This is a stand-to for an incoming competition, one of our most expensive yet.
Later this week we're going to be offering the opportunity to Win £270 Rab Neutrino Pro military down jacket
Visit the thread at that link above and Watch it to be notified as soon as the competition goes live
Seconded- Mine was all hand sewn, took ages but I was convinced it would make it stronger. What a tit I was. Any patching repairs I ever made to it afterwards were sorted in a fraction of the time with the glue gun, wish I'd started it that way.
A point well made about IR capabilities above, although in my own personal opinion you will only need to use hessian. No need to go overboard with it, as you are not trying to make yourself into a tree, just break up your natural shape. I think that the good application of local foliage is more important than looking like Tom Berengers stunt double- you have to wear the thing, remember, it could be damn heavy.
Be sure to attatch plenty of elastic loops for foliage to the head, shoulders, back, and also the lower side of the forearms in order to prevent an obvious "A" shape should you be using optics.
Note- I am not an Infantry sniper, I am a close recce soldier. This may not be what a qualified sniper would advise you, but it has worked for me.
Things I learned all those years ago on my snipers course:
1. Don't cut the strips too long because they get in the way when your'e crawling.
2. Try and leave the strips out in the elements for a while so they weather, under piles of leaves for a few weeks, scuff them around in the dirt or try scrubbing it with a wire brush so it makes it look a little less like hessian strips.
3. Concentrate on your head and shoulders more than the rest of the suit and anything you put on the front will be off in a nano second when you start to crawl unless it is really, really secure.
4. use a separate hat instead of/as well as a hood. Hoods restrict your vision and hearing and are a pain when you've got it on for a long time. A separate set of well cammed up head and shoulders is ideal for the final approach one that you dont have to wear all the time. A mossie net over a wide brimmed hat with hessian etc would be a good idea.
5. Make sure you adapt your colour scheme to match the area you intend to use it - otherwise you'll stand out like a set of dogs nads no-matter how much effort you put in on it.
Another thing I saw was someone using once - a small pop up umbrella (more for OPs than stalking), cammed up with a bit of cam net and thermal sheeting as well as elastic for natural vegitation. Not only is it small and folds away but keeps the rain off of the obvious maps, note books, air photos etc.