Camouflage is an important part of gear for most hunters. While it is not a must-have, many choose to wear disguising clothing for better stalking opportunities. If you’re considering updating your wardrobe with camouflage, we do invite you to stay, as our brand ambassadors – Ann Pedersen from Denmark and Stefan Orman from Sweden – are sharing their tips for choosing the right disguise.
Ann: I often choose the pattern based on the area I’m going to hunt in. If there are many stones, I choose the color according to the type of stones or mountains I have to be in. If it is grass and fields I’m going out to hunt on, I choose the colors based on the type of crops in the area.
If I’m going hunting in the forest, it depends on the season, whether it is light or dark shades. Here in the Nordics, the colors change a lot between seasons. So, if I want to blend in perfectly in the forest, I need 3 different camouflages for different times of the year.
Stefan: There are so many different patterns, it’s almost easier to say what you do not want! For me, the camo must have the right UV reflection. Keep in mind that a color that looks right in the spectrum visible to humans might not have the right UV reflection in the UV spectrum – it might appear too dark or too bright. Now, some animals can see in the UV spectrum, and if your camo reflection in the UV spectrum is different than in the normal one, they will see you extremely easily. And even if the game you’re after can’t see UV, the animals that do – like some bird species or deer – might give your presence away. UV reflection is very important in snow camouflage, too.
Also, I recommend choosing something quiet. This often depends on whether the pieces come with or without a membrane – usually, the ones with a membrane are noisier than those without. But of course, there are exceptions to this, and it’s a give-and-take situation depending on the climate and your particular needs. But either way, it should be as breathable, lightweight, and quiet as possible.
Some lightweight ghillie will also help since it breaks your silhouette, and animals will have trouble recognizing you. Breaking the points of your silhouette is the main purpose of camouflage. Staying in the shadows can also help with it, so try to be in a shade while hunting as much as you can.
Ann: First of all, it is important to pick a fabric that’s soft on the outside, so when something scratches against it – like branches or bushes – you can’t hear it. This is especially important in the forest as the slightest sound can scare the animal away. In fact, there is often a higher echo in the forest than in the field.
And for smell, I do not use anything. I make sure to wash my hunting clothes with a special washing powder made for hunters. Animals see particles from normal washing detergents, and therefore it becomes easier for them to spot a hunter. Furthermore, I do not put on perfume, and I make sure that I do not smell of sweat by rinsing myself with water and no soap under the armpits before departure.
Stefan: I would also add that our usual washing detergents can make the camo clothes shine in a different way or even ruin the clothing entirely, so it’s really important to choose the right detergent.
As for the smell, I mostly use the wind as my ally. It’s really useful, but you should know how different animals behave with it. For example, if you are hunting a predator, they are going to walk into the wind. If you try to lure a fox and if you have wind blowing to your face, the fox will come behind your back. You basically want the wind blowing at your face when you are hunting.
Sometimes, I hang old clothes that smell of me around so that animals would feel like my presence is a part of the terrain. And sometimes, I just walk through the area and then backtrack my own steps. A lot of animals can tell what direction my trail is heading, and they don’t think I’ll come back the same way.
For me, the camo must have the right UV reflection. Some animals can see in the UV spectrum, and if your camo reflection is UV, they will see you extremely easily.
Ann: I mostly wear camouflage clothing when I know I will be following an animal for a long while. But when on community hunts with shotguns, I mostly only wear solid color hunting clothes.
If I am hiding from birds, I also use camouflage – this one has to cover everything but the eyes. Birds do see pretty much everything from above!
Stefan: Any daytime hunt when I’m doing a spot and stalk. I like breaking up my silhouette with a good camo like a ghillie.
At night it’s not as important as in the daytime, but even then, different colors will reflect the ambient light differently. So regardless if it’s day or night, spring, summer, or autumn, use the colors that match the environment. If they’re too dark or too bright, your movement will be easy to spot, and it could give your presence away.
Stefan: I usually bring a small pop-up tent and some netting to hide in if I find a good spot. It also protects me from rain and wind. But do remember that blinds are useless if you don’t put camouflage on your face and shoulders.
Being comfortable is important as it helps your mental stamina, so you can stay focused for a longer period. If you’re wet and miserable, you’re probably not going to be able to keep focused for a very long time.
Ann: I can recommend camouflage for everyone with confidence. Animals use the perimeter of the hunter to find out who and where we are. It’s harder for them to see us if we blend in with the background.
I make sure to wash my hunting clothes with a special washing powder made for hunters. Animals see particles from normal washing detergents, and therefore it becomes easier for them to spot a hunter.