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Episode 12 S1-12

Camouflage Techniques To Keep You Hidden


Special Guest:

Day After Disaster Ch 12

Ralph Swasey

In the Day After Disaster adventure, Erika cautiously continues on her journey home. She takes some risks to get much needed information and must make some improvised camouflage to do so. Today, Ralph Swasey draws on his military and police background to give us some tips on making the best use of camouflage techniques to keep you hidden.

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Camouflage Basics:

  • Know your environment and pick a color that is going to match

  • Be aware of seasonal changes to colors.

  • Cotton is not the best material to wear. You should have a poly-nylon blend, which is light weight and comfortable, or you should have a natural fiber such as wool, which is sturdy but heavy and itchy.

Camouflage for Long Term Survival:

  • Pick the color that is going to match the best in your environment regardless of seasonal changes.

  • Add local vegetation to you clothing to make a semi-ghillie suit. Don't forget to add vegetation to your hat and slacks as well.

  • Stay hidden, concealed and covered as much as possible.

  • Make sure you are not visible from the air.

  • Camouflage your head. Mix up the colors of paint you add to your face.

  • Make sure you are not reflective in any way.

Three Tips for Quick Camouflage If You Are Caught Away From Your Supplies:

  • Get to a wet area and use mud on your skin. Clay mud is really good for this. (You can also use the grease from vehicles to break up the color pattern.)

  • Make sure you stay covered and concealed. Stay out of the open. Don't cast a shadow. Don't silhouette yourself. Stay low. Dig a hole and go in it. Put branches over yourself.

  • Stay imaginative and keep thinking.

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Day After Disaster Ch 12

Ralph Swasey

“I graduated high school in Santa Maria, CA. Upon graduation I joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve. My training included Boot Camp at MCRD, San Diego, CA, Infantry Training Regiment, and Basic Infantry Training School at Camp Pendleton, CA.


"I joined the Santa Maria City Police Department as a Reserve Officer in 1974. In 1975 I reenlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a Military Police Officer MOS 5811 at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Honorable discharge December 1976.


"Upon my return to Santa Maria, CA I completed the Basic Police Academy at Alan Hancock College. I was hired as a full time police officer by the Grover City now Grover Beach Police Department. After a year at the GCPD I made a lateral transfer to the Red Bluff Police Department. In 1977 I returned to my home town of Santa Maria joining the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. In 1980 I was appointed to the North County Special Enforcement Team (SET). Our team was very active in the years that I was assigned as a Lead Entry Operator. In 1985 my partner and I were awarded the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor based on a barricaded suspect who had his wife as a hostage. The hostage was successfully removed and the suspect succumbed from injuries sustained in the gun battle. After numerous close calls I took a lateral transfer to Northern California joining the Amador County Sheriff’s Department.


"Upon my retirement from law enforcement I worked as a High School Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and Principal. My last ten years were spent teaching high school students Law Enforcement in a Regional Occupational Program in the Sierra Foothills of California."

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