Staying on-site can make life easier. As soon as you leave your tent in the morning you can have breakfast and you're ready to go. If you stay in a 'plastic' tent you may be pitched away from the display area and have to walk across, but it means you can pack down in 30 miniutes instead of three hours. Of course, if you are off-site you can leave equipment in the care of someone on-site and save some work. You may need help pitching your tent when you arrive at an event. You will always find someone willing to rush to your aid!
If you want to stay overnight in the living history area you will need to share or own an 'authentic' tent. There are a number of types from bell tents, to soldiers (ridge) tents, as well as campaign tents, pavilions and burgundians. They come in different sizes and prices vary. Most are upwards of £200 but they will last years, and a number of people are now doing smaller ones which are great to start with. Many sell their old tents when upsizing so keep an eye out and ask around. Go to our Links Page for a list of tent suppliers.
You can leave your tent open during the day only if it is authentically furnished. Otherwise you will have to keep it shut.
Sometimes group food is prepared by a volunteer cook. If this is the case you will be given advanced warning and asked to contribute a small sum. You will also be asked if you prefer vegetarian or have any special dietary requirements. Occassionally money may be taken from group funds. Otherwise you will have to provide your own food.
During the day any food or drink consumed outside your tent should be authentic. It is usually a matter of leaving out undiscovered foods like tomatoes and potatoes. If you have breakfast before the public arrive and an evening meal after they leave, you can eat anything you like. So you only need to worry about lunch. Most find a salad, bread, cheese and/or cold meats conveinient. You can also hide in your tent and eat whatever you wish or wander off-site to a fast-food van.
Drinking water is supplied free of charge to all.
If you have a craft-skill and authentic tools then you can make a big difference to a display. Sights, smells and sounds add to the atmosphere. Just be prepared to answer questions and pose for photographs!
Here are just a few of the skills you may wish to show or learn:
Sewing, Wood Carving, Bodging, Fletching, Armouring, Smithing, Cooking, Weaving, Lucette Work, Candle Making, Caligraphy, Net Making, Minting, Fingerloop Braiding, Knitting, Jewelry Making, Dyeing, Patten Making, Leatherwork, Shoemaking/Cobbling, Herbalism, Drama/Mumming, Singing, Music, Dancing and many more. You can see many of these crafts being demonstrated on our picture section, just click on the photos link on the left.
You may already employ some of these skills in making your own kit and can always use the time to finish things off.
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