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

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  • Maryelizabeth
    ... We have about three full sets of garb for each of us right now, although I realize that more will be needed as the boys grow (have a huge bin of fabric
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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      > The basic questions about garb, tents, and bed that you should be asking isn't "Will other people accept it," but "is this what I can do and live with, right now?" If you've got T-tunics and trousers made of old sheets, an earth pimple (that is, modern dome tent) for every two people, and sleeping bags on the ground -- and if that's what you can afford and what you can live with, for now -- then you're good. The REQUIREMENT for SCA participation is an attempt at pre-1600s attire. The rest is wonderful to build up to, but it's basically just extras.

      We have about three full sets of garb for each of us right now, although I realize that more will be needed as the boys grow (have a huge bin of fabric ready to go for that) and have a tub of finer fabrics for fancier garb. Since we will be camping as the cooler nights set in, 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.
      >
      > Figure out what your SCA budget is going to be, and stick within it religiously. Figure in event/site/camping fees, tent costs, garb costs, furnishing costs, and accessories. Decide whether it's more important RIGHT NOW that you look great, or that your encampment looks great. Focus your attention the first year on garb, probably, unless your kids are still growing; for that, focus the kid-budget on a workable tent. A-frame tents are relatively easy to construct from scratch if you're doing it yourself, so that'll probably be the first workable period tent you get (or try out the SoulPad at http://www.soulpad.com -- and no, I don't work for them, I just really love my own SoulPad).

      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.

      >After that, just build up little by little.

      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. We don't really have a set budget per se, but know what we can and cannot afford, and stick with it. I generally buy fabric that I find on sale (usually from fabric.com or walmart as there is nothing else here to choose from) and stock up. I bought some beautiful blue velvet years ago, but find that it is too bright so might try dyeing a swatch of it to see if I can get closer to something less electric.

      I have a garb chest and a feast chest (we played years ago when the kids were small - before the split, etc.) It has taken 6 years to get to a point where we can play again, financially, as well as my husband agreeing to give it a try.
      Spend one year's SCA budget on garb, the next on tent(s), the next on furnishings, and then go back around for more garb. It can be easy and relatively inexpensive, if you let it.
      >
      > Remember, the SCA isn't a strict society. It's about what YOU feel is your most reasonable attempt at period garb. What you yourself can make, trade for, or pay for. Do your best WITHOUT going bankrupt. If you feel capable of more, then try more, but for now, just focus on what will be fun, affordable, and will enhance the experience for your family.

      Thank you so much for your advice and input. The tent that I bought, as well as the one I am purchasing are found at fcsutler.com (Fall Creek Sutlery)

      Maryelizabeth/Francesca

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    • Sue
      . Since we will be camping as the cooler nights set in, I am concerned about sleeping on the ground, especially for my youngest as he has a vascular condition
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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        . Since we will be camping as the cooler nights set in, 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.

        *****************

        One thing that I have seen is to take your plastic totes that all your stuff came in and set them up so you can put an air mattress on them - and since your stuff is now all OUT of the totes

        you don't have to worry about getting into them

        Mariassa



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Maryelizabeth
        ... I have noticed that my canvas wall tent is a lot more durable than the nylon tents that I used to have, even the more expensive ones. ... Thanks for the
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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          > Don't get too worried about whether the tent fits the persona at the moemnt. Lots of people in the SCA use modern tents due to cost, lack of space to store/dry/haul canvas and poles, etc. Having used both, canvas is a LOT more comfortable, so I think you've made a good choice.


          I have noticed that my canvas wall tent is a lot more durable than the nylon tents that I used to have, even the more expensive ones.
          >

          > Again, lots of people use modern cots, air mattresses, etc, even inside period tents. Army cots will be fine, and getting yourselves up off the ground is the best choice you could make.

          Thanks for the input - my youngest really has a problem with too much cold and damp so that is a main reason for wanting the cots.

          As far as a slat or rope bed, things to consider with a rope bed are that a) the ropes don't always stay on when the bed is broken down for transport, which means you may need to restring it every time you use it (this depends mostly on the design of the bed), which is time-consuming; and b) the ropes stretch and need to be tightened. You may well find yourselves rolled together into the middle of the bed in the morning due to sag. This can be fun or not depending on your personal preference :-) You might guess that I really like our slat bed.

          I think he is leaning towards the slat bed as well as we are both the type that likes a little room when sleeping.
          >

          > Plan for weather and layers. I generally bring one or possibly two gowns for a weekend, depending on how cold/sweaty/ wet I expect to get based on activities and weather. I generally find that I never manage to get into garb Friday night because by the time we are done setting up (we have a BIG pavilion and lots of junk) it is time to go to bed, and if I need garb on Sunday, I can usually rewear the gown I wore on Saturday unless it gets very dirty, wet, or sweaty. I always bring a heavy wool gown or a cloak for rain or unexpectedly cold weather, and a pair of wool socks in case of wet feet. I personally agtree with the accessories rather than fancy garb for court, especially for a camping event, but that's definitely a YMMV situation.

          YMMV? Thank you for the cloak reminder. I have to finish up sewing mine and my husband's. Both boys have finished ones already.

          Thanks to everyone's input, I think I have a clear idea of what direction to head in.

          Maryelizabeth
          >
          > Brangwayna Morgan
          > Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
          > Lancaster, PA
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Maryelizabeth
          Neat idea! Too bad I don t need enough to accomodate two teens for beds. LOL
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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            Neat idea! Too bad I don't need enough to accomodate two teens for beds. LOL

            --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, "Sue" <ashgrove@...> wrote:
            >
            > . Since we will be camping as the cooler nights set in, 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.
            >
            > *****************
            >
            > One thing that I have seen is to take your plastic totes that all your stuff came in and set them up so you can put an air mattress on them - and since your stuff is now all OUT of the totes
            >
            > you don't have to worry about getting into them
            >
            > Mariassa
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • D'vorah bint al-Attar
            ... 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
            Message 5 of 11 , 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?
              -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
              D'vorah bint al-Attar
              Master Albrecht Waldfurster's Egg
              Middle Kingdom, Midlands, Ayreton, Tree-Girt-Sea (Chicago, IL)
              dvorah@...
              http://www.consensualreality.net/sca AND
              Facebook: D'vorah Bint Al-Attar
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            • bronwynmgn@aol.com
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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                <<YMMV? Thank you for the cloak reminder. I have to finish up sewing mine and my husband's. Both boys have finished ones already.>>

                YMMV = "Your Mileage May Vary" :-)

                Cloaks are good things, but I have found that if you need to move around or work in the cold and wet they are not as useful as they might be. I have a coat wool gown and hood that I use as raingear for that purpose.

                Oh, and with wet wool - Hang it as soon as you take it off. If you put it in a heap on the floor, the water will soak it completely through. If it's hanging, the water drains down the outer fibers and drips out the bottom, and only the lowest few inches is soaked through.

                Brangwayna Morgan
                Shire of Silver Rylle, East Kingdom
                Lancaster, PA






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Maryelizabeth
                ... Thamk you for this information, especially about the updrafts, which is something I had completely overlooked. ... Well, they do look plausibly period, so
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 1, 2010
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                  >
                  > 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).
                  >

                  Thamk you for this information, especially about the updrafts, which is something I had completely overlooked.



                  > 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?
                  >

                  Well, they do look "plausibly period, so I am guessing that makes them ok as per SCA guidelines. Either way, the soul pads are very cute.

                  >
                  > > 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.

                  Very good deal! We already have wooden plates, although I have been keeping my eye out at the local thrift store for some that at least "look" like they are pewter. I have a couple pieces that I want to replace, but for the most part, we do have feast gear that is ok, even if some isn't exactly period (the wooden bowls are not round.)


                  > 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?

                  I am located in Atlantia, in Kingdom Lands, between Black Diamond and Windmaster's Hill, although I am a bit closer to Windmaster's Hill.

                  Maryelizabeth
                • cjburke_99
                  ... This is one of the most common mistakes made by first-time campers. People worry about camping on the cold ground, but the ground acts as an insulator
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 2, 2010
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                    --- In scanewcomers@yahoogroups.com, "Maryelizabeth" <peterbenma@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > 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).
                    > >
                    >
                    > Thamk you for this information, especially about the updrafts, which is something I had completely overlooked.
                    >

                    This is one of the most common mistakes made by first-time campers. People worry about camping on the "cold ground," but the ground acts as an insulator for the bottom part of the body. A cot gets you off the ground and allows the air underneath, which may be colder than the ground. Air mattresses do this as well, but to a lesser extent.

                    A friend who has much more experience with camping in the SCA (I'm an old boy scout camper) swears by skeepskin. He is a big man with arthritis issues, but I have known him to sleep comfortably on hardwood floors with a couple layers of sheepskin. For tent camping, I know he uses a cot with sheepskin, and he happily survived 2 weeks of Pennsic with that arrangement.

                    Being on a limited budget myself, this weekend I am camping on a "cot" that started life as a chaise lounge with a solid twill surface, supplemented with a sleeping bag and fleece cloak.

                    Dragos Pelikanos
                    "Let there be music! Let there be dancing!"
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