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Stay Concealed and Stay Alive

Stay Concealed and Stay Alive

Concealment and staying hidden is the only way to survive in more than one scenario.

In this article we will focus on concealment and staying hidden. Using our natural surroundings and the right camouflage, one can remain undetected during critical survival scenarios for hours, days, or weeks.  

If you would like to brush up on other important factors outside of concealment, heck out our Ultimate Bushcraft and Survival Guide

We will touch on these topics during this article.  

  1. Self Concealment
  2. Shelter Concealment  
  3. Fire Concealment
  4. Infrared  / Thermal Concealment

1. Self Concealment 

Concealment of yourself is the name of the game. If those against you find everything you own, at least don't let them find you. 

Concealment of yourself begins with the proper camouflage. Proper camouflage begins with knowing your environment. Below is a guide that kind of give one an idea of proper camouflages using proper seasons throughout the United States. 


Camouflage Map by Season and area


Camouflage map for winter by area

Finding the area you're heading too and planning for the proper concealment ahead of time ill sea loads of worry from your mind. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, and the proper camouflage is no exception to that rule. 

Check out these examples of selecting the proper camouflage in the correct area at the correct time. All three factors have all the difference between them finding you and them never knowing you where there. 

Finnish M05 Winter

Camouflage in correct environment

German Flecktarn Winter 

Finnish M05 summer

Camoflauge in correct environment

 If for whatever reason you find yourself in unfriendly territory or an unplanned hide out, you'll need to find another option. Using dead foliage and dirt can help bring bright colors down to a more earthy tone as well as break up solid colors be creating a natural pattern. If you find yourself with a minimal amount of clothes and need to get hides quick, pull a page out of our favorite action movies for the quick guide and hope for the best!

Dutch thinking on his feet

Natural camouflage using mud

Rambo understood the assignment 

Rambo using mud as camouflage


2. Shelter Concealment  

If you are in a Survival Scenario for a longer period of time, you will have to build a shelter. Having your shelter uncovered by someone might be the end of any glimpse of field "luxury" as you know it or even worse, incapacitation. 

If you are knowingly heading into the field and have had the time to do the critical research on camouflage for where you are heading, you're already a step in the right direction. 

Using camouflage tarps, nets, and other items in your pack you brought along will only aid in your survival and help you accomplish what needs to get done without worrying about other things such as detection. 

 Concealed German Flecktarn Shelter using natural surroundings to insulate and bland hard edges. Essential for proper concealment and pattern disruption. 

Flecktarn Shelter

Despite being out in the open, the proper camouflage even in a field is more difficult to see. 

Concealed Shelter

If you failed to plan ahead for camouflage and find yourself in a scenario needing a concealed shelter, then your only option is to build one out of natural surroundings. Using the natural surroundings for camouflage my in fact be the best way to blend in.

However, the constant moving around it will take in order to acquire building materials and construct a shelter, you take the risk of being seen and then unfortunatley captured  or forced to move further inland shortly after. 

Gathering materials for a natural concealed shelter is exhausting and time consuming. However, it may be your only option if you failed to plan accordingly. 

Gathering building materials for natural shelter

This shelter is pretty decent. Concealed from 3 sides this is a great shelter that will have you out of site and even better, out of mind. 

3. Fire Concealment 

In many survival scenarios where evasion and concealment are important. You will want to conceal your fire, making it less visible to others in the area. Luckily for us, humans have been using fire for a long time and trying to hide it at night to stay hidden has always been a challenge.

Using what we have learned from military history and our grandfathers and great grandfathers, we've heard stories about how they used to conceal fires in the field from the enemy. 

They made what is called a Dakota Fire Hole. 

Dakota Fire Hole

Dakota Fire holes are simple to build, effective and highly concealable. placement is key as you'll want to maximize the airflow and overhead brush to help burn wood and help break up the smoke. Using a Dakota Fire Hole at night is an excellent way to stay concealed even with the smoke. 

Dakota Fire Hole


4. Infrared  / Thermal Concealment 

Staying hidden from the naked eye is one thing, but when drones and infrared looking devices come into play...thats a completely different story.

As we know infrared looking devices work by detecting the thermal energy or heat emitted by the scene being observed and converts it into an electronic signal. This signal is then processed to produce an image. 

Ghost Hood IRR Camoflauge

It takes some additional planning and or steps to remain hidden by infrared  / thermal looking devices. No worries, we are going to go over what you need. 

In a desert environment, the ground temperature is very hot making it ones personal heat signature more then minimal. However, at night in the desert or in many other environments we aren't so lucky. 

Getting covered with a survival blanket with mylar coating id the best possible short term solution when in a pinch. However, the concealment only works if you bring it with you and plan ahead. 

Thermal Hiding

We have seen this IRR camouflage technology become overly prevalent in the Russia - Ukraine Conflict where drones and night attacks are ongoing. We expect the technology for IRR concealment to become better as fast as the looking devices do. 


Concealment is important and might be the most important item to think about before going into the field. Knowing your environment, planning, and preparing your gear accordingly will be the ultimate difference between survival and your demise. 

We recommend you do the research and get the equipment you need as some camouflage patterns are "older" and the market is drying up everyday on certain items. We do our best here at Better Bushcraft to hold a vast majority of camouflage products from foreign countries in order to maximize our ability to help others conceal in any given environment.

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