This is one area that some re-enactors disagree about regarding what should or shouldn’t be taken to camp.
Well that all depends on what type of camp you are going to and what you are trying to achieve with your portrayal. Some examples of camps we have done over the years are.
Generally a large gathering of re-enactors getting together for an event or long weekend.
This is where we have taken everything except the kitchen sink! This is not correct in the truest sense, as we, along with many others, have taken things to make the camp easier for the kids the wife or even yourself. Most re-enactors make the mistake of taking to much with them, and let’s face it it is easy to do. Would families travelling West have had raised fires and ovens....on the whole probably not but a lot of camps don’t allow fire pits to be dug. Chairs are always a contentious issue would they have been taken in the back of a wagon, well yes probably but they would have been of a period design not the modern directors style chair you see everywhere. If you are going to pay out for a chair get a good one, an old campaign chair would be ideal. Beds, another difficult one as you want to be comfortable. I remember making a fold down double bed so we could be comfortable. Again would this of happened....I doubt it. Most camps would have only been for a day or two as you were travelling West to what was perceived a better future, you would not have the time or inclination to set up a full camp every day making beds up etc You would have made do. A fire pit what food you had or could hunt chairs well DIRECTORS you can sit on the floor or boxes, beds that CHAIR would have been a tarp on the ground or bunking down in the back of a wagon. So what we all do or have done in the past does represent what people expect to see as a period camp but in reality there are too many compromises to make things more comfortable. Not a bad thing if that’s what you want to portray. CAMPAIGN CHAIR
Cowboy – Man Camp
This, in my experience, is much more basic, but again we all generally take more "stuff".More than we could have carried in the back of a wagon or the back of a horse. One of these style camps, rendezvous, is generally an A frame tents Range Tepee’s or a bed roll either under a canvas fly sheet or out in the open.
Here are a few pictures with ideas of some of the camps we have been on.
A fly sheet a ground sheet couple of poles and a bed roll. A few bits and bobs thrown in for comfort, nice and comfy.
Again, pretty basic this time note no ground sheet and a very basic fly sheet.
This is getting more basic, we had a tarred blanket on the ground a big blanket under us and a couple over the top. Go to bed with your clothes on and your snug as a bug.
This to me is the perfect camp, very basic with only what you need and nothing more.
It looks great dont you think.
Finaly dont forget the weather can turn pretty quick, so you need to be prepared for all eventualities. This was a camp we attended April 2008, the day before was cold but at 6 am this!
Time to go home!