When it comes to camouflage, nothing can help you match your surroundings better than a ghillie suit. Whether it is for hunting, sneaking up on people, or disguising from your targets, a ghillie suit is designed to resemble heavy foliage. Its main purpose is to keep you anonymous in your surroundings especially in life and death situations.
Commonly, a ghillie suit is made up of net or loose cloth garment made to resemble twigs and leaves. But, what makes a ghillie suit special is that it creates a 3D image of a person’s outline instead of a linear one. Additionally, some suits can even move with the wind, allowing you to blend naturally.
However, making a garment for camouflage is easier said than done. If you want to make your own home made ghillie suit, there are certain factors that you need to consider.
What to consider when making a ghillie suit
1. Before making a ghillie suit, the first thing that you should consider is the location of where you are going to use your suit and the time you plan to use it. It is essential that you research your desired terrain, check which foliage is present, and observe the shapes, colors, and textures that you can incorporate in your suit.
2. Since the primary role of ghillie suits is to make you anonymous in your surroundings, selecting the right pattern is essential. You can add green textures to resemble leaves and other surrounding foliage for additional blending.
3. Aside from camouflage, wearing a suit that does not hamper your movement is also important. For snipers, a ghillie suit that allows them to move without difficulty is crucial to survive and escape dangerous situations. So, it is vital that your suit is made with light and quality materials to make sure it will not fall apart when you are in the field.
4. For bow hunters, it is important to consider making a ghillie suit that is designed in a way where the bow string will not get in the way of the shot. That way, you can move easier and make your hunting experience more successful.
How to make your own ghillie suit
Step 1: Gather the materials you need
Making your own ghillie suit only requires using a few materials. You will only need a used set of camouflage BDUs or old jackets, loose strips of burlap or jute, fishing net, and zip ties. You can also use glue, thread, sewing needles, twine, and other scraps of foliage that are necessary for camouflage.
Step 2: Add the netting
The first thing that you need to do after getting your hands on all of your materials is to create the base of your suit. The perfect base is your old jacket or camouflage BDUs. Cut the fishing net into two-square wide strips and sew them at the front of your jacket and down to the sleeves. Then, using the glue, seal the stitches in your jacket.
Step 3: Prepare the jute or burlap
Covering your ghillie suit with strands of burlap is the traditional way of making it. You will need about 4-8 pounds of burlap for each suit. But, if you can not find burlap, using jute can be an alternative. To unravel the material, simply cut them into strips and separate the cross-linked fibers. These strands will go on the sleeves and the back of your jacket. You can also dye them into different colors depending on the season and environment to make a more effective camouflage.
Step 4: Tie in the jute or burlap
After preparing the jute or burlap, you can begin tying the strands into the net. Simply take 10 strands of the jute or burlap and fold them into half. Then, push the loop under each square of netting and draw the hanging ends of the burlap or jute through the loop and then pull them tight. Start this process from the bottom and upwards.
Step 5: Make a ghillie hood (Optional)
If you want to blend better around grassy areas, there are two simple ways to make a ghillie hood. The first way is to cut your mesh of netting into an oval and wear it on your head like a veil. However, this tends to fall off easily. The second way is to glue the oval piece of mesh netting to a hat. Then, after choosing the form of your hood, tie the burlap or jute the same way as you did in Step 4. Make sure the amount of burlap or jute is proportional to that as of your suit. The suit and hood should blend together and make sure it is not too heavy.
1. Integrate items from your surroundings to keep the best profile
Each time you intend to use your ghillie suit, spend at least 15 to 20 minutes going through the location and attach items and other foliage to your suit, helping you blend in better. For example, if you are in a grassy area, attach leaves and green textures to your suit.
2. Attach more foliage to the back of your suit
Remember that sneaking while using your ghillie suit involves a lot of crawling, so it is better to attach items on your back. Besides, the items on your chest are likely to make noise as you crawl and put you in a dangerous situation.
3. Be aware of your setting
If possible, stay in the same kind of terrain when you are on the move. Remember that you already incorporated materials to match your setting, so moving to a different kind of terrain might damage your camouflage.
4. Stay away from natural lines
When on the field, stay away from objects that make natural lines such as trees. A clump of bush next to a tree looks unnatural and you will be spotted sooner if you hide like this. Instead of moving side to side, it would be better to move directly towards your target while staying in the shadows. Also, remember to stick with earthly tones when making your ghillie suit.
5. Be aware of shadows
Lightning is a vital element when you are out in the field. Be mindful that as time passes, shadows change direction and shadow-casting can darken your camouflage.
6. Don’t forget to cover your gun, face, and boots
Some people pay too much attention in making the best ghillie suit and they tend to forget that they also cover their gun, face, and boots. Make sure to cover the dark and light areas of your body, such as your face, and use burlap or mesh netting to cover them.
Anyone can make camouflage clothing like a ghillie suit. But, not everyone can make it look natural and effective. Since humans do not have the natural ability to camouflage with their surroundings, being observant with the environment or field where you want to hunt plays a crucial role.
Spend more time outdoors, and observe your surroundings and how nature looks. Once you have done this, it will be easier to determine the colors and textures necessary to make the perfect ghillie suit. Not only that, but you can incorporate more effective items to your suit the next time you use your ghillie suit.