Military Fashion and Coyote Brown Gear

As a student of wars and what makes people fight them it is clear that appearance matters. I even recall seeing some research indicating that troops that feel like they look cool make better soldiers, but don’t quote me on that one. The clothes and gear worn by warriors and soldiers have always inspired, and been inspired by, fashion. On the side of the incremental changes and recycling of old looks seen in civilian fashion military wear can change as sharply as wartime environments change. From when the latest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started there have been major updates of the personal equipment of Western forces that have been taken up by civilian shooters, survivalists and outdoorsmen, as well as by so called mall ninjas, and given rise to terms such as tacticool and gucciflage. A huge benefit of this update in equipment is that civilian makers of cutting edge outdoors gear have been given military contracts thereby resulting in high quality surplus gear. Particularly if you live in the United States it is now possible to get all sorts of advanced outdoors gear for cheap.

I’m in the process of updating my old outdoor equipment, and I intend to do so in style and have most equipment be coyote brown. A problem with using surplus equipment is that a lot of it is camouflaged. Luckily there are some options out there, like coyote brown, that look civilian enough for me.

Coyote brown comes in various materials from different makers. Unfortunately what is called coyote brown can vary from tan to olive green. If I end up reviewing coyote brown products I will try to specify where on that range that a maker’s color actually fits.

The USMC uses this color for their nylon gear since it can be used with both their MARPAT desert and woodland camouflage. I have also understood that it is used alongside multicam since it does not stand out too badly against the multicam colors. Apparently the official coyote brown color has the Natick code 498. I haven’t researched from where this particular color comes but according to one story the USMC started using coyote brown based on a Ralph Lauren color called ”coyote”. This was when the MARPAT camouflage was developed. Be that as it may, the colors similar to coyote brown has been used in other militaries for a long time. Load bearing vests and uniforms in a brown similar to coyote brown has been used in South Africa.

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