Difference Between Cover And Concealment

Both concealment and cover are forms of self-protection from an enemy. They ensure your safety if you cannot fight back when attacked.

People often use the words interchangeably, but we will differentiate between cover and concealment because they are not the same.

As an off-gridder, you need to know the difference between cover and concealment.

You also need to know what these two terms mean. When you are ambushed or under any form of attack, you need to protect yourself.

In this article, we will discuss in detail what these two terms mean and cover options that may be available in your home. Keep reading to find out more!

What Is Concealment?

What Is Concealment?

In verb form, to conceal simply means hiding from view or hiding from public knowledge. The same term is also used when you want to keep something secret.

Concealment is something that acts as a hiding place. Usually, the term is used by the military, but it has become so common among civilians.

If you are attacked, you can choose to run, fight, or hide. Hiding part of this statement simply means finding concealment.  

Concealment will protect you from a hostile attacker who wants to harm you. To increase your safety, you need to find it before the enemy spots you.

That way, the attacker will not know how much you are prepared to fight back or whether you are there or not.

Concealment in your home can be doors, curtains, bed, blind corners, and many others. However, they should not be considered to provide any ballistic protection.

The benefit is to help you hide from the enemy and launch a counterattack if you decide to fight your assailant.

In nature, animals can hide really well from their prey. Both predators and prey can camouflage. For example, a chameleon changes color to blend with the surrounding.

That allows the animal to hide from enemies and ambush the prey without notice. A snake can enter your home and use furniture or any other thing as concealment.  

What Is Cover?

What Is Cover?

A cover refers to anything that can protect you from danger. Your enemy can know that you are taking cover behind a concrete wall but will not harm you because bullets cannot penetrate.

Cover offers some extent of ballistic protection, something that concealment cannot provide.

If your house is under fire, a fireproof room will save you from perishing in the fire. Cover can be concealment and not vice versa. That is the main difference that exists between the two.

You should never assume that cover will conceal you. If you allow your enemy to locate your position, you are at a higher risk since they can move around to launch an attack.

Change cover as soon as you realize you have been identified.

Taking cover is particularly important if you are ambushed. That is to say, your enemy caught you unarmed. In such a situation, you cannot fight back but hide.

Imagine yourself chasing a rodent in your garden or your home. It will run and find cover in a nearby hole. You are aware that it is there, but you cannot attack because you cannot see it.

The Difference Between Cover And Concealment

The Difference Between Cover And Concealment

Differences exist between cover and concealment. People might use the terms interchangeably, but it should be known that they mean different things.

There is more to their purposes than just the basic definition. The only similarity between cover and concealment is offering safety and hiding places.

Hidden Level

It is the only concealment that can hide you from your assailant. A bulletproof window, such as those fitted on a car, can protect you from bullets, but the attacker will still see you.

Some people have also saved their lives by hiding in a high-tech greenhouse, but they do not get concealment.

The above cases are all about cover. You are covered and protected but not hidden, something that can make your enemy change strategies.

Concealment is the solution to that shortcoming. You make your enemy unaware of your presence.

You can find concealment through camouflaging with the surrounding, the way military men do. Their attires resemble nature to conceal them.

You can also hide your identity by not making noise, diving into the water, or just remaining stationary.

If your enemy spots you, then your concealment can no longer protect you. You can fight back, take cover, or find another hiding place.

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Safety Level

Both cover and concealment are for your safety. However, there is a difference regarding the safety level. As said, an attacker can harm you the moment you are exposed from your concealment.

If you take cover, you have some form of ballistic protection. Bullets or other weapons cannot harm you.

Let us use an eagle-snake analogy. Eagles have acute eye vision, meaning they can spot snakes when they are still far away. A green snake on the grass might not be easy to spot because it camouflages.

But once spotted, an eagle will fly down to take it. That is not the same case if that same snake would have taken cover inside a hole.

Different Cover Options That May Be Available In Your Home

Different Cover Options That May Be Available In Your Home

Knowing the different cover options at your disposal is very crucial whether you live off-grid or not. These are survival techniques in case of an attack that everyone should learn.

Emergency Situation

An emergency that might require cover includes terrorist attack, fire, extreme weather conditions such as flood and storms, an animal attack.

The latter is popular among people living off the grid since they move a step closer to nature.

If you have kids or vulnerable individuals in your home, help them first to seek cover. Even if you have to fight back, you should first ensure the assailant cannot harm them.

In every emergency situation, you need to know the most appropriate cover. For example, do not take cover in a house that is on fire.

Similarly, you cannot stay under a tree during a storm. And most importantly, run to safety if possible.

Different Cover Options

The type of cover option you take depends on the nature of an attack, which will be different every time.

If you are attacked outside your home, run and take cover in a Subterranean Roundhouse if you have one. It is effective against an animal attack.

If the attacker has blocked you inside the house, then your cover strategy will change. You should not let your enemy know where you are taking the cover. The cover options include the following:

  • Hiding behind bog trees.
  • Fleeing to the basement.
  • Hiding under the bed.
  • Taking cover in a ceiling.
  • Moving to the garage.
  • Hiding behind concrete walls.
  • Getting into an empty water barrel.
  • Closing yourselves inside a room.
  • Taking cover in the underground structures.
  • Hiding behind metallic doors.

Improve Your Cover

Even cover cannot guarantee ballistic protection. Your safety is in your hands, and it involves interpreting the form of the attack and taking an appropriate cover.

The above-listed cover options will not be appropriate in all situations.

For example, you cannot run to the basement if a flood is your emergency. Also, moving into the ceiling during a fire is not feasible.

The only way to improve cover is by correctly identifying your emergency or situation at hand and using the best option.

Best: Cover And Conceal Use Together

The cover alone might not be effective in ensuring your safety. It is easier for your enemy to advance movements if your position is determined.

Any assailant cannot abort the mission simply because you have climbed up into the ceiling.

Using cover together with concealment is the most effective approach. You will be safer if you abide by the rules of cover and concealment, as we will see in the next section.

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Safety Rules For Concealment And Cover

Mute Anything That Is Reflective On Your Person

For concealment, you need to hide your identity and/or your position. Your attack will spot you if you move, make a sound, or something reflects on you. You should stay still and be quiet.

Mute anything that makes noise or reflects light, such as the following:

  • Cell phones
  • Sunglasses
  • Watches
  • Earrings
  • Buckles (Shoes, Bags, Belts, etc.)
  • Reflective Jackets
  • Reflective Athletic Shoes

Reserve For A Long-Term Cover Situation

You cannot know how long it would take the danger to go away. It can escalate beyond your expectations, and that is when you need to respond.

You can fight back, call for help, or run to safety. To do that, you might need one or more of the following items:

  • Phone
  • Contact Numbers
  • Firearm, Ammo/Another Weapon
  • Trauma Kit/Boo-Boo Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Blanket
  • Food
  • Water

Weapons will help you to fight back the enemy if it is advancing to a dangerous position, a time when fighting back is not optional.

If you can collect some food and water, do it because you do not know how long your situation would persist. A phone with contact numbers is also necessary if you need to call for help.


Cover and concealment definition

Concealment is a term used to refer to anything that can hide you from your enemy or assailant but does not offer any form of ballistic protection.

Cover is a term used to refer to anything that can provide ballistic protection. Cover can also conceal you but not always.

Example of cover and concealment

Concealments include dark corners, camouflaging, hiding behind curtains, diving into the water, or any hiding place.

Covers comprise walls, furniture, underground structures, caves, trees, a basement, or anything that can protect you from danger.

What is the purpose of cover and concealment?

Both cover and concealment ensure your safety when under attack. You are supposed to apply both at the same time to enhance your safety level.

Cover will protect you from weapons and concealment will hide you from the attacker.

Is a brick wall cover or concealment?

A brick wall can be classified as a cover. Bullets fired by shotguns cannot penetrate a brick wall, meaning it can offer you ballistic protection.

Wrapping Up

You cannot know when an enemy will strike. Preparation is one of the best ways of saving you and your family in such situations.

Apart from stocking necessary weapons for a counterattack, you should also learn to hide and take cover. Pass the same information to the family members.

It’s our hope that the information from this article will ensure your safety, and we appreciate your time reading it at the Em Offgrid.

We have other related articles that you can also check out to expand your knowledge of off-grid living.