Review: Camo in an Aussie setting

Josh is Australian; they spell things like color and armor, colour and armour. Yeah, it’s odd, but it’s not the weirdest thing to come up from Down Under…including Josh. And though this post talks about the wilds of the Australian outback, no doubt you may find similar results in your next of the woods. Mad Duo

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A while ago I decided to take a bunch of my camo gear into the bush and do a compare/contrast of several colour and pattern schemes.

I also wanted to showcase the kinds of terrain I encounter in my local region. In my meager collection, I have 3 Colour Desert, Arid AUSCAM DCPU, AUSCAM DCPU (classic hearts and bunnies), British woodland DMP, US woodland, ATACS-Au, and MultiCam.

All laid out, they make a pretty discordant pile

A couple of camo “sets” are just a jacket, or in the case of the AUSCAM, just my big Raven backpack and a hat. But I wanted to get as much variety as I could, and even though I don’t have much of it, I thought I should represent with some national pride. I set up in two places; on a bush covered hillside, and in a bracken and grass-covered scrubland. I took my position around 20-25m from my camera-person, the able and patient Omega, and just stood out in the open near some scenery but not behind anything. I did one with me standing, and the other squatting, but made no other effort to conceal myself.

We tried to catch similar lighting conditions, but there was light cloud cover and patchy sunlight.

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Brown in the scrub
camo
* 3-colour desert scrub
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* arid AUSCAM scrub
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* AUSCAM scrub
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* UK DPM scrub
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* woodland scrub
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* Multicam Scrub
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* ATACT-AU scrub

The Woodland DPU sleeves of my Platatac CUTS special projects shirt worked nicely in this setting, although the back panels lit up in the dappled sunlight. If I had been wearing a camo vest, that wouldn’t have been an issue.


The M81 woodland was dark when silhouetted but vanished into the scrub; it was very hard to pick me out when crouched.

Multicam and the ATACS-AU blended really well in this setting, although my Multicam gear seemed to catch the sunlight and “shine”. Which may just mean that it’s too clean!

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The AUSCAM DCPU pack concealed me really well, but only on the covered parts. My regular browns stood out where exposed.

Both desert camos did unsurprisingly poorly, as did my coyote brown gear.

I trotted up to the bush side spot and found that it was more or less in direct sun, but I figured that this would be a good acid test for the various camo sets, for the worst case in the Australian bush setting.

camo
*brown in the bush
camo
* 3-colour desert bush
camo
* arid AUSCAM bush
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* AUSCAM bush
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* UK DPM bush
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* woodland bush
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* Multicam bush
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* ATACS-AU bush

The results were much the same, with the three pale light brown palettes of the 3-Colour Desert, arid AUSCAM and tan-coyote brown standing out both standing and crouched, especially in the direct light, although the arid AUSCAM was a little more broken up.

The woodland DPU fared better than in the scrub setting, but the broad green of the torso area still lit up. Definitely needs a vest over the top.

The regular AUSCAM was totally in its element, and if I had had a full suit of it, i’m sure it would have worked really well. Again, my non-cam limbs messed up the effect, but when crouched, it worked well. Australian bush, Australian cam …

The M81 Woodland also worked amazingly well, and I seemed to blend right in. ATACS-AU and Multicam matched the colours well, and were certainly disruptive. But as in the scrub setting, it looked like the fabric itself was lighting up. More dirt would probably help!

All in all, there were no surprises in the spread. The desert/arid cams didn’t do well in bush setting, and the mis-matched or incomplete sets stood out where there was a “gap”. To my mind, it goes to show that if you’re going to wear camo it needs to be complementary, or at the very least, offer adequate coverage.

Again, bear in mind that I picked two fairly open spots, and didn’t attempt any more concealment than crouching.

Picking the right camouflage to suit your surroundings and conditions can be all the difference between bagging that game animal, not being found by unfriendly eyes, or just being able to sit in peace whilst catching up on The Unit on your iPad. It’s well worth paying attention and doing right.

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Apocalypse Josh

Josh Orth is a second generation expat currently dwelling in the arguably civilized outskirts of Melbourne, Australia. He's lived in deserts, jungles and urban sprawls around the world and traveled/adventured into assorted inhospitable places around the world and has a keen sense of the speed with which the trappings of 'civilized Western life' can disappear. This has led him to begin writing about his interests and observations when it comes to the gear, skills and other necessities of self reliance of being equipped for whatever a capricious, occasionally indurate life might throw at him. This isn't by any means to say our eccentric friend actually longs for life in dystopia, but if he had to he might not complain. Read more by Josh at Apocalypse Equipped.


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3 thoughts on “Review: Camo in an Aussie setting

  • February 29, 2016 at 3:53 am
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    I hunt in the Great Dividing Range area of Eastern NSW in scrub similar to your test area.. I’ve been wearing a full set of Vertx Kryptek Highlander for a couple of years now, and my hunting mate says I just disappear into the background. It’s amazing stuff.

    Reply
  • February 28, 2016 at 11:41 pm
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    *swaps to thermals*

    LOL sorry, just had to say it. Some of your camo was really good!

    Reply
  • February 28, 2016 at 10:21 pm
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    Well, given the ADF is moving away from DPCU, Josh should be able to pick up as much as he wants (plus packs, vests, webbing etc) pretty cheap soon.

    Reply

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