According to the weather.com forecast we can expect the following
temperatures for Estrella War:
Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - Partly Cloudy, High 69F Low 44F
Thursday, February 14, 2002 - Partly Cloudy, High 66F Low 42F
Friday, February 15, 2002 - Partly Cloudy, High 67F Low 41F
Saturday, February 16, 2002 - Partly Cloudy, High 67F Low 42F
Sunday, February 17, 2002 - Partly Cloudy, High 64F Low 43F
What follows is some friendly advice on staying warm at night at WAR!
Written by John Groseclose,iain@...
Having worked the last umpteen Estrella Wars on the dusk-till-dawn
shift, I've noticed that many people get *cold* at night at the War.
This is usually because they're wearing the same outfit at night that
they wore during the day.
Dressing in layers is the key to avoiding spending the night huddled
around a fire or space heater.
If you're dressed correctly, spending any time inside a heated area
(such as in the registration tent or Chirurgeon's Point) is actually
*uncomfortably* warm. In fact, I have to take care at some events not
to sweat, as sweating in warm clothes is *not* good - you lose heat
*faster* that way than if you weren't dressed warmly at all.
Key areas to cover to stay warm include your feet, hands, torso, and
A typical outfit for me on night duty includes a pair of thin cotton
socks, with thicker wool socks over them, boots, a pair of cotton
fleece sweatpants covered with a pair of thick woolen trews, a light
linen or cotton shirt covered with a thick woolen overtunic, and a
hood with attached yoke, also in heavy wool.
Cloaks, while warm if you're standing still and keeping covered, are
not usually enough to keep one warm if moving around. The fact that
they're open down the front usually allows enough air in to circulate
and give you quite a chill, especially if you've been standing still
for long enough to warm up.
On more than one occasion, I've worn a great kilt throughout the
coldest nights at Estrella. Your knees are relatively insensitive to
cold (ever gone ice skating, and spent a bit of time kneeling on the
ice?) and by covering those other areas I've mentioned, you can still
remain fairly warm. Six or seven yards of wool is more than enough for
the average person to wrap up warmly, and with a bit of practice, you
won't be dropping folds into the firepit or the privy. For such
occasions, I again wear thin cotton socks under thick wool socks, a
thin linen undertunic that reaches to right above my kneecaps, a leine
over that (with huge baggy sleeves), a leather or wool ionar (don't
wear a *tight* doublet or ionar - you're trying to keep air pockets in
the layers!), and cover my head with a layer or two of the wool belted
to my waist. If it gets *really* cold, I simply roll the sleeves
around my arms to give me a couple more layers.
Sleeping warmly again depends on layers. Insulate yourself from the
ground. A straw mattress, thick foam pad, or a bedframe will get you
off of the ground (which was wet this last War, and made a *great*
heat sink!) and keep you from losing heat to the ground. A wool
blanket with a sheet over it on top of your mattress (bed or ground
pad), then a cotton or linen sheet, a couple of wool blankets, then a
down comforter or several whole sheepskins, and you'll be warmer.
Still too chilly? Wear a nightcap! Most of the heat you lose sleeping
in a bed is lost through your head! A well-made woolen nightcap, lined
with a bit of linen or cotton, will lower that amount of lost heat.
If you're *still* cold, shared bodily warmth is a good idea - whether
it's your significant other, or a couple of good-sized dogs.
Drinking alcoholic beverages to "warm up" is a bad idea. Alcohol will
actually *increase* the amount of heat you lose through your skin, by
increasing blood flow through the surface capillaries (easily noted by
observing the standard "alcoholic flush.") Remember Cap'n Alex's Rule:
Alcohol is Not Anti-Freeze!
A sunburn will do the same thing - in serious cases of sunburn, you
can actually *feel* the heat coming from the skin of a sunburn victim!
Using sunscreen during the day is a good idea, but better is the
wearing of a broad-brimmed hat during the day. It'll keep the sun off
of your skin, and keep you cooler. Then, at night, you won't be losing
additional heat because of your sunburn. Remember Cap'n Alex's Other
Rule: The Sun is Not Your Friend!
My personal rules on fire while camping are that fires are for
cooking, and for light. I can't usually get very close to a campfire
if I'm dressed warmly, as it makes me sweat. However, the campfire can
be a good thing. Remember that smaller fires consume less wood and are
easier to keep under control. A campfire should be just large enough
for your group to comfortably gather around. If you have more than
fifteen or twenty people, multiple small fires are better than one big
one. If you're sitting around a campfire, I highly recommend insuring
that your outer layers are *natural* fiber. Cotton, linen, and wool
don't burn as easily as artifical fibers. They also don't melt and
stick to your skin. A well-made cloak of wool with a lining of linen
or cotton, and treated with fireproofing, can be a wondrous thing
while sitting around a campfire - if someone does something silly and
sets himself or herself on fire, that fireproof cloak is an easy way
to put them out. I've seen cloaks made from an old stage fire curtain
- truly, a good idea. (NOTE: Some old stage fire curtains are made
from asbestos. Avoid those.)
1) Dress in layers. Cold? Add more. Hot? Take a couple off.
2) Cover your head.
3) Don't sweat. Slow down or take your hat/hood off for a while!
4) Natural fibers are better if you're going to be around fires - you
can keep cotton or linen between you and the wool.
5) Cloaks aren't good at keeping you warm if you're moving.
6) Small fires are better than big ones.
7) Avoid sunburn and overconsumption of alcohol.