Safety / Survival / Army Field Manuals / AFM 3-05.70
In a survival situation, especially in a hostile environment, you may
find it necessary to camouflage yourself, your equipment, and your movement.
Effective camouflage may mean the difference between survival and capture by
the enemy. Camouflage and movement techniques, such as stalking, will also
help you get animals or game for food using primitive weapons and skills.
21-1. When camouflaging yourself, consider that certain shapes are particular
to humans. The enemy will look for these shapes. The shape of a hat, helmet, or
black boots can give you away. Even animals know and run from the shape of a
human silhouette. Break up your outline by placing small amounts of vegetation
from the surrounding area in your uniform, equipment, and headgear. Try to
reduce any shine from skin or equipment. Blend in with the surrounding colors
and simulate the texture of your surroundings.
SHAPE AND OUTLINE
21-2. Change the outline of weapons and equipment by tying vegetation or
strips of cloth onto them. Make sure the added camouflage does not hinder the
equipment's operation. When hiding, cover yourself and your equipment with
leaves, grass, or other local debris. Conceal any signaling devices you have
prepared, but keep them ready for use.
COLOR AND TEXTURE
21-3. Each area of the world and each climatic condition (arctic/winter,
temperate/jungle, or swamp/desert) has color patterns and textures that are
natural for that area. While color is self-explanatory, texture defines the
surface characteristics of something when looking at it. For example, surface
textures may be smooth, rough, rocky, leafy, or many other possible
combinations. Use color and texture together to camouflage yourself effectively.
It makes little sense to cover yourself with dead, brown vegetation in the
middle of a large grassy field. Similarly, it would be useless to camouflage
yourself with green grass in the middle of a desert or rocky area.
21-4. To hide and camouflage movement in any specific area of the world, you
must take on the color and texture of the immediate surroundings. Use natural or
man-made materials to camouflage yourself. A few examples include camouflage
paint, charcoal from burned paper or wood, mud, grass, leaves, strips of cloth
or burlap, pine boughs, and camouflaged uniforms.
21-5. Cover all areas of exposed skin, including face, hands, neck, and ears.
Use camouflage paint, charcoal, or mud to camouflage yourself. Cover areas that
stick out more and catch more light (forehead, nose, cheekbones, chin, and ears)
with a darker color. Cover other areas, particularly recessed or shaded areas
(around the eyes and under the chin), with lighter colors. Be sure to use an
irregular pattern. Attach vegetation from the area or strips of cloth of the
proper color to clothing and equipment. If you use vegetation, replace it as it
wilts. As you move through an area, be alert to the color changes and modify
your camouflage colors as necessary.
21-6. Figure 21-1 gives a general idea of how to apply
camouflage for various areas and climates. Use appropriate colors for your
surroundings. The blotches or slashes will help to simulate texture.
Figure 21-1. Camouflage Methods for Specific Areas
21-7. As skin gets oily, it becomes shiny. Equipment with worn-off paint is
also shiny. Even painted objects, if smooth, may shine. Glass objects such as
mirrors, glasses, binoculars, and telescopes shine. You must cover these glass
objects when not in use. Anything that shines will automatically attract
attention and will give away your location.
21-8. Whenever possible, wash oily skin and reapply camouflage. Skin oil will
wash off camouflage, so reapply it frequently. If you must wear glasses,
camouflage them by applying a thin layer of dust to the outside of the lenses.
This layer of dust will reduce the reflection of light. Cover shiny spots on
equipment by painting, covering with mud, or wrapping with cloth or tape. Pay
particular attention to covering boot eyelets, buckles on equipment, watches and
jewelry, zippers, and uniform insignia. Carry a signal mirror in its designed
pouch or in a pocket with the mirror portion facing your body.
21-9. When hiding or traveling, stay in the deepest part of the shadows. The
outer edges of the shadows are lighter and the deeper parts are darker.
Remember, if you are in an area where there is plenty of vegetation, keep as
much vegetation between you and a potential enemy as possible. This action will
make it very hard for the enemy to see you as the vegetation will partially mask
you from his view. Forcing an enemy to look through many layers of masking
vegetation will fatigue his eyes very quickly.
21-10. When traveling, especially in built-up areas at night, be aware of
where you cast your shadow. It may extend out around the corner of a building
and give away your position. Also, if you are in a dark shadow and there is a
light source to one side, an enemy on the other side can see your silhouette
against the light.
21-11. Movement, especially fast movement, attracts attention. If possible,
avoid movement in the presence of an enemy. If capture appears imminent in your
present location and you must move, move away slowly, making as little noise as
possible. By moving slowly in a survival situation, you decrease the chance of
detection and conserve energy that you may need for long-term survival or
21-12. When moving past obstacles, avoid going over them. If you must climb
over an obstacle, keep your body level with its top to avoid silhouetting
yourself. Do not silhouette yourself against the skyline when crossing hills or
ridges. When you are moving, you will have difficulty detecting the movement of
others. Stop frequently, listen, and look around slowly to detect signs of
21-13. Noise attracts attention, especially if there is a sequence of loud
noises such as several snapping twigs. If possible, avoid making any noise. Slow
your pace as much as necessary to avoid making noise when moving around or away
from possible threats.
21-14. Use background noises to cover the noise of your movement. Sounds of
aircraft, trucks, generators, strong winds, and people talking will cover some
or all the sounds produced by your movement. Rain will mask a lot of movement
noise, but it also reduces your ability to detect potential enemy noise.
21-15. Whether hunting animals or avoiding the enemy, it is always wise to
camouflage the scent associated with humans. Start by washing yourself and your
clothes without using soap. This washing method removes soap and body odors.
Avoiding strong smelling foods, such as garlic, helps reduce body odors. Do not
use tobacco products, candy, gum, or cosmetics.
21-16. You can use aromatic herbs or plants to wash yourself and your
clothing, to rub on your body and clothing, or to chew on to camouflage your
breath. Pine needles, mint, or any similar aromatic plant will help camouflage
your scent from both animals and humans. Standing in smoke from a fire can help
mask your scent from animals. While animals are afraid of fresh smoke from a
fire, older smoke scents are normal smells after forest fires and do not scare
21-17. While traveling, use your sense of smell to help you find or avoid
humans. Pay attention to smells associated with humans, such as fire,
cigarettes, gasoline, oil, soap, and food. Such smells may alert you to their
presence long before you can see or hear them, depending on wind speed and
direction. Note the wind's direction and, when possible, approach from or skirt
around on the downwind side when nearing humans or animals.