There is a line in one of the Bourne movies where the CIA guy announces, “get the
cars, we’re going mobul!” (mobile in English). I have my own version; “grab the bag
hide I’m going mobul”
For years I have had a hate - hate relationship with my bag hide. There’s nothing
wrong with it as camouflage, it’s just so damn claustrophobic. It hangs in the wrong
places, gets between the eye and the camera, is always trapped when I need it to
give me some slack and the mice have eaten large parts of it when I left it in a
hedge for a fortnight.
Just lately however, I have begun to get to grips with it. So much so that I can
see me having to buy a new one soon as I keep getting my wellies caught in the mouseholes,tearing
it up even more.
The two factors that transformed its usefulness to me were 1) abandoning any camera
support in favour of hand-held, knee-steadied approach and 2) clipping the top of
the viewing aperture to the peak of my cap with bulldogs clips. The first allows
more manoeuvrability within the cover, weighs less and takes up less space. The second
means that I can always see what is going on and the material doesn’t fall over my
eyes at critical moments. Now, I like my bag hide and I have been putting it to good
In effect all that it does is obscure the wildlife-frightening human shape, melting
it into an amorphous blob and unlike any other hide, it can fit into any space that
the photographer can. More importantly, it is packed away in an instant and I can
be off into the distance to a more favoured area or wherever I have seen anything
The hares did come fairly close today but the two pairs in my field were not very
active due to the cold wind. They preferred to hunker down and watch between blades
of grass for trouble. After three hours of watching them watching me, I slid out
of my hidey hole and stalked another pair that I could see in a more sheltered area.
That versatility got me a few nice opportunities that would not have come my way
in my fixed hides.
Its so nice not to have to pack loads of stuff. A tiny rucksack with a spare card
and battery, the bag hide, foam seat, flask and biscuits, and that is all it requires.
Oh and a camera of course. With such a small bag, weighing nothing, it is easy to
carry the camera around my neck, always ready when pheasant bursts out of the hedge
on my way back to the car.
That combination gives me a light grabbing aperture of f4, and enough range to crop
a close up out of the frame without destroying the image and a wide enough field
to catch landscape and action shots. The whole set up both allows and requires me
to get close to my subjects which is the most satisfying thing of all.