Reduce Your Visual Impact With Your Gear and Clothing Color Choices


The right gear and clothing color choices can help you blend into your outdoor environment

It is important to choose hiking, backpacking, and camping gear and clothing that are natural earth tone colors like green, brown, tan, or black. There are many fashionable earthy shades to choose from. Bright colors like yellow, red, white, purple and blue do not blend in with the environment, can often be seen from miles away and contribute to a crowded feeling. Remember that your presence can negatively affect the enjoyment of others who seek solitude. Out of sight out of mind. It is a simple way that you can be considerate of other outdoor users and Leave No Trace.

Earth Tone GearEarth Tone Gear Colors

I try very hard to be a stealthy camper or hiker and my gear and clothing choices definitely reflect that. My tents, backpack, bear bag, thermarest, sleeping bag, bandanas, hammock and rain coat are all green or brown.

Unnatural Colors
There are 2 people in this picture.... who might you not see at first glance? Who sticks out like a sore thumb?

Unnatural Colors
This photo was taken from a campsite of mine that was fairly private and had plenty of tree and brush cover. I was a tenth of a mile away as the crow flies and I could see that obscene red shirt from through the trees when they first arrived and before they set up those crazy bright yellow tents.

If they would have blended in more I may have never known that they were there. Even though they were mostly out of earshot I still felt crowded because they stuck out with much too obvious colors. The only time I think yellow is an appropriate tent color is if you are camping in a tree with yellow foliage in the fall.... or winter camping in the snow for safety purposes.


You can also help repel biting insects by what color clothes you wear

If you won't wear earth tone colors to be courteous to other outdoor users then maybe you will for selfish reasons. I am pleased to inform you that it has been reported that tests have shown the colors of light green, khaki, and tan to be the some of best biting insect repellents as far as clothing choices. It has also been reported that most biting flies are attracted to dark colors like blue and especially black. White is an obscene color choice and I don't know what studies have to say about yellow but yellow is an obscene color as well. Red is an an obscene color too and mostly likely falls into the dark color category.

In my own experience I have found dark blue and light blue to seemingly attract more bugs to the point that I never wear those colors anymore while hiking or backpacking. I agree with the light green, khaki, and tan as repellents because that is basically the only colors I wear backpacking or hiking now besides dark green and I just don't seem to be bit as much. I'm not sure about black enough to make a testimonial. I also refuse to wear bug spray because of their chemical nature. I don't like the idea of toxins being absorbed into my skin and I certainly don't like the idea of me polluting a stream when I go for a swim. Plus... that nasty DEET taste that lingers on your fingers while you are trying to eat some GORP just doesn't agree with me. I do get bit every now and then but unfortunately thats part of the outdoor challenge.

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