The fly is made of buttons, because Velcro and zippers can get dirt and debris stuck in them and become unusable.
On top of the pants in the front is Cordura 500, a versatile nylon fabric known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, tears, rot and mildew. It’s sewn into the front all around the edges, double-stitched on the “high-traffic points” and reinforced on the crotch.
Silicone that acts as a strong adhesive sealant is then run over top of the stitching to protect the threads, helping with durability. Then it’s painted to takes the shine out of the silicone. I installed zippers on the sides of my pants up to about the thigh so they were “easy on, easy off.”
On the cuff of the pants, I installed a strap that goes under my boot like a stirrup so the pants don’t ride up when I’m crawling backward.
I removed the side cargo pockets and put them on the back of the thigh so my spotter – not me – can access maps, face paint or equipment – anything one of them might need on a mission.
Right below the butt we sew in netting, which is also covered in silicone and then paint. You want to make it nice and strong so you can pull on it all the way around. I run the netting all the way down to the bottom, although that’s not required.
Hair ties are then installed throughout to hold natural vegetation from whatever environment you’re in. We run this 70-30 rule – 70% natural vegetation, and 30% jute, which is the burlap artificial vegetation you see hanging off the pants. Some people also install padding on the knee area.
The front is also covered in Cordura 500. The stitches are also covered in Shoe Goo and paint. All buttons instead of a zipper or Velcro, again, because of the dirt that can gum those things up.
Pockets from the shoulders have been turned upside-down and installed on the forearm so that when you’re laying down you can easily access them from an opening that’s at your wrist, not elbow.
Loops are installed on the sleeves so you can hook your thumb in. That way, when you’re crawling, your sleeve doesn’t pull up. Netting is installed all over the Cordura, sewn, siliconed and painted. The netting comes up over the shoulder. Hair ties also are installed for vegetation. I also installed two Velcroed map pouches around the rib cage.
The back, like the pants, is also covered in netting, burlap jute and hair ties. But there’s no actual [battle dress uniform] in the back – just the netting. It can be either rubber or cloth netting, but it’s meant to be breathable. They can get hot and heavy. More pockets are installed on the inside.
It’s a typical “boonie” hat, as they call it – the wide-brimmed bucket hats that are camo.
Netting is sewn at each point on the top side, glued and spray-painted. Jute and hair ties go on the top, too, like the rest. They want the netting and jute to be long, but not past the middle of the back. If it’s too long, it can catch on stuff when you’re walking and/or crawling. You want it long, though, so it can be lain across your rifle and block the shadow on your face.
I also put a hair tie toward the end of the netting so I can hook it on the end of my rifle scope to hold it in place.
Sometimes, soldiers will cut the top of the hat out to allow more ventilation, but depending on the environment and the hair (or baldness) of the soldier, that head can sometimes be seen.