Which tent color for Stealth Camping?

In the progress of researching tents for a new adventure, I spun some thoughts on stealth camping.

Here they are:

The usual stealth camping logic goes like this: buy a greenish tent and you won’t be spotted.

Now, that might fairly work when camping on green pastures or in the woods of Central Europe or North America or anywhere with a decent amount of green around.

But, say you travel the barren arid lands of Morocco’s High Atlas or the Mongolian Steppe – what good is a green tent here?

What’s more, once the sun has fully set, all cats are grey.

So I figured, if you only spend one night in one place it doesn’t really matter which colour your tent has (if in doubt pitch it right before the sun has set, so no unexpected visitors will spot you).

For multi-day stealth camping a tent matching the color of the surrounding environment will help, but is of no real use if the color of the environment changes significantly.

Would you agree? What is your opinion?

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2 Responses to “Which tent color for Stealth Camping?”

  1. Chris

    Just considering an orange tent at the moment and the colour is the issue. The rest of the tent seems fine. When I wild camp, I pitch at dusk and dismantle at dawn, so I’m also wondering if the colour is that important. Perhaps the issue is more in my head. I’ve always used green before, but the MSR I used in Morocco and Spain was a very light shade of green, so also not ideal for disguising my presence.

    I suppose the best solution is to make sure the tent is so well hidden that the colour is of no importance.

    Reply
    • andreas

      There’s “best practices” advice out there when camping outside of legal premises:

      1. in developed countries such as North America, Europe, Australia, etc. ask the owner for permission if possible, although in reality this often proves tricky.
      2. Do as you said, get their late, leave early, leave no traces and you should be fine.
      3. In inexpensive countries also ask for permission, if possible, but that can be tricky too, as people will often say yes out of politeness and actually don’t have a clue, so the best strategy here would be to make sure that either a lot of people know about what you are doing, or no one knows that you are even here ;).

      I do think tent color is overrated, but at the same time I’d struggle to buy an orange tent (not that the White/red MSR’s would be any better, color-wise), I prefer more discreet colors.

      Don’t know, there’s nothing wrong with a green tent, it’s just a shame that so few companies make decent discreet tents, especially those who cater to the rather weight-oriented audience.

      Reply

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