As most airsoft players know, camouflage is developed for different environments. The user needs to keep proper concealment techniques and their immediate environment in mind when wearing it, or it’s pointless.  In this article, we’ll go over some of the various camouflage patterns that we end up seeing on the local airsoft fields and comment on their proper usage.

Basic Camouflage Every CT Airsoft Player Should Own.

  • BDU‘s –  BDU or Battle Dress Uniform is the classic 1984 Woodland style camouflage worn by the US Military until modern replacements like ACUPAT and MARPAT replaced them.  It’s made up of various patterns of overlapping browns, greens and blacks.
  • DCU‘s – DCU is the classic Tri-Color desert camouflage worn by the US Military up to the mid 2000′s for most US Military branches.

With those two patterns, you can play at the vast majority of airsoft games as the airsoft teams are typically divided into tan vs green-based camouflage patterns.  Many people mistakenly think that classic woodland BDU is a better pattern for Connecticut’s natural environment. However, that may not always be the case.  In forests of oak or sparse ground cover, we find that the DCU pattern works wonderfully against rocks, dry leaves, bare winter trees and fallen pine needles.   These environments are often just as easy to conceal oneself in the summer as they are in the winter.  Woodland patterns, obviously, will want to blend in with greenery and more earthen colours.

Other Camouflage Patterns in Use in CT Airsoft.

  • Chocolate Chip Desert or 6 Color Desert Camouflage – This was used in the late 1980′s, early 1990′s around the time of the first Iraq war and has been since phased out.  Many other countries militaries still utilize it as well.  You’ll occasionally find this on the field, but I find more often than not that it gets excluded from allowable camouflage patterns for airsoft games.
  • Tiger Stripe – This has been in uses in one form or another for decades and continues to be used by some militaries.  Alternating bands of colour, stretch across the wearer, simulating different light levels that make it through a thick overhead canopy.   You can find this in both desert and woodland patterns.   The newest US Airforce camouflage is more or less an alternating blue digital tiger stripe pattern known as ABU.  These all work better in heavily shaded areas with variable light patterns as the sun passes through branches.
  • Digital Camouflages – From ACUPAT, better known as ACU to Woodland and Desert MARPAT and finally to the new NWU (Navy Working Uniform), you’ll find these to various degrees on our airsoft fields.  Occasionally you’ll find someone in CADPAT which is a far greener version of the patterns described above.  If I had to wear one of these, it’d be either of the MARPAT vs the ACU patterns.  ACU stands out like an illuminated pastel ghost in our environment.  It needs to be incredibly dirty for it to work remotely.
  • Flecktarn – In use in Germany, this is also a popular choice, and you’ll occasionally see both woodland and desert varieties on the airsoft field.

Modern Camouflage Patterns

  • Multicam – Crye’s proprietary pattern is in use worldwide for one reason; it works and works in multiple environments.   This pattern was scientifically developed to do one thing, and that is to cause the human brain to bypass it.   Crye’s engineers determined that when there is too much going on in one area, the human brain blends it to see the overall picture, basically ignoring the area the pattern is in.   My first experience playing Airsoft against someone utilizing this camouflage;  I was running, with the enemy pacing 15 feet from me until I got shot.  I never saw them running with me, I never saw them shoot me, and I never saw them leave.  It wasn’t until after the game I learned that they were pacing me the entire time, merely feet away from me, and that they were under the belief that I knew they were right there.   I switched camouflage patterns that day.  I’ve had the same experience repeatedly, and I’ll pull similar stunts on others since switching.
  • ATACS – Advanced Tactical Concealment System –  This is the newest camouflage pattern to come out.  Initially, this could only be purchased in a desert pattern.  It features various tan and grey shades and green streaked across the pattern in a nicely blended fashion. The pattern provides a natural-looking depth between the various shades in it that hides a human being’s natural lines.  It works well in heavily shaded areas but does stand out against greenery.  As we go into the fall in the northeast, I’m sure this will become a far more useful pattern, but for blending in in multiple environments, it lacks at present.  They also offer a Woodland pattern called FG that should work better in our environment, but I have yet to see anyone in this camouflage.