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Part Three: Hidden In Plain Sight
#1
[size="4"]Hidden In Plain Sight, Part Three



T
[/size]ODAY'S PROBLEM: You need to cache something outdoors. But not for some future, end-of-the-world, zombie-apocalypse scenario; just for a few hours, maybe a day at the most. We're not talking about digging a six-foot-deep hole and burying a nitrogen-purged PVC tube here. It’s a situation I face every weekend when I go on my long trail runs. I want to leave some water, a couple of power bars, some sunscreen, a towel, a sweatshirt, and some other post-run gear at the trailhead. It all fits in a small backpack easily. But how to leave all this precious crap where other runners, hikers, mountain bikers, or couples looking for a quick schtup in the woods won’t make off with it?



Maybe it’s time for a photo. Here’s my backpack. Can you find it?



[Image: PackCamo1-Circle_zps23f7ae89.jpg]



How about if I give you a visual hint?



[Image: CamowCircle_zps4f19a8df.jpg]



Enough fun and games. Here’s what I do. You can do it too, and I think it’s a versatile little piece of gear to add to your outdoor equipment.



Every young second lieutenant who’s been through the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course learns the principles of camouflage. More on these later:



[indent]Position

Shine

Shadow

Color

Texture

Height

Tone

Location

[/indent]



I took a 24-by-24-inch piece of green nylon mesh fabric and added some 3-D camouflage netting to it. In addition, I tied a few pieces of burlap (hessian) strips to it, along with some synthetic grass fiber. Then I spray painted some black and tan blobs on it. Then I pack the little chingas into a stuff sack I got from an outdoor store, along with a square of plastic the same size. The stuff sack makes it easier to carry the netting inside the pack, and the plastic keeps the pack from getting wet if it’s sitting on damp ground.



[Image: PackCamoNetOnly_zps55a129cf.jpg]



[Image: PackCamoNetCloseup_zps8b39fb68.jpg]



[Image: PackCamoStuffSack_zps2026723f.jpg]



Now we need to find an appropriate spot to ditch our treasures. And here’s where you start paying attention to the eight principles shown above, starting with the last. I jog a couple hundred feet from the trailhead figuring most Americans are so conditioned by fast-food drive-up windows that they wouldn’t walk more than ten yards to pick up a hundred-dollar bill lying on the ground. (The same principle applies to stashing your car keys, etc.—get them some distance from your vehicle/front door, and so on.



Next, pay attention to your other principles. Look for a place in the shadows. Look for uneven terrain with varied textures and colors. I just plop the plastic sheet on the ground, set the sportsack on top, cover it with the camo scrim, and then—this is VERY important—finish it off by adding some local vegetation/debris. If there are no leaves around, throw some sticks on top. This last ten percent of added local material makes all the difference.



[Image: PackCamo4NameRetouched_zps4f91b185.jpg]



[Image: PackCamo3_zps0c8e4d6e.jpg]



[Image: PackCamo2_zps5bf60b13.jpg]





The sharp students in the class will note that I use a black drawstring sports bag, and will comment that life would be even easier if I used a camo backpack. Absolutely right. But the camouflage principle extends further. In many parts of the world, if you’re running down the street all camo’ed out, the cops will haul your ass over and give you a free prostate exam. Even worse, nowadays there’s probably some drone circling overhead, controlled by an 18-year-old basic airman sitting in a North Dakota basement, jacked up on Red Bull and Froot Loops, talking on his cell phone and depressed because his girlfriend just dumped him. Hey, that camo dude looks suspicious. Better light him up for the sake of national security!



But a jogger, wearing a ball cap and a tee shirt and a sport sack? You could be carrying Kim Kardashian’s severed head and a loaded Uzi in that little bag and nobody will look at you twice. The Rat Bastard has plenty of camo, daypacks included. The camo net keeps my pack concealed at the trailhead; the sportsack construction keeps it “urban camo” when I’m jogging back to the Ratmobile or the Spider Hole or the nearest abandoned car or unlocked dumpster where I’ll be spending the night.



[Image: PackCamoPoisonOak_zpsbbecdf75.jpg]



Oh, and that last shot? Poison Oak. Be careful where you hide your junk, cause if you’re not you’ll be scratchin’ like a hound.



On that cheerful note . . . .



Happy Thanksgiving,



--ML



[size="1"]Grand Master King Dickhead Maximum Rat Bastard Slack-Jawed Leftist

White-Collar Godless Liberal California Sheeple Lumpenproletariat Jesuit Illuminati

Samizdat Intelligentsia Cultural Elite Long-Haired Gun-Hippie Desert Roach

Nine-Fingered Mouth-Breathing Mud-Running Motorcycle-Riding Alpha Über Geek

Yuppie Asshole Lazzaroni Neandertal Ragpicking Spaβbremse and Cross-Country Ski Jerk©®™

[/size]
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#2
Ah! Very good concept, and great pics to see it in action. I can think of several places where it would come in handy.



Thanks!

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#3
More great stuff from the Rat Bastard. Thank you!
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#4
Coolness
Live with honor, ride with truth.  Be friendly to others.  But always carry a gun on your side and a knife in your boot because there are those that do not feel the same as this.


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#5
Thinking more about this.... ML, do you somehow mark the area where you put the bag? It's so well blended into the environment, I could easily see losing it yourself.
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#6
ML has outlined a camouflage system here that addresses a real world condition that a lot of people miss entirely. People talk about "Urban" camo and then environmental camo. They NEVER talk about transitioning through BOTH (or more!) This Ghillie bag is pretty damn cool! it is a great solution to spot cache problem. By carrying a non-memorable bag and then stashing it in the bag AND using natural camouflage, he's made the transition! A quick way to get part way there, is to get a thin nylon bag with a locally useful camo pattern on it. You would have to emphasize location and natural camo much, much more but it would still be helpful.



Great Idea, ML!



Muddyboots
Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased!

Thus do we refute entropy. -S. Robinson



Communication is a Survival Skill! So is critical thinking!





When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.



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#7
It is a very useful subject for those that listen. And for those who know the basics, it does not hurt to be reminded periodically too! It is all about blending in, being inconspicuous, and becoming a part of the landscape regardless of where one is or what they are doing. <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



And by the way, don't think I won't walk an extra ten yards to pick up a Hamilton, much less a Benjamin Franklin!
Jimbo
If everything is a case for gun control, then nothing is. - Charles C. W. Cooke

Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. - Theodore Roosevelt 1907 
Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.  - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. - Harlan Ellison

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein
I fear the day that technology surpass our human interaction.  The world will have a generation of idiots. - Albert Einstein

The optomist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears that this is true! - James B. Cabell
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#8
[quote name='Motman241' timestamp='1417483948' post='596805']

Thinking more about this.... ML, do you somehow mark the area where you put the bag? It's so well blended into the environment, I could easily see losing it yourself.

[/quote]



My apologies in being so late responding to your thought. I’ve been out and about in the great outdoors for the last week, and at the end of this post I’ll leave you with a little taste of what I saw; I’ll try to post more photos in a week or two. In the meantime, you bring up a VERY good point.



In my original post, it’s no accident that I ditched my bag right next to that big log, and I did it exactly so I could find it easily. Even then, as you suspect I did such a good job that I had to root around for a minute or two.



Rather than mark the location I think you’re better off putting the stash in proximity to some big, relatively permanent landmark, like a rock or this log. Some clever soul may tell you that treasure hunters will look for just such a spot too, but treasure hunters are a paranoid fantasy if I’m just putting my pack down for a few hours. If you have a good memory, you can try something like ten paces from the big rock, etc. But it better be an easy-to-remember number or indeed you’ll end up digging for hours trying to find where you stashed your cell phone.



For me, an in those photos, it went like this: I started at the trailhead, and ran until I found a big opening in the brush on the right side of the trail, a couple hundred feet from where the cars are parked. That opening lead to the log, and THAT would be relatively easy for me to find again. The big opening was unmistakable, and the log prominent.



When Ron was taking students up into the mountains, he’d always stop them at some point and make them look back down the trail, noting landmarks. It’s a small thing, but very useful, and you need to do it when you hide a pack like this too. Look around at the big picture, from a couple of directions. Deliberately notice things. Think that you may need to direct someone else to this spot to retrieve your stuff. Setting it next to a large, innocent object makes life easier.



Thanks again for the good question,



--ML



[Image: IMG_0143_zps2a3a8376.jpg]
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#9
[quote name='--ML' timestamp='1418006829' post='597015']

[quote name='Motman241' timestamp='1417483948' post='596805']

Thinking more about this.... ML, do you somehow mark the area where you put the bag? It's so well blended into the environment, I could easily see losing it yourself.

[/quote]



My apologies in being so late responding to your thought. I’ve been out and about in the great outdoors for the last week, and at the end of this post I’ll leave you with a little taste of what I saw; I’ll try to post more photos in a week or two. In the meantime, you bring up a VERY good point.



In my original post, it’s no accident that I ditched my bag right next to that big log, and I did it exactly so I could find it easily. Even then, as you suspect I did such a good job that I had to root around for a minute or two.



Rather than mark the location I think you’re better off putting the stash in proximity to some big, relatively permanent landmark, like a rock or this log. Some clever soul may tell you that treasure hunters will look for just such a spot too, but treasure hunters are a paranoid fantasy if I’m just putting my pack down for a few hours. If you have a good memory, you can try something like ten paces from the big rock, etc. But it better be an easy-to-remember number or indeed you’ll end up digging for hours trying to find where you stashed your cell phone.



For me, an in those photos, it went like this: I started at the trailhead, and ran until I found a big opening in the brush on the right side of the trail, a couple hundred feet from where the cars are parked. That opening lead to the log, and THAT would be relatively easy for me to find again. The big opening was unmistakable, and the log prominent.



When Ron was taking students up into the mountains, he’d always stop them at some point and make them look back down the trail, noting landmarks. It’s a small thing, but very useful, and you need to do it when you hide a packs like this too. Look around at the big picture, from a couple of directions. Deliberately notice things. Think that you may need to direct someone else to this spot to retrieve your stuff. Setting it next to a large, innocent object makes life easier.



Thanks again for the good question,



--ML



[Image: IMG_0143_zps2a3a8376.jpg]

[/quote]



Pueblo ruins in New Mexico, ML?
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#10
<img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' /> <img src='http://hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />
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