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Accessories - Tips To Bring Your Garb Up A Notch

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Back in medieval times, most people didn't have much of what we'd think of as "stuff". What they did have was either at their home, or on their person. I'm talking about things like blankets, cups, eating utensils, combs, jewelry... "stuff" like that.


Since Pinedale is a crossroads between kingdoms, most visitors are transient. They arrive, stay a while, wander off, come back again -- you get the idea. What this means is that they wouldn't have had a "home", meaning a building or structure they call their own personal dwelling. In other words, a place to put their stuff.


Think about all the stuff you'd want if you were traveling by foot from here to, say, West Virginia. You'd need a lot of stuff: shelter, clothes, a sleeping bag, food, a way to cook food, water, and more. You'd need a knife, matches, a cooking pan, some first aid supplies -- the list is long, and limited only by how much you could comfortably carry. When I was in the Marines, we regularly humped around packs that weighed between 50 and 100 pounds, plus body armor, a weapon, ammunition, grenades, bayonet, and sometimes we'd carry extra ammo for the crew served weapons, like mortars or machine guns. The radio guy would really get screwed, because he had to carry a big radio in addition to his personal gear. That's a lot of stuff.


I'm not suggesting that you carry around a hundred pound pack at Novitas. Most people's idea of medieval fantasy doesn't involve being a pack mule. On the other hand, there's a lot of things a player could carry that might come in handy, and a few things that, to me, are vital. Carrying these things can add to the authenticity of your garb, and will often come in handy as well.


An incomplete list might include:


Tindertwigs (matches, wooden ones in a metal case or a hollow bone would be slick)


Waterskin (the new Gander Mountain store in New Hartford has leather waterbags)


Knife (I just bought myself this one: http://makoknives.com/catalog/images/Dmasbird.jpg to carry in garb. It set me back $45, which I thought was a good deal.)


Rope (Home Depot or Lowe's sells hemp rope by the foot. It's cheap.)


Lightsticks (the green ones are the brightest, and everyone should have a glow worm handy.)


Eating utensils. (It's important to note that the Inn no longer provides bowls, cups or eating utensils. Characters are expected to provide their own. I suggest a metal tankard and a wooden bowl. Careful shopping will net you both for about $10. Try Wal*Mart and Target first, you'd be surprised at what they have.)


Bedroll. (A thick wool blanket will probably run you $10 at an army-navy store.)


Where do you keep this stuff though? The obvious choice is belt pouches for LARPers, but in reality, a medieval man would have one pouch at his belt for his money. Carrying more than one was considered ostentatious. Women (and sometimes men) often carried baskets in much the same way women today carry a purse. There's nothing stopping you from carring a haversack or a backpack either, but please try and make it look somewhat authentic. At the least, it shouldn't have zippers, plastic fastex buckles or nylon. Many army-navy stores carry canvas backpacks with all closures being flaps, and they work well.


By adding a little something to your garb every month, you can consistently improve your costume, which makes the game look better for everyone, and you can make it hurt your wallet less too.

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