Event 101- What to Bring

So you have the event listing all read and figured out so now it is time to pack!

Yes that is right pack.

Making sure you have the right things will make for a better day so here is what I recomend bringing.

Garb is probably the first thing. You can make your own, a simple T-Tunic or go all out with a Tudor gown. Or many places have what is called Gold Key, a set of garb for newcomers that you can borrow. Remember we ask for a reasonable attempt so don’t feel like you have to be spot on but try and skip your neon puffy vest.

As a side note too, you can wear modern things under your garb. I normally have some type of legging as I have yet to master lady-like and while I have heard you can do a self-supporting garment I prefer to keep the girls secure. And to nursing Mommies, I promise I will post how to manage that in garb!

Next your wallet. Remember you will need your blue card if you have it, and cash for gate unless you pre-reg. Cash is also good to have if the event has merchants!

A mug or other vessel to drink out of. I tend towards a ceramic with a handle so I can loop it on my belt. Leather, metal or glass also work. Put your name on the bottom so if it gets lost you can get your mug back. We tend to play outside more than our mundane selves and that leads to dehydration quickly and can ruin your day fast. So remember drink water, drink it often and drink it over drinking soda or beer. If you do like other drinks try and put them in your mug and tuck the modern bottle out of sight.

If your site says that water isn’t available plan to bring a good gallon per person. I also put a gatoraid in the car for the drive home, trust me it is worth it.

Pro tip- Bring a bit of cloth, known as a mug cover, keeps bugs and dirt out of your drink.

If you plan to stay for feast then you will need your own plate bowl and silverware. Again you can go fancy or go simple but try and stay away from ye old dollar store paper plate. If for no other reason as they just don’t hold up to tons of feast food. I use a plain white plate and a wood bowl I got at Ikea and silverware out of my cutlery drawer. Add a table cloth, a cloth napkin and you are on your way to dinner.

This is the time to mention to BRING SNACKS. If an event starts at 8AM and closes at say 10 pm, you will get hungry. Cheese, Grapes, summer sausage, nuts, Hummus with pita, Fruit, and bread all are period and all make good snacks. I also tend to have a granola bar or other child snack in my bag so if I am running about I am not without.

Pro-Tip: Share with others! It is a great way to make new friends. On the same note ask before you eat or take food, most people will share or offer if asked but walking up and helping your self is frowned upon.

All of this I normally carry in a basket and use a cloth to hide any modern things. Coolers or other modern bags can have a blanket tossed over them to help fit in or tuck it under a table.

Now that your basket is packed what else?

The next thing you may want is your own chair, often times events will be short on a comfy place to sit, more so if it is outside. It also helps claim the spot as yours and gives you a place to come back to. Wood chairs are best, but if all you have is a bag chair simply tossing a blanket over it can keep it in the moment.

A hat or head cover, Again a lot of the SCA is outside. This helps reduce the chance of becoming crispy and head coverings are VERY period. My sister and I fight over a straw hat my mother has or we wear vails as we both have suffered from a sun burnt head.

Umbrellas are good to have on hand as well as the Outlands have been known for mid-afternoon storms. A blanket is also a good thing to keep on hand as you may need to cover your self and things if a midafternoon storm turns to downpour.

Sun Screen- see playing outside. Sunburn is real and it hurts. Bug Spray is another good idea as ticks and mosquitos carry some nasty things and who wants to be itchy?

I took a bottle of aloe-infused with lavender and stashed it in my cooler at my last war. Our camp neighbor who had spent her day fighting and came back cherry red only had happy noises to make when I made her apply some. Followed by several other neighbors asking for some to sooth their sunburns once word got out about it.

Something to do

Often times events can have several moments of action followed by hurry up and wait. I normally have a handcraft of some sort to pass the time. Weaving, spinning, there are several types of cord making, embroidery, calligraphy or a period game. Also just ask if people need help, there is always work for those who want to make the event fun and it is an easy way to meet people and start making friends.

What about the Kids?

Managing with a Tiny monster is its own post but in short. Extra clothing, something to amuse them(if you have to bring the tablet please bring headphones) and snacks. I have found sites that have a playground to be the best as it lets my kid burn off his energy. As he has gotten bigger involving him in events lets me stay longer and he gets to enjoy what we are doing.

The optional stuff.

A Sunshade can be a nice addition. But as an Outlander remember the wind blows, and so you should remember to tie it down well or risk it flying off.

A wagon is a practical investment as often time you may need to carry things in to a site. Or in my case it doubles as a place to let kiddo nap and keep him contained while I get us in to gate.

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