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#236431 - 11/29/11 05:29 AM Camoflague in urban environment
Chisel Offline

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1515
I have never thought of camoflague until recently. I live in a city and only go camping occasionally , and any color will do for my stuff.

Last few weeks I was uneasy with some nosy folks who ask more questions than I can take. Though nothing I have is special grade or high price, but I don't like too much questions and too much handling of MY stuff.

One example is when I drop my kids at school then head to my office. I open the car trunk to get my bag, and at the same moment some colleagues are passing and will notice and ask : WHAT ISSSSS THAAAAAT ???? ( bought a new car and it had a bright red emergency bag containing working gloves, FAK, air compressor .. etc. ). It is very annoying for me to stop, explain and he tries to open it and see the contents. I really have no time for this. So, I started to get my bag at school, and not open the trunk at work.

Similarly, somone needs a ride and I open the glove ( or other ) compartment and he sees a bright orange flashlight and starts to handle it. He may even light it ( very bright ) at night when I am driving !! It bothers me a lot.

I was pleasantly syurprised a few times, however, when I noticed that BLACK colored stuff is often not noticed. Like a multitool in a black nylon sheath can hardly be seen inside a compartment near the gear stick. At last , something to help against nosy people.

I was so please with this discovery that I started to bet on it. One night I stayed working late in office and when I decided to go home, didn't think of taking the bag with me. I had to bring it next morning anyway so why bother taking it ? I was sure it won't be norticed by a casual passer-by remaining in the building ( like maintenance staff ) because its black/grey color combo makes it hard to see in dim light if you are not specifically looking for it.

Do you have experiences ( negative or postive ) in using camo in urban environments ??

#236434 - 11/29/11 06:15 AM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Just to flip this around for a sec, but if these are friends, maybe it's a positive thing that they notice your first aid kit or a flashlight or whatnot because it raises their awareness and may give you an opportunity to get them interested in being more prepared. Maybe. Sure, sometimes it's annoying when people are touching your "stuff" but then again, it's just stuff. What is the point of that stuff? To help/assist people, you or someone else.

Of course, I'd hate to crash while driving because my passenger suddenly switched on the disorienting strobe feature of my super high power flashlight and can't figure out how to turn it off! wink

That said, I do prefer to keep those things low-profile mostly to lessen the risk of theft. Whatever people would normally carry will generally draw the least attention. Could be a messenger bag or daypack in many places, or something more formal in an area with lot's of white collar workers. I have had times when I kept car kit stuff in shopping bags in the trunk so it looks totally innocuous when your trunk is open. A cooler is another container I have used. It is extra handy because it can help moderate extreme temperature swings.

#236436 - 11/29/11 06:55 AM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I don't think the environment here is the same as your's,but everyone I associate with is very well aware that things need to be hidden or covered up,& this has been a general rule of thumb,Always!I was at a major hardware supply store one time,& my truck was parked about center of the huge parking lot,when I exited the store I noticed alot of activity going on near my truck,it turned out 3 vehicles/trucks had been burglarized,2 on oneside/1 on the otherside of my truck,yet my truck was untouched.I carry alot of tools but they are well hidden from view,hence my truck was camo'd enough to not need any, unwanted attention.The working class People here in general are taught early in life,not to touch anything that doesn't belong to them though, there are many who ignore that lesson,or are ignorant thereof!We are in need of 1 or 2 laws that your country employs to the ignorant,lol!

#236439 - 11/29/11 08:07 AM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1563
I have the feeling that old, cheap. worn bags in subdued colors get less attention than tactical bags or bags with actual camo patterns. Arney's idea of using shopping bags is what I'm talking about. I sometimes drape a tarp or blanket over stuff. Actually, I keep a blanket in my car (a part of my kit), and I put it over the car kit. This is not to stop the curious from asking questions, but just to stop any would-be thieves from figuring out whether I have anything worth stealing.

Since we love our equipment so much, we want the right bag with plenty of pockets for our stuff. That will probably attract attention. My car kit bag, for example, is a nice one with a good strap, sensibly arranged pockets, etc.

I also agree that in many cases, we can turn encounters with non-preppers into an educational experience. No need to be embarrassed or secretive. Most people will get bored fast and can't wait for us to shut up about our little hobby.


#236441 - 11/29/11 08:13 AM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Chisel Offline

Registered: 12/05/05
Posts: 1515
I don't mind showing and discussing stuff , but within a narrow scope:

1 - The person should be someone who shows geniuoine interest and shows respect for this stuff. Only one colleague qualifies, and we have exchanged gifts of that nature ( flashlights, multuitools ..etc. ). The rest , well, I prefer they do not know what I have.

2 - The time and circumstances should be right for discussing this stuff. It is one thing to talk about favorite type of multitool in the lunch break, and it is another thing to explore the contents of my bag while I am rushing to finish an urgent job.

People don't mean any harm, but they sometimes behave "too friendly" and assuming that you do not mind.

Judging behavior of your friends in different situations ( like going out in the field or bsuiness trips) can give a good idea who is who. Some of them unfortunately will explore stuff just to make a joke about it.

So, back to camo.

Sometimes, had to leave my cell phone charging on the desk and go to do other jobs. There too, I utilized the grey/black color combo to "hide it", almost in plain sight, by placing it among computer speakers and other miscellaneous gadgets and books. The charger wire was also extended along with mouse cable , etc.


Same virus that hit other socities is creeping here too.
We are slowly becoming like the U.S. , where "rights" of criminals are important than rights of the victims. I look back at the past with some sadness and wish harsher laws are brought back.

Back to subject
In one site I read something about prepper items that do not necessaily look like prepper items. For example, they had candle lanterns in the living room. They were decorative and would if someone noticed them, they would admire their beauty. However, in a power failure, they are there as candle lanterns.

#236449 - 11/29/11 02:45 PM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5347
First, you are too polite if you actually drop everything to explain what's in a bag in your trunk. The person who asks is nosy and really it's none of their business. The guy who tries to open a container in the trunk of my car will find the lid closing on his arm, head or whatever appendage in the way of me closing the trunk. But back to your question about urban camouflage...

I keep stuff in drab to black duffel bags and sometimes in very toolbox looking containers. People see a toolbox in your trunk they think "tools". I won't open the box.

The stuff in my trunk is long term, a bag for the office rides on the front seat.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#236454 - 11/29/11 04:30 PM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
TeacherRO Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2574
On the opposite side -- I like my First Aid kits to be red...often with a white cross on them. Seems to be easier to find and most people know that they are.

#236455 - 11/29/11 04:44 PM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: TeacherRO]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5347
The FAK in my trunk is blue.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#236457 - 11/29/11 05:27 PM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Like Teacher and Russ, I like my first aid kits to be hightly visable in an emergency. All the big trunk kits are either red or blaze orange, and the smaller kits either AMK yellow or blue with a big white cross on the front like the one shown here:

Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#236470 - 11/29/11 06:48 PM Re: Camoflague in urban environment [Re: Chisel]
Lono Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/19/06
Posts: 1013
Loc: Pacific NW, USA
My trunk is full, and no mysteries. I gave a guided tour to a co-responder the other day: things like a fire extinguisher, crow bar, first aid kit (my bloodstopper bag for accident scenes), roadside assistance stuff (manual pump, fixa flat, fuses reflective vest), blanket, spare rain coat, BOB (earthquake, weather), ham radio bag, Red Cross go kit, bag of teddy bears for Red Cross, bag of comfort kits for Red Cross, bag of old fleece jackets and some spare clothes for Red Cross (for clients who got out of fires without clothing etc), and a mass casualty bag with enough kerlix, tape, coban and other FA stuff to treat ~50 people. A zip lock bag with area maps in it. Also a 12 pack of canned lemonade (which doesn't spoil - good for after hike beverages). A z-rest pad. Snow shovel and chains in the winter time. I'm sure there's stuff I've forgotten.

I usually pull the Red Cross stuff when I go on hikes because it really doesn't belong to me, but leave the rest of the stuff in all the time. I use everything except the BOB, large FA gear, and area maps on a more or less regular basis. After I downgraded to a $100 HT in the ham kit the whole kit and kaboodle probably isn't worth much more than the insurance deductible if I lost it in a break in. So why not have it? Why keep your stuff a mystery? Its in the back of my Prius, under a sun shade, can't be observed - parked in one of the safer zip codes most of the time, and some of the more car prowler friendly zip codes the rest of the time, but if I worried about car prowls to begin with I wouldn't be there. If you want it and can find my car you can steal it, if you want to hassle with me while breaking in.

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