How to Cover an Infrared Heat Signature

Written by elle blake
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How to Cover an Infrared Heat Signature
Thermal cameras work by detecting infrared radiation, and converting this information into a temperature pattern. (camera image by Alexandre from

People use thermal technology in many different ways. They are used in some large strategy games, similar to paintball, and in security, both by police forces and in CCTV. Thermal imaging makes finding people or objects that are hidden very easy, due to their heat signature. Simply hiding your heat signature completely is not a viable option, as the lack of heat signature will make you stand out on camera. To cover your heat signature, you need to confuse the camera.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pane of glass
  • Metal handle
  • Thermal blanket
  • Sticks and greenery
  • Neoprene wet suit

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  1. 1

    Attach a pane of glass to a long metal handle. Hold the shield out in front of you in the direction of the camera. The glass filters the camera's beams, which keeps it from detecting your heat signature.

  2. 2

    Cover yourself in sticks and shrubbery while hidden. While the greenery will not dim your heat signature, it will break up the silhouette that the camera shows and make you look less like a human. Done correctly, the heat signature is so dispersed it is usually overlooked.

  3. 3

    Hide yourself underneath a thermal blanket or tent. Only the parts of you covered by the blanket will not generate a heat signature, so ensure any exposed parts of you do not look human.

  4. 4

    Hide your surroundings. Exhausts can be easily cooled by putting a wet towel over the end, or spraying water up the exhaust. Close windows, doors and vents to prevent heat from escaping. Many walls will disperse heat slowly, and so will only register a low heat signature.

  5. 5

    Wear a neoprene wet suit. The wet suit will prevent your body from transmitting a heat signature, although once the wet suit warms up this is no longer effective. As a result, this method only works for the short term.

Tips and warnings

  • Covering yourself in mud will not hide your heat signature, despite this being a common myth. The mud does not reflect the cameras beams and will heat up.

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