There certainly may be times when camouflage is desired. The first that comes to mind for me is in a situation you may want to escape and evade from, be that an initial departure from a city, making one’s way to a bug-out location, or perhaps even in a martial law scenario. Also, camouflage would be extremely helpful if one is reconnoitering an area gathering information inconspicuously.
I will specifically suggest NOT donning the camo at the first sign of a possible event, or when leaving the city at the same time others are doing so (during an evacuation, for instance) because this is going to make you stick out far more than normal clothes will, and some may even confuse you with military personnel and react accordingly. That reaction could include involve them inviting themselves along with you wherever you go, convinced that you know better than anyone what to do, that you’re more prepared to save them than anyone else. Their reaction could also be a very negative one as they blame you for whatever situation is in play, or that they simply decide you have things they want, both of which could lead quickly to their assaulting you singly or en mass.
The best camouflage will depend entirely on the environment around you. Jungle tiger camo won’t do you much good in a prairie environment in the late fall or winter no matter how badass you think that particular camo looks. Woodland camo would have little-to-no application in the desert.
Logic dictates that often the best camo (meaning the most appropriate camo) will not even be a camouflage print, as you’ll be most interested in blending in with a crowd of normal people. Much to my chagrin the only camouflage that’s seen really high levels in the mainstream fashions are Mossy Oak and RealTree… not exactly the kind of camo I appreciate. Usually, urban camo when in a crowd involves having a “regular guy” costume. Blue jeans and a Budweiser shirt. This type of camo deviates a bit from my point, however.
At night, the best camo will be the same camo that’s best during the day. A subdued urban camo at night in an urban environment is going to be less noticeable when passed over with a light than all-black SWAT-like gear (I’m committing a serious goth sin by saying that, aren’t I?). Sadly, all black gear loadouts can only properly be applied to situations when you’re intending to present yourself as an obvious threat… applying to almost no preparedness or survival situations that will happen.
The actual print – multicam, tiger, MARPAT, digital camo – isn’t nearly as important as the color scheme matching your environment. There may even be a time when the zany Rothco “Savage Orange” camo is the best choice if you’re in a fall forested environment! I’m not personally betting on that possibility, so I don’t own any Savage Orange camo, but just understand that there may be situations that would warrant it over other color schemes. If your environment applies to that, consider picking some of it up!
Consider the environments you believe are the most likely for you to be operating in within a survival/prep mindset and purchase camo accordingly.
All this said, I’ll mention that my usual attire includes a fair amount of camouflage (military style, not redneck) because I like how it looks and a military alternative style is interesting to me as well. Most of it is urban camo or subdued urban camo. Also, Multicam released a “Multicam Black” design a bit ago that I like but haven’t decided to afford just yet. Also, lots of camo prints are included in modern fashion so wearing a pair of camo cargo pants from Walmart or a camo hoodie won’t be as out of place as it may have been years ago. Wearing these in an initial departure from a city won’t look too suspicious so long as it’s limited to just one item such as a coat, a shirt, or pants. I find a psychological benefit to wearing camo clothing, it makes me feel tactical, sure of myself and active. If you get the same benefits from it, then by all means wear it in situations where it will lead to positive or at least benign results.