A “Stand Up” or "non prone" three dimensional camouflage system, effective without hiding the majority of the body, the system achieves one of the best results of camouflage in plain sight.
The suit is made from a good quality camouflage scrim netting and synthetic leaves of different shapes. A Tropical Leaf 3D Camouflage Suit for want of a better description that can be made or modified to suit different environments.
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The suit is made up from a netting base or in colder climates, netting sewn on to a garment like a traditional Ghillie Suit. The base material achieves the break up of the shape and adds a little to the texture - the leaves give a random texture so that the edge has a side profile similar to a leafy bush.
The main aim and prime consideration with the construction of the suit is to get the camouflage material to stand up and stick out from the netting to avoid the dead hanging look seen on so many Ghillie Suits and Bush Rags. The suit can be made with additional trousers to give the equivalent of a two piece Ghillie Suit.
Consideration must be given to the environment and temperature where you will use the Ghillie Suit. In central Thailand it basically never drops below 30 deg C (86F). A temperature of 45-48C (113-118F) is normal for a hot summer day which makes a traditional Ghillie Suit impractical, you lose pints of water per hour in sweat and add a lot of weight to the suit with it becoming wet, a surprising amount. Dehydration can be fatal, at best it will ruin your day; adequate ventilation and room for hydration equipment like camel packs must be allowed for at the design stage.
The camouflage system shown is a hybrid, not quite a Poncho, Bush Rag or a Ghillie Suit. These suits are lightweight and designed to be worn over DPM combat uniform - the netting gives great ventilation and you can remain cool and lightweight for the duration. For colder climates the netting can be sewn onto the BDU or flight suit as in a traditional Ghillie Suit.
A traditional Ghillie Suit is not a close quarters tool, but they are very effective at sniping ranges. The RM Sniper Cadre Stalking exam takes place at distances of 150-300m (spotters are equipped with x7 binoculars) This would indicate that the camouflage needs to be effective at distances as close as 20m.
The 3d Camouflage will outperform the traditional Ghillie Suit in some situations and is effective at ranges down to 10m or less. The 3d Camouflage Suit is a “stand up” camouflage system which makes it ideal for fast moving games, hunting and especially bow hunters (who have a reasonably hard time firing from the prone position)
Equally a Ghillie Suit will out perform the close quarter 3d camouflage in some situations. One disadvantage of this 3d system is its inability to shield you from FLIR - the thicker traditional Ghillie Suit made from burlap with a good covering of fresh scrim will perform well - the synthetic 3d camo makes almost no difference to your heat signature. Under image intensifiers and the older night vision equipment using NIR the synthetic 3d suit performs well with a careful choice of leaf material.