In most outdoor paintball environments, players utilize camouflage to decrease their visibility to other players and help them from getting shot by the opposing team. Players also find it helps to take out opponents when they least expect it.
Camo gear makes you seemingly invisible, but it does not make you invincible. Once an opposing player sees you or you fire your gun/marker, your level of invisibility dramatically decreases.
Here are some ways the military uses camo to stay undetected that can help you to boost the usefulness of camouflage during a paintball game:
There are six different variables to be aware of and monitor while you are in camouflage and trying to stay undetected.
- Shape- Straight lines, sharp corners, and perfectly flat surfaces are not found in nature so these things will stick out to the human eye as soon as they are seen. The shape of a human is picked up pretty quickly as well because we are just programmed to be able to see other members of our species. Break up shapes of your body and gear with quick and stealthy movements like dives, crawling, and draping and loosely wrapping camo printed items around your gear and yourself. Use a scarf around your head which is one of the most recognizable parts of the body or use a 3D printed camouflage to give more layer and dimension to your disguise.
- Shine- Something that catches the eyes right away in the outdoors is the reflection of light. Natural objects don’t typically do this unless you are near a body of water. Light can reflect off of skin and gear. Some players like to use face paint, but it is just covered by the mask and ends up on gear. Gloves are a good way to cover hands and it is added safety. Flat black paintball markers are best for going undecided. There is a time for a shiny flashy gun, but not in a game where you are attempting camo.
- Shadow– Your body will, of course, cast a shadow and that shadow will be detected at some point. Find a spot to hide in a place that is in the shadows. Every barrier, tree, bush, etc. will cast a shadow as you move quietly use the shadow for shelter. Additionally, a good way to find opponents is to look for shadows near hiding places.
- Sound- Making noise is an easy giveaway to where you are. It alerts your opponent right away to the presence of something nearby that is moving around. Stay as quiet as possible with your movements and try not to talk to teammates when opposing team members are nearby. It might be good to put together some team hand signals for this reason before the game.
- Movement- This is probably the most important thing to pay attention to when trying to stay invisible. Movement is the first thing noticed by the human eye when searching out hidden objects. Remain immobile when opposing players are nearby and you are in their line of sight. Also remember that staying in one place for the entire game will get you taken out so move and when you do, do it methodically and quietly.
- Color- Different branches/ forces in the military wear different colored camouflage gear to match the environment they are in. Wear a camo pattern that is going to blend in with the surroundings of the playing field or it will be useless.
Camouflage adds a lot of fun to the game of paintball but is not a deal breaker to be able to play the game. If you do get camo, get something comfy that allows you to still have fun while playing and keep these six tips in mind to help you stay undetected.
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