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ROMAN TIMES

Preparing for an Event

After many years of reenacting, experienced reenactors have learned it is easier to pack for an event to hide all modern stuff, rather than pack "event" stuff separate from hotel stuff. Something invariably gets left behind, either at home, or at the hotel. Where is my Pugio? So, as you are packing here are some tips that might help you better organize and pack your stuff!

The Guidance of the "Period" Rule: The less you have to hide, the easier it is to hide it.

Hiding Your Anachronisms!

  • Clothing: Use two oilskin bags (waterproof) to carry clothes. One for modern clothes and one for period clothes. At Roman Times events, use them as pillows. Bring a white linen bag for soiled clothes too, and hang it from a bunk or put it with your other junk (stuff).
  • Bedroll: Pre-roll it at home and hide any modern materials within the folds. If you use a sleeping bag, you may want to sew up a large blanket to cover it. A surplus army linen/cotton mattress cover can carry your entire bedroll or hide modern sleeping items.
  • Cooler: Build a wooden box with wheels to hold a cooler. A small burlap sack can also be used to carry it and hide it at the event. Spray painting the cooler brown with "plastic krylon" paint can further help hide it. Even if some of the paint scratches off, it still hides the bright blue color of the cooler.
  • Food: For food not refrigerated, use a large net bag where munchies can reside in plastic containers for safety. You may consider "pre-opening" everything and “re-packaging” it in period containers so fewer pieces of plastic are floating around. For some foods that can travel safely out of plastic (nuts, fruits, beef jerky, etc), put them in small linen bags. When you go to eat any food in wrapped or stored in plastic, take them out of the plastic, place them on your Roman plate (not a Styrofoam or plastic plate), and re-hide the plastic container ASAP.
  • Plastic Boxes : Avoid them at all costs. They tend to be way too colorful and even a sliver of bright silver or blue can give it away. If you must use them look for black or brown, as they are the least obvious.
  • Suitcases: See above "Plastic Boxes"

NOTE: We have found that using brown or black flat spray paint makes many plastic things easier to hide! Coolers, boxes, and bright blue, silver, and green plastic things tend to disappear if spray painted brown or black! Definitely a way to make it easier on yourself to hide your modern items!

  • Wooden Boxes can be used to hold your "breakables". An event kit box is about 12 *18 inches by 14 inches high. It can hold plates, cups, little breakables, and some modern things too.
  • KEYS - DO NOT CARRY THEM IN THE FIELD !!! If you lose them in the field, archeologists will have to be called in to help find them! Again, DO NOT CARRY KEYS WITH YOU !!! Designate a spot where they MUST be placed and periodically check it. A wooden box is excellent for this.
  • Eating Utensils: Always have two spoons (one will be missing the entire event, but you will find it when you get home). A period bowl and plate, stoneware or wooden, are the minimum you need. You can use a linen "napkin" to hold it all together. A period knife will also be useful. If you use stoneware, cut a leather round piece to separate the plate and bowl from touching, which keeps them from chipping each other.
  • Cups: Given the apparent proclivities of Miles for drink, a cup should be big enough to hold 12 ounces of your favorite liquid. Otherwise you will have to hide the can/bottle! Smaller ones are acceptable. Wood or stoneware preferred.
  • Wine Bottles: If you can soak off the label, they look period and are okay around the fire, but we generally keep any alcohol hidden.
  • Olive oils, honey, etc can be placed in clear glass or stoneware containers and cork sealed. Remember- less to hide!

Bring extra linen, burlap, or cotton bags for stuff you will find that needs to be hidden at the event, or to help others hide their stuff. It is so much easier to use bags because bags can simply be stacked in the corner. They are already period as opposed to covering them with a “blanky”.

Those annoying plastic bags from the grocery store: ABOLISH THEM FROM YOUR KIT. DON’T EVEN LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH THEM!! They seem to always find a way to either stick out of a period container or get caught in the wind and blow through the camp... the HORROR, and they always rip open... at least use paper.

  • Cardboard Boxes: They are better than a plastic box, but certainly not period... especially if white and labeled USPS. Keep them hidden or leave them home. They also make GREAT fire starter!!!!!
  • Tarps: While things like artillery may need a serious waterproof covering, use CANVAS tarps and covers whenever possible. There is nothing like a bright blue plastic tarp to scream "MODERN!!!" NO PLASTICE TARPS!!!
  • Modern Tools: We do occasionally have to use modern tools for the sake of safety or because we do not have period equivalents. Do your best to make them look period (wood handles, remove labels, perhaps even torch the wood a bit to age it) and keep them hidden when not in use.

Once you arrive at the event location, drop your kit and DRESS OUT! Even if early, we came to play Roman, not watch you wear modern stuff all day. Hide stuff As Soon As Possible, and set the standard for others to follow!

Finally, help a brother out! If one of your buddies has that plastic bag sticking out... hide it for him. If he has a paper cup- remind him. Truth be told we ALL have a responsibility to keep the event as period as possible for us all!

And don't hate the Centurion, Optio, or Signifer for discussing what may be wrong with your kit or what you brought with you... we are just doing our jobs.

REMEMBER : The less you have to hide, the easier it is to hide it.

A great attitude.  Not enough can be said to come ready to play your part, be a soldier or leader, cooperate to the fullest extent possible, and BE a part of ROMAN TIMES . Our event is not about individuals or personalities, it is about good friends creating an experience that will never be forgotten!

Your best arms and armor. Remember if you plan to participate in needelfelt combat that things can get rough... cuts, bruises, scratches and dents happen... Be prepared for this. Don’t get mad or upset at someone if you get bumped a little harder than you expected, or you get a dent you didn’t expect. Play fair and be committed to having a good time. If you have an issue, report to your commander.

If you plan to bring a tent , let us know. The camp will be planned military style and more controlled for setup. We must get you on the camp plan so we can be prepared for you. No white tents are allowed in the Fort. White tents are allowed in another camping area. White, or modern tents are not allowed in the period camping area.

We have attended events that have been wet and mild, but some of us remember frozen plumbing and ice at other events, so here are some things you may need for a cold ROMAN TIMES event, as well as some tips and items to make your stay better:

  • Extra wool blankets—werecommends three. Some guys have used sheepskins to make an incredibly warm bed (takes 2-3) or Greek flokati rugs to wrap up in (the flokati is a 3000 year old rug technology, so it is very period).
  • Hot hand warmers. Toss one in the foot of your bedroll and it will keep your feet quite toasty.
  • Wool gloves or mittens. Civil War styles are acceptable for cold weather. We'll let you cheat a bit here.
  • Socks: Wool socks are a must! If wet and cold they protect you from both, even if you step in a puddle! Fox River Socks sells "Norwegian Ragg Wool" socks that are excellent and can be modified a bit to be more Roman if you like by cuttin gout the toe and heel and stitching them up a bit.
  • Braccae are a good idea, and you should order them ASAP from Lawrensnest.com or make soem of your own in wool or leather.
  • Idiot cables... if you have a habit of losing things, or have $600 irreplaceable pugio, you may want to bring a few leather ties to connect things to you so you do not lose them...
  • Burlap bags. Big "coffee" burlap bags are perfect for hiding modern stuff. Linen, leather and oilcloth also work well, and oilcloth tends to be pretty water resistant too.
  • Oil lamps and oil (and wicks) or candles can help you see, as it gets pretty dark at night and flashlights are frowned on! 
  • Period Cup, Plate and Bowl. No modern items are allowed visible en castris.
  • SOME FORM OF CANTEEN/Water bottle, leather bottle, bota, etc. You will be ordered to drink and stay hydrated.

There are showers, at some events, so soap and towels are good. Again keep the modern stuff hidden at all times

*These Guidelines used and modified by Rob Zienta with the permission of Rusty Meyers and Clash of Iron.



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