The best kit for shooting consists of a light tweed coat and skirt - waterproof, it possible, and chosen in a shade which will render its wearer as invisible as may be. A light brownish green, somewhat the colour of a lichen-covered stone, is excellent; or a heather mixture with a good deal of purple in it is good for grouse shooting or the moors; and a light russet brown, the colour of dead bracken, is both serviceable and becoming for pheasant shooting.
A shooting skirt should be unlined, and made with a boxpleat at the back, to allow of room for fence climbing. It may be lined up with leather for a few inches, or faced with its own material - this latter plan is perhaps the best - and worn over stock-ingette knickerbockers.
A small felt or tweed hat or cap of the same invisible colour as the coat and skirt should be worn, leather gloves, and high blacking leather boots, with nails in them, reaching to the knee. As a substitute, stout shoes and high cloth gaiters may be worn.
A Serviceable Overcoat
The most useful coat is of such a length that the wearer can sit upon the back of it, and a breadth of mackintosh may with advantage be fastened across the lower part of the back of the coat, enabling the wearer to sit on damp grass with impunity.
By Florence Bohun
The very best form of exercise, all doctors agree, is walking. It brings into action every muscle of the body, stimulates the organs and circulation, and provides an interesting amusement, because it is enjoyable. It induces health because it does not overstrain any part of the body, and it brings beauty of form because it gets rid of superfluous tissue, and, at the same time, develops the muscles, thus filling out the hollows and thin places.
One reason why country people are much healthier and longer-lived than townspeople is that the walking which they of necessity must do benefits them more than the so-called "restful" driving, without which the townspeople imagine they could not live. So few townspeople know the joy and pleasure of walking; they usually say it makes them tired, and a motor ride gets them to their destination so much more quickly. This unfavourable view of the only really natural exercise is held generally because they do not know how to walk.
As I am writing this article for women, I should like to emphasise the fact that a woman can walk - if she be strong and wear sensible clothing - as well as any man. The reason why so many women who live in towns cannot walk is because they either wear tight garments or ridiculously high-heeled shoes, or have developed the habit of always going everywhere in some conveyance.
A Pleasurable Exercise
Every woman can walk well if she chooses to train, and she can have the certain prospect of much improved health. There is no reason why, when walking holidays are suggested to women, they should say: "They're only for men - women are not strong enough."
Among both sexes walking holidays, until quite recently, had entirely gone out of favour - motoring or cycling was considered preferable. But now, when the true key of health is being strenuously searched for, walking, necessarily, must again become popular.
In general, the majority of people still think with fear of the idea of a walking tour. Many who have tried it have walked too far the first few days, thoroughly overtired themselves, and given it up as " an extremely injurious and uncomfortable kind of holiday." Those who have not tried it raise objections about clothing, night accommodation, English climate, and so on. I hope to show that the first person's idea is distinctly a false one, and that the second need have no fear about any such apparently worrying questions.
The first and most vital question before starting on a walking holiday is the choice of a companion or companions. Far better to go alone than to have a grumbler or one with utterly opposite tastes, spoiling every day as it comes. This matter needs very careful consideration, for on it largely depends the success of the walking tour. Two is the ideal number, and, of all twos, husband and wife the most perfect. Two girls or two men of similar tastes are the next best arrangement, and then, for those who like it, the party of half a dozen or more men and girls.
The matter of clothing largely depends on the season. (I am only dealing with walks in the British Isles.) But even if the tour is to be in midwinter, no heavy overcoats or dragging undergarments should be worn. Light woollen underclothes are the safest and healthiest, cotton garments are likely to be extremely dangerous. If a woman is used to corsets, some pliable hygienic make without bones, or those made of ribbon, are the only possible wear. Dark serge or stockinette knickers should be worn under a short, plain tweed skirt. The kind of jersey made like a man's football " sweater," pulling on over the head, is the neatest and most comfortable form of coat. It resists rain for a long time, protects the chest and back from sharp winds, can be dried quickly, and, if necessary, washed.
A small woollen cap, known as a "rinking cap," which only needs two hairpins to keep it in place, is extremely becoming, and suitable either for summer or winter. The only alteration necessarv for this outfit in summer would be that the jersey would be carried in the "kitbag" to be ready for cold or rainy days. Even on the hottest days, a flannel blouse, with a low collar, is preferable to a cotton one, but if the hat affords no protection for the neck from the midday sun it is very unwise to leave the back of the neck bare, and an upright flannel or soft linen collar should be worn.
Boots and stockings are most important factors in the pleasure and comfort of a walking tour - new boots are, of course, impossible, and those freshly soled are not to be recommended. A light, high boot with a broad welt and a flat heel is always comfortable and safe even in the worst weather. By far the best kind of stockings to wear are thick cashmere ones, for all people who have walked a great deal agree that thick stockings, even in summer, are quite the most comfortable. They enable the boots to fit more perfectly and so prevent chafing, which quickly makes walking impossible.