Bright vs. Subdued

What Color?

I wear a lot of earth tones.  Back in my misspent youth I was a Marine and wore woodland and desert camouflage.  I wasn't SWAT, but I did some tactical operations as a cop.  I've prepped for foreign invaders and civil war.  But does any of that matter if I'm at the bottom of a tree stand with a broken ankle and I need to get found?

I've always used a lot of military surplus for my survival gear.  I've bought red packs and bright blue tents for camping, but I grumbled about it because it didn't look cool and made me too visible.  As I've aged in so many different ways, I've come to realize that needing to be seen is a whole lot more likely than needing to stay hidden.  But I think there is a place for both.

I mentioned that my wife has started making paracord bracelets.  My initial thought was to buy OD, black, desert tan, and even some blaze orange cord.  She has since had me order purple, pink, bright blue, and several other bright colors to add to the selection.

A couple months ago, I poked fun at a friend when he pulled his hot pink Bic lighter out of day pack.  I then pulled out my black one.  He pointed out that 1. if the flame is lit, color of the Bic doesn't matter, and 2. if you are rooting around a pack, what's going to be easier to find - hot pink or black?

Knives, fire starting toolsduct tape, water bottles, sporks... all come in bright colors.  Not only does bright color make it easier for rescuers to find you if you are lost, it also makes it easier for you to find gear if you drop it in the leaves.

So, long story short, I'm still going to wear my earth tones and keep a few sets of BDUs handy, but I'm also going to try and embrace color. 

Media Suggestions

I've found a new (to me) podcast.  Check out The Prepper Podcast at www.PrepCast.info.  It's a periodic 20 minute webcast done by a rotating announcer from a group of what I think is three guys.  They also have a blog and a small, but active forum.  I've caught the last four or five podcasts, and find them informative and entertaining.  I get a chuckle out of the prerecorded intros that sound almost like it belongs on NPR.  Whichever guy is up in the rotation has a basic topic for each show, then goes on with a well thought out, but unscripted, monologue.  I'm a big fan of The Survival Podcast, and that usually fills my commute in to work in the morning.  Now that I've found The Prepper Podcast, I have a shorter piece to listen to on the way home.  Give The Prepper Podcast a try, they have some good information to share.

My wife recently found a show on the Home & Garden channel called Extreme Living.  Each show features a unique home, many of which would be awesome survival retreats.  Recent shows have featured a New England coastal home that is made from six shipping container or CONEX boxes around a common open area.  It sounds awful but looked luxurious, and very secure.  The show we watched tonight showed a guy in West Texas who built an underground home made of blown concrete domes.  Super efficient, super secure, and pretty darn cool looking.

1 comment:

  1. While it certainly depends on what you're trying to do (get found or stay hidden) the color depends largely on the type of gear you're talking about, too.

    In the dark, all cats are grey.

    A blaze orange tent may be easier to find in a field, but in dense brush, I've been in situations where my 4' high blue kelty tent may have been a camoflauged spider hole from about 25 yards away.

    Tool handles, lighters, utensils, etc. all benefit from being easy to spot in a pack or when dropped - if you're not observing noise/light discipline enough to have a hot camp with warm chow or processing wood, etc. the color of the implement is, as your friend pointed out, surely secondary.


Please feel free to comment on my posts. I do ask that you keep the language clean. I reserve the right to moderate comments and will delete any that violate the principles of respectful discourse or that are spam. I will not delete your comment for simply disagreeing with me.