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Defeating Drones: How To Build A Thermal Evasion Suit


This article was written by Brandon Smith and the included video was a joint project between Oath Keepers and Alt-Market

Asymmetric tactics rely on the idea of fighting smarter, rather than fighting directly, against a larger or more technologically advanced aggressor. It means turning your opponent’s strengths into weaknesses.

For instance, if your opponent relies on the superiority of his tanks and armor, make him fight in the mountains where his armor is useless. If he relies on air superiority, make him sift through a thick canopy where his eye in the sky sees nothing, or make it dangerous for him to land and refuel such vehicles at all. If he relies on body armor for safety, make him fight uphill so that the extra weight wears him down. If his surveillance and security techniques are a little too sensitive and effective, create constant false positives, until he can no longer trust his own alert systems. And, if most of his weaponry and soldiers are heavily reliant on a particular piece of technology, make that technology useless in the field. Force your opponent to fight on fairer ground, where the man with the most skill and intelligence prevails rather than the man with the most million dollar toys.

There is no such thing as fool proof combat technology. There is a way to trick or defeat or survive ANY weapon and any enemy. Period.

Drones and thermal vision have been held up to the common citizenry for years as the end-all-be-all of combat and surveillance technology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the claim that no one can hide from thermal imaging and that predator drones herald the end of free resistance to tyranny. I find this assertion to be rather absurd, considering militaries across the globe have already developed their own thermal evasion suits (which means it IS possible to hide from thermal vision) and drones seem to kill more innocent bystanders than actual enemy combatants. I will admit that thermal vision use is skyrocketing amongst military and police across the board, and this is because it is indeed effective to a point.

Thermal imaging and drones in the hands of a corrupt establishment make a couple of things very difficult for any resistance – First, you might be able to hide, but you won’t be able to move freely without risk, especially in groups. Second, you might be able to act defensively, but never offensively. Advancing on an objective protected by thermal surveillance would be extremely difficult. Constantly being on the defensive takes the initiative away from those who want to fight back against tyranny. Without the ability to go on the offensive, you will inevitably lose. Hiding in a hole in the mountains for the rest of your life is not an option if you want your children and their children to experience liberty.

Today’s combat reality is that of the digitized battlefield. All modern military units now rely on full spectrum surveillance, computer models, and real time data. Thermal vision is a cornerstone of this model because it is currently the best way to identify potential threats before they can act, rather than after they act. Unfortunately, there is no doubt this kind of surveillance power will be misused, and the spread of drones for domestic applications proves that the establishment’s intention is to utilize thermal against the population, rather than in defense of the population. Therefore, thermal vision must be negated if people are to remain free. We might not be able to fight against misused drones directly, but we can make their primary advantage useless. Here is how it is possible to remove thermal vision as a threat, and thus nullify the primary strength of the drones (and other weapons) in our skies:

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Thermal Vision And Drone Misconceptions

Now that you know it is more than possible for civilians to obtain thermal evasion, lets go over some of the most common misconceptions about thermal imaging and drone technology.

Building a suit that hides a person from thermal imaging is impossible?

Clearly, this is false, as we have shown in the video above. Add to this the fact that military units field their own thermal evasion suits (multi-spectral camouflage) for special purposes, and I think we’ve permanently buried the ludicrous assumption that a thermal evasion suit is a fruitless endeavor. Most existing suits, including those used by governments, boast a thermal reduction rating of 60% to 80%. It is important to recognize that there is currently no organization or company offering thermal evasion suits for widespread use by civilians. We have have given the public free access to information on building their own suits if they wish, and we are offering professionally made suits for sale with a thermal reduction rating of 90% or more at Snakebite Tactical.

We made no attempt to hide “heat spots” within the tests in the above video. We want to make it clear that this is a 90% effective suit, which is more than enough for almost any application. Achieving 100% reduction at distances of 10 ft to 10 yards in a wearable suit is very difficult, and a person would still need to practice proper field craft in order to remain unseen. However, we believe our suit design more than meets the standards of currently issued military grade suits; suits which are not available to the public anyway.

Thermal imaging sees through walls?

This is movie-land nonsense. A thermal imager can see the heat you emit through a very thin wall if you are leaning against it, but remove your body from contact with the surface and the heat signature will disappear. Thermal imagers have a difficult time identifying stationary people through leaves and the branches of trees, let alone walls. As long as you are not in contact with the item, your heat will not be seen through the item.

Thermal vision sees through forests?

No. Not a chance. In fact, if your only goal is to hide, then a thick forest is the absolute best place to be if thermal surveillance is in use, even without a suit. If your plan is to advance on an objective, then the situation changes, but if you are a lone individual that just doesn’t want to be found, staying in the woods and dense terrain away from people who might rat you out is your best bet. Apply a thermal suit to the scenario and now your are fully mobile without fear of detection.

You will never see a drone coming, so having a suit is meaningless anyway?

Gotta love this kind of fuzzy logic. The claim apparently assumes that drones simply fly miles above the Earth silently raining hellfire missiles down on random heat signatures on the ground without identification. This is not how drones operate.

Drones are mainly used as OVERWATCH for teams of men already on the ground. A drone might see your signature when you are not wearing a suit, but a drone pilot will not waste ordinance on you until you are identified as a viable target. Most of the successful strikes you see in the news and on YouTube are targets that were already lazed by a team on the ground (this is something the DoD rarely mentions, because they want to retain the mystic surrounding drones). The drone is then sent in to attack the target that the team identified. When a military unit comes into contact with an enemy, a drone may be sent in to observe and identify targets. This is a situation where thermal evasion is essential. If those targets throw on thermal evasion gear, the drone becomes a useless platform. If you are under threat by drones and ground opponents, you can leave the area at will without being traced, or you can advance and attack your aggressor without being betrayed by your own heat signature. Your suit does not need to be worn at all times in order to be useful.

I don’t need a thermal evasion suit, I can just buy a thermal blanket or tarp at a fraction of the cost?

The first and most obvious advantage to a thermal evasion suit is that it CAN BE WORN. There is no existing tarp or thermal blanket system that can be worn against the human body and still hide that body from thermal imaging. All of these items conduct heat which can be seen almost as soon as you touch them. If a heat reflecting tarp was a practical working solution to thermal imaging, then you would see hundreds if not thousands of videos on the web proving their effectiveness and governments would not be keeping their own suits such a secret. The reality is, these items are only useful if you plan to stretch them out above you without physical contact, and stay in one place without moving. They are highly defensive in nature and severely limited in their application.

We have developed the very first thermal evasion system available to the public that can be worn for long periods of time and that also provides effective visual camouflage. Our suit works as a ghillie as well as a thermal evasion tool, meaning, it works in thermal, and in visible light. A thermal cloak offers near total 360 degree coverage against thermal imaging devices in the air and on the ground while the person is also mobile. Meaning, instead of constantly hiding from the enemy and being on the defensive (a losing strategy), you can advance on the enemy if you wish without detection. There is no comparison whatsoever in the level of application between a thermal blanket and a thermal suit.

This does not mean a suit solves all your problems. If you walk through an open field and start break-dancing, someone will see you. A thermal suit does not necessarily hide blatant movement by the wearer. You still need to follow proper field craft methods including the use of cover and concealment. Add to this the thermal reduction properties of the suit, and you are much less likely to be detected, even under heightened scrutiny.

I don’t need a thermal suit, I can just hide in the city amongst the crowds and blend in?

I’m sure there are situations when operating in a city might be called for, but frankly, the idea is extraordinarily ill conceived when one considers the surveillance grids being put in place in most major metropolitan areas. Thermal is not your worst enemy in the city. Try CCTV networks with facial and biometric recognition. Try numerous possible collaborators and quislings in a city environment (known for more passive and subservient populations permanently attached to the establishment umbilical cord) who might point the finger at you. The city is a BAD place to be under almost any circumstance that results in crisis and lost liberty, and probably the worst place to be if you are trying to avoid observation and surveillance.

That said, watch almost any police chopper thermal footage in a city and tell me the person being chased was better off without a thermal suit. Imagine you are being chased for simply being a proponent of liberty. Imagine that one day you wake up in the middle of your home city a designated criminal. Would you rather have a thermal evasion suit, or, do you plan to outrun the chopper?

Mud will hide your heat signature?

No, it will not. At least not for more than a minute, and it better be some thick friggin’ mud. Despite what Arnold Schwarzenegger may have taught you, heat transfers through mud just as it does through most other materials.

Drones will find you with LIDAR if they can’t see you with thermal vision?

LIDAR is a form of laser based radar which is bounced off surfaces to create a 3D map of a large area. I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from that drones use LIDAR for personnel detection, but this is simply not so, at least not currently. LIDAR is being tested by the DoD and private contractors for personnel detection using GROUND based 360 degree units, and the effective range of these experimental units is rather limited. Aerial LIDAR is used for mapping of terrain. The complexity of ground based objects (think in terms of millions of objects in any given field of view) makes personnel tracking from the air all but impossible. Ground based LIDAR also requires a recognizable human shape at close range in order to “alert” on an intruder, which means the ThermTac suit (which removes normal human shape) would only HELP in preventing detection. From my research as of 2015, LIDAR for surveillance often suffers from numerous false positives, which means it is a very weak system for tracking personnel. Thermal vision is a far greater threat than LIDAR.

Even if you have a suit that blocks your body heat, you can still be tracked by your footprints?

Under perfect conditions and the use of a sensitive thermal imager on the ground, your footprints MIGHT be visible using a ground based unit right after you imprint them, but it is still unlikely you will be found. Quick thermal imprints (caused by footsteps) disappear within seconds, and are difficult if not impossible to pick out from any distance beyond a few yards. Rubber and plastic soled shoes do not in most cases transfer very much heat into the ground, and the theory that crushed grass releases more heat in thermal imaging is utter nonsense. Too many ideas about thermal imaging are drawn from television and movies, which greatly embellish the capabilities of such devices. If footprints were an effective way to track people using thermal, then Search and Rescue units (many have access to excellent thermal devices) would have numerous examples of this along with numerous success stories (these examples do not exist).

One legitimate danger involving footprints occurs when a very large number of people (small groups are not an issue) travel together in single file. This constant imprinting on the same path by multiple footfalls can indeed leave a residual trail that can be found several minutes later, enough time to be tracked by a thermal imager.

Thermal evasion suits will help terrorists?

As stated in the video, the world’s worst terrorist groups are often trained by our own governments and covert intelligence agencies. If covert agencies have access to thermal evasion techniques, then it only follows that so do the people they train. I have no doubt that we will be accused of aiding terrorists by releasing this information, because that is really the only recourse the establishment has to try to stop the use and spread of thermal cloaks (or they will claim that the suit is a scam and doesn’t actually work. Of course, people will be able to test this for themselves). They will have to try to shame people into refusing to adopt thermal evasion as a means of defense. Trust me, I’ve seen this kind of propaganda used against people merely for talking about methods that MIGHT work. Read any military forum where someone discusses thermal evasion, and invariably a dozen henpecking statists will ask them if they are “with ISIS or Al-Qaeda” to shut them up.

Self-defense is an inborn right, not a privilege granted by arbitrary authority. You do not need permission to obtain means of defense against a threat, even if that threat has thermal imaging at his disposal and a license from the state to kill you. Our thermal suit design is a culmination of three years of tireless effort.  We believe the information belongs in the hands of the citizenry, not only in the hands of governments and those they train. The greater threat to the common good is a lack of knowledge that makes free people weak and vulnerable. The goal of this project is to remove a clear weakness in the American people. If you are not informed, and not prepared, then you will never be secure. Some people would have you believe that thermal imaging and drones are for your safety. We say YOU are the only person that can be trusted to provide for your own safety. If anything, thermal eyes and lurking drones present a more intense danger to you and your freedom than any terrorists they are supposedly intended to fight against.

For more information on thermal evasion, check out some of our essays at Snakebite Tactical.


Brandon Smith



  1. From Americans everywhere (except the dumbed down and domestic enemies of the USA)


  2. While it is an interesting article, it should have been named “Evading Drones” or “Escaping Drones”. Evading and defeating are two separate feats.

    “Defeating Drones” would have probably been an article describing plans to build a high power spark gap transmitter, or similar jamming techniques.

  3. @Irish

    Perhaps if your read the full article you could learn our take on asymmetrics – defeating an opponent or weapon without directly attacking that weapon. If a drone cannot see you, it cannot attack you, thus, it is no longer useful, thus, it has been defeated as a weapons platform without you having to fire a shot at it. People who understand such methods will prevail, and those who do not understand, will ultimately lose.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I have been interested in this idea for years. Can you share what fabric was used? Temptrol perhaps?

  5. Great video. While effective, how hot is it to wear? Wearing a cape & pants of 1″ thick insulation designed to not let heat escape – or to dissipate very slowly – appears like something that would get very toasty even in mild weather.

    Thinking back to MOPP4 training in the Southeast, in the summer, and how miserable just an hour in that gear was in 80° weather.

  6. Hi CMV,

    The suit actually regulates heat very well. I tried it in 90 degree F weather for about 45 minutes during testing and I was not dying of heat. Will you get hot in this suit in the middle of Florida during a summer afternoon? Yes, of course, but no hotter than wearing a regular ghillie suit. Plus, I would rather deal with a little sweat than take a hit from a hellfire missile.

  7. yes brandon i currently possess a gille suit can you add accessories from snakebite to this for less to improve my indetection capabilities sincerly robert

    1. Hi Bob,

      You really have to build a thermal ghillie from the ground up. It’s almost impossible to add to an existing ghillie suit to make it invisible to thermal because the regular ghillie is itself a heat magnet. I wish I had more for you, but from our tests, regular ghillie materials are a big problem when it comes to thermal imaging.

      1. tell me how much this would cost for snakebite to build one for me then i am currently on a regulated fixed income so maybe we could work out a payment plan or i have a shop that turns 80%lowers into 100%per cent lowers recievers for ar 15,s and 45.1911,s……robert

  8. Why use a thermal suit when you can be completely invisible to thermal and anything else? Hyper stealth biotechnology corp. “Small company in Canada has a working stealth cloak that renders it’s user completely invisible. Why can’t we work on this vs. defeating thermal output?



    1. Dave, I’m not sure what the hell you are talking about and have never heard of “hyper stealth”. Sounds like something from a bad sci-fi film. This suit makes a person invisible to thermal imaging as well as night vision (along with proper field craft). I’m not sure what other system of surveillance you expect us to defeat, but the mere fact that we invented a wearable suit that actually defeats FLIR is quite an accomplishment, being that NO ONE has ever offered such a thing to the civilian market before.

      How about YOU build a better suit with “hyper stealth” instead of expecting other people to do it for you?

  9. I am not well versed on thermal suits Mr. Smith. I have seen kids in Pakastan wrapped in aluminum foil and moving around.

  10. My question is about the efficacy of these home grown thermal evasion suits, and what was the test method, how was it conducted, and what instrumentation was used ? Are they effective in the rain, over what temperature range was the testing done, what backgrounds were used, etc. We have seen the amateur scientists cooking up farm boy body armor and their desires to be listed in the Darwin effect bible, and so I am skeptical of this effort. How bout some test data ?

    Associate Editors Note: I’m not really sure what you mean by “test method”. You point the thermal device at the suit and if it covers your heat signature, then you are golden. Is this really all that difficult to understand? All thermal imagers operate essentially the same way – some have higher definition (or much higher definition), but there is not a whole lot of difference between the core technology behind a military thermal imager and a handheld consumer FLIR. If you can hide your heat signature in one thermal unit, then you will be able to hide your thermal signature in ALL thermal units.

    But just to reiterate what I ALREADY mentioned in the video, we tested with multiple consumer grade thermal units and a military grade unit. For your other questions, go to and read the FAQ’s, or rewatch the video seeing as you did not pay attention the first time.

    I don’t have an expensive lab to produce peer reviewed materials, however, if you want to build a suit for yourself, then do so (we give you the construction info for FREE, so perhaps you should be grateful rather than dismissive), and then you can produce lab related data to your little heart’s content. I don’t know of anyone testing “farm boy body armor” and failing. I’ve seen a lot of successful tests of homemade body armor. Beyond that, what the hell does a hypothetical homemade body armor test failure have to do with a thermal suit that CLEARLY works in multiple conditions and distances on video and why would their obvious lack of relation lead you to be “skeptical”. Your comment is idiotic.


    Brandon Smith

  11. I will not get too far into this but I do know that the tire tracks of F-16s in Egyptian desert during summer were visible to thermal imaging for hours after the aircraft had made the tracks. Also, the signature of terrain shading made by a now removed aircraft presented telltale evidence of not only that an aircraft had been present but identifying features to allow determination of type aircraft which remained visible for hours afterward. It was one means to allow aircraft movements to be tracked.

    Perhaps it is a question of scale. Therefore the question is of what db range is the personal thermal suit effective and not effective. Example; would a 50 C differentiation between a human body and ambient conditions be too much for the suit to be effective?

    Anyway, for several years I have been interested in acquiring a personal thermal suit. What you have presented is the 1st I have seen of such a suit. You have my attention.

  12. Had a quick question. I saw that you said you can’t add anything to it because the ghillie material is bad with thermals. So if I were to add just some netting to attach natural vegetation without using burlap would it still work?

  13. I would like to see what a person in the suit looks like through an AH-64 TADS/PNVS. Has that been done?

    1. The suit has been tested with military grade thermal, but not with the M-TADS as far as I know. The advantage of the M-TADS is its resolution capability and extended range (up to 8 kilometers). However, it still relies on FLIR and standard IR just like any other military sensor apparatus in use today. I would expect that the M-TADS would not be any more successful in picking out a person wearing this suit than any other FLIR device. The principles are exactly the same. The reason the M-TADS is so dangerous is because when it sees your human shape in FLIR, it can zoom in on you from very far away and maintain observation and even laser designation. Of course, it has to see you first.

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