Ghillie Suit Construction Part 1
If you want hands-on training in the marksmanship and fieldcraft skills of military snipers, including building your own ghillie suit, checkout our SniperCraft class schedule.
When it comes to ghillie suit construction, any sniper will tell you the same thing… build your own! You can get a quality base from a reputable company like Tactical Concealment, but avoid the temptation to buy a completed suit from a store. Building a ghillie suit can take a lot of time, usually between 30 and 60 hours depending on your skills. But it will not cost you an arm and a leg.
Let’s start with the base. I use BDU shirt and pants. I just get an old pair from a military surplus store. First thing you will want to do is to remove the pockets and buttons on the shirts. These will just cause you problems when trying to stalk while on the ground. You will put a zipper on later or get BDU’s that have a zipper. The pockets on the pants will be left alone as they will come in handy during a stalk.
Next you will want to cut a large section out of the back. I usually cut a square out that measures 16 or 18 inches square. This is important as it will offer ventilation to get rid of heat, and ghillie suits get hot! I will then cover this with some strong nylon mesh with approximately ¼ inch holes. Cut the mesh about 1 inch larger than the hole. Place the mesh on the hole and glue the entire sides with E6000 glue, or it can also be sewn into place.
I also buy a boonie hat to use as a base for the head covering. I usually cut the brim down by half or more. This reduces the outline signature of your head. I cut a hole in the top the size of the entire top to provide ventilation just like with the shirt. I cover this with the same mesh that I use on the shirt vent. Same thing here, cut some mesh a bit bigger than the hole and glue it with E6000 or sew it on.
Well, let’s give the ghillie a day for the glue to dry and pick back up tomorrow with the next step.