Cartridge bags as well as gun covers are best made out of green or brown canvas.
As to a shotgun, I think nothing is better than a good quality 12-bore hammer gun, bored right cylinder left choke, and weighing 6˝lb. Such a gun will shoot a round ball true up to 50 yards if care is taken to get a mould that is an exact fit. The best locks that can be purchased are Brazier's and the best barrels are made of Whitworth fluid compressed steel. Such a gun will last a lifetime, and will outlast a dozen cheap hammer or hammerless guns.
Revolvers and pistols are not much use, except for shooting oneself with by mistake; but a most useful weapon is a small .220 rifle for use with the " long rifle " or " short " ammunition. It will kill small antelopes if held straight at short range, and is most useful for killing guineafowl, pigeon, or duck for the pot. The cartridges are very light and are little trouble to carry.
Hunting knives, as usually sold by cutlers, are useless ; when they get blunt they cannot be sharpened without the use of a grindstone, and a file will not usually cut them.
The best knife to carry is a strong two-bladed pocket knife, and some spare ones might be taken. Get shackles fitted to these to fix to a chain, or to the catch on the body belt.
Then half-a-dozen soft steel butcher's knives, known as 14 The Bushman's Friend " or " Green River Knife," should be included for cutting up game, and a strip of emery stone is a most handy adjunct, as well as a small hone. An American axe, a soft steel one, is a tool that should always be taken; and a pair of pincers or pliers, a few files, some emery cloth, some screws and nails, a small hammer, and a small hand vice will all, at times, be needed for doing some small job.
I have found a narrow keyhole saw handy, and, of course, several screwdrivers will be included, with spare parts for the rifles.
For cleaning weapons, vaseline and Rangoon oil are as good as anything, and I rub plenty of the former on the stocks of rifles to make them waterproof.
A big waterproof sheet, several green canvas bags with staples and padlocks; and one, or two, watertight tin cases should be bought for putting the various kit into.
A most important item is good footgear, and nothing can beat boots fitted with rubber pads known as Scarfe's patent. In the dry season boots with chrome soles last well; but it is better to get bars or nails fitted, or they will become slippery on dry grass and leaves. These chrome soles are no good for the rainy season, as they get soft and sodden with wet.
One cannot go silently when wearing heavy shooting boots. Rubber soled boots or shoes are splendid for the grip and silent going; but then they are unbearably hot in the tropics and soon get cut to bits.
Shorts, the same as runners or rowers use at home, made of a greenish brown khaki, gabardine, or garbette, are better than tight breeches, and I like to shoot in bare legs.
A light suitably coloured coat, a kind of semi-Norfolk jacket, is handier for carrying things than a shirt. If a coat is worn there is no necessity to wear a shirt underneath, and a thin singlet or undervest is quite sufficient.
Use natural colour socks, as blisters will be a common occurrence, and dyed socks may cause blood poisoning.
The amount of blisters one can get depends largely on the ease with which the boots fit, so great care should be expended in finding comfortable footgear, as nothing else will conduce to the comfort (or otherwise) of a hard walking shooting trip.
As to head covering, get a drab or brown double " Terai" hat, and for walking in open country, or along broad roads, a pith helmet will often be a comfort, though the latter is most uncomfortable to shoot in, especially when lying or doing the crawl often necessary in a stalk to close quarters.
A very useful article is a strip of waterproof material made to button, or tie, round the action of the rifle. This keeps water from the action and saves much trouble in cleaning when one returns to the camp or headquarters.'
Anklets, made of leather or canvas, might be taken to fix over the tops of the boots, though personally I cannot be bothered with anything tight round any part of my legs, as it hinders free walking.
For the rains a good waterproof coat is needed, and I like one made of cloth, such as an " Aquascutum," for any rubber or rubber-lined coat is too hot, and causes violent perspiration.
Again, I would remark that in most cases I would prefer to get wet and change on my return to camp rather than be hampered with having to carry such a garment when shooting.
However, for marching, and for times when it is inconvenient to get soaked, a coat is necessary. When the cool of evening comes on, a warm tweed jacket should be at hand to put on, and I warn sportsmen or travellers not to sit in the chill of evening in damp clothes, as nothing is more likely to cause fever.
If one is cold in a tent, wear plenty of clothes, and a warm pair of socks helps to keep the body warm. I have sometimes had hot ashes spread under the camp bed, and when undergoing an attack of the " shakes" (ague), a glass bottle filled with hot water will do as a bed warming pan and be a comfort.
Never go out in a hot sun without head covering, as one will often see men do. A touch of the sun is not an affair of minutes, but simply a matter of a second or two. If the hat has to be removed, it is, therefore, best to get under the shade of a tree, or anything else that will give shade, and not stand uncovered under a blazing tropical sun.
I am afraid I do not always practise what I preach, but all the same the above hints are good advice, as I know from experience of my own and of others.
As to medicines, there are certain well-known drugs that should be taken, though I do not advise a sportsman to buy a ready-made medicine chest, which usually contains many medicines which will seldom be needed. A fair quantity of the following are necessary :—