How to Make a Ghillie Suit

Written by Survival Nate on . Posted in Wilderness Survival

A "Ghillie" is a Scottish game-keeper. Pronounce the word "Gee' lee", starting with the glutteral gee (guh), not a jay sound (jee). These guys found that they could sew strips of burlap to their clothes, then wait patiently for poachers to come by -- as long as they remained still, their game would nearly step on them.

The real professionals at making Ghillie Suits are military snipers. Making a suit and using it to stalk your instructors is part of the graduation from sniper school. I was once stalked by a special forces sniper from 500 meters across a field of grass, bushes, and general scrub -- at the end of 4 hours, he stood up TEN METERS BEHIND ME! -- I never saw him -- even though I knew he was out there somewhere.

Good, professional-looking Ghillies can be seen in the movies "Sniper" and "Clear and Present Danger".

In most lighting conditions, detection is a result of both brightness and shape contrasts with the background. Most camouflage fatigues do a pretty good job of matching the general brightness level of foliage, desert, etc. The camouflage pattern printed onto the material attempts to match the
shapes inherent in the background as well. Unfortunately, all camouflage fatigues follow the human form pretty closely -- resulting in an overall shape that looks like a human, not natural background. The problem lies in the fact that the fatigues are trying to duplicate a three-dimensional pattern of shapes (foliage, usually) with a two-dimensional camouflage pattern applied to a sheet of fabric. In most lighting conditions, it don't work very well. Now, camouflage fatigues and jackets and such certainly blend in much better than blue jeans and T-shirts, but they aren't totally effective -- and cannot be without adding three-dimensional noise to the essentially two-dimensional form of a human.

A Ghillie Suit is a very effective camouflage technique that uses strips of material to break up the outline of the wearer. This fools the eye of the enemy -- the brain sees no recognizable shapes. By adding strips of burlap, or camouflage netting, or branches off bushes to your clothing, you create
the three-dimensional pattern disruption I was talking about above. The advantage comes from creating patches that are nearly the same color as the environment, while simultaneously creating ultra-dark shadows alongside. Printed fabric cannot create black patches as dark as real shadows the shadow is about 2 orders of magnitude darker than the darkest printed black fabric.

How to make a Ghillie Suit:

1. Obtain an old pair of coveralls -- this is called the foundation of the suit. In a pinch a fatigue blouse and pants will suffice.
2. Get some burlap from your local fabric store (about 4 yards). The more burlap you use the more effective (up to a point) will be the Ghillie Suit -- however, it will rapidly become heavy (Army and Marine sniper suits weigh up to 20 pounds or more).
3. Dye the burlap some dark to medium green (Rit dye -- try to match foliage greens). Instructions are on the dye package), Dye a little (half a yard) brown (use sparingly).
4. Cut the burlap into strips 2-3" wide and anywhere from 6" to 12" long (mix up the widths and lengths)
5. Sew one end of each strip to the outside of your foundation -- all over it. Space them so that the ends of the upper strips will overlap the attachment points of strips lower down. The sides do not need to overlap. Fill in by tying vines, small foliated branches, grass, etc. to the suit by knotting the strips around it, or sew strings or cord at random over the suit to tie these material in.
6. Crawl and enjoy!


Ghillie Suits are used for stealth -- move as slowly as possible, if at all. If one hides in bushes, and uses single shots, the enemy won't be able to find you unless they are looking almost directly at you when you fire. Be careful that muzzle blast doesn't disturb foliage or raise dust.
An effective technique is to hide in the base of bushes near a path, let the enemy go past, then pick them off with single shots from the rear. A gun cover can be made using the same techniques and should be used to disrupt the shape of the weapon.

Survival Tabs - Emergency Food Rations

Written by Survival Nate on . Posted in Wilderness Survival

Today I am writing a review on Survival Tabs from Food Reserves a  Swedish Bitters Herb Company. My first impression on these tab rations was "I hate chalking survival food", but was soon impressed with the Survival Tabs.

My concern with all food I get is "will my 4 year old daughter eat this?" So after we picked up a few bottles of Survival Tabs in Concordia, Mo. I opened a bottle and had Caroline try one, I expected her to spit it out as she often does with food she doesn't like, but soon found she loved it. Yes I videoed the whole thing LOL.


I tested them on my wife, she thought they were good, I also had a couple of my neighbors try them, who are not in the survival movement and they also liked them.  

My personal views on them are if you dipped them in chocolate, you could have a best selling candy. They come in a Malt and Chocolate flavors. The Malt flavor reminds me of Woppers the malt chocolate covered candy, the Chocolate flavor is nice and chocolaty.  I have found that they do not leave your mouth dry, but as any food in a survival situation should be eat with water, but less water is needed for digestion.

The Bottle is shaped so it can be carried in a GI canteen case, and a bag comes in every bottle so you can place the tabs in the bag and use the bottle as a canteen. Each bottle weights 2 lbs, has 180 tabs. There is 15 Servings of 12 tablets, that's 15 days worth of tablets for one person. Now if your able to hunt small game forage for greens, of have other means of small amounts of food, that in my eyes is best. The tablets will keep vitamins and other nutrition in the body, with a water you can live along time, but adding calories and other nutrients from other sources like wild game and greens, you can use less tablets a day making the most of what you have.

Another benefit of the Survival Tabs is that they taste pretty good and in a survival situation that is a good moral booster, so even if your in a large group and rationing 1 bottle with a party of 10, they help moral and motivation, which in turn can keep less experienced people calm.

I have been experimenting with different ways or recipes to take the Survival Tabs. I wanted a way for a baby or toddler to easily take the tabs, I figured mixing it with water to make a drink from it. I started out by adding one whole tab to a 8oz bottle of cool water, after 20 minutes there was barely any change to the tab, then tried it with a crushed tab and it really did not mix well ether. I then warmed up a 8oz glass of water and mixed in one crushed tab, after a minute, if was mixed, it tasted like very watered down Instant Carnation Breakfast. So I added in up to 4 crushed tabs and if came out like 2% milk with a hint of chocolate.  So by the end I had:

Milk Replacement/Hot Chocolate Drink
1x 8oz Glass Warm Water
4x Survival Tabs

These can be crushed up and incorporated into just about any wet meal,  or baked good to add a little more vitamin value.

These are great for anybody, there are many different applications for the Survival Tabs. Emergencies can happen at anytime, weather can leave people stranded for days without access to food and water, the Survival Tabs are light weight and easy to store in small areas, and can last over 10 years if stored correctly.  Some ideas were they should be stored in or with the following
  1. Cars & Trucks
  2. Boats & Planes
  3. Hikers & Campers
  4. Travelers
  5. Hunters
  6. Bug-Out-Bags
  7. Emergency Rescue Teams
  8. Soldiers & Law Enforcement
  9. Schools and Daycare's
  10. Storm Sellers
I would recommend everyone have a bottle or two on hand, whether in the car, home or bug-out-bag. These are made by a company that has been 28 years behind there belt and many more to come.  Check out both of there sites for the Tabs and other great products. or Swedish Bitters Herb Company


SURVIVAL TABS are intended for those emergency conditions where a person must travel light and live on whatever food they can actually carry with them for weeks or even months at a time. Twelve tabs per day supply a considerable portion of the calorie requirements of an active adult. It may be assumed that if the person living on them is required to "hole up", their energy requirement will be considerable reduced. When traveling across country, it may be assumed that at least some other food will be found occasionally. Survival Tabs eliminate the risk or wasted time that might be required to actually hunt for food or go out of one's way to obtain it.

With most food products, 30 to 60 percent of the theoretical calorie content leaves the body unused. Survival Tabs are so completely digestible that 99% of their calorie content can be actually utilized for energy and 97% of the protein is actually available for repair or replacement of essential body substances such as blood, muscle, nerves, etc. Twelve Survival Tabs per day provide more than enough protein so sustain essential body tissues.

By placing one Survival Tab in the mouth every hour or so and letting it dissolve slowly during a 15 minute period of time, assimilation of all nutrients will be maximized and appetite will be fully satisfied.

The Survival Tabs container is of such size and shape as to fit and be carried within a regular G.I. canteen pouch. The small empty space under the lid of this container is filled with and extra plastic bag. If and extra water canteen is needed, the Survival Tabs can be poured out into the plastic bag and be carried in a pocket or backpack while the container is used as a canteen.

There have been several individuals who have lived on a diet of Survival Food Tabs exclusively for 4-5 months. This was done out of necessity, because of their inability to eat or keep down any other foods.

In controlled studies which we have conducted, we've found that when living on a diet of Survival Food Tabs exclusively, one loses from 5-8  lbs. the first week. This is mainly due to the emptying of the intestines of all food previously eaten. After the first week, there is a leveling off and a minimum weight loss of 0-2 lbs. per week. This is in consideration of a normal active daily routine.

The Survival Food Tabs provide greatly larger amounts of calories and nutrition than any other product available. The high caloric content, combined with a carefully balanced amount of all the essential nutrients, provides a "state of the art" product as far as survival rations are concerned.

The Survival Food Tabs are presently marketed to the pilots, yachtsmen and other outdoorsmen, who use them as emergency food rations, as well as an energy pick-up food supplement. They are also popular with long-distance truck drivers who don't want to stop to eat.

Survival Food Tabs are a perfect lightweight, emergency food ration for use in survival kits - and a vast improvement over candies and other quick-energy "fixes" that are currently used.

This is a true "survival food" that will keep you alive and moving for months on the amount you can carry in your own pack.