How to Hide in Plain Sight

I will show you easy techniques you can use to hide while in plain sight – within seconds of wanting to disappear from view.

These simple techniques require no special gear and will work in nearly any situation as long as you know the basic principles and are dressed according to the environment in which you find yourself.

While looking at the following pictures, remember that you know I am featured in them. You will be looking for me in the very small area represented by the images.

However a real outdoor environment is very much larger and your eye will have a huge amount of area to cover that has many distractions. Also, you will likely not know I am in the area and so will not be actively looking for me. These factors will greatly lessen your ability to see me in a real world situation.

Now on to learning how to hide while in plain sight…

Your Silhouette will give you Away

As you draw your eye across a landscape, your subconscious brain will quickly alert you to regular shapes against solid backdrops. For example the shape of a human body against objects like the sky, a green meadow, a sand bar, or body of water.

As your eyes scan the first picture you will immediately pick out my basic body shape silhouetted against the bright sky. Even if I were wearing camouflaged clothing, humans and animals can easily discern this shape as being human. So if you want to hide from view while in plain sight, the first thing you want to be sure of is to not expose your complete silhouette in any way.

Shadows and Backgrounds Break Up Your Lines

In picture number two, while hardly camouflaged, I am not so easily seen as in the first picture. To greatly increase my invisibility I simply stepped down the embankment so that the lines of my silhouette are broken up by the natural objects and shadows behind me.

As in the first picture, I continue to face the entire shape of my body toward the camera. I am displaying the immediately recognizable human form – a trunk, a head, set of limbs hanging down from the sides, and another set of limbs planted on the ground.

If I were some distance away or you were pre-occupied you may not notice me even with this low level of camouflage. Once the eye detects my form, it is easy to make out the human being standing in the shadows. Upon seeing this shape, animals will typically flee. Humans will do what humans do to one another according to the situation.

A key to good camoflauge is the breaking up of easily recognizable lines and shapes that make up a view of the human body. This can often be done quickly and efficiently in surprisingly simply ways.

Avoid Displaying the Human Form

On a number of occasions I have accidentally stumbled upon people or wild animals that are unaware of my immediate presence. For example, while in the forest I’ve come upon hikers walking along a trail or animals such as bears noisily digging for grubs in rotten logs. The first thing I will do is turn sideways to them.

Why? Because animals and humans instantly recognize the unique shape of a human being.

In picture number three I have turned sideways to the camera. If I stand completely still in this position, oftentimes my form will not be seen by others as being human. I could be the trunk of a broken tree or other natural object. This stance is particularly effective with wild animals, which will often stare directly at me for long periods of time, cocking their heads at different angles while wondering what I am.

Note how the lighter colored skin of my arms and face continue to be a weak point in this simple type of camouflage. Simply by covering these lighter areas the ability for others to see me will be greatly dimiininshed.

Another problem is the exposure of my face to direct view. The human brain is keyed into facial recognition, so much so that even a casual glance by a passerby may be enough for them to lock onto your position by first seeing your face amongst the surrounding clutter. This may be one reason why you are often discovered when you stare directly at someone.


Change Your Shape

The human shape can be further camouflaged by simply crouching, as shown in picture four. Hiding my face from direct view is an additional aid in hiding in plain sight.

A quick glance by animal or human eye may not be enough to discern my crouching shape from the natural elements of the landscape such as logs rocks, or splotches in the shadows. As long as I stay completely still, many animals and people would not notice me in this position.

Once again, in this crouching pose a weak point in my camouflage are small areas of light colored skin that reflect more light than my clothing and surroundings. The more I can hide these, the less chance there is that an animal or human will notice my being there.

Become Something Else

In picture number 5 I have camouflaged myself further by bringing my arms into my t-shirt, pulling the shirt up over my head, and crouching with my back to the camera. Even though the sun has changed position since the last pictures and I have lost the advantageous patchiness of sun and shadow, I am still well disguised. In this position, even placed as I am right out in the open and within 30-feet of the camera, I do not appear to look much different than the nearby rock.

If you didn’t already know I was there, you would have a difficult time seeing my shape as being human. There is no discernible head or limb, my face is hidden, and the typical human trunk form has been morphed into a rounded and irregular shape.

I have essentially disappeared in plain view while wearing ordinary outdoor clothing. In this way there is an excellent chance that an animal or human would pass close by without noticing my presence.

This is just the beginning of what you can do at a moments notice to camouflage your body from view even in plain sight. For increased camouflage you can obtain specially made clothing or gear that will break up your outline using color, shape or a combination of both.

You can also utilize the natural materials around you including vegetation, dirt, or even urban debris. These will be the subjects of future Survival Topics.

Have fun with it, practice, and learn to hide in plain view at will. It could very well save your life.

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