My story with the Polish Woodland camo

My story with the Polish Woodland camo

The polish woodland “Pantera Leśna” does its job in the Polish Army since 1993. Initially, it was projected for the GROM Military Unit purposes, but after some time it has been also taken to the regular army. The pattern is dedicated to the central Europe green lands and contains four basic colors:

– black
– brown
– light green
– dark green

The camouflage is made of contrast and quite big “puzzles”.

It is worth to mention, that the “Pantera Leśna” is still used by the Polish Army, and what is more interesting – the famous JWK Special Unit was using that camouflage in the green tactics until it has been replaced with the A-TACS in the 2015.

autor: Mateusz Madejski (Visual Violence)

My story with the Polish Woodland WZ93

To be honest – I’ve never been a big fan of the glorious polish woodland. I didn’t like the pattern, it wasn’t very fashionable (in the airsoft way ;)), there was no swag factor. Additionally, the community of users of that camouflage wasn’t giving me good associations – I didn’t want to be considered as a member of Strzelec group, or something like that – I’m just having fun in the forest 😉

However, a lot of have changed, when we have finally created our SGO Perun team. To work quite professionally (for the airsoft purposes) we needed to have an uniform restrictions. Because most of us already had the “Pantera Leśna” camouflage and gear, I have also needed to get one for myself. The starts were a little hard because of my lots of prejudices I had. As it have turned out – the camouflage doesn’t work that bad and with some good quality gear it can also look nice in the field, while doing its job. There is a lot of producers in the market that make some gear in that pattern, even there came out some of more budget options too, so the “Pantera Leśna” is definitely not dead ;). What’s important, the world doesn’t end on the infamous cotton made uniform that gives warmth in the summer and cold in the winter, nor the wz.2010 uniform that recently became illegal to wear by non-military people.

 

autor: Pho-terra

In high season (spring and summer) I usually use full camo. My kitlist consists of:

– Redwood tactical pants from Black Mountain Tactical (check out my review)
– Combat Shirt Perslej (wz2010 custom)
– Helikon baseball cap / Helikon CPU Boonie + mosquito net

 

WZ93autor: Pho-terra

The usage

Because of the used colors and not that big contrast between them and also the very repeatable pattern – the “wuzeta” doesn’t work in every conditions. The biggest con of it is the work of the “puzzles”, that become a one dark green spot in the longer distances. The newer materials in this camouflage are quite dark and work properly in the similar conditions – the light of sun is your biggest enemy. During the summer it requires some skill to automatically spot darker places and move around them, but during the autumn and early winter (without snow) it starts to work pretty well.

Polish woodland fits nicely with the olive or ranger green equipment. If you would like to mix it with another camo, one of the most common mix for late autumn and early winter is the Multicam pants with torso in the Pantera Leśna. The Multicam will do its best in the bright, dried grass and the upper part of body in the polish woodland will perfectly blend into the dark environment. This camouflage is also one of the cheaper ways to start a adventure with reenacting (vide JWK Special Unit 2013-2015), which can interest some of the fans of that type of activity besides the airsofting and the fans of polish military forces.

autor: Pho-terra

Summary

Besides its age, the polish woodland still does its job. After many drastic changes that the uniforms and equipment in this camo went through, it is nowadays pretty easy to find a good quality gear or the budget one in this pattern. The market is just huge and is still expanding. Theoretically, the biggest disadvantage of the wz93 nowadays is its lack of the universality, which is a must today (vide Multicam popularity), but frankly – it’s a advantage. If you know the terrain you are going to play on, you can set your equipment typically for that type of conditions (like the lots of dark spots, where the polish woodland would suit).

 

We all know (but now everyone will admit it ;)) that if something is universal, it is equally low-effective in all conditions. Personally, besides all the skeptical thoughts, after few years of experience with the wz93 I am totally fine with it and doesn’t feel any urge to replace it. After some time spent with it I can instinctively use it with all its advantages and disadvantages.

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