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How to Camouflage your GoPro

Camouflage Your GoPro for Hunting

In case you’ve been living under a rock the past 3 years, GoPro action cameras have become huge. They started out as a gadget for surfers to record their rides, but are now popular in many other kinds of sports including fishing and hunting.

Hunters have increasingly started using GoPro cameras to capture footage of their hunts. I mean, it makes sense when you think about it. Anyone who is passionate about what they do wants to share their experiences with others. Hunting is no different from Surfing in that sense.

A GoPro Hero is ideally suited for hunting. They are very compact, waterproof, and take killer High Definition videos. They do, however, have one glaring issue that all hunters should consider, and that is the lack of concealment.

The stock waterproof case is made of a shiny, clear plastic. While that is good for seeing the LED’s that tell you it’s recording and if the Bluetooth is on, it’s not ideal in hunting situations. Animals will no doubt be able to see reflections off the camera, and your hunt will suffer because of it.

Below I will give you the dirt on using skins, a GoPro Blackout housing review, and an awesome custom housing.

Good: Vinyl Camouflage GoPro Skins

The answer, at least for me, was a vinyl camouflage skin that I got from Amazon.

It comes in a die cut sheet, perfectly sized for wrapping over the waterproof housing. This particular skin is from a company called Weapon Armor. They offer skins for every GoPro model, in several styles of camo.

Just be sure to be careful when you’re applying the vinyl. Any edge or wrinkle you leave on the application is an opportunity for it to start peeling off or attracting dirt.

Better: GoPro Blackout Housing (Hero3+ Only)

If you don’t want the trouble of applying a vinyl skin to your GoPro, you have another option, and that is called the Blackout Housing.

The reflective clear plastic is replaced with a new all-black matte finish plastic housing. It’s not exactly cheap, but it looks badass.  The matte finish will not reflect light nearly as much, and it will definitely help you conceal your camera outdoors.

One drawback is GoPro is only producing the Blackout for the Hero3+. For the thousands of people who own a Hero3, you need to look elsewhere. Another thing to note is that the GoPro Blackout housing is designed differently from the standard Hero3+ waterproof housing. This presents several challenges.

One, the backdoor is not compatible with a Battery Backpac or LCD screen accessory. This is a strange move by GoPro, but not all that surprising since they do want to sell you accessories. Two, the latch mechanism is a different design, and some people are complaining about it being too difficult to latch and unlatch.

Finally, the black plastic has been causing WiFi connection problems with some users. While the WiFi is working fine with the clear housing, when the blackout is put on the WiFi has been disconnecting.

If those points make you want to go in a different direction than the brand name housing, then you might like the next option.

Best: StuntCams Camouflaged GoPro Housings (Hero3 and 3+)

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My personal favorite is the custom painted waterproof housings from StuntCams. Instead of using a different colored plastic, they take the field proven standard waterproof housing and put on a high quality coat of spray paint, followed by 2 coats of clear sealant to prevent the paint coming off.

There are no stickers that peel off during use, and they are truly a matte finish. As one reviewer said – “The (GoPro) blackout housing reflects a lot more light than this matte black housing”. And the paint is very durable. Users have seen minimal paint scrape off, even after months in the bush.

There are 3 awesome looking finishes available including a Blackout, woodland camouflage, and desert sand camouflage. Just look how awesome those paint jobs are! One bonus feature of using the standard stock housing is that unlike the blackout housing, you can unscrew and replace the lens should it get scratched while out in the field.

Conclusion

I hope you found this little mini review helpful. There is truly an option for adding camouflage to your GoPro, for any budget. The vinyl skins are decent for the cost, and the official Blackout housing from GoPro is a step up but will cost you more. And for those you who can afford a little bit more, the StuntCam camo housings will really get the job done.


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3 Comments

  • My GoPro Hero 2 HD – I just noticed that the finish on the camera is coming off similar to mild peeling skin. The camera never hardly comes out of the plastic case so not sure what is causing it other than a cheap build from GoPro/Bestbuy purchased. I’m most likely not the only one this is happening to. Now that I’m seeing it’s started to affect every side but the front. I’m a pro photographer and baby my cameras, it’s clearly a F&<k Up on GPs Part. Obviously built into it so you have to upgrade.

    • I’ve had some digital cameras do something similar in the past, kind of like the paint on the plastic starts to wear off. I suppose it could also be humidity, dirt, whatever that builds up in the plastic case and reacts with the finish. For me, as long as my GoPro still works I don’t care if it gets a little rash.

  • The problem is that “once-in-a-lifetime” shot might get partially obstructed out of focus spots due to the peeling of the what I will call a ultra thin stickers GoPro used to cheaply finish the HD Hero II. The Ultra thin rubberized skin on top of the body that must have been added by GP to keep the camera from slipping/moving in the acrylic case after engineering discovered it had a micro fit problem. It wasn’t a gradual peeling its a WTF all at once all over flaking. It’s not dirt its most-likely a reaction between the housing and the chemicals used in the added on full body stickers. Find a friends Hero 2 HD and see what I’m talking about. There’s might not be peeling yet but you should be able to observe the added on very very thin rubberized stickers, that you would have never noticed on the camera when you purchased it. The cameras are in a plastic box so you never get to feel, touch, play before purchase at Bestbuy. Could BB be selling Grey market GoPros? (for the same cost as new) Not sure if I can post a link… http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebertobias/2014/10/29/buying-gray-market-cameras-what-you-need-to-know/