Make A Ghillie Suit Without Netting

Create your own ghillie suit to perfect your camouflage during your next paintball match or hunting trip.

A ghillie suit was named for the Scottish shepherds who would camouflage themselves while watching their flocks of sheep. When a predator would get close to the flock the shepherds would strike, shooting the predator and protecting the flock. They became know as ghillies, and their preferred method of camouflage was a suit that concealed and obscured their shape to anyone or anything watching. Traditional ghillie suits use a netting base over the clothing, with strips of jute (or torn up burlap) tied on in different colors and lengths. The advantage of the netting is that pieces of the local flora can be incorporated into the camouflage, but it is, however, bulkier and more difficult to use. A net-less ghillie suit has the burlap attached directly to the clothing.


1. Lay out your BDU and boonie hat. Determine where you will want your camouflage strips to be. If you will be primarily laying prone you won’t want to put strips on your front. If you will be walking and crouching you will want strips on the front. If you will be bow hunting you will want to omit the strips on your bow arm and chest.

2. Cut strips of burlap between five and nine inches long and between one and two inches wide. These strips will be your camouflage. Vary the size, shape, and color to avoid creating any patterns that might stand out. Cut enough to cover the areas you want camouflaged.

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3. Attach the burlap straps to the uniform. For a back-cover ghillie suit you should sew the burlap strips across the shoulders, down the top of the arms, and the small of the back on the shirt. Sew them on the back of the waist, upper legs and calves on the pants. If you want to cover your front, sew strips across the front of the shoulders and just below the ribs on your shirt; across the waistline, front of the thighs and just below the knees on the pants. Make sure you won’t step on any strips as you walk.

4. Sew strips around the crown of the boonie hat. Remember to vary to length, placement, and color of the strips to avoid creating a pattern. Continue sewing down the back of the hat to cover your neck and join the hat’s camouflage to that of the shirt.

5. Wear camo paint on your face and camo gloves when you go out in your ghillie suit to prevent any skin showing and giving away your position.