Ensure your bugout bags and tactical rigs include "Camouflage Face Paint" to cover exposed skin that can reveal your position when concealment is a must. Midway USA is offering the following camouflage stick for $1.59, 5ive Star Gear Mil-Spec Camouflage Face Paint Stick which mirrors the military's standard camouflage colors "Loam and Green." Exposed skin reflects light and may draw the attention of others. Even very dark skin, because of its natural oil, will reflect light. When applying camouflage to your skin, work with a buddy (in pairs) and help each other. If you need to apply the camouflage to yourself use your signal or shaving mirror to make certain all exposed skin areas are covered. Apply a two-color combination of camouflage pigment in an irregular pattern. Paint shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, and chin) with a dark color. Paint shadow areas (around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin) with a light color. In addition to the face, paint the exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands. Palms of hands are not normally camouflaged if arm-and-hand signals are to be used. Remove all jewelry to further reduce shine or reflection. When camouflage sticks/compacts are not issued, use burnt cork, bark, charcoal, lamp black, or light-colored mud. Do not apply camouflage paint if there is a chance of frostbite. Include group camouflage procedures as part of your SOP and conduct training on proper application. Prior to any mission, during rehearsals/final inspections leaders must make sure camouflage is applied correctly.
In addition to your designated marksman's woodland camouflage sniper veil, purchase a USGI Individual Camouflage Cover White Pattern (NSN 8415-01-280-5234) veil for winter concealment. Sniper veils are a see through material that can be draped over the body for a quick concealment system to break up the shooters shape/silhouette. The pictured sniper veil is a 60"x90" piece of white mesh material that can be cut into smaller pieces for different camouflage applications and can be purchased for under $8 on Ebay and Amazon.com (see link below). This material is also excellent for camouflaging equipment left at a rally point. Buy the material pattern that best matches the vegetation and the season you'll be operating within.
FM 3-21.75 The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills field manual provides the following definition for concealment. Concealment is anything that hides you from enemy observation. Concealment does not protect you from enemy fire. Do not think that you are protected from the enemy’s fire just, because you are concealed. Concealment, like cover, can also be natural or Soldier made. Natural concealment includes bushes, grass, and shadows. If possible, natural concealment should not be disturbed. Man-made concealment includes Army combat uniforms (ACUs), camouflage nets, face paint, and natural materials that have been moved from their original location. Man-made concealment must blend into natural concealment provided by the terrain.
The following are actions individuals take that contribute to concealment: Light Discipline, Noise Discipline, and Movement Discipline, and the use of Camouflage.
1. Light Discipline - Light discipline is controlling the use of lights at night by such things as not smoking in the open, not walking around with a flashlight on, and not using vehicle headlights.
2. Noise Discipline - Noise discipline is taking action to deflect sounds generated by your unit (such as operating equipment) away from the enemy and, when possible, using methods to communicate that do not generate sounds (arm-and-hand signals).
3. Movement Discipline - Movement discipline includes not moving about fighting positions unless necessary and not moving on routes that lack cover and concealment. In the defense, build a well-camouflaged fighting position and avoid moving about.
4. Camouflage - In the offense, conceal yourself and your equipment with camouflage, and move in woods or on terrain that gives concealment. Darkness cannot hide you from enemy observation in either offense or defense situations. The enemy’s night vision devices (NVD) and other detection means allow them to find you in both daylight and darkness.
Source: FM 3-21.75
FM 3-21.75 The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills field manual provides the following considerations when camouflaging yourself, equipment and position: Movement, Positions, Outlines and Shadows, Shine, Shape, Colors, Dispersion, Preparation, and Individual Techniques. Both natural and man-made material can be used for camouflage. Change and improve your camouflage often. The time between changes and improvements depends on the weather and on the material used. Natural camouflage will often die, fade, or otherwise lose its effectiveness and expose a position when compared to foliage that is alive in the surrounding area. Likewise, man-made camouflage may wear off or fade and, as a result, individuals, their equipment, and their positions may stand out from their surroundings. Leaders must continually inspect individual, equipment and position camouflage throughout the mission to ensure strict adherence to security. To make it difficult for the enemy to spot you, individuals should remember the following when using or wearing camouflage.
1. MOVEMENT - Movement and activity draw attention. When you give arm-and-hand signals or walk about your position, your movement can be seen by the naked eye at long ranges. In the defense, stay low. Move only when necessary. In the offense, move only on covered and concealed routes.
2. POSITIONS - Avoid putting anything where the enemy expects to find it. Build positions on the side of a hill, away from road junctions or lone buildings, and in covered and concealed places. Avoid open areas.
3. OUTLINES AND SHADOWS - These can reveal your position or equipment to an air or ground observer. Break up
outlines and shadows with camouflage. When moving, try to stay in the shadows.
4. SHINE - A shine will naturally attract the enemy’s attention. In the dark, a burning cigarette or flashlight will give you away. In daylight, reflected light from any polished surface such as shiny mess gear, a worn helmet, a windshield, a watch crystal and band, or exposed skin will do it. Any light, or reflection of light, can help the enemy detect your position. To reduce shine, cover your skin with clothing and face paint. Dull equipment and vehicle surfaces with paint, mud, or other camouflaging material or substance. WARNING: In a nuclear attack, darkly painted skin can absorb more thermal energy and may burn more readily than bare skin.
5. SHAPE - Certain shapes, such as a helmet or human being, are easily recognizable. Camouflage, conceal, and break up familiar shapes to make them blend in with their surroundings, but avoid overdoing it.
6. COLORS - If your skin, uniform, or equipment colors stand out against the background, the enemy can obviously
detect you more easily than he could otherwise. For example, ACUs stand out against a backdrop of snow-covered terrain. Once again, camouflage yourself and your equipment to blend with the surroundings.
7. DISPERSION - This means spreading individuals, vehicles, and equipment over a wide area. The enemy can detect a bunch of Soldiers more easily than they can detect a lone Soldier. Spread out. Unit SOP or unit leaders vary distances between you and your fellow Soldiers depending on the terrain, degree of visibility, and enemy situation.
8. PREPARATION - Before camouflaging, study the terrain and vegetation of the area in which you are operating. Next, pick and use the camouflage material that best blends with the area. When moving from one area to another, change camouflage as needed to blend with the surroundings. Take grass, leaves, brush, and other material from your location and apply it to your uniform and equipment, and put face paint on your skin.
9. INDIVIDUAL TECHNIQUES:
a. HELMET - Camouflage your helmet with the issue helmet cover or make a cover of cloth or burlap that is colored to blend with the terrain. Leaves, grass, or sticks can also be attached to the cover. Use camouflage bands, strings, burlap strips, or rubber bands to hold those in place. If you have no material for a helmet cover, disguise and dull helmet surface with irregular patterns of paint or mud.
b. UNIFORM - The ACU has a jacket, trousers, and patrol cap in a new universal camouflage pattern. However, it may be necessary to add more camouflage to make the uniform blend better with the surroundings. To do this, put mud on the uniform or attach leaves, grass, or small branches to it. Too much camouflage, however, may draw attention. When operating on snow-covered ground wear overwhites/garments to help blend with the snow. If overwhites are not issued, use white cloth, such as white bed sheets, to get the same effect.
c. SKIN - Exposed skin reflects light and may draw the enemy’s attention. Even very dark skin, because of its natural oil, will reflect light. The advanced camouflage face paint in compact form comes both with and without insect repellent. The active ingredient of the repellant is N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide (commonly known as DEET). The camouflage face paint provides visual and near-IR camouflage protection. The version with DEET also repels insects for eight hours. Both are furnished in compact form, and contain a full-sized, unbreakable, stainless steel mirror. Both compacts contain five compartments of pigmented formulations (green, loam, sand, white, and black). The compacts provide sufficient material for 20 applications of green, loam, and sand, and 10 applications of black and white. The compact is suitable for multi-terrain environmental conditions from arctic to desert. Face paints with insect repellent are supplied in a tan colored compact, while the non-repellent face paints are furnished in an olive drab compact for quick identification. When applying camouflage to your skin, work with a buddy (in pairs) and help each other. Apply a two-color combination of camouflage pigment in an irregular pattern. Do not apply camouflage paint if there is a chance of frostbite. The pigment may prevent other Soldiers from recognizing the whitish discoloration, the first symptoms of the skin freezing. Note: Advanced camouflage face paint with insect repellent, national stock number (NSN) 6840-01-493-7334, or without insect repellent, NSN 6850-01-493-7309. Paint shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, and chin) with a dark color. Paint shadow areas (around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin) with a light color. In addition to the face, paint the exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands. Palms of hands are not normally camouflaged if arm-and-hand signals are to be used. Remove all jewelry to further reduce shine or reflection. When camouflage sticks/compacts are not issued, use burnt cork, bark, charcoal, lamp black, or light-colored mud.
A camouflage area most overlooked is camouflaging exposed skin. Shooting from the prone or shooting from behind objects exposes your face and hands offering the enemy a signature to target if you do not cover the reflection caused by the skin's oil. Even very dark skin must be covered, because of its natural oils. Camouflage face paint compacts can be purchased with or without insect repellent and offer a wide range of colors (green, loam, sand, white, and black) that can be combined for effective camouflage in any environment. When applying camouflage to your skin, work with another person (a buddy) in order to ensure you are covering all exposed areas. When applying camouflage always apply a two-color combination of camouflage color, or pigment, in an irregular pattern. When applying camouflage to the face always paint the shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, and chin) with a dark color. Paint shadow areas of the face (around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin) with a light color. In addition to camouflaging the face, individuals must also paint the exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands. Palms of hands are not normally camouflaged if arm-and-hand signals are to be used. Remove all jewelry to further reduce shine or reflection. When camouflage sticks or camouflage compacts are not available, use burnt cork (from a wine bottle)bark, charcoal, lamp black/soot, or light-colored mud. The attached table from FM 3-21.75 The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills manual provides a quick reference sheet of how to apply camouflage to the face. Applying camouflage is a basic skill that must be practiced in order to ensure proficiency and also to gain a better understanding of what works and what does work for you as an individual. Always carry a camouflage compact or a camouflage stick in your load bearing vest so it is easily accessible.
If you live in a cold weather climate you should consider purchasing winter camouflage. This is an area often overlooked when gathering equipment. Midway USA is offering a military surplus white poncho for $6.99 at the following link Military Surplus German Poncho Snow Camo. The poncho is an idea over garment for covering you and your rucksack during movements or when stationary. The poncho is made out of a heavy fabric material that is designed for protection from light snow and concealment.