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#158503 - 12/08/11 10:19 PM Camo camping?
Jackamo Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 50
Loc: Central Oregon
In an earlier post in MYOG, referring to tarp tents, someone had mentioned:

"I am guessing that camo would be a very bad color to use for camping in crowded areas"

is camouflage camping a faux pas? ive always preferred drab colors to bright, especially when camping. for one, it lets me be seen when i want to be seen, and not when i dont. for me, it also fall along the lines of leave no trace. if i can be 10 or 20 yards off the trail, and hikers/animals can walk past me without ever knowing i was there, it seems like less of an impact.

i can understand why people wouldnt want to be associated with the military or hunters, or would want to be identified by hunters as human, but in areas where there is no hunting, are there other good reasons to use day-glo tents and gear?
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He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
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#158505 - 12/08/11 10:29 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Having a good nap and waking abruptly to find someone's tripped over your rig is sort of not fun. Particularly if you're in a solo tent or bivy.

Fortunately I don't appear to wake up when people trip over the guylines on my hammock setup.
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#158508 - 12/08/11 11:30 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I think the use or avoidance of camoflauge is just a matter of personal preference. Yes, it has definite associations with the military and with game hunting, but people vary widely in how they view the military and game hunting, so you can't control how they will view your camo tent, either.

I try not to worry about such stuff. My own preference is for duller sorts of colors for my tent (light green, light grey, pale yellow-white, or tan), but not actual camoflauge designs. Day-glo colors work better for smaller items that are more easily lost or overlooked. But that's just me. Suit yourself. HYOH. grin

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#158509 - 12/08/11 11:40 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
It depends upon the situation. In winter conditions with snow and restricted visibility, I definitely prefer bright colors. I don't particularly care for camo, but under "normal" circumstances, it makes sense to avoid garish colors.

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#158510 - 12/08/11 11:52 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: oldranger]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1717
Loc: Napa, CA
We have both. The tent we normally use is a dark grey/blue color that seems to fade into the background a lot of the time. But we also have a larger 3-man tent that is bright yellow.

When my wife gets up in the middle of the night, she has been known to wander off and not be able to find the tent again.

I keep a light on for her now!

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#158518 - 12/09/11 09:45 AM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
With everything else, it depends. I used to be a camo all the way kinda guy. But, becoming a scout leader has help me see the other side. For my scouts, I make sure all their tent tie outs are as bright as possible. I also spray paint the top of their tent pegs with hunter orange spray paint. Of course, the tent body's color doesn't really matter when it comes to boys running into it cause they can't see it.
Incidentally, I have a ACU camo tarp for my hammock. I have been taking pictures of it for the last 2 years at every campsite I have pitched it. It hasn't blended in to any of them. Basically, it is a terrible camouflage. Hopefully the Army will get rid of it soon.
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#158530 - 12/09/11 01:02 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: finallyME]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
"Silnylon gray" blends into the landscape almost as well as camoflage. Not all silnylon is this color, but this is the color Tarptent uses exclusively and other "cottage" manufacturers have it available.

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#158532 - 12/09/11 01:15 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I don't mind camo, but I don't use it myself.

Personally, I like my tent and pack to be at least a highly contrasting color to the environment I'm in. This mainly has to do with most of my camping being well off the beaten path.

In our thick forests here it's pretty easy to be less than 100 ft from your tent and not be able to easily see it, even in the bright of day.

My old pack is a sort of a dark olive drab color and it blends in too well here with the forest. There have been more than a few times I've set it down to go explore and went a bit further than I originally intended and had to do a bit of searching for my pack when I was done.

Now I tie blaze orange survey tape on it, that helps a lot, but if I were to buy a new one, and had a choice of colors, I'd choose something brightly colored even if it were ugly. Same thing with a tent or tarp.

I think that if I did most of my camping in designated sites, or near the trail, I'd prefer something more subtle.
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#158543 - 12/09/11 02:43 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: billstephenson]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6369
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Reflective guylines! Gossamer Gear EZC2 or Kelty TripTease (heavier) are great! (Also Lawson Equipment Dyneema Ironwire, which I forgot.) Shine your headlamp towards your tent and you can see the reflective guylines clear across a big meadow! Yet in daylight they aren't all that visible.

I prefer to get way off the trail (like a quarter mile), but sometimes there's no choice but to camp close, even where it's illegal--especially in the Rockies where the only other choice is under beetle-killed trees ready to come down.





Edited by OregonMouse (12/09/11 09:02 PM)
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#158567 - 12/10/11 01:22 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: OregonMouse]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
I've tended towards the drab/non camo side of this choice, but have recently been investing in brighter gear to the chagrin of my wife. Two reasons: the orginally mentioned "I don't want to get shot by accident" and also because if lori and old ranger have to come looking for me, I want to have stuff to put on that is easy for them to see.

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#158577 - 12/10/11 07:30 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Steadman]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Bravo!

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#158579 - 12/10/11 10:10 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: oldranger]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
You and I might like it from a practical perspective, but my wife isn't thrilled by the clementine colored Patagonia nano-puff pullover I picked up. "Only for backpacking."

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#158766 - 12/15/11 12:47 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Steadman]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
My better gear is the puke color that everyone else would not buy. I buy the left-overs when they go on sale. The problem with camo is often they want extra. Wal*Mart hunter's gear section does have good value on camo stuff.

I thought most animals do not have color vision. If that is the case why do hunters do the camo thing?
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"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#158768 - 12/15/11 01:00 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: ringtail]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Because it looks tough. I am old enough to remember when we could slay deer wearing plain old war surplus khakis.

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#158776 - 12/15/11 03:39 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: ringtail]
Jackamo Offline
member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 50
Loc: Central Oregon
Originally Posted By ringtail
I thought most animals do not have color vision. If that is the case why do hunters do the camo thing?


I think its more the pattern that breaks up your form and makes it harder to be seen versus solid colors. I've seen a lot of hunting gear in Realtree Blaze, where its the standard realtree pattern in day glo orange. I'm assuming that this would break up your form to critters that see in shades of grey, but still make you visible to other hunters. It could also be for fashion, as most realtree clothing seems to be.
_________________________
He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.
-Samuel Johnson

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#158798 - 12/15/11 08:58 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
I love khakis; I'm just moving away from the color to make me easier to spot. My wife had a hard enough time with tangerine, let alone visability green.

BTW, OD green is also remarkably effective camoflage. That digital stuff the military is buying now can be close to magic, if the shades are right.

My friends who hunt tell me that the deer are colorblind, and the turkeys aren't. Which can make turkey hunting season fairly hazardous.

I have no idea why anyone would want realtree blaze, but I'm assuming if you went into Dicks and asked, someone would be able to tell you.


Edited by Steadman (12/15/11 08:59 PM)

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#159015 - 12/20/11 06:13 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Steadman]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I'm not big on camo; I just find it unappealing regardless of any underlying association with hunting or the military. My tent is a cream and maroon color scheme. The really bright colors for tents that look like my cycling windbreaker (screaming lime yellow or whatever that color is called) are annoying as well.

Two of my sleeping bags are red or red/gray, which I like for some reason. The other is blue. My parka is red as you can see in the photo. What I like about that is that in an emergency, it would be highly visible from a helicopter. My other gear is mostly black.
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#159040 - 12/21/11 11:45 AM Re: Camo camping? [Re: TomD]
PappyBanjo Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 20
Loc: Maryland
I forget the name of the comedian who talks about camo in his stand-up routine. He says:

"I noticed that my brother-in-law had a camo wallet and I asked him why. 'Because I HUNT,' he said. I told him, 'Yeah, you drop that in the woods and you'll hunt alright."
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"Just enough to stay warm, dry, hydrated, and fed."

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#159041 - 12/21/11 11:47 AM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Steadman]
Tye Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 76
Loc: Texas
Steadman said.. "I have no idea why anyone would want realtree blaze, but I'm assuming if you went into Dicks and asked, someone would be able to tell you."
....because the large ruminants (deer, elk, moose, etc.) that those hunter people go out for are color blind, but can still see very well regardless. So, the blaze camo is to keep high visibility yet, provide contrast and shapes to break up the obvious outline for those color blind large game.

While I'm on here, I used to LOVE camo; being from South Louisiana, it was common place clothing, even for school. Nowdays, I avoid camo like the plague. If you wear "newer" versions of camo, you are associated with hunting. If you wear the "older" woodland type camo, which I grew up with, then you are associated with either those para-military fruits or one of the ethnic arian groups. I actually had one of those arian type fools approach me once when I was wearing camo bdu's. I never wore them again. I live in Texas now, so I have no idea how other parts of the country are.

As far as tents go, camo is quite dark inside. The lighter colors, bring in lots of light. It is easy to hide if you need or want to, even with bright backpacks and tents. It is very hard to make yourself seen if you have to with out any bright colors.

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#159053 - 12/21/11 02:19 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Tye]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
Because we have several military bases here, Camo will get you military discounts (without you asking for it - even if you don't qualify and didn't "want" said discount.) Heck, since I cut my husband's hair (not well) and can only do one length (shaved) he gets discounts 'cuz they think he's military.

So it is all region based. Which means I never want to go to South Louisiana. =( Well it is hot, humid and flat there, so I guess I didn't want to go there anyways. (well I went to Louisiana once, in June '10, so I'm not claiming to be an expert on Louisiana...)

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#159071 - 12/21/11 08:32 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Tye]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
Tye - Thanks, I knew that there was a practical reason for it, but didn't know what it was.

PappyBanjo - heh, heh, heh wink

Steadman

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#159275 - 12/27/11 09:14 AM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
Blue_Ridge_Ninja Offline
member

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 98
Loc: North Georgia
I'm no fashionista and I've never been one to put much stock in what other people think. I damn sure don't go backpacking to impress anyone or gain their approval. My Clark hammock is camo. I got the camo for no other reason than because I like it. I also like keeping a low profile camp. Most of the rest of my gear is standard civilian-type and fairly colorful.

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#159393 - 12/31/11 08:02 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jackamo]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
well you do stand out less in camo...duh goodjob
Sometimes you might not want your tent to be highly visible, or you might wish you could just sit still and disapear. Ever run into a hungry 500 black bear in november? You might wish you had a guilly(spelling) [a snipers cover/jacket that looks like a bush] so that you could just sit down and freeze and be invisible.

Besides that military surplus gear is rugged and for people who camp a lot and some of it not so gentle, mil camo clothes might be a good idea.
At least the pants work well for camping. Hmm - I haven't had a pair for a long time - I must've out grown them. I think I would like to get another pair for hiking in the lava out back.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#159397 - 12/31/11 10:31 PM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Steadman]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
It would be neat if they made tie-die tents! Some manufacturers are making tents with multiple colors on the pannels. Marmot seems to do this a lot. I am going towards bright colors because my vision gets worse every year and I get more forgetful every year. If I look inside a black bag I see nothing! I actually thought I lost my rain pants on an entire trip- then found them in the bottom of the pack when I got home! I think cameo looks good. Less boring than plain gray. Not sure why more cameo gear is not made. I agree with Bill- I like a bright tent so I can see it from afar when I go off on day hikes. I have a Tarptent - and I do not like the gray color. I have already had "oh S, where is my tent" moments.

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#159406 - 01/01/12 10:44 AM Re: Camo camping? [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I suspect that if I met your 500 lb. bear while wearing a gilly (sp?) suit, crouching down would result in the bear wondering why a hiker peed on the bush instead of the tree...

Happy New Year, Jim.

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