While on the walk about, I did a quick comparison for popular camouflage effectiveness in a wooded setting where no leaves other than coniferous trees were green. It was basically a ‘late Fall,’ Winter, and ‘early Spring’ 3 season scenario. The results were surprising. The three patterns compared were: Multicam, US Woodland, and 80’s vintage Flecktarn.
The results were surprising, to say the least. All pictures were taken from the same spot about 20 meters distant, and all tested camouflage was in the same spot, give or take a few inches. Pictures were taken in the late afternoon within a 10 minute span. Not scientific by any means, but you are seeing what we saw.
Next time, we’ll do it with vegetation, as the season gets warmer, because I’m fairly certain all of the patterns will have a much increased level of effectiveness. YMMV.
Test 1: Multicam – Ever popular as the the recent, ‘latest and greatest.’
- Coniferous Screen: Not too awfully bad. Without movement to give him away, the model would not likely be noticed in time to save the observer from whatever the camouflaged person had in mind.
- Sapling Screen: Might as well be standing in the open. From a further distance, say maybe 75 to 100 meters, it might work for a minute or two, but generally speaking, not good.
Test 2: US Woodland, Circa 1980’s-90’s. Still in use by many survivalists (this one included) and NPT groups. Prolific, and very inexpensive from various sources, comparatively speaking.
- Coniferous Screen: Very apparent human form, especially the boonie hat and legs. During a ‘stand to’ (Dawn & Dusk) would be a lot more effective, but here, not so much.
- Sapling Screen: Model had stepped back less than a pace into the saplings, as we believed the Woodland was going to stick out like a sore thumb and wanted to see what about a dozen saplings would do….as you can see, it was surprisingly effective in the saplings themselves.
Test 3: Flecktarn – Circa 80’s/90’s. Very popular among survivalists and NPT groups, much like US Woodland. We didn’t have a uniform, but we did have a poncho, so we held it up as a screen. No human form could be seen, but the outline was stark as you will see.
- Coniferous Screen: The shape of the poncho worked against it as only straight lines, as opposed to the curves on a human form, were visible, but the worst thing was (and I like Flecktarn as a pattern) is that it turned into a black blob. No mistaking the fact that something was next to that tree.
- Sapling Screen: Surprisingly, not quite as obvious as the shot above. Still very ‘blob’ like, but more difficult to notice. This might be a great pattern for hours of reduced visibility.