As a newcomer to the SCA, signing up for your first camping event can be daunting. You’re going to spend the weekend in the outdoors meeting new people, and you have no idea what to bring!
For starters, this is an idea of what encampments generally look like here in Atenveldt- it’s a mixture of period canvas tents and nylon pop-ups.
This post is all about how to succeed when going to war. Here are some hints and tips from personal experience. (Check out the SCA Camping board on the SCAeveryday Pinterest, SCA Camping 101 and the official SCA Newcomer’s Guide for additional guidance.)
- Buy into a kitchen. (This is essentially paying someone to cook for you, then usually helping out with camp chores in return.) There is nothing quite like eating fresh, hot food on a chilly night! Ask around your group to see which encampments will be running open kitchens. Protein bars can fill you up, but they won’t make you happy.
- Bring fruit. Carbs will clog up the pipes. Fruits (like apples and oranges) keep well, and they usually hit the spot at snack time.
- Bring lots of layers. This applies to both garb and bedding. At Estrella War 2012, the day temperatures hovered around 100 degrees, and then dropped near 50 degrees at night. (This means planning for roman garb during the day, then switching to something warmer at night!)
- It’s okay to camp in a modern tent. Sure, period canvas tents are nice, but nobody will judge you for sleeping in a standard pop-up.
- Try something new! War is a great place to meet new people and pick up a few interesting skills. Read the event program and try out an arts and sciences class. Volunteer where the event stewards need help. Instead of simply watching the fighting, give waterbearing a shot! Trying new things will keep you busy and definitely help you to get to know some fascinating people.
The Baroness of Twin Moons has her own list of things to bring to war. Her Excellency Deletha (Deletha Boyd) said that here in Atenveldt, you can’t guarantee shade, so sunscreen and water are absolutely necessary. She added that a wool cloak is a must- it will keep you warm when you’re out and about, and can also double as a blanket. (Her Excellency’s hint: you’ll get more coziness if you line a wool cloak with polar fleece!)
Take a quick intermission- here is some more Estrella War footage to get you in the mood for your epic weekend.
The new King of Atenveldt, Tristan (Sean Miley), also contributed his hints and tips for a happy war experience. He suggests a comfy bed (that’s pretty self-explanatory) with lots of layers. Specifically, he recommends a cot.
He said that if you don’t have a way to get off the ground, “All the cold from the ground is going to seep up into your bed.”
That doesn’t sound like fun.
His Royal Majesty also suggests bringing along a nice chair and something that makes you happy. For him, this means a full-back chair with a slight recline, and either jelly beans or chocolate. You won’t want to be up on your feet for the whole event, especially during court, and it’s always pelasant to have a seat reserved for yourself at camp. And as for the jelly beans and chocolate… that’s King Tristan’s personal happiness combo, but bring whatever boosts your mood.
Except for illegal paraphernalia. Don’t bring that.
The SCAeveryday hopes that this helps you on your first war adventure. Good luck!
Please leave a comment if you have any advice for newcomers.