Ghillie Suit build


Verified Military
Nov 20, 2011
Olympia WA
Working on my first Ghillie Suit. Keeping it basic, I am using ACUs as the base (light color, free, and zipper will dig in less then buttons, did I mention free?) with Rhinoskin canvas and 1.75" netting. I am going to put mosquito netting vents on the back, under the armpits and on top of the boonie cap. I may add stirups for the legs and thumb loops if time permits. Here is what I have so far..
I'll have more pics as the build progresses
Just a few added ideas for you, if you sew loops throughout the top and bottoms, you can use zip ties to attach your netting with whatever camo pattern you need. Meaning have different netting set up for different environments, a dessert, a brush/light foliage, an urban, and then a darker jungle/forest set. Use the zip ties to attach the needed camo pattern netting, then when you need to change, cut the zip ties and put the other on. Use small little black zip ties (shit works good dude). Really cuts down on the amount of painting, time spent changing patterns and makes it stupid easy to change out. If I can find my old guilli suit I will snap a few pictures and show you what I mean.

On the bottoms, use the mosquito netting on the back of the legs. About a 2x2 sections on the calf, and another on the upper thigh above the knee. You can also do a few on the inner thighs, as well as get some small metal vents rivets (can’t remember what they are called, but look like the vent holes on the boots, but about the size of a dime) and put them in the crotch (not on the nuts, but about an 1.5 inches down from the center seam). That will give you a little bit of relief while sucking under all the burlap and foliage.

Also make some small slot pouches around the cuffs and hem where you can put flea collars inside, but where they the collars are not touching your skin. Don’t sew them in permanent, just use button hole stitching around the opening to make the diameter a bit smaller, so you can change the flea collars out as needed. Really helps with keeping the chiggers, fleas, and ants off.
I probably crawled a total of 50m in sniper school, and that was low crawling and high crawling- never the text book "sniper crawl". I figured if I needed to get down that low, I should probably pick a better route. I spent more time kneeling or crouching looking through binos than anything else. I think the biggest consideration is to keep it light weight and breathable. In addition to the cut out back and armpits, I did the same for the top of my hat. I also used a large top (usually wear a medium) and have never worn it buttoned up- I just wear a realtree t-shirt underneath. I also didn't put much garnish (jute, twine, burlap, etc) on mine. The natural veg is what really makes the difference, and that's pretty easy to attach with rubber bands- or retainer bands in the airborne world.
The natural veg is definitely the key, but also a pain in the ass. I don't look like much of a sniper with my suit on without veg, but when I do veg up, I look like swamp thing. The trick is to use branches with green foliage, it camouflages you but doesn't add much insulation- using big tufts of grass will insulate your suit and make it very hot. You don't really want to be taking grassy routes anyway, the grass sways and moves too much as you push through it and you'll leave snail trails- much better off finding some thickets of sapplings or the like and slipping through them slowly.
made my last one out of fish netting and one inch by six inch strips of burlap . dyed the burlap green . tosses it in the dryer for a while to gert the burlap to curl up . put it on and sat in front the porch at haloween , i had trick or treaters within two feet of me that didnt realize it . scared the daylights out of a few.
kill suit 1.jpg
Update: used shoe goo for the chest and leg canvas w/ spray adhesive for any loose edges and just spray adhesive for the elbows. Knees and elbows have the issued ACU pad inserts under the canvas, no padding on the chest. This afternoon we sew in the mosquito net vents in the top back and arm pits and boonie, then shoe goo tack on the netting on the ACU top and boonie. Next build I am only going to use spray adhesive on the canvas and have padding under the chest as well.
kill suit 2.jpg
Venting on boonie and ACU top.
Kill suit 3.jpg
Netting shoe goo tacked on top, stitching re-enforcement begins as soon as the glue dries.
kill suit 4.jpg
The cover. Went a little non-traditional with this one, doing a shorter rear and a dedicated veil in the front. I will spray paint the veil a little to help break it up further and put a little jute through it. Some stitching reinforcement and then a big jute party and I'll be done for now.
Lighter base is good, the shadows from the veg you put on it will suffice. If you are in light colored terrain (desert, etc) the dark base layer will show through the light colored grasses.
Make sure you sew the canvas on - shoe goo is great stuff, but will degrade over time and allow the canvas to peel off if it isn't sewn.

There is something called Marine Goo... not as in Marine Corps but Marine as in water. It is designed for use on boats etc. When it dries it is more flexible than shoe goo.
Like E type said light colors are better, like tan light And you don't need much burlap at all, especially on your trousers. The majority should be on your veil and shoulders draping down between your arms and body to break up those four V's. Sowing elastic strips into your chest above where your name tapes would be will also give you a good place to quickly stick veg in. I also had a loop sown into my crotch so that I could hook on my drag bag with some 550 cord and walk crawl drag without having to deal with it pulling on one side or leaving a larger trail. Finally I would just say be sure to break it in really good. I soaked mine then dragged it across concrete, mud, and freshly mowed grass before I buried it under some muddy dirt for a few days. It really gets broken in when you start stalking but that should give you a good base.
If your going to school just remember a good ghillie is no substitute for veg, a good route, and solid FInal Firing Position. If you have the last two you could stalk in a clown suit and still get your shots off without being picked up.
Quick update. Spray painted the Ghillie with flat tan and brown paint in a diagonal stripe pattern. Not so much to break up the outline (ACU soaked most of it up) but to cover the shiny gobs of shoe goo on the netting. Starting attaching jute, using the method shown above (pic is upside down). Takes longer but it looks better to me then doing a single overhand knot. Learned a lot on this build, and I'll have to do another one before sniper school, but the expensive part, the jute, I can re-use.
Didn't have any, and the cost for them off of JBLM was prohibitive, and I have been told that a lighter base is good.
Honestly anything would have been better than ACU's for a ghillie. If you have the cash for the rest of the supplies, starting with a good pair of cammies should have been your primary investment. Also the netting on the back should be tan.
Honestly anything would have been better than ACU's for a ghillie. If you have the cash for the rest of the supplies, starting with a good pair of cammies should have been your primary investment. Also the netting on the back should be tan.

I did my cse back in 97 when we had O/G issued BDU's... We all went out and purchased Brit Army DPM ...Worked great.
I only wore a ghillie suit for the first couple of stalks, and then just wore multi-cam cammies with a viper hood and boonie cover w/netting. (both multicam) We had a couple of guys were a thongs on the last stalk......good times!