Camouflage and concealment are key skills for the sniper in the field.By mastering this skill, you will make yourself harder to detect and therefore harder to be acquired and engaged as a target. Ultimately it make you a better player and attention to this skill will increase your survivability.
Finally, you need to balance your camouflage with the ability to move without restriction, access your equipment and use your weapon and optics.
The Aim Of Camouflage
The aim of camouflage is to make you blend with your surroundings, move unseen, disguise distinctive shapes and break the engagement cycle as early as possible. In order to get a hit, an enemy goes through the process of detecting a person/player, identifying that person as his opponent, acquiring a sight picture and finally pulling the trigger.
The best solution is to prevent detection, if that isn't possible then making it difficult to identify and acquire you will push the odds up in your battlefield survivability. The sniper has a great advantage here, over the regular player/infantryman, where upon he can use the greater renege of his/her weapon systems to assist in his concealment. Camouflage can be seen as working in three different ways.
Blending with the Background The need to blend with the background is the factor that most people associate immediately with camouflage. The Ghillie Suit is designed to hide the sniper against detection at close range during a chance encounter. Although the ghillie is effective it must be used in conjunction with natural camouflage and vegetation
Breaking up Distinctive Shapes The human shape is instinctively recognisable as are features such as a human face. To a soldier, shapes such as weapons, helmets and bergens are so familiar as to be instantly recognisable.
Effective camouflage seeks to disrupt these shapes through contrasting colours and breaking up outlines.
For the sniper the head and shoulders is the most prominent and must be disguised by blending in perfectly into the surrounding terrain.
The use of a front and back screen will help to achieve this.
Reducing Signature It is sometimes easy to forget that we also generate a signature outside the visual spectrum including human body heat, hot weapon parts, mugs of hot drinks etc.
Thermal signature can be reduced DY Operating on 'hard routine' when in close proximity to the enemy
Never fall into the trap of assuming that your enemy does not have night vision capability. Assume that even irregular combatants from a normal skirmish may have acquired such equipment.
WHY THINGS ARE SEEN
Whether an object is easy or difficult to see with either the naked eye or binoculars depends upon several factors. They can be remembered as the "Seven S's:
Shape Some things can be recognised instantly by their shape, particularly if they contrast with their surroundings. Two easily distinguished shapes which require disguise for concealment are: The clear cut shape of a soldier's outline and the smooth round top of a combat helmet/headdress.
Silhouette Any object silhouetted against a contrasting round is clearly visible. Smooth flat backgrounds such as water, a field, or worst of all the sky, should be considered dangerous. An object may also be silhouetted if it is against the background of another colour.
For concealment, choose an uneven background such as a hedge, bush, trees or broken ground.
Shine. If an object has a texture that contrasts with its surroundings it is clearly visible. The surface of the combat helmet and skin contrast violently with most backgrounds and need to be disguised to assist concealment.
Be aware of items that glint in sunlight which can be seen from long distances, the most likely cause of this for the sniper being the front lens of the riflescope. For the sniper this is simply called the "scone ring
Shadow In sunlight, an object casts a shadow which gives away its presence. For concealment, keep in the shade if possible. The shade affords cover and there are no 'tell-tale' shadows. Remember that as the sun moves, so do the shadows. Trap shadow, such as in wooded areas, offers the sniper the best form of concealment.
Spacing Natural objects are never regularly spaced. Regular spacing means man-made objects. For concealment avoid regular spacing, although this is not really a problem for the sniper pair.
Sudden Movement The eye is attracted to any movement but especially sudden movement. For concealment, movement has to be slow and cautious.
Signature People, vehicles and equipment all have a thermal signature. While camouflaged in every other way, it is possible to see heat sources such as an engine block, a hot gun barrel, Hexi stove and a human body when using a thermal Imager
Weapon Signature The traditional tell tale muzzle and firing noises are efficiently hidden by snipers using the tactical suppressor. The muzzle and firing noises weapon signature is still one of the biggest causes of detection and is one of the biggest reasons why the firer is seen, especially in low light or in the dark where it may be easier to locate sounds.