Packing for an Event

2:51 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »

Yes, that is my car. Yes, everything you see was both needed and used between myself and a friend who carpooled to Egil's this year. And I only packed a cotehardie (didn't have much garb of my own yet). Yes, that is the Army blanket cloak.

First, what do you need? Food, water, clothes, and shelter at the very least. Make a prioritized packing list including every single thing you can think of, once you have that you can start paring down unnecessary items. What do you need to be comfortable? This isn't "proper" camping where you are expected to rough it; SCAdians take pride in overpacking. Do you have a portable project? In what activities will you be participating? Once you're on site, you most likely won't want to make a store run. Packing lists you find online can be helpful in that they may include things that you did not consider, but do not rely on them. Use your favourite as a starting point and create your own master list that fits your needs. Mine is an Excel sheet that I tweak each time depending on the weather, length of the event, and what I plan on doing while there.

If you have a household, coordinate so that you can cut down on your packing. For example, is there a kitchen buy-in? Who has the largest and best day shade? Will someone be in charge of the firepit?

Do not pack so that you cannot unpack by yourself. Sure you can cram all your cast-iron into one Rubbermaid tub, but is that really a good idea? While most people are willing to help, they may very well be busy setting up camp themselves. Do not automatically expect assistance in unloading. If you do get it, remember what your mother told you: say thank you and offer to help them in return.

When you go to pack up the car, consider how you pack it. If you will arrive after dark, make sure that your tent and light source (I highly recommend a headlamp) are easily reached. You don't want to unload your garb, kitchen gear, and fighter kit just to set up your tent. Economize your space, thinking of it as Tetris in 3D. You would be amazed at what I can fit into my Buick Regal.
That's William de Nancy, pretending to pout over being crammed in such a tiny space. Or maybe it was fear over my driving, can't remember which. And yes, he did ride to the event like that. Packed in like that, not the pouting.
You will invariably both overpack and forget something important. One of my Innmates with the Inn of the Blue Boot actually forgot to pack garb for September Crown. I have consistently neglected to purchase an air mattress pump, but have been able to borrow one at every event this year. Somone will have a fully stocked first aid kit. Don't worry. Unless you forgot your medications. Then worry. A lot.