Today’s post is going to be a very short and sweet one regarding camouflage and concealment within airsoft, but I intend on going into greater detail in the near future. The reason for me going into greater detail in another article is simply because while the art of camouflage and concealment is a very simple one, it does have many aspects to it and can become quite a major topic. But for now, here are just three simple basics.
Disruptive Patterned Material
As I said, this will be short and sweet and will only really cover airsoft players in general using three basic principals. This will not go into great details for snipers or building hides or observations posts. This is purely the basics of keeping yourself concealed from your enemy on the battlefield. So what are the basics, well the most basic form of camouflage and concealment is to wear appropriately coloured clothing to suit your environment. In a woodland wear greens or browns,, in the desert wear light sandy colours etc. An urban environment is difficult because of the constant change in materials used. As you’ll see in the pictures below the old issued British Army DPM uniform is one of the best patterns for woodlands because it was purposely built for that environment. Black is not a good colour as there is nothing in a natural woodland that is pure black. Believe it or not it does stand out in a woodland environment. Desert digital can work too but can also be quite light within a woodland but obviously works amazingly well in light sandy areas.
Movement, or to be more precise a lack of it is your best friend when trying to stay hidden. You see, if you’re in a woodland for example and your enemy is walking through the trees, as long as you stay still he will have a harder time spotting you. This is because as he is moving his perspective is constantly changing. To his eyes the whole forest looks like it is moving around him as he is walking, but it is all moving at a constant speed according to how fast he is moving. You can see this for yourself next time you take a walk anywhere, even indoors. Notice how as you walk past a doorway the door frame seems to move differently to the contents of the room. Or the tree 10 metres away from you moves differently, within your vision, to the tree 100 metres away. This is your perspective changing as you move through these objects. The same happens on the battlefield and it’s hard for our eyes to track every object and differentiate between what is supposed to be there and what isn’t. In the picture below you can see I blend in very well, but it didn’t stop me from eventually being taken out once someone got close enough. What allowed me to remain in that position for about 20 minutes was the fact that I was laying their completely still and only firing enough shots to take out my enemies. When they were looking for me and they were stationary, if I didn’t have a clear shot I waited for them to move so that I could then adjust my position, doing so very slowly and methodically. That lack of movement along with wearing an effective patterned clothing, plus one other point I shall discuss in the next section, enabled me to remain hidden while effectively picking off my enemy. Within the realm of movement, another thing to consider is your speed when carrying out certain tasks. For example, at a recent game I played at Ambush Adventures Southampton I was behind a BUND Line with the enemy shooting over my head at my team behind me. I was able to move up and poke my head out of cover without being spotted due to me moving very very slowly. Had I have moved quickly the motion would have been spotted and my position given away.
The final, basic principle for camouflage and concealment within airsoft is your shape. The human body is not a natural shape as far as a forest is concerned, and neither is your rifle. They are unnatural and as such draw attention with the eye. To combat this in the most basic way you can use a scrim scarf to break up your shape. Notice in the picture above how my head and shoulders are covered in a cloth of some sort and how that cloth breaks up the shape of my head. Notice how the very square shape of my PEQ box on my rifle is broken up with an odd shaped shadow above it. You’ll also notice in the next picture that I have no camouflage cream on my face, it is as white as man can get yet this scarf covers it perfectly. All of this adds up to make me not look like a person. Yes you can see me there now, with a big red ring around my position but strolling through the woods I laid unseen for a good length of time even while picking off the enemy.
Camouflage and Concealment Basics
So there you are, three basic things you can do to give yourself the edge over your enemy for your next airsoft game. Wear matching or similar colours to enable you to blend in better; move slowly and methodically, remember movement is what is seen; and disrupt your human shape as best you can using a scrim scarf of some sort (You can buy a scrim scarf for a few pounds from Amazon). Now I know there are some of you who will be reading this thinking “is that all” and yes, for now it is. I wanted to get some basic tips down to help new players now. I will write a full article, but it is such a long winded subject that just writing about it won’t do it justice, so keep an eye out for the full in depth article which will be coming within the next month.
STAY SAFE, and to all my fellow Englishmen out there, Happy St Georges Day!!