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15798Re: [SCA Newcomers] For Maryelizabeth, WAS I haven't posted in a while, but need a little advice/input

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  • D'vorah bint al-Attar
    Sep 1, 2010
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      On 1 Sep 2010, at 7:22 PM, Maryelizabeth wrote:

      > ...I am concerned about sleeping on the ground, especially for my youngest as he has a vascular condition which is affected by cold, especially a damp cold.
      >>

      Then army-style cots are probably your best bet. I use them myself. If you want to cover them up, make a slipcover out of neutral-colored ("looks like natural linen!") bed sheets, or just drape sheets over them. If your son's vascular condition is really severe, or if you plan to camp in the early spring or late autumn when it's much colder at night, I highly recommend a real wool fleece mattress pad. I got a queen-sized one for about $100, though I should've gotten a king-sized one because two cots shoved together are a bit bigger than queen-sized. A twin-sized one for each cot -- or more than one, if you want to really go for the luxury and warmth -- will be terrific. The rule should be, for every blanket or sheet on top of you, you want AT LEAST two blankets beneath you. The cot slipcover will help too, as will storing garb boxes and other storage beneath the bed, because they will slow down air flow. Nothing makes you colder than having a brisk breeze below you. Terrific in the heat of summer, but painfully cold in the early spring such as for Gulf Wars (mid-March).

      > The soulpad tents are adorable! Are they period? I currently have a wall tent that I bought a few years ago, but is still in like-new condition. I am buying the a-frame for the boys and it comes at a very good price from the same place that I bought the wall tent from, so I know the quality will be good.

      The SoulPad isn't a period tent. Tents of this general style, called a Sibley tent or a bell tent, are documented to the mid-19th century I know, but could very well also be earlier for all I know. I got it because it's only $500, shipping is free anywhere in North America, and because the design is "plausibly period." That is, it's of such a simple design that it seems completely ridiculous to think that NO ONE would have ever used this design. It's like combining the shape of the lavvu or tipi with the wall height of the 5000-year-old Roman tent, the best of both. As far as I know, it wasn't used widely, but the ease and convenience of the design make it seem sort of like "If you want to make bread, you're probably going to need some kind of flour." You know what I mean? Ridiculous to think that something so stupid-easy NEEDED to be documented, right?

      Although there are tentmakers out there who will make bell tents out of only canvas, wood, and maybe some metal fittings, the SoulPad isn't one of those. For one thing, the ground cover is plastic. The center pole and the door-support poles are aluminum. The ropes are nylon, with plastic sliders, though both could be replaced by hemp/manila rope and wood sliders. The door zipper is... well, it's a zipper, so that's not period. However, the basic idea of the tent is period, and it doesn't look glaringly out of place in a period or peri-oid encampment. And given that the tentmakers who use only period materials will charge $500 for the tent, then another $200-odd for the poles, ropes, sliders, and any other accessories, and then charge you again for the ground cover... Well, I went for the better financial deal.

      > We are planning to add a bit to the encampment slowly, as well as to feast gear, garb, etc. as we can and as I can find it as locally as possible.

      I was at Ikea just today, on an unrelated matter, and saw some ceramic plates and bowls there for under a dollar each. They're bound to be a bit flimsy, and they won't have that rich feel that you can get from feastware made of pewter, wood, or handmade pottery (I make that, by the way), but by golly, they'd fit in just about any budget, even if you order them and have to pay for shipping. I was looking for something else, so I didn't shop around to find out if they had mugs or cups for similar dirt-cheap prices, but their website claims some as low as 29 cents, so there you go. If you need more feast ware, that might be a really good way to go. Of course, ceramics should be transported with padding. I use garb and bedding for the purpose. :)

      Again, welcome back to the Current Middle Ages. It'll be great to have you in the Society again. Where did you say you were located?
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      D'vorah bint al-Attar
      Master Albrecht Waldfurster's Egg
      Middle Kingdom, Midlands, Ayreton, Tree-Girt-Sea (Chicago, IL)
      dvorah@...
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