The “Ghillie suit” is an outfit used in a multitude of fields as different as each other.
counterattactics.com invites you to come back to the history of this outfit, its various uses, its manufacture and its evolution.
Ghillie suit or the story of a very old camouflage suit
The etymology of the word comes from the Scottish Gaelic language. The word Ghillie means “goblin” or “spirit of the forest”. This legendary Scottish character would have the power to camouflage himself by changing into shrubs or leaves.
The British soldiers seduced by the camouflage of the “Ghillie suit”:
The “Lovat Scouts”, a regiment of the British army, adopted the “Ghillie suit” during the Second Boer War (October 11, 1899 to May 31, 1902), in South Africa.
During the Great War (1914-1918), it was used by the snipers of this same regiment. From then on, this outfit became one of the most effective camouflage techniques.
What is a Ghillie outfit used for?
It is a means of camouflage of a formidable efficiency.
The basic idea is that the human eye transmits signals to the brain. It is the latter that creates an image through an analysis of the colors and shapes detected by the eye.
Also, the purpose of the Ghillie suit is to “trick” the brain. The latter is accustomed to picking up the signals and characteristic shapes of a human being. He will have great difficulty in perceiving a human silhouette with different shapes and colors.
- Un visage de type Eurasien, couleur de peau oblige, est visible jusqu’à 50 mètres !
- Le cerveau humain détecte le mouvement et les formes : être immobile et « casser » sa forme humanoïde permet d’être invisible à toutes observations pendant quelques secondes
- Le cerveau au cour d’un balayage visuel rapide détecte un être humain grâce au contraste de forme entre la tête et les épaules. Supprimer ce décrochement permet de vous assurer la furtivité.
- Tous mouvements ou déplacements et c’est la détection immédiate quelque soit la tenue et le niveau de camouflage militaire utilisé !
What are the areas of use of the Ghillie suit?
For the military and for all outdoor enthusiasts, camouflage needs are as vast as they are numerous. The “ghillie suit” knows how to adapt to many imperatives:
. The military domain (Special Forces, Snipers):
This outfit is used by professional soldiers in all armies of the world. The Ghillie can be worn partially (head, head + bust) or to cover the whole body.
Its concept is also applicable to those who want to camouflage their armament.
This outfit makes it possible to carry out infiltration and surveillance missions, in areas, in theaters of operation and in a wide variety of weather conditions: savannah, desert, forests, mountains, snow, etc.
Among snipers Discretion is essential. Their survival depends on it!
For snipers, the Ghillie outfit will be constantly evolving and adapting. The camouflage must be perfect and the outfit immediately adapted to the terrain crossed. For a sniper, the “Ghillie Suit” will be rather heavy to wear due to all the camouflage accessories.
. Professional photographers:
The production of wildlife documentaries requires state-of-the-art equipment. Photographers also use ghillie suits to “stare” animals up close without scaring them. Optical camouflage accessories also make it possible to hide cameras and cameras.
. Hunters and sinners:
In order to be able to approach the animals without scaring them away, hunters as well as fishermen, in particular sport fishermen in white water, also wear this outfit.
. Airsoft practitioners:
They are also widely used by Airsoft players. They offer excellent camouflage which is greatly appreciated during games.
How is a Ghillie outfit made?
Generally, a Ghillie outfit has a lattice – a base -. It is on the latter that the camouflage components are fixed either directly or by means of a net.
Manufacturers use different materials to produce it:
Fillet: this is the basic component. It can be worn as a cover or attached directly to combat clothing. On the ground, it is necessary to add elements of vegetation according to the zones crossed in order to further improve the camouflage.
Burlap in fibers or strips: but more and more neglected because of the weight, its hydrophilic properties and its tendency to rot.
Synthetic materials: Mostly used today. Because light, rot-proof, I.R. treated, silent. They advantageously replace burlap.
Raffia: used to reproduce the blades of dry grass.
3D camouflage, the worthy descendant of the original Ghillie
What is 3D Camouflage?
Traditionally the Ghillie is made up of filoches and other strips to break up shapes and create volumes.
The 3D outfit will feature a mix of prints and faux foliage. The outfits used by the 13th RDP are a perfect example.
Light, silent, scalable, rot-proof, 3D outfits are the worthy heirs of yesterday’s Ghillie! See below my camouflage outfit used by the 13th RDP.
How to choose your Ghillie outfit?
There are several criteria to consider before making your choice.
. The material:
The material must be resistant because the user is often confronted with a difficult environment. Ghillie suits made of polyester are recommended due to the intrinsic characteristics of the synthetic fiber.
. The size :
For a question of comfort, it is advisable to choose a tactical outfit adapted to the size of the wearer. The Ghillie suit must be able to cover as many parts of the body as possible. For an ideal fit, it is advisable to choose models with elastic at the wrists, waist and ankles.
. Colors and patterns:
The choice of colors and patterns depends on where you are going to use the Ghillie Suit. There are, of course, different colors for the desert, snow or forests.
Knowing that during the same mission the wearer will undoubtedly have to add or remove additional inputs depending on the areas encountered: crossing a cornfield with an outfit dedicated to the forest is not necessarily wise!
Photographers and hunters can opt for patterns that reproduce the surrounding vegetation (branches, foliage).
. The weight :
A factor that should not be overlooked. The wearer often has to move around in difficult conditions, very close to the ground (on all fours, crawling, etc.).
A light outfit will allow an economy of forces which can make all the difference during long missions.
The main manufacturers of Ghillie suits:
At TAC-STORE we work with two German specialists:
- Max Fuchs: Based in Freyung, Germany, the manufacturer has set itself the goal of meeting the needs of a very large but demanding clientele. Its products are suitable for both professionals and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Ghost Hood: Based in Rangendingen, also in Germany, the Ghost Hood brand manufactures high-tech camouflage systems: IRR treatment, for compact, light, ergonomic and scalable outfits.
Note that in addition to the wearer himself, the brand offers solutions dedicated to equipment (canoe, weapons, cameras, tripods, backpack, etc.).