Last Updated on January 16, 2024

For thousands of years, humans have been perfecting the art of hunting, hiding, and camouflaging themselves.

From crude animal skins to high-tech patterns, we’ve always sought ways to blend into our surroundings and outsmart our enemies. But when it comes to the desert, the stakes are even higher.

The desert is a hostile and unforgiving environment that requires specific skills and gear to navigate.

With scorching heat and nothing but sand around you, it’s essential to choose the right camouflage pattern.

So, how do you choose the best desert camo with so many options available?

Fear not, dear reader, we’ve done the research and talked to experts to bring you the ultimate guide to the best desert camo.

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Soldiers camouflaging in the desert
Military Desert Camo. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When it comes to camo patterns, there are a ton of options out there. One of the most popular types of camo is desert camo, which is designed to blend in with the sandy and rocky environments of desert regions.

But did you know that there are several different types of desert camo patterns? In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular ones.

1. Desert Night Camouflage (DNA)

Desert Night Camouflage (DNA) is a pattern that was designed for use by US special forces operating in desert environments. It features a black and white color scheme that is intended to provide effective camouflage in low-light conditions.

The pattern is also known for its use of irregular shapes, which help to break up the wearer’s silhouette.

2. Six-Color Desert Camouflage (Chocolate-Chip Camo)

Six-Color Desert Camouflage, also known as Chocolate-Chip Camo, is a pattern that was used by the US military from the late 1980s through the early 2000s.

The pattern features a mix of beige, brown, and green shapes that are arranged in a blotchy, irregular pattern.

This camo was originally designed for use in arid desert environments, but it was later found to be effective in a wide range of other environments as well.

3. Desert Brush Camouflage

Desert Brush Camouflage is a pattern that was designed for use by the Israeli military.

It features a mix of light and dark green shapes that are intended to blend in with the sparse vegetation found in desert environments.

This camo is notable for its use of jagged, irregular shapes, which help to break up the wearer’s outline.

4. Desert Digital Camouflage (Chocolate-Chip 2)

Desert Digital Camouflage, also known as Chocolate-Chip 2, is a pattern that is based on the Six-Color Desert Camouflage design.

However, this pattern features smaller, pixelated shapes that are arranged in a more regular pattern.

The use of digital printing technology allows for more precise and detailed camo patterns.

5. Desert MARPAT

Desert MARPAT (Marine Pattern) is a pattern that was developed by the US Marine Corps. It features a mix of beige and brown shapes that are arranged in a pixelated pattern. The design is intended to provide effective camouflage in desert environments, as well as in urban environments with sandy-colored buildings and infrastructure.

Man wearing desert camo
Man wearing a camo shirt and trousers in a rocky desert

The Best Camo for Desert Environments

The ideal desert camo should blend seamlessly into the environment, making you virtually invisible to your prey or enemy.

TropenTarn, a German desert pattern, is one of the top choices for desert camo.

It features a mix of tan, brown, and green and is particularly effective in areas with sparse vegetation, like the Sonoran Desert.

The 6 Color Desert, developed by the US military, is another popular choice for arid environments.

This pattern features beige, tan, and brown and is ideal for areas with a mix of sand and rocky outcrops.

If you prefer a more modern look, the USMC Desert MARPAT or Digital Desert patterns are great options with their pixelated design that helps break up your silhouette.

Best Desert Camo for Arizona

For those exploring the wilderness of Arizona, the 6 Color Desert pattern is an excellent choice, as it covers a variety of terrain types, from sandy dunes to rocky outcrops.

The USMC Coyote gear or Eagle/BAE MJ-Khaki gear are also popular options for those looking for a desert-specific loadout.

If you want to take it up a notch, consider the 6 color “chocolate chip” camo.

Originally designed for the Gulf War, it’s highly effective in the Arizona desert, especially in areas with a mix of sand and rocks.

Best Desert Camo for Utah

Choosing the right camo for Utah’s range of environments can be tricky. MultiCam Classic is a popular choice for the northern part of the state, as it’s ideal for areas with a mix of sage, aspens, and thick pine forests.

But for the desert-like areas on the far southern and eastern parts of the state, MultiCam Arid is a great choice, designed specifically for arid desert environments.

Best Desert Camo for Southern California

Southern California’s arid outdoors are dominated by the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, known for their hot temperatures, sandy dunes, and rocky terrain.

The MultiCam Arid is one of the best camo patterns for this environment, designed to blend into arid desert environments with a mix of beige, tan, and brown.

For low-light conditions, Desert Night Camouflage (DNC), developed by the US military, is another popular option.

Featuring black, grey, and white, it’s particularly effective for nighttime operations in the desert and can be used in a range of desert environments.


Read also: Best Backpack for Desert


A Bit of History: Origins of the Desert Camo

Desert camo is more than just a fashion statement. It’s a practical solution to blend in with the environment, and it has an interesting history to boot.

The pattern can be traced back to the Vietnam War, where American soldiers faced the challenge of adapting to the desert terrain. Today, desert camo is used for everything from military operations to outdoor activities.

During the Vietnam War, soldiers found themselves struggling to blend in with the environment.

The solution was to develop a new type of camo pattern that would work in the desert.

The first desert camo pattern was known as “chocolate chip” and was used by the US during the Gulf War.

This pattern consisted of small, irregular brown and beige shapes that resembled, you guessed it, chocolate chips.

Practical Uses of Desert Camouflage Today

Desert camo has come a long way since the Vietnam War. Today, it is used for a variety of applications.

One of the most common uses is for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and hunting.

The camo pattern allows individuals to blend in with the environment and remain undetected by animals or other humans.

In the military, desert camo is used for deployments in desert environments. Soldiers can blend in with the terrain, making them harder to detect by enemies.

The pattern is also used by law enforcement for SWAT teams and other tactical operations.

The camo allows officers to blend in with the environment and approach their targets without being seen.

Desert camo is even used by civilians for paintball and airsoft games. The camo pattern can give players an advantage by making them harder to spot.

It’s not just a fashion statement, but a practical solution for tactical gameplay.


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