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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: It's best to use two oilskin bags (waterproof) to carry your clothing. One for modern clothes and one for period clothes. At RomanTimes events, you can use them as pillows (yes, you need a pillows — otherwise, you'll end up with a crick in your neck). You can bring a white linen bag for your soiled clothes too, and hang it from a tent pole or put it wit your other junk (stuff).
  • Bedroll: Pre-roll it at home and hide any modern materials within the folds. If you just have to 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 that's 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 it "out" of the plastic and then stick it on your period plate (not a Styrofoam or plastic plate), and re-hide the plastic container ASAP.
  • Plastic "tote" boxes: Avoid these things please — 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're the least obvious.
  • Suitcases: See above "Plastic Boxes"

NOTE: We've 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 to 18 inches by 14 inches high. It can hold plates, cups, little breakables, and some modern things too.
  • KEYS — DON'T CARRY YOUR KEYS IN THE FIELD!!! If you lose them in the field, archeologists will have to be called in to help find them! Want to ruin your whole weekend? Do this. Again, DON'T 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. [Add pix here]
  • Cups: Given the apparent proclivities of Miles for drink, a cup should be big enough to hold 12 ounces of your favorite liquid. And yes, you will have to hide the can/bottle! Smaller ones are acceptable. Terra cotta, wood or stoneware preferred.
  • Wine Bottles: If you can soak off the label AND they look period, they'e 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 farbery. 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 “blankie”. We know stuff because we've doen stuff.

Here's a biggie: Those annoying plastic bags from Wally-World/the grocery store: Abolish them from your kit. Don't even leave the house with them!! These things 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, Prime or something. Keep the cardboard hidden or leave it home. They are a GREAT fire starter though!!!
  • 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 "I'm a modern farb!!!" NO PLASTIC TARPS!!!
  • Modern Tools: We do occasionally have to use modern tools because we don't have period equivalents or for the sake of safety. 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 come to play Roman/Celt, not watch you wear modern stuff all day. Hide stuff as soon as possible — set the standard for others to follow!

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

And don't hate the Centurion, Optio, or Signifer for bringing up what may be wrong with your kit or some bit of farbery that you brought with you... they're just doing their jobs.

REMEMBER (and keep rememberin'): The less you have to hide, the easier it is to hide it.


A great attitude. Not enough can be said about come ready to play your part — be a soldier or leader — whatever your role. Try and cooperate to the fullest extent possible, and BE a part of RomanTimes. Our event isn't about "individuals" or "personalities", it's about good friends creating an experience that will never be forgotten!

Be Prepared

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, think about it some and if you still think it's a problem, report it 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 a fort or in period camping areas. White tents are allowed in the non-period camping area. White, or modern tents are not allowed in the period camping area.

Cold Weather Preparedeness

We've attended events that have been nice and mild, others have been wet — but some of us we've also seen frozen plumbing and ice at events. Here are some things you may need for a cold RomanTimes event, as well as some tips and items to make your stay better:

  • Extra wool blankets — we recommends 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. Knallbinding is an old technology and you can get them from Fabrica Cacti out of Poland — qulaity stuff there.
  • Braccae are a good idea, and you should order them ASAP from or you can make some of your own in wool or leather.
  • "Idiot cords"... if you have a habit of losing things, or have that $600 irreplaceable pugio, that you want to bring to be studly, a few leather ties to connect things to you so you do not lose them are a good idea... take a tip from the modern army in this.
  • 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 upon!
  • 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 we want to 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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