The CozyBag Wilderness is finally available in Camouflage colour and has a soft and silent material that allows even more discreet wildlife observation. Among the few license-free patterns available for small quantity production, we liked this so-called “block-camo” most. It blends well into different environments and doesn’t look too “army” style.
On one hand, camouflage patterns are very fashionable at the moment, so you can just wear it to look cool on the campsite. But there are many reasons where camouflage is an advantage. Maybe you just want an early start up the mountain and bivouac at the start of the trail. Or you want to watch some wildlife at a water hole early in the morning. Or you have to sit still in the bushes a long time to wait for the perfect time as a photographer or hunter.
In that cases it is important to know how you will be seen by others, specifically by animals you want to observe. Our camo pattern is a “breakup pattern” that helps to blur the shape of your body against different backgrounds. Most forest animals like deer, goats or boars don’t recognize very detailed colours or shapes, but rely on hearing and smell to sense danger. As an approximation to their vision, we used black-and-white pictures to evaluate the camo-pattern. Try to find me hiding in this picture:
Once I drop the hood you see my face shining like a lightbulb! That shows another important point, you will also need to hide your face, hands and camera. Gloves, balaclava and a camo-patterned bandana can do the job.
Additionally, as some animals are believed to see light from the UV spectrum and have a good sense of smell, it’s important to wash the CozyBag with detergent that has no colour brighteners and no perfume. Check for eco-products or special detergents from hunting shops.
Human vision is much better than a deer’s, so it is easier for us to spot even a camouflaged person. This is one reason the military has hundreds of patterns for each place they need to operate. But for our usual forest animals, the most important thing is to stay silent, don’t move and pay attention to the wind direction. Our new camo model has a brushed outer fabric, that minimizes noise and isn’t shiny, but is still water repellent. The brownish colour reflects the fact that most forests look brown at eye level and also most animals have brown fur, so it is a good colour to blend in. Here is again our title picture in black-and-white to show the difference in vision:
As a general camo-pattern our Wilderness will of course not fit every situation. Also be aware that birds have an extremely acute vision, even better than humans, so it’s very difficult to hide from their view, short of being transparent. Birdwatchers will prefer photo-realistic camouflage that is exactly designed for the type of terrain they are in. However, for some fun testing we played hide-and-seek with the kids and they also walked past me a few times before we pointed them the direction where to look.
© Photos courtesy of A. Paggiaro