Have you bought a tent that doesn’t let you blend in with your surroundings? Or perhaps your tent is perfect in every way, but the bright color attracts unwanted attention?
Maybe you forgot to buy a camouflage tent, and you’re stuck in a situation where you must mesh in with your surroundings. At this point, you’re probably wondering how to camouflage a tent.
Camouflaging a tent is relatively easy, and there are more than a few ways to do it. You can use a fabric with camouflage printing over your tent or color the material the way you want.
If you don’t have a camouflage tent, there are some straightforward ways you can achieve one. You can fabric dye your tent fly, use camouflage netting or tarps. You need to camouflage your tent in a way that the camouflage doesn’t restrict your tent’s working capacity or show its outline.
We’ve compiled a few ways you can camouflage your tent and go undetected. Let’s read ahead!
Why You Need to Camouflage A Tent
There are several reasons why camouflaging your tent may be necessary.
Firstly, hunters prefer to camouflage their hideouts. When it comes to hunting and tracking preys, you don’t want to give away your position under any circumstances.
Secondly, some frequent campers prefer to keep a low profile and don’t want to be bothered by passers-by. They want to camp in peace and not be disturbed.
Furthermore, if you happen to go stealth camping, there is no alternative to camouflaging your tent as stealth camping means camping in an undetected way.
Besides, some survivalists prefer to keep a low profile and mesh in with their surroundings for a better camping experience.
Sometimes camouflaging your tent isn’t a choice but rather a necessity. When you camp in a place with massive wildlife, you need to blend in. Otherwise, wild animals such as bears, coyote, moose, etc. will find your tent.
Perhaps you’re trying to hide or don’t want to be identified—situations like these will need a camouflage tent.
How to Camouflage a Tent
There are different options to camouflage a tent. Some options, such as using camo netting or camo tarps, require pre-planning as you need to buy them before use.
Fabric dyeing your tent needs time and planning as well. If you ever run into an emergency that compels you to camouflage your tent, you can always use the items from your camping surroundings to blend in.
Read the below-given guide to camouflage your tent:
1. Fabric Dye:
If you want to camouflage a tent, dyeing will be one suggestion. It would be best if you remembered that fabric dyeing every tent is not a possibility.
There are water-resistant, durable tents whose coating will stop any paint from sticking into the actual material. You can paint the exterior, but the color will not touch the material composition.
The directions for camouflaging your tent using fabric dyes are given as follows:
Step 1: Purchase non-waterproof untreated thin fabric or use a water-resistant tent fly. The material you use must be water-resistant.
Step 2: To find out if your chosen fabric is waterproof or not, run some water over it. If it soaks, you can use it for dyeing.
Step 3: Different materials have different techniques and rules for fabric dyeing. If you have found the right untreated water-resistant fabric, you can start the process of tie-dying.
Step 4: Choose the dye color that matches your camping surroundings. For forest camouflage, use green and brown shades. For desert camping, use tan or beige colors.
Step 5: After dyeing your fabric, put on a durable water repellent coating on top.
Which Dye for Which Material:
Nylon: This fabric needs to be dyed with acid dye, which requires heat and steam. Apply the paint to the material and steam the cloth the way vegetables are cooked. Let it dry.
Silk: It is easy to color, and you can use even the ordinary tie-dying products for it.
Polyester: This fabric is quite difficult to dye as it can be dyed only with disperse dyes.
Alternative: If you have good quality fabric paint thin in texture, you can use it on untreated polyester and nylon materials.
Avoid: Any materials that can’t be dyed, such as polyester and spandex mix, also known as polypropylene, should not be used.
2. Camo Netting
Camo netting is an excellent option for tent camouflage. Remember that your camo net pattern must match your camping ground surrounding since that it the point of the whole ruse.
Camo netting won’t make your tent disappear entirely because if anyone comes close to the tent, they will understand that there is something present.
Below are the steps to camouflage your tent using camo netting:
Step 1: You need camping clips to set the net. You can use any size, but bigger ones with green color are better. It would help if you had a couple of pieces for this task.
Step 2: If your tent is small, put the netting over your tent and secure it with the clips.
Step 3: If you have a big tent, you can’t drape it over as it will show the tent outline. You can try to connect it with poles to lift it from the tent and create a different shape.
However, some campers are not fond of this style. They believe using a net to camouflage shows that there is something to hide, and it is an unnecessary giveaway.
3. Camo Tarp
A great and effective way to camouflage your tent is to use a camo tarp or rain fly. Heavy-duty tarps are also useful for heavy wind and rainfall protection. It will again warm up the tent more than usual, which is a plus point during cold nights. You need to follow the below steps to camouflage your tent:
Step 1: You can use tent poles or separate tarp poles for framing the tarp.
Step 2: Your main focus is not to drape the tarp over your tent as the tent outline will give your location away.
Step 3: You can attach the tarp to the poles using the tarp cords.
Step 4: Use bungee cords if you’re traveling to a windy area.
4. Natural Surrounding
Now, if you run into a situation while camping that requires you to create an impromptu camouflage, blending into your natural surroundings is an excellent way to hide your tent.
It is a useful method if you’re out in the woods or anywhere with trees and bushes. You need to wait until dusk or evening time for this method.
It won’t be as effective in the desserts. Let’s see some other ways for camouflaging your tent:
Step 1: Cut bushes and branches of trees around your tent.
Step 2: Gather enough foliage and surround your tent with it. It would be best if you put the bushes in a way that they can hide the outline of the tent.
Things to Avoid When Camouflaging A Tent
While you may come up with some innovative ideas on camouflaging your tent, some steps may seem like a good idea at first, but in reality, they don’t work.
One of the common misconceptions is that you can spray paint your tent to camouflage it. Spray paint that is applied directly to the tent fabric will cut off the tent’s breathability aspect.
If you spray paint a tent that was not breathable enough, to begin with, you will face a massive problem of bad air circulation while camping. It will cause nausea, as well.
Most tents are made of nylon and have a water-resistant coating. When you spray paint the cover of your tent, you will restrict the tent’s waterproof activity.
Moreover, most standard tents these days are fireproof as well. Some states require the tents to be fireproof for camping.
If you add paint to your nylon tent, it will not be fire resistant anymore. If you come across a situation where you need a fire-resistant tent, your tent is more likely to catch fire quicker.
Water-based dyes are your best options if you want to color your tent. Even using a solvent or alcohol-based paint can hinder the tent’s urethane coating and make it more flammable.
I hope these suggestions have helped you to know how to camouflage a tent. You can use one or several of the techniques mentioned above to blend into your camping surroundings.
Don’t try to spray paint but rather use fabric dyes. You can also opt for camping tarps or netting. You can even mesh in with your environment by cutting up branches and bushes.
Camouflaging a tent requires extra attention to details as just putting a camp printed fabric over your tent won’t do the job. You need to be careful and assess the camouflage at every step of the task.
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love for the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping and hiking allows him to feel refreshed.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allow him to de-stress and enjoy life, and he wants you to make the most of your life too.