Why on earth would you bring mascara on a hunting trip? Until recently, I stoically refused to bring “beauty products” into the bush. As such, I would emerge some time later, smelling awful and looking like a dish scrubber. The absolute WORST thing though was that in my photos I also looked like a dish scrubber! I don’t care at all what my hunting companions think of my appearance, but I have to say that looking like a potato that was in the bag too long really ruins the photos for me. I’m not big on wearing makeup every day, I usually just apply some tinted moisturiser and a touch of mascara. I have realised that bringing these two items with me is worthwhile, they are very light weight and the photos turn out a lot less cringe-worthy. The moisturiser is also my SPF30 for my face, and having eyelashes in photos makes me look less like a zombie or a Mr Potato Head.
I have found some little essentials that I bring in each time – and it is wonderful to emerge from a trip feeling fresh despite not showering for the past five days.
– Baby wipes. Perfect for a quick all-over wash.
– A small bar of motel soap and a razor. Soap is apparently delicious to possums however, so don’t leave it outside…..
– Cornflour and a hair brush. I used to take in a small bottle of shampoo, and wash my hair every two days. However I have the kind of hair that looks terrible if it is allowed to dry naturally and after day two I would be battling wayward curls that would bend into impossible angles. The cornflour is amazing. You take a tiny sprinkle and rub it into your hair, then brush it out. This removes all that excess oil that leaves you looking nasty and lank, and I can maintain the straighten I did pre-trip for the five days (if it doesn’t rain).
– Lip balm with sunblock. I love Blistex as it seems to actually work once your lips become chapped.
– Hand sanitiser. I have a small bottle that I fill each time from a large pump bottle. I find it convenient to leave this in the long drop cubicle next to the TP.
-I take contact lenses and solution because glasses are the hugest pain in the bum in the rain, and basically every other time as well.
– Toothbrush and toothpaste. Not a hulking big tube of it, and not the big fat electric brush either! I also chuck in a couple of “plackers” for flossing.
– Deodorant. I am using a commercial tea tree one on my trips (too herby for everyday use for me) but the most effective one I have used by FAR was a tea tree oil recipe my friend made. I will post the recipe on here as soon as I remember to ask. After a week in the bush with no bathing, I still had no BO and my partner even said I smelt NICE. I was extremely impressed.
– A small mirror from a bird toy. This is to help me put my contact lenses in (mainly). I’ve since managed to learn to use no mirror, or the reverse camera on my phone if I am really stuck.
All of this fits into a little pouch that one of my male friends once referred to as a purse
Clothing is a different matter entirely. Most of my hunting attire is men’s clothing, because there is nowhere that sells practical things for women. I guess pink or “blush,” charcoal, Claret, grey and red-coloured garments are great if you are picking flowers in winter, gazing wistfully after your male hunting companion, or tending your pony as the packaging suggests, but it’s not what I would consider hunting gear.
The problem with buying men’s gear is that it just doesn’t fit nicely. The high-cut round neck tends to give me the feeling of being strangled, and the unflattering boxy clothes make me feel like I am wearing a sack. Even when I buy size XS in men’s I look like a bag lady in oversized clothes. The pants are not designed to accommodate thighs as unfortunate as mine and always seem a bit tight there despite being loose elsewhere. My partner once said that he was never worried about me going into the bush with another man because he knew what I would be wearing…..
The one women’s camo tee available is made from 100% cotton – which is not an ideal fabric for working hard in. Some of my things have suffered from some modifications in the field, causing my companions some alarm as I have grabbed out a pocket knife without warning and hacked away at the neck line of my clothing. That has given some relief, even if it does look a little psycho…..