How to Vanish: Part 1

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By Joel Jefferson •  4 min read

For many years the ability to disappear or blend in to one’s surrounding has become both necessary and popular, to the point that it has earned the right to be called an “art.” In this series of posts we will look at this art and how it plays a roll for the survivalist.


From hunters in centuries past to present day military and law enforcement, one common trait indians hunting buffaloamong these groups is the use of camouflage for cover and concealment. I’m sure we can all agree that all of the methods of camouflage and concealment are too numerous to mention them all. With that being said, I will cover a few of the basics in Part 1 of this series.

We’ve all seen and heard quit a bit about the “ghillie suit“, but I think its safe to say that not Sniper Ghillie Suiteveryone is going to keep one of these on hand. Perhaps because of the cost or the time and effort it takes to make one.

Not to mention if the situation were dire enough, there may not be enough response time to get into this type of gear.  Therefore, I’ll refrain from covering that particular system.

But if that’s what floats your boat, then by all means, feel free to suit up! You can even buy a ghillie suit now on Amazon.

As common sense would tell us, the type of camouflage used would or should be determined by our surroundings. I think it goes without saying that you wouldn’t use an arctic camo pattern in a wooded or desert area and vice-versa.

When In Doubt, Black Out

Camouflage doesn’t have to be that involved or costly and whenever it’s possible I always say “When In Doubt, Black Out.” Simply put, “black” is a widely used color and easily obtained. Just look at the SWAT, special forces, burglars, and even the legend of the ninja.

The list is almost endless but remember, nothing in nature is black and while it is better than hunter orange for concealment, it can still stand out in some settings like a sore thumb. The best time to use black is in low light or after dark. Lets move on.

If you want to get a great insight on blending in, just look at the animal world. The knowledge Hard to see deerfound there is almost endless. It still amazes me when I see a deer at the edge of a tree line and with a few simple movements it completely disappears from sight. You can be looking right at it and not see it.

Using Nature

When we are dealing with the art of concealment, not only should we consider colors, light, and shadow, but texture and terrain as well. This is why whenever possible one should use some of the natural things around them, such as leaves, twigs, tree bark, grass, bushes, etc.

When looking to camouflage yourself, look for areas of shine or areas that could potentially reflect light. Examples include a watch, your face, glasses, a rifle scope, jewelry, etc. I know this is probably a no-brainer for most of us, but those who may be new at this, I hope this small amount of information proves to be useful.

Wrap Up

In future articles I plan to cover a vast variety of techniques, so bear with me, keep checking back tiger stripes and by all means feel free to put in your two cents worth. Any and all knowledge is deeply appreciated, so start talking. Education is everything, but knowledge without application carries little weight!

Stay tuned for Part 2

Photos by F.C. Brake

Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here.