Staying hidden, and navigating without being detected could be critical in a hostile environment.
One of the things that generally sets people apart from the different sniper courses is just the way that they construct their ghillie suits.
In this guide we’ll talk about and discuss the tips and trick, materials and modifications we need to make to construct a ghillie suit.
A. Visual Indicators.
From a trackers perspective or a sniper’s perceptive, visual indicators are the things that are going to get you found.
Visual indicators are shine, shape, shadow, silhouette, surface texture, color and contrast with your background and of course movement, which is the biggest thing.
Color to contrast doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. For example, a ghillie suit that is used in the desert, these desert colors would still work in woodland environments.
You wouldn’t wear a white ghillie suit or a black ghillie suit or a bright emergency orange ghillie suit. Natural colors are found in different environments and it goes across many different climates.
Also, you would want to decrease any shine, change the shape, add texture and surface, and we don’t want to increase our silhouette more than we have to.
We want to create shadows and texture where there weren’t any so that when the light hits us, it hits us and it looks like something completely different.
If a light hits on a flat surface, it reflects and shows that’s what we pick up visually with our eye.
If it’s textured and the light is hitting it different and you have shadows, it breaks up exactly what you’re looking at and it makes things harder to see.
Basically there are materials you might want to make for yourself and some of these can be outlined below:
You might want to use use boonie caps. For example, a desert boonie cap needs to be in perfect shape with a shadow and a perfect outline.
It is a lot more irregular but you may want to use it when trying to hide.
Base uniform or BDU.
An old battle dress uniform with a woodland pattern may be used. This is pretty good for anywhere around, and you can also get away it with in a desert too.
This is your baseline pattern and it already has some irregularities built into it. The nature of the camouflage is a good thing and they’re very durable.
The oversize allows you to have room for extra stuff underneath and you’re not just limited to this as if this was your regular uniform. It allows you to account for all that holiday weight you put on if you need to do an operation in January
You’re also going to need some sort of netting. There’s a lot of different ways that you can make these. This is a nice neutral, natural color. It’s a really strong pre-made net.
Pocket survival hammocks.
Pocket survival hammocks can also be used as a net because they’re so cheap. Unfortunately, it has that shine which is not as good as that drab looking net but you can always hit it with a flat spray paint in a natural color and make it dull.
Burlap or a jute.
This is the main material you’ll need to use. If you’re using these bug strips of burlap, it’s a lot cheaper to buy it this way and you just fold it out.
It’s basically the same thing a sand bag is made out of, but you can get this in different natural colors.
Cut it off into strips. Obviously you’d want a longer strip but you can see you’ve got vertical and horizontal fibers.
Take all the horizontal fibers. This could be a laborious and time consuming process but all you want is the long strips left on there.
Get pre dyed jute twine that’s already separated with a bunch of different colors.
The key thing with this is not to to set any sort of pattern whatsoever. Take handful of locks of one color, maybe four or five strands of each.
Put that together and tie it onto the netting. This is the easiest way to do it and because it has already been stripped, it works really well.
Sniper veil netting.
This is desert pattern pretty tight weave kind of like a sniper veil netting.
Take a big section out of the back of the girlie suit and sew that netting in there so it allows a place on your back when crawling across the ground.
This allows a place for heat to escape from my back and cuts down on the amount of heat that the actual insulated material traps inside and keeps you cooler while you’re doing stalks.
Leg of a BDU bottom
It can be taken and cut off and then you sew the bottom together to make a pouch.
Take a pant leg from the uniform.
Sew that together and basically make a light weight Camelback bladder or hydration bladder carrier.
You can then have it sewed inside you ghillie suit and it rests right up against your back.
What fits in this pouch is a light-weight Camelpack bladder or hydration bladder carrier that you can also sew inside the ghillie suit.
Military sleeping mat or closed cell form.
A military sleeping bag can be used to make reinforced canvas or closed cell form on the knees.
The new uniforms come with knee pads and elbow pads that insert right inside. It’s closed cell foam.
Put some padding on your elbows, chest, legs, thighs, and knees so that when you’re crawling across the ground you don’t get beat up when you go over a rock
It protects you from conduction when you’re laying against the ground and losing all your body heat.
Sew the canvas over top of that with the knee pad is on the inside.
Basically like a skid plate, this gives a surface that wears a lot slower than if you just left the thin BDU material.
The thin uniform materials wear out quickly when you’re going across the ground so you reinforce it with canvas and then put that pad in there and sew it all together.
Once you sew all that together, cover the thread with some Shoe Goo so that crawling across the ground, rocks, thorns and branches and such, it doesn’t wear that thread out and make it come apart.
When you’re a sniper or when you’re in a ghillie suit, you spend a lot of time on your belly crawling. It’s a good idea to not only reinforce the front of your chest and your hips and your thighs while you’re crawling.
Military duffle bags.
You may have a lot of military duffle bags laying around. All you need to to is cut out the pattern from this and make a canvas.
This is a real heavy duty waterproof canvas or sometimes nylon but it’s a reinforced patch made out of military duffle bags.
When this patch wears out, you can break the threads on that and cut out a new patch over that or just leave it and put a patch directly over top of that and you’re good to go.
This is a great thing to because when you’re wearing an issue suit while you’re in a ghillie suit and you’re crawling across the ground, that belt buckle pushes up against your stomach the whole time you’re dragging.
If you use these old military style suspenders, that puts the little clips into the buckles on your hips, this would be another comfort thing.
Because the Shoe Goo is shiny, you may want to hit that with some flat spray paint to take that shine off of that. That’s another visual indicator that you don’t want to have on there.
Heavy duty thread and canvas needle or glover’s needle.
Sometimes you may also need to use a canvas needle. It’s good for sewing and that’s what you’ll use with some heavy duty thread.
It has basically the same thickness as the gut from para cord. From 550 cord, the inner strands are about that same thickness.
This comes along with a speedy stitcher. You may need to sew everything with it and carry it along whenever you go out in the field. It needs to be in your kit.
With a wax thread, you can sew your leather and canvas with it. It can also be used for repairing rucksacks.
The speedy stitcher sewing awl is incredible and it has got a wax thread that comes with it. It’s real quick to sew your netting onto your actual ghillie suit and makes it really nice.
You also need a para cord for making a ghirlie suit.
Tubular nylon and half inch elastic bands.
About a half inch tubular nylon piece with half inch elastic bands.
Walking tinder bundle.
For the most part, in wartime, you’re not really in a sniper position with a campfire but on a battlefield. So you may need to carry a Inspecta-Shield Class A Fire Retardant because there’s definitely potential for fires to be everywhere.
You spray this on the girlie suit and it makes you a less flammable and less likely to catch fire.
C. Modifications on the girlie suit.
You can sew the netting directly on top and get a close up on the girlie suit.
Sew para cord to the actual boonie cap and then take that para cord and tie a square
Knot with two over hands securing that.
Use that to tie the actual netting to your actual ghillie suit.
Put a dollop of Shoe Goo on and any of your threads. That way you don’t wear those out and it doesn’t come apart on you.
Then, if you use shoe goo, remember it’s shiny so you get to hit that with some spray paint to dull it back up again.
Take a couple of handfuls of jute with strands of each color, not setting any sort of pattern whatsoever.
Just tie those onto the netting.
You just make a loop and then that goes around and then you kind of pull everything through that. It’s called a larkshead.
Get it reasonably coated without making it too bushy.
Then get rubber bands attached to it.
What separates a good sniper from one that’s just Chewbaca in the woods with a ghillie suit, is using local, natural vegetation.
Rubber bands allow you to take live foliage and quickly attach it to my ghillie suit on all different locations so that you’re more blending in with the surroundings.
Always have rubber bands all over the place on these so that you can put natural vegetation in there really quick. The natural vegetation keeps you from being seen. It’s not the jute material.
The veil is actually rolled up and tied. When you get into position, you can untie that. You might not to have it dangling because it tends to catch on briers. It tends to catch on things and it gets in the way.
When you unroll that, you get a veil that has just a little bit of material in there.
Once you get behind the gun, you get enough to actually go up over your rifle so your scope would be up here.
You can see directly through that but it breaks up the outline and the pattern.
It’s basically just para cord loops sewn on one side and then sewn on the outside like that.
You can roll that up and tie it out your way.
You can walk with just that on and it’s no big deal.
You can get away with just that hat a lot of times because most of the time you’re facing forward towards the enemy.
A normal uniform has a pocket on both sides. You may want to take those pockets off because you can no longer reach them.
Take the smaller upper pockets and sew them onto the sleeves underneath.
Then take the bottom pockets that are larger and actually sew them on the inside.
That way, you’ve got stuff that you can get to pretty easily, even if you’re laying down. You can still be able pull things out of that pocket like rubber bands,binoculars, sketch book and a lot of things.
This is also reinforced and padded. You may also like to use the elastic over the tubular nylon.
The thumb loop is on both sides. You can put those thumb loops over and it keeps your sleeves down so that when crawling, the sleeves don’t ride up to an area of your skin that might not be camouflaged well.
You might have two feet of para cord that come off the back about midline of each butt cheek is where it would go. Then on the front, you have a corresponding para cord loop sewn in.
Whenever you put that on, the actual two foot tails are dangling behind you and you might actually reach down and pull them forward in front of you.
Put them through that loop and tie them and that keeps the bottom of your ghillie suit down where you want it.
So, even if you’re crawling forward or backwards, that suit won’t ride up on you. They’re really great, especially when you’re getting out of position to be able to tie that down.
This is another piece of elastic. Stirrups will go up underneath the heel of your boot and it keeps your pant legs down when you’re crawling backwards.
Those are some of the tips and tricks, the modifications you need to make and the materials used if you’re wanting to build a ghillie suit.