The ghillie suit is the sniper’s best friend. It is strings of cloth, burlap, jute and even rope. They are cut to long narrow strips that are dyed, rubbed in, or even spray painted on to give different colors to the garment.
The Scottish used ripped strips of colored cloth to hunt poachers who where hunting on there land.
I have made 7 of these and can personally verify that they will make you invisible if used correctly. I have had one on and was trying to cross a path when some people came down the trail. I got off the trail but my fingers were on the side of the trail due to the fact that I couldn’t pull them back. They stopped 3 feet away and used the restroom. They stood there for about 3-5 minutes talking before leaving. They never even knew I was there.
There are several other ways to make a ghillie but this was the best and fastest way for me.
Now here’s what you need.
- 1. A jacket and pants or you can use a mechanic suit or flight suit. A flight suit is good because it’s all in one piece, but if you make a separate set you can use either or instead of having a whole suit, because these things get HOT once you’ve had it on for a bit.
- 2. Shoe Goo. You can buy it at your local Wal-mart. It’s a liquid adhesive that once dry is pliable yet it will not come off of the clothing unless you put some muscle behind it. Now I know that you can sow it on the suit but unless you are going to be using this suit constantly there is just no point in all that work. PLUS you can carry a tube of Shoe Goo with you in the flied an viola! Instant fix.
- 3. Netting of some kind. I’ve used volley ball netting.
- 4. Jute, Burlap, Strips of clothing, and even rope.
- 5. Cut these into long strips. Vary the length but don’t make any shorter than 24 inches. Your standard length should be about 30-36 inches .I will tell you why later.
- 6. Place your suit (jacket and pants) down on the ground backside up as if you were in the prone position(laying down).
- 7. Place the netting over the cloth and cut the outline of the suit.
- 8. Now take the Shoe Goo and place a glob(about half an inch in diameter) all around the suit. There is not a set pattern to putting the glue to the suit. Just use your best judgement. You don’t want to do every single square because you will not be able to add foliage to the suit if needed once using it in the bush.
- 9. Let it sit for a day. Yeah I know you can’t wait that long but you should have done it yesterday.
- 10. Once the glue has dried.(it will be rubbery, but it will hold)If you give it a tug and it comes off re-apply the glue and let sit over-night once again.
- 11. Once it has settled you will no start tying strips of your material from the bottom up. You will bend the material so it is even length on both sides. Put one end thru a square of netting. Now tie it into a knot. It gives you 2 pieces of ghillie material instead of 1 piece, makes it go faster.
- 12. Now you have a ghillie!
Here are some pointers on making a better . I have used these tips myself and they have worked.
They still produce and sell the old school GI duffle bag. It’s the big single pocket that you see in all the old war movies in vietnam. Use this for this tip.
- 1. Lay your ghillie down front side up. Now cut front cover protectors for your chest and stomach with the cloth from the duffle bag. Use this to cover your knees and legs as well. I even used the straps(they are padded)for extra padding on my knees and elbows.
- 2. Sew these. THEY MUST BE SEWN. And sewn 3-4 times to make sure they wont come apart! They hold the straps inside and the knee and elbow section of the suit take a beating.
- 3. There is even a pocket that is sewn on the GI duffle bag .Cut around the sewing. Make sure you don’t cut the stitching. Now sew that to one of your sleeves by your wrist. You now have a pocket to hold binos, maps, whatever.
You can sew a section into the ghillie to hold a camel back. I recommend this BIG time. You sweat in a ghillie. Even at freezing degrees you can sweat in these and if you don’t have fluids in you, you can dehydrate and die. I am the biggest pusher of water intake during an operation. That’s working in your yard to extracting 8 miles into secure territory. If you don’t drink and replace fluid you will cramp up and go into the hurt locker.
I would suggest putting a flame retardant all over the suit. I have had a ghillie on and had it catch fire. They can go up and poof in under 10 seconds. Catching ordinance on fire in the process and then burns will be the least of your problems.
Adding vegetation to your suit is key to being 100% unseen. In sniper school they will take flourescent paint and paint the portion of your ghillie that they think is lacking in material or vegetation. Don’t add huge clumps to one section and sparse to the other part. Take a moment and look around find an area that you would like to look like and go from there.
There really is no limit to what you can add to a ghillie. The imagination is what makes them work for ya. I take my ghillie top every time I go into the woods. Its good to not be seen, use for a blanket if you have to, but most of all it makes a great pillow. Im not lying.