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Getting Involved
The Necessities
Your First Event
Beyond the Basics
Pennsic Guide

Basic Camping Needs


  • Tent : Make sure to have this one of the last items in the trunk. It needs to be one of the first things you pull out ( think setting up in the rain )
  • Tarps : 2, one for under the tent for water protection and a spare for throwing over the tent ( or anywhere else ) in case f heavy rain
  • Extra Tent Stakes (or 10" Nails & big washers)
  • Extra rope and/or twine.
  • Flashlight (easily accessible on arrival) Remember Extra batteries
  • Lanterns etc : You will want something to be able to hang up or sit on a table for basic light
  • Extra Batteries for flashlights, inflators and lanterns
  • Sleeping Bag ( or sheets and blankets )
  • Extra Blankets ( it gets cold at night and you also need more for between you and your air mattress )
  • Air Mattress or other similar item
  • Inflator for air mattress
  • Chairs: enough for everyone in your camp, plus one or two extra for visitors
  • Cooler: for snacks, drinks and food not supplied at the event or for personal want.
  • Table : folding camp table, wooden table that disassembles, period-oid homemade table, whatever works. ( not a necessity but rather handy eventually )
  • Storage facilities for inside your tent - a hanging rack for garb ($10-15 at WalMart,) crates with drawers, wooden crates that stack tomake shelves, whatever.
  • Pillows
  • Small fire extinguisher
  • Matches/Lighters (Yes, even non-smokers need 'em sometimes)

Other home items handy to have

  • Extra toilet paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Ziplock bags ( useful for all sorts of storage needs )
  • Bottle opener
  • Sewing repair items (safety pins)
  • Duct tape
  • Trash bags ( good for wet clothes too! )
  • Wisk and dustpan
  • Needles & thread for repairs on garb

Food stuff

This is included mainly because at most of the local camping events food will vary. Some times its included at the event, other times it's not. For an event like Alles Faire, sponsored by the shire, the two main feast are part of the day. Other events, there may be no food provided. The best thing to do, is to talk to people in the group, see who is going..what is everyone doing about food, then go from there.

No matter what, it's always a good idea to keep extra water/soda/juice on hand. Same with snacks and easy to grab food like granola, granola bars, fruit etc..

Garb for Camping

Garb will vary in need depending on the event. The wonderful thing about living where we do, is that the weather will vary by the day during the camping months. It can be incredibly hot during the day and horridly cold at night and it will rain. So..that being said. If you have enough garb, plan at least one outfit per day. Then add one or two extra outfits in case things get wet. If there are things like feasts/balls etc planned for the evenings, you will most likely want to bring a fancier outfit for those nights.

You will often hear of people differentiating between camping clothing and event clothing. Most of us, once we have been in for a while, have older or grubbier clothing that we tend to wear for times you know you will get dirty ( or on wet yuck days ). Remember layers. Garb is great in that you can start out the day with an extra layer on..take it off as it gets hot and putting it back on in the evening. Also, what is an outer layer one day can sometimes serve as an underlayer another day. Unfortunately, the discussion of garb and camping can go on for pages, but here some extra things to remember when planning clothes.
  • Head coverings (under the catagory of garb.) veils, hats, headwraps.
  • Shoes
  • Extra sneakers & socks in plastic bag (in case of rain)
  • Extra garb in plastic bag (in case of rain)
  • Rain coat, poncho, or waterproof cloak
  • Warm cloak or blanket to wear: nights get cold.
  • Extra change of mundane clothes, left in a plastic bag *in your car*. Jeans, t-shirt,sweatshirt, socks, undies, sneakers or boots.
  • Belt with pouch (important for carrying money, stuff)

Personal Items

These are all items that while you will think are obvious, its amazing what you forget. Again I have a small tote with most of this in it, and I throw it in the car when I go.
  • Powder (if you wear a kilt)Toiletries (including contact lens supplies)
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Floss
  • Brush/Comb etc
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Flip Flops/Shower Shoes
  • Towels
  • Baby wipes/moist towelettes
  • Razor/shaving supplies
  • Soap/Shower Gels etc
  • Deodorant
  • Personal items like contact supplies etc..

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit can come in handy no matter what. Even though there is always a chiurgeon on staff at all events, basic supplies can be useful! I have this kit in a small box and it comes with me to every camping event I go to. I just grab it and throw it into my car

  • Band-Aid assortment
  • Ace bandage(s)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • First Aid Cream
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Aspirin/Advil/Tylenol or other pain killers
  • Tums / Pepto Bismol etc..
  • Decongestant/Antihistamine / Cold tablets
  • Benadryl
  • Bug repellant
  • Bug bite treatment
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion for sunburn
  • Poison Ivy treatment
  • Chapstick
  • Immodium
  • Small scissors
  • Safety Pins
  • Tweezers
  • Q tips
  • Cotton Balls/Guaze pads

Other necessities

  • Feast gear including things like Salt and Pepper shakers, Napkins, Knife
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Membership card if you have one
  • Weapons/Archery/A&S Entries (as interest dictates)
  • Musical Instruments/Songbooks etc..( again as interest dictates )
  • Games/Cards etc for something to do
  • Paper and writing supplies for classes


Storage and keeping things dry. This is a huge issue when camping. There is no easy answer, especially as everyone has different needs and opinions. What you need to think of is ease of carrying it. You may have to carry your supplies a bit of a distance depending on where you are camping and where the vehicles can go. You need to have it fairly watertight and have the ability to keep things dry.

This all being said you will see most people using the rubbermaid type totes. They are watertight, lightweight, easy to store. My camping supplies stay in their totes even when home, with the exception of garb etc.. This way, when camping season starts, I just grab my clothes and go!

This takes care of the basic needs. Of course, this is all dependent on personal preferences and needs. Hopefully though, this will give you a better idea of what you need to get you prepared for a camping event with the SCA.

For your convenience we have also included a printable text version of this list here .

Disclaimer: This is the Newcomers Page for the Shire of Hartshorn-dale of the East Kingdom of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.  The maintainer of this page is Lee Ann Posavad.  It is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and does not delineate SCA policies. In cases of conflict with printed versions of material presented on this page or its links, the dispute will be decided in favor of the printed version.
This page last modified April 09, 2003.