To be an effective sniper, you have to understand camouflage. It is one of the easiest ways to step up your game and rule the battlefield. However, most people don’t really understand how camouflage works, so when they use it and it doesn’t work, they begin to believe it never works. In this article I’ll delve into the variety of camouflages available and show you in detail how to properly use camouflage.
Types of camouflage
Realtree, Mossy Oak, and other tree-print camouflage
RealTree, Mossy Oak, and other similar tree-print camouflage brands look realistically close to the surroundings and work really well in the environment they are specifically made for. However, if you find yourself outside those environments, unfortunately, they won’t work at all. I have some pictures to demonstrate my point.
RealTree & Mossy Oak
As you can see in the first picture, you can be almost invisible under the right circumstances. However, as presented in the second picture, you can also be easily spotted if you are in the wrong environment. Thus, you must consider whether the pros outweigh the cons, however it is definitely a great camouflage when utilised correctly.
MARPAT, ACU, CAD, and other digital camouflages
Digital camouflages look great, especially if you want to look like a modern marksman, which is usually what airsofters do want. The variety of its colors and patterns are okay for urban, desert, and forest environments, as they blend in with cement, sand, leaves, grass, and urban debris.
MARPAT, ACU & CAD
Multicam, Woodland, and other similar camouflages
This is probably close to, if not the most popular and largest group of camouflage. There is a huge variety made for specific environments and seasons such as forest, desert and winter. It is pretty much the standard camouflage used in the army, however, it works really well when you use it right. It is not the best, but on average sufficient in many situations; this type of camouflage can be seen at every airsoft site you go to.
MultiCam & DPM (Woodland)
I only recently came across this camo and although I believe the colors could be better and more intense, I love the pattern. It’s fantastic because the shapes fade into each other, making it hard for a human eye to pick out separate shapes. This is very useful for a sniper because it makes your body shape hard to pick out within the the environment.
Ghillie suits are the most effective to mask and conceal your body shape; perfect for still sniping. However, the problem with these suits is that they can be bulky and get in your way of seeing and possibly hinder you peripheral vision.
The best camouflage is the actual environment you’re in. If you are in a forest environment, get leaves and sticks and place them upon yourself when lying down or prep beforehand and stick them on. For a snowy environment try putting snow on your rifle and also yourself. In an urban or desert environment, it’s a little harder but just look for stuff you can put on your uniform and gun to blend in with your immediate surroundings. Also don’t forget about covering yourself with mud if you are really hardcore!
If you’re like me, then you probably like to go the cheapest route to get camo for airsoft, but at the same time blend in as effectively as possible. This makes for some pretty interesting concoctions for camouflage. Personally, one of my favourites is using a white overall and cutting up white t-shirts to make snow camo, because it’s simply so easy to do. Also consider painting designs and patterns using different types of leaves, grass and sticks or using glue to actually place them on your weapon and clothing.
Common Camouflage Problems
Often people believe that their camouflage doesn’t work as well as it should because they don’t fully understand how to use it. In this section I’ll explain a few mistakes I’ve observed people make when trying to use camouflage during gameplay.
#1 Lack of movement is key
Most of the time, the problem doesn’t actually lie with the camo but its user; even the slightest movement can give your position away. It’s a natural tendency to duck your head down or slightly adjust your position to get more behind cover if you think you might have been seen. This is in fact counterproductive. As what actually happens is, movement is picked up easier by the human eye than a shape placed within a still image. Thus ducking for cover actually draws attention rather than avoiding it and more often than not results in one being spotted. Another thing people often do is if they think they’ve been spotted they try to make a run for it. During their attempted escape, they usually get shot in the back or their side even though they weren’t actually spotted until they started running. Bottom line is – trust your camo. Until someone starts raising and aiming their gun at your position, they probably haven’t seen you. So sit tight and wait it out.
#2 The right camouflage pattern
Another problem is if you wear the wrong pattern of camouflage you won’t blend in with the environment correctly, as you could see with the picture of the realtree camouflage pictures earlier on in the article. For the longest time I wanted to wear multicam black camouflage, because I simply thought it was the coolest camouflage out there but unless you play at night, it won’t help you blend in at all. That goes to show you that sometimes the coolest camouflages aren’t the best. Flecktarn or woodland camouflages are the best for my region, but bare in mind this changes wherever you go. What I recommend doing is checking out the airsoft field you’re going to play at online and choose an appropriate camouflage based on what you’ve seen on their pictures.
#3 Completely covered
Sometimes the problem isn’t with your movement or the colors in your camouflage; it’s in fact a certain piece of equipment, gun or other item that isn’t totally camouflaged and it sticks out to people. Often, these are gun barrels, gun accessories and anything else you might be carrying on your vest; remember, there are no perfect lines, patterns and shapes in nature. Get your gear covered. It can also be anything from the orange tips in the USA, to your blue collar underneath your BDUs, to a piece of the dead rag that you can’t quite get the whole way in its little pocket with your gloves. Finally, also be aware of your face which most likely stands out from the environment if you don’t have a face mask or face paint on. On the whole, these problems are often easy to fix.
#4 Sound dead
Another reason that lack of movement is incredibly important is because when you move you usually make some sort of noise. Whether it’s as slight as the rustle of your clothes or the breaking of a stick that you accidentally put pressure on. This draws attention to you and gets you shot. As I said before, trust your camouflage, and don’t move until you can positively confirm that you’ve been spotted.
#5 The letdown cycle
Finally, in relation to all above problems is a cycle I’ve seen happen time and time again after players constantly get discovered when using camo, and it is the reason that people don’t think camouflage actually works. Most of the time when you duck, slightly move or make a sound – you get spotted, and then get shot. If that happens over and over again and you struggle to identify the problem in order to improve your performance, you’ll probably start to think it’s the camo’s fault and it just simply doesn’t work. After that many people sort of give up on using correct camouflage techniques because it never seems to work for them. If you’ve been struggling to stay hidden yourself, next time you’re out in the field follow my advice and see if it helps you!
If you’re not sure how appropriate your camouflage is for the environment you regularly play in, go out with your spotter or another teammate and ask them to tell you whether you are easily spotted in the field. This can be done at your local airsoft field before a game; just turn up a bit earlier and ask the marshals if you can have a walk around the site to adjust your camouflage. If and when he/she sees you, ask them what they spotted first and how you could tweak it to blend in more with the surroundings. A little criticism can help you improve your skills!
Written by Black_Mamba
Find more sniping content from Black_Mamba at: www.teenairsoft.com
Edited by Kamil Turecki