The sniper team can use three basic methods of camouflage. It may use one of these methods or a combination of all three to accomplish its objective. The three basic methods a sniper team can use are hiding, blending, and deceiving.

a. Hiding. Hiding is used to conceal the body from observation by lying behind an objector thick vegetation.

Blending. Blending is used to match personal camouflage with the surrounding area to a point where the sniper cannot be seen.

Deceiving. Deceiving is used to fool the enemy into false conclusions about the location of the sniper team.


The two types of camouflage that the sniper team can use are natural and artificial.

a. Natural. Natural camouflage is vegetation or materials that are native to the given area. The sniper augments his appearance by using natural camouflage.

b. Artificial. Artificial camouflage is any material or substance that is produced for the purpose of coloring or covering something in order to conceal it. Camouflage sticks or face paints are used to cover all exposed areas of skin such as face, hands, and the back of the neck. The parts of the face that form shadows should be lightened, and the parts that shine should be darkened. The three types of camouflage patterns the sniper team uses are striping, blotching, and combination.

(1) Striping. Used when in heavily wooded areas and when leafy vegetation is scarce.

(2) Blotching. Used when an area is thick with leafy vegetation.

(3) Combination. Used when moving through changing terrain. It is normally the best all-round pattern.


The ghillie suit is a specially made camouflage uniform that is covered with irregular patterns of garnish or netting.

a. Ghillie suits can be made from BDUs or one-piece aviator-type uniforms. Turning the uniform inside out places the pockets inside the suit. This protects items in the pockets from damage caused by crawling on the ground. The front of the ghillie suit should be covered with canvas or some type of heavy cloth to reinforce it. The knees and elbows should be covered with two layers of canvas, and the seam of the crotch should be reinforced with heavy nylon thread since these areas are prone to wear out quicker.

left picture: back right picture: front with reinforcements

Above: Elbow reinforcements
Below: Jacket colored in beige-brown-green colors for a good basic ghilliesuit.

b. The garnish or netting should cover the shoulders and reach down to the elbows on the sleeves. The garnish applied to the back of the suit should be long enough to cover the sides of the sniper when he is in the prone position. A bush hat is also covered with garnish or netting. The garnish should belong enough to breakup the outline of the sniper’s neck, but it should not be so long in front to obscure his vision or hinder movement. e. A veil can be made from a net or piece of cloth covered with garnish or netting. It covers the weapon and sniper’s head when in a firing position. The veil can be sewn into the ghillie suit or carried separately. A ghillie suit does not make one invisible and is only a camouflage base. Natural vegetation should be added to help blend with the surroundings.


1. Obtain an old pair of coveralls,this is the base of the suit. In a pinch a fatigue blouse and pants will suffice.

2. Get some burlap from your local fabric store (About 4 meters will do). The more burlap you use the more effective (up to a point) will the Ghillie Suit be, however it will rapidly become heavy,(Army Ghillie Suits weigh up to 7 Kg or more).

3. Dye the burlap some dark to medium green (Rit dye, try to match foliage green). Instructions are on the dye package, Dye a little (half a meter) brown.

4. Cut the burlap into strips 4-7 cm wide and anywhere from 40-80 cm long (mix up the lengths and widths)

5. Sew one end of each strip to the outside of your foundation, all over it. Space them so that the ends of the upper strips will overlap the attachment points of strips lower down. The sides do not need to overlap. Fill in by tying vines, small foliated branches, grass, etc. to the suit by knotting the strips around it, or to sew strings or cord at random over the suit to tie these material in.


The sniper team may have to use field-expedient camouflage if other means are not available. Instead of camouflage sticks or face paint, the team may use charcoal, walnut stain, mud, or whatever works. The team will not use oil or grease due to the strong odor. Natural vegetation can be attached to the body by boot bands or rubber bands or by cutting holes in the uniform.

a. The sniper team also camouflages its equipment. However, the camouflage must not interfere with or hinder the operation of the equipment.

(1) Rifles. The sniper weapon system and the M16/M203 should also. be camouflaged to break up their outlines. The sniper weapon system can be carried in a "drag bag" (Figure 4-2), which is a rifle case made of canvas and covered with garnish similar to the ghillie suit.

(2) Optics. Optics used by the sniper team must also be camouflaged to breakup the outline and to reduce the possibility of light reflecting off the lenses. Lenses can be covered with mesh-type webbing or nylon hose material.

(3) ALICE pack. If the sniper uses the ALICE pack while wearing the ghillie suit, he must camouflage the pack the same as the suit.

b. The sniper team alters its camouflage to blend in with changes in vegetation and terrain in different geographic areas. Examples of such changes are as follows:

(1) Snow areas. Blending of colors is more effective than texture camouflage in snowy areas. In areas with heavy snow or in wooded areas with trees covered with snow, a full white camouflage suit should be worn. In areas with snow on the ground but not on the trees, white trousers with green and brown tops should be worn.

(2) Desert areas. In sandy desert areas that have little vegetation, the blending of tan and brown colors is important. In these areas, the sniper team must make full use of the terrain and the vegetation that is available to remain unnoticed.

(3) Jungle areas. In jungle areas, textured camouflage, contrasting colors, and natural vegetation must be used.

(4) Urban areas. In urban areas, the sniper team’s camouflage should be a blended color (shades of gray usually work best). Textured camouflage is not as important in these environments.

c. The sniper team must be camouflage conscious from the time it departs on a mission until it returns. It must constantly use the terrain, vegetation, and shadows to remain undetected. At no other time during the mission will the sniper team have a greater tendency to be careless than during its return to a friendly area. Fatigue and undue haste may override caution and planning. Therefore, the team needs to pay close attention to its camouflage discipline on return from missions.


The proper understanding and application of the principles of cover and concealment used with the proper application of camouflage protects the sniper team from enemy observation.

a. Cover is natural or artificial protection from the fire of enemy weapons. Natural cover (ravines, hollows, reverse slopes) and artificial cover (fighting positions, trenches, walls) protect the sniper team from flat trajectory fires and partly protect it from high-angle fires and the effects of nuclear explosions. Even the smallest depression or fold in the ground may provide some cover when the team needs it most. A 6-inch depression, properly used, may provide enough cover to save the sniper team under fire. Snipers must always look for and take advantage of all the cover that the terrain provides. By combining this habit with proper movement techniques, the team can protect itself from enemy fire. To get protection from enemy fire when moving, the team uses routes that put cover between itself and the enemy.


b. Concealment is natural or artificial protection from enemy observation. The surroundings may provide natural concealment that needs no change before use (bushes, grass, and shadows). The sniper team creates artificial concealment from materials such as burlap and camouflage nets, or it can move natural materials (bushes, leaves, and grass) from their original location. The sniper team must consider the effects of the change of seasons on the concealment provided by both natural and artificial materials. ‘he principles of concealment include the following


(1) Avoid unnecessary movement. Remain still—movement attracts attention. The position of the sniper team is concealed when the team remains still, but the sniper’s position is easily detected when the team moves. Movement against a stationary background makes the team stand out clearly. When the team must change positions, it moves carefully over a concealed route to a new position, preferably during limited visibility. Snipers move inches at a time, slowly and cautiously, always scanning ahead for the next position.

(2) Use all available concealment. Available concealment includes the following

(a) Background. Background is important the sniper team must blend with it to prevent detection. The trees, bushes, grass, earth, and man-made structures that form the background vary in color and appearance. This makes it possible for the team to blend with them. The team selects trees or bushes to blend with the uniform and to absorb the figure outline. Snipers must always assume they are under observation.

(b) Shadows. The sniper team in the open stands out clearly, but the sniper team in the shadows is difficult to see. Shadows exist under most conditions, day and night. A sniper team should never fire from the edge of a wood line; it should fire from a position inside the wood line (in the shade or shadows provided by the tree tops).

(3) Stay low to observe. A low silhouette makes it difficult for the enemy to see a sniper team. Therefore, the team observes from a crouch, a squat, or a prone position.


(4) Avoid shiny reflections. Reflection of light on a shiny surface instantly attracts attention and can be seen from great distances. The sniper uncovers his rifle scope only when indexing and aiming at a target. He uses optics cautiously in bright sunshine because of the reflections they cause.

(5) Avoid skylining. Figures on the skyline can be seen from a great distance, even at night, because a dark outline stands out against the lighter sky. The silhouette formed by the body makes a good target.

(6) Alter familiar outlines. Military equipment and the human body are familiar outlines to the enemy. The sniper team alters or disguises these revealing shapes by using the ghillie suit or outer smock that is covered with irregular patterns of garnish. The team must alter its outline from the head to the soles of the boots.

(7) Observe noise discipline. Noise, such as talking, can be picked up by enemy patrols or observation posts. The sniper team silences gear before a mission so that it makes no sound when the team walks or runs.



It can be very useful to build COPīs, specially along a defensive line as a country border. This makes the sniper more protected and very hard to spot. The drawback is that, if the targets gets out of LOS (Line of sight) he must repositioning him self out of the post, to try to get LOS again. But as said above, protection and concealment is almost 100%. This one built along the Swedish-Finish border can be run over by a 60ton Main Battle Tank, like the US M1A2 or European Leopard tank.
The picture above and to the right shows a ranger coming out the COP.

Itīs not only protecting against armored units, itīs also almost impossible to discover. We made a test, we let a unit of soldiers search the area and try to find something. Guess what, zip! zero! nada!. None found it. Actually when we told the two men inside to come out, a man stood right on top of the entrance hatch. That is what I call concealed.

This picture below shows where the COP are, and what Field-of-view you got from this point. The photo should have been taken a little more forward. There are trees and bushes in front now.

"COP" photos taken by RANGER