The Original Ghillie Suits Were Awful
Originally, ghillie suits started out as low tech garments. All you needed
were several burlap sacks, nylon thread and some patience. But take it from me, those suits were awful!
How do I know? MDH* talked me into making one – perhaps 30 years ago.
At the time, the ghillie suits were horribly expensive to buy. We learned the hard way — you REALLY had to love hunting to wear one of those things. They were very hot (we live in Texas), incredibly itchy and stank. Heaven help you if it rained; the stink turned rotten.
The Origin of the Ghillie Suit
Scottish gamekeepers were the first to use ghillie suits, to help them catch wild game for the table. Along with the bad smell, itching and heavy weight, they were flammable.
With all these negatives, it’s hard to imagine anyone wearing these concealment suits willingly!
The good news is — all that is behind us. Ghillie garments now come in a wondrous array of fabrics and weights. The camo suits vary between one and four pieces!
Want to Make Your Own Camo Suit?
You may be thinking about making your own ghillie. There are places on the Internet that offer directions. Having done it myself, let me give you a tip.
The materials will cost as much as a fully constructed suit – and you will still face dozens of hours of construction. If you use burlap sacks – please make sure you use fire retardant each time you wear them!
Things to Consider
Under what conditions will you be hunting? If you mostly hunt in warm weather, choose a light weight garment. On colder days, you might need to wear a jacket under your camo.
What will you be hunting? The game you’re going after has a large influence on the camo you wear. Many smaller animals have poor eyesight. As long as your shape is broken up by pattern and you blend into the background – fine.
However, deer and sharp-eyed turkeys require more careful pattern selection and color choices. Deer only see two colors: blue and yellow.
They do not see blaze orange, but do notice patterns that are not consistent with the background. In other words, if you stand out from the background – it’s a bad plan.
Turkeys, unfortunately, have wonderful color-distinguishing abilities. Therefore, the patterns and colors must make you part of the background.
What will be the dominant colors of the terrain? You will be the loneliest hunter around if you are walking around in a desert-colored pattern (beige and light browns) in a snow-bound area!
By the way, you don’t have to be a fashionista while you hunt: Matching jacket and pants are not required! In fact, if you are moving around, it is better to have differing patterns for your top and bottom halves.
As long as you are quiet, the break in patterns will make it harder to catch your movements.
* MDH = My Deer Husband 🙂
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com