Hello all first post here. Ive been browsing through the forum the last couple days and Ive read a lot of good info on Ghilie suits in the archives and wanted to share my knowledge on how to construct a proper Ghilie suit. Along with a few tips and photos. First and foremost Ghilie suits are not required for UE, but deffinatley come in handy if you're unsure on a building and want to observe it for an extended period of time or need to sneak past high traffic areas through fields or woods to get to your destination.
The materials you are going to need are as follows:
1. BDU/DCU/Multicam Camo top, bottoms & Hat/Boonie cap. - I find currently multicam works best for all around and these can all be found at your local goodwill or Surplus store.
2. Non reflective Fish netting. Don't get any thing with any type of shine or gloss on it as it will reflect light. These can normally be found at your local surplus store, hardware store or anywhere that carries fishing supplies.
3. 550 or paracord - Found online or at a surplus store.
4. Gorilla Glue
5. Styrofoam sheet/ foam insert pads - Located at Walmart/ Home depot.
6. Sewing kit/ machine or Sewing shop.
7. Canvas sheet - Usually found in fabric stores.
8. Spray paint - Choose matte colors that are right for you're environment.
9. Burlap sacks/ Ghilie suit twine - Surplus store/ online.
10. 100mph tape/Mil spec tape - Online/ Ive also seen at Home depot.
11. Camouflage netting - Online/ Surplus store
1.The first step to construction is to take the tops and bottoms you have selected and open up the compartments located on the knee and elbows. Once open insert your knee and elbow pad inserts/foam into the slots designated in the uniform. Adding these to your Ghilie suit well enable you to spend longer periods of time in uncomfortable environments as the the majority of observation is from the prone position or the knee.
2. Next you take canvas sheeting and cut out out sections that are big enough to cover the whole front of the uniform tops and bottoms. "I usually use 2 sections for the top as it buttons down the center and one for each leg up to about crotch level. This canvas sheeting is sewed on and if you're not the best sewer "much like myself" I highly advise taking your components to a local sew shop and having them do it for you as they've more than likely been sewing there whole lives and know how to make a strong seam. The purpose of having canvas on the front of the uniform is to prevent wear and tear from crawling while also providing a minimal amount of extra comfort when observing.
3. Once the canvas front is sewn on to the uniform apply gorilla glue over every seem, Try and get the non reflective type if you can. Applying it will reinforce the seems and preserve there integrity.
4. Once Gorilla glue is applied to the seems, its then time to take your matte spray paint and spray over the gorilla glue. Gorilla glue shows up as black and black does not naturally occur in long man shaped lines in nature. Spraying the seams the color of your camo or surroundings is advised.
5. The fifth step is to then take your camo netting and lay it over each area that is composed of the canvas sheeting on your suit. Once applied begin spray painting the front of your suit. This will make the canvas sheeting a camouflage pattern again.
6. Once dried, its now time to apply the non reflective fish netting to your suit and hat. Cover the entire back of your pants and top. On the top make sure the netting also covers up your shoulders and the top of your arms and sew everything in place. Afterwords cut out about 2ft of netting and sew it to the top of your hat in a veil like manner. Again if you cannot sew a sew shop is your best bet for this.
7. The next step is to apply the burlap/Ghilie twine to your suit. I find its best not to go over board here and a good rule of thumb is to use strands consisting of 5-8 strings to every other / every third netting hole on your suit top and veil. When tying use a method such as a loop that well enable you to remove these strands later should you choose to use this suit in a different environment. Make sure to add enough strings to break up the outline of your shoulders as shoulders are the first give away to you being a man and not a piece of nature. Also If using Burlap as opposed to Ghillie twine you can always dye the strands to your environment. When applying the strands to your veil its a good ides to leave enough space that you can see through but will be covered by burlap/twine further up so as not to expose your beautiful face. Also when applying burlap to the pants it is unnecessary to apply any higher than mid butt level as your top has already got you covered. Do not place burlap that drags on the floor from your legs either as I promise this will make you trip and fall possibly giving away your position.
8. For step 8 we then take our 550 chord/ Non reflective strong string and begin to tie it to the netting. I find you cant go wrong with a piece every 6-8 inches. This will enable you to tie foliage into your suit from your surroundings thus blending it in even further.
9. Now that you are almost complete its time to take a good look at your suit. Some Military uniforms have shiny reflective buttons on the pockets or other places. Cover these with 100mph tape as buttons reflect light. Also double check to make sure that the outline of your suit is completely broken up on shoulders and sides.
10. Once fully constructed its now time to dig a hole in your back yard and bury the suit and veil for 2 weeks. This will get it impeccably dirty much like nature, helping you blend in even better.
For those in hot weather environment's you could cut out a giant square consisting of the majority of the back of the top. This will allow more air exchange in the suit, keeping you cooler and allowing more time to observe.
Use multiple seams when sewing anything, a good practice would be to request at the sew shop that all seams have a minimum of 4 stitchings to keep the suit integral.
Wear a camel back underneath your Ghilie, it gets hot in there and you could get dehydrated quick.
Attached are some photos of a Ghilie suit, suited for plains type regions. Thanks for the read and stay safe!
Through the veil