      So the first thing you need to do is break up the outline of your body. Don't position yourself on high ground where you will be silhouetted by the sky. Instead try and keep to lower areas, and break up the outline of your body. The first way to do this is by changing the position of your body. Turn sideways to lessen your outline, then crouch down, and position your limbs in any way that will help break up your silhouette. Try and use items in the natural environment, such as trees or rocks that you can put in front of you to help block sections of your outline so it is harder to put the shape of your body together.

      To better camouflage yourself you will want to add fabrics and objects to help yourself blend into your surroundings and continue to break up your outline. Even just camouflage fabric can go a long way to concealing you in. Adding a small amount of vegetation to your camouflage will really help you blend in as well. You can even go as far as creating a full on ghillie suit for camouflage if you want.

Here is a great example of how fairly minimal camoflage can work very well:

An example of camouflage with a ghillie suit:

Of course you can always use your camoflague skills for some fun as well!:

      Avoiding notice is the best way to protect yourself, however sometimes you will be noticed, and in a shtf scenario that could mean that you will then have to evade and escape pursuit. Camouflage is a great tool that you can use in this endeavor, however you should never use this as your sole option of avoiding pursuit. It can be used very effectively for misdirection, especially to allow your pursuer to walk past you, giving you a change to double backwards. It is important to note however that if your pursuers have trained dogs, then camouflage is unlikely to provide any protection at all.

      Evading pursuit is much harder than it looks in movies, and that is something that you need to be prepared for if you run into the situation. You have two main objectives during an evasion scenario. The first is to put as much distance between you and your pursuer, and the second is to erase as much sign of your passage as possible. Both of these things are to help make it so that your pursuer completely loses track of you and you can get away.

      Speed and misdirection are the two things you should focus on when trying to evade pursuit. Speed is to help put more distance between you and your pursuers. However, too much speed will leave too much sign of passage, leaving an easily found trail behind you. This is where misdirection comes into play. The easies misdirection you can use is to hide your trail. The more time your pursuers have to hunt for your trail, the more time you have to get away.

      This can be done with a number of different things. One of the simplest tricks is to simply brush away tracks with a branch. You trail disappears and you can get further away before your trail is picked up again. However in many cases, this will just be a waste of time. The branch will leave its own distinct marks, and that will be as telltale as a footprint.

      Streams are another possible option. However, like brushing away tracks, running through a stream can have many different disadvantages. It is very difficult to travel through water and it can easily sap strength. Muddy banks will easily pick up tracks where you enter and exit the water, and you can leave behind a trail of water drips that will be very easy to follow.

      Backtracking is another evasion technique that will be easily spotted by an experience tracker, because while you leave sign as you move forward, it will be just as easy to tell if you have moved backwards over your own trail. Stepping in your own footmarks will alter the depth and print shape, and that will be easily spotted. So this again is likely a waste of time.

      The best options are to try and stay downwind so any trained animals won't pick up your scent. Moving through strong smelling plants such as wild garlic or mint can also help upset the dogs sense of smell, as can moving through areas with livestock. To try and keep as little scent and track of the ground you should look at hard packed dirt and rocky ground.

     Weather can also play an important role, because heavy rain can help disperse scent, and wash away tracks, however it is never something to rely on. These same tricks for camouflage and evasion can be used in urban environments, though depending on the situation you may need to modify some of the tricks and techniques.

      Camouflage and evasion is a good skill to have, whether your preparing for the end of the world, or just want to be better at hide and seek with your kids or play practical jokes on people. Camouflage and evasion is not a hard skill to learn, and perhaps it is a skill that you will never use for any practical purpose in your life, however one can never be too prepared.


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