Jess’ Favourite Gear

Jess Byfield

Good women’s camo gear used to be really hard to come by. It was all bright pink or didn’t fit properly at all. Over the last few years though, with more and more women getting into hunting, a lot of brands have made huge improvements to their product lines.

Two of my favourite brands for gear specifically made for the ladies are Ridgeline and Stoney Creek. Ridgeline have come out with some really cool new performance level gear this year, which Tash and I have both been trying out. I have been super impressed with the quality, fit and how well it all works. And just between you and me, it doesn’t come with the huge price tag of some other brands. 😉

The Monsoon Anorak is great as a windproof and waterproof outer layer. It has 3 huge pockets that (for me at least) have held extra rounds, spare magazines, a fly box or two, range finder, some Snickers for energy – you name it. I wear this jacket hunting, around the farm and when I’m out fly fishing. It fits true to size but if you’re worried about what size to get, I’d go one size up because it has a drawstring around the waist that you can adjust anyway.

The new performance Stealth pants are an essential piece in my camo collection. The Realtree Excape camo is a really cool pattern and does well breaking up your silhouette in the bush. The material is also really comfortable to wear with a little bit of stretch in them too and the waistband sits nice and flat against your skin without digging in. They fit true to size.

For boots, I love the 5.11 Tactical ATAC Storm Boots. They actually, technically belong to Tash because she was possibly the one who purchased them but that’s the beauty of sisterhood. Right? That little detail aside, these boots are the best because they have a nice high 8″ rise to protect my girly weak ankles. They have a zip down one side so you can slip them on and off at the front door nice and easy. This model is also waterproof, which I have personally tested on many a hunt. Funnily enough the waterproofing doesn’t quite hold up if you actually go for a swim through a creek. Surprise, surprise. But, for all of your normal walking through terrible, wet weather needs, they hold up very well under the pressure.

You can click on any of the images in this article for shoppable links to each product.


Ok so we’ve got the camo and footwear stuff sorted. Now to have a talk about gear. We’ll start with the most important stuff you need to actually shoot a deer and go from there.

I am a die hard Tikka girl for life. Unless something major happens and their rifles start falling apart, I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced on anything else. I do own other rifles – I have a Ruger .243 that I use for a lot of crop protection shooting and I really like our Steyr .300 WM for big game but I can’t go past my Tikkas.

The T3 (newer models are now a T3x) Hunter Stainless was the first rifle I bought for myself when I got my firearms licence. I love the walnut stock matched with the stainless barrel. It’s now almost 10 years old and has been on a couple of international hunts plus countless bush bashing trips here in Tassie. I’m not the most consistent person when it comes to cleaning it but this rifle has been tough enough to handle that. Straight out of the box or as a base to build a custom platform from, I can’t recommend the Tikka’s more.

For optics, I started out with Vortex on dad’s recommendation. He’d done a bunch of research on them and watched some videos from veterans in the US who raved about them. I have the Viper on my .270 and a Crossfire II on my .243. I stick with the 50mm objectives because I like that they take in as much light as possible when shooting at dawn/dusk or under spotlight.

The one other little addition I have on my rifles is the ITC Marksmanship Rifle Cheek Rest. It’s a cheek rise made out of wetsuit material with velcro straps that secure it to the stock of your rifle. It comes with 3 waterproof foam pads that you can customise with your own ‘spot weld’. I have one on both of my most used rifles.

Bushbuck Outdoors is another brand I really like for a bunch of gear. I’ve got the Defender rain jacket which is unbeatable for keeping you dry in the wettest conditions. The sizing is unisex and I go with the XS. 

I bought the Bushbuck Horizon tent after doing a heap of research into different tents. I was looking at weatherproofing, weight, price and size (needed to fit 2 people) – in that order of importance. I looked at MSR, Marmot, Black Wolf and Vango but the Bushbuck stood out as the best option by far. Especially when considering the features it had for a price tag that was almost half what any other brands had on offer.

I’ve now taken it out on a bunch of camping trips here in Tassie and it’s stood up to everything so far barring heavy snow (just haven’t had the chance to test it in snow/alpine conditions yet). I really like the bathtub style floor in it which rises really high off the ground compared to others I looked at. It is really nice and spacious and has comfortably slept two people and a dog plus all of our gear. There’s also plenty of room under the two vestibules to keep packs or boots.

The Bino Bro is probably my most used piece of gear because I take it with me whether I’m hunting or fly fishing. It pretty much just lives in my car permanently and only comes out for me to swap out the gear inside. It’s honestly like a women’s handbag but for cool stuff because you can just about fit anything in there. For fishing, I get everything you’d put in a fly vest in the top compartment plus my Leatherman and car keys in the bottom compartment. My phone slips into the sneaky pocket on the back of it and then I have a little velcro backed fly patch that sticks straight to the Tricot fabric on the front of the Bino Bro.

When I’m hunting, my binos go in the top compartment which also has a clear faced sleeve for a dope chart and a mesh pocket. My rangefinder goes in the bottom compartment with spare rounds that slip straight into the built in elastic sleeves made exactly for this purpose. GPS or radio clip to the side of the Bino Bro and phone goes back into the sneaky back pocket. It’s also got a built in blaze orange rain cover and a bunch of utility clips on elastic cord to make sure you don’t lose anything.

You can click on any of the images below to purchase or find out more about each product.

Women's Camo haul

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