by Yehudah of Nuremberg (Barony of SunDragon, Atenveldt)
After many years of camping, you develop a memorized routine of packing everything you need for an event or war. However, after this same number of years, I have also come to the realization that I will still forget something ranging from semi-important to very important.
Usually these oversights can be reduced by creating a packing list. Check off each item as it is gathered in a ‘staging area’ for packing. Then you know you are finished packing the car, truck, AND trailer when this staging area is empty.
Unfortunately, there is one flaw in this method. The packing is done by us SCAdians. I’ve found that planning and organization seem to be out of period and therefore not in general practice in these Current Middle Ages.
In spite of this and other traditions, I’ve cobbled together years of hard-won, and lost, experiences of my own and a number of others for the benefit of anyone who cares. Some items are deliberately noted on more than one list.
The simplest of events to prepare for is a one day event and feast. Simply said but making sure you take all the items you want is not as easy. I suggest having a basket always stocked, ready to grab-and-go.
We use a large wicker basket with a good lid. I have also lined the inside to keep out dirt and insects (scorpions, Black Widows, etc.), with out-door feasting in mind. Eventually, all this junk will weigh about the same as a medium sized javelina so be sure the handles or straps are pretty heavy duty and well attached to the frame. Also keep in mind, the feast environment and clean-up facilities when selecting your dinnerware. Metal doesn’t insulate at all but doesn’t break. Wood is a fair insulator and far more durable than ceramics, glass or china. I have seen plastic ware (ie. Melmac) that has a period appearance and avoids embarrassment when sitting across from Their Graces and their exquisite place settings.
We have the large feast basket with all the regular gear and a smaller one with nice plates, glasses and napkins for civilized in-door feasts. So! What to keep in a feast basket? Some items are obvious, some not. You may think of more.
Feast Gear Basket ChecklistBesides a dinner set for each member of your family, I also keep a couple of extra set for guests or to use.
- Alcohol based ‘waterless’ cleaner. (Kills bacteria on contact. Bacterial soaps need much more time for effect.)
- Kitchen garbage bags. (For trash, dirty dishes. Great liner in a basket for a make-shift wash tub or water bucket.)
- ZipLock storage bags. (Several quart and gallon sized for left-overs, etc.)
Put your SCA name on the bottom of your drinking stuff. They get lost more than any other item.
Cooler Tips: Keep a couple of 2 liter bottles in the freezer ready to grab. Fill to about 1-2 inches from the top and squeeze the bottle a bit before capping. This give room for the expanding ice. They hold up better than loose ice, your cooler stays dry, and they provide additional cold drinking water as they melt.
First Aid Kit Checklist
This is for FIRST and minor aid. Always seek the advice of a Chiurgeion on any injury.
Now you are ready to really camp and setup up your very own kitchen. As with the feast basket, I suggest keeping a stocked camp kitchen ready to go. Mine is in a large plastic tub. Most of the gear is from 2nd hand stores and “Wally World”. (The following items fit into a 24"x18"x18" Rubbermaid tub with a high lid. ‘Tetris’ experience is a plus.
Camp Kitchen Check List
What does not fit in the Kitchen tub:
- Lg 2' diameter wash & rinse tubs (optional)
- Collapsible soft-sided trash barrel (garden section of Home Depot, et al)
- 6-8 clothes pins to hold trash bag in place
Kitchen tip:Pack a 3lb coffee can. The gallon sized sealable bags fills the can and folds back nicely over the top. This holds the bag wide open for filling. Make sure there are no burrs on the lip of the can. Try to keep all your food stuff in sealable tubs. This can be a life saver after a major storm.
Camping Gear Check List
'(Make sure you have ALL the poles!)'
BTU heaters on while sleeping!)
(Plan on at least a gallon of fuel for every 3 days. 1 10oz. propane bottle per day for each lantern and heater.)
Suggestion: The propane ‘trees’ that mount on the large tanks are about $20 but are much cheaper in the long run for propane lanterns. I set the 5 gallon (20lb.) tank on a table or stand so the top of the tree sits above head height to provide good lighting.
‘SECOND CHANCE’ is the name of a brass adapter that I have that screws onto the tree with the large propane tank threads on the other end for connecting large grills and other stuff.
I keep my stakes, tie down ropes, repair kits, etc. in a 5 gallon detergent bucket with lid.
NOTE: Leave the lid off for a couple of days when you get home from a rainy trip so it can dry out EVEN IF YOU THINK IT’S DRY! It won’t be a pretty sight when you open it a few month later. (Last year’s lesson.)
screwdrivers, pliers, hose clamps, etc.)
MAKE SURE ALL OF THESE ARE ACCESSABLE! It sucks to unpack everything to just get at that tire iron.
Address book / EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Event directions (stick in sun visor)
SCA card and fighting cards
Cell phone AND the bloody charger
Hair brush / comb
Tooth paste and brush
Bar / liquid soap
Handy/ baby wipes
Feminine hygiene supplies
Contact lens case & solution
Sewing repair kit
Stapler (great easy fixer)
Lg metal camp mirror (no glass)
Glass repair kit (mini-driver & screws)
Heavy duty portable power jack for dead batteries
Wallet & ID & credit cards
Money (sounds dumb but I've forgotten)
Pen / pencil / calligraphy set
Film & batteries
Shampoo / Conditioner
Spare eye glasses
Alcohol based "waterless" handcleaner
Walking cane / staff
Spare MUNDANES (2 set)
Socks (hvy & lt)
Slip on footwear (for privy dash)
GARB (court, field, warm & light styles)
Favors / medallions
VERY comfortable footwear
Sweat pants / leggings
Shower tunic / robe