Tuesday, May 11, 2010

SCA... Chronic Bitch Style

Outdoor events in the Society for Creative Anachronism are the only way to go. However, not all of us are young, drunken idiots who could pass out under a bush and wake up bright-eyed and bush-tailed the next afternoon. Here are some tips on how to survive a weekend in the great outdoors... unless you're a heavy fighter, then there is no hope for you.

1. Consider an RV
Pros: I know someone who uses a camper to keep his insulin refrigerated. It's a bit more comfort if you have chronic pain, and warmer if you have temperature control issues.
Cons: You might get some looks or snide remarks. To minimize this and have a little fun, you can convert it into a gypsy wagon if you have the skills and spoons.

2. Air mattress
Pros: If you have anything from minor aches and pains to chronic pain issues you will want an air mattress. You will stay much warmer, especially if it rains.
Cons: Do not forget the air pump and extra batteries. Bring duct tape and minimize the possibility of holes. There will eventually be holes.

3. Pill case
Pros: If you lose it you won't lose your entire supply. Keeps them dry. You are more likely to keep it in your purse (yes, even men had purses back then) or basket so you can remember to take it.
Cons: You are either out a couple of bucks or, if you're only taking one or two medications, you can use an old pill bottle with the label peeled off.

4. Bring and Drink Plenty of Water
Pros: Avoid heatstroke and dehydration, both of which are dangerous in and of themselves without other medical problems on top.
Cons: You will have to use the biffies.

5. Bring Food That You Can and Should Eat
Pros: If you plan a balanced diet you will be less likely to gain weight, have more energy, and less likely to have otter problems. Plan for light meals throughout the day rather than three heavy meals, which can make you sluggish and drain your energy.
Cons: You might envy your neighbour who only brought sausage, cheese, and lots of alcohol now, but you won't when it catches up with him.

6. Don't Get Hammered
Pros: Less likely to trigger depression, get dehydrated, or complicate your medications. You will be more likely to remember to take your medications on time and maintain your normal sleep cycles.
Cons: You won't be pissing off the entire encampment with your impromptu roving Bardic circle at 3 a.m.... Wait, remind me how that's a con?

7. Earplugs
Pros: That drunken roving Bardic won't wake you up in the middle of the night. Or that guy who likes to blow his conch at dawn.
Cons: They might be hard to sleep in if you are unaccustomed to them.

8. Walking Stick
Pros: You will end up doing more walking than you originally intended and a walking stick will definitely help, doubly so if you have any mobility issues. Can double as a weapon for drunken idiots who think they lurve you.
Cons: If you are extremely klutzy it might prove more of a hindrance with long skirts. Don't ask me how I know this.

9. Sturdy Shoes
Pros: Again, lots of walking. Take care of your feet.
Cons: What works best for your feet might not be considered "period." Who cares? Your feet are more important.

10. Camp in Groups
Pros: Chores can be divided. If you can't unload the car, you can set up and organize camp. You can cook and have someone else haul your camp chair around for you. They can remind you to eat or take your meds if necessary, and in turn you might keep them from sleeping with that fugly idiot three sites down.
Cons: Unless you're camping with random strangers, you will be a better judge of any problems that might arise.

11. Bring a Chair
Pros: You will have a comfortable place to rest, especially if you bring a pillow or two. If not then the hard ground is pretty much your only option. Those pillows might help for a bit, but everything will be complaining after one afternoon.
Cons: Unless you have a director's chair, it's unlikely to be period, but a blanket can help disguise it as well as providing extra warmth. You will have to haul it around, unless you work something out with a campmate.

12. Keep Your Schedule

Pros: Your sleep cycle will be maintained, usually meaning less insomnia or hypersomnia. You'll be less off-balance when you return to the modern world. Although if you've been meaning to change your schedule events can be a good time to change it.
Cons: You won't be in a drunken roving Bardic at... Aw, never mind.

13. Stay Warm
Pros: A hot water bottle, heating up a rock, or a partner to take to bed with you will help.
Cons: You may experience burning or possible sexual side effects.

In short, try to keep things as similar to your home environment as possible.


  1. These are all good ideas that I'm going to take into account for Pennsic this year... Thanks for posting

  2. Oh good, I'm glad that my hard-learned mistakes will help someone else out!

  3. Thankfully, this CB found camp bunks at Red Tower, courtesy of a lovely group of young gentlemen from Georgia Tech. One of them also snored in the same tone as my dishwasher, so the bunkhouse sounded like home. ^_^

  4. This is a great checklist! I have heard all this advice before, but never all at once, and in such a nice, distinct list. Nice work!

    Must make Gypsy Caravan...