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  • Packing for the Weekend

    Greetings all,
    I have been reenacting for almost 5 years now but one aspect of my reenacting experience that I am still missing is being able to live with whats on your back for an entire event. Normally, I will carry in my backpack and my gear but along with that I'll carry a camp chair, small cooler and multiple other things that enhance my comfort during the weekend. I would like to learn what food to pack and how to pack it. I would also like to learn how to pack minimal gear that will still sustain me through a full event.

    Thanks!
    Anthony Burzinski
    [B]"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo."[/B]

    Second WI Volunteer infantry
    Co. K
    [url]http://companyk2ndwi.org/[/url]

  • #2
    Re: Packing for the Weekend

    Welcome to the dark side with your realization that many of the things you've toted in the past are not things you really need.

    The search function on this forum is your friend : http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...apsack+packing You'll get many different opinions on how much or little to bring, but the differences are in the small things. The big things which the overwhelming majority of us would agree and carry are mentioned in Kevin's article.
    Silas Tackitt,
    one of the moderators.

    Click here for a link to forum rules - or don't at your own peril.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Packing for the Weekend

      There was an article on here some time ago by the late Charles Heath that showed what vegetables were in season and when. I would start with that in terms of food stuffs. As far as your personal gear is concerned, shuck the stool and pay attention to your personal items. When traveling solo to an event I love the fact I can walk in, and walk out when I want.
      Patrick Landrum
      Independent Rifles

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Packing for the Weekend

        Here is a thread related to this topic:
        http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/...ot-Infantryman

        One point in the thread above is that the private soldier during the war was not a self-contained unit, eating, sleeping, cooking, and fighting solo. He was part of a huge machine, supplied by the government and supported by his fellow soldiers. There is no need for every man in a company to carry a hatchet AND a frying pan AND a shelter tent, etc. Pards pooled resources with messmates divided labor to make the best of their situation.

        One other thought:
        Si Klegg tried to carry all his comforts with him, too... then finally figured out that it was impossible!
        John Wickett
        Former Carpetbagger
        Administrator (We got rules here! Be Nice - Sign Your Name - No Farbisms)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Packing for the Weekend

          The big hurdle is realizing that you will not be comfortable in modern terms. Improvise with what you have available. Make a bed with leaves and grass, scrounge a good sitting log, use your pack or cartridge box for a pillow, etc... The list goes on. Forcing yourself to do that will quickly shed light on what you don't need. Ultimately you will start shucking more unnecessary items than you thought possible. A toilet/sewing kit, ground cloth, blanket, and pair of socks are all I carry.

          Another thing to keep in mind is that most food does not need to be refrigerated as we do in present day. Pack items that will keep and pack smoked or salt cured meet. Ration issue for units helps with managing food items. I also plan on being hungry for events and packing realistic portions.

          This is the tip of the iceberg and there are a lot of good resources on the forum.
          Patrick M. Ferringer

          Governor Guards
          SCAR

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Packing for the Weekend

            Thanks for the input everyone. I'm always trying to improve my impression and this has helped a lot
            Anthony Burzinski
            [B]"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo."[/B]

            Second WI Volunteer infantry
            Co. K
            [url]http://companyk2ndwi.org/[/url]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Packing for the Weekend

              Pat has nailed it. When you can walk in and walk out at your leisure, you have reached packing nirvana!
              Dave Ray
              Tallahatchie Rifle Guards
              Hot B**ch Mess

              "...say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos." Walter Sobchak, Vietnam veteran.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Packing for the Weekend

                I usually pack heavy with 2 gum blankets, probably my old age thing..., but otherwise I have gotten myself down to just my knapsack for campaigner events just fine, but I think the key that has been alluded to here is that is why it is important to be part of a mess or a company of fellow campaigners. We have 1 hand-axe, a couple of sheet steel frying pans, a company coffee pot, a company stew pot, and a company shovel, and it gets spread around and shared in both use and carrying. At Bentonville we didn't even bring the coffeepot, and only one frying pan, we just made coffee and stew both in the stew pot. So, realizing you aren't alone in this, planning with your pards is the key to having a reasonable load and still even some essential equipment that the single soldier can't carry alone.
                Frank Siltman
                24th Mo Vol Inf
                Cannoneer, US Army FA Museum Gun Crew
                Member, Oklahoma Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
                Company of Military Historians
                Lawton/Fort Sill, OK

                Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay -- and claims a halo for his dishonesty.— Robert A. Heinlein

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Packing for the Weekend

                  A lot of lively discussion on rations, haversack contents, with a nod to availability and ingenuity can be found on this thread: Rations: A Novel. Highlights are the middle of the first half, the halftime show and around page 85.. Mr. Landrum may have been recounting a post or two in the thread?

                  ~ Something to remember: Your immediate mess mates - like-minded and there for similar desired experience - make a world of difference. They encourage you to read more, experience more, experiment more. And as we learn something new, We teach what we know and teach others to learn, as we have learned, so that they can, in turn reproduce a great heritage of authenticity.

                  'As it was done, the way it was done - we DO.' When times and talk got real and weeks became months, such was the essence of the committed soldier to his comrade in arms.. bent on survival and any quality of life that could be had in the situation they were collectively in. It's about what you value. It's what sets our side of the hobby apart from the others. We get out what we put in; and The measure we give becomes the measure we receive. It had to have happened in such organic, eternal principled order in times of hardship. To have this understanding is to leave behind the familiar, limited, passive presentation of history behind and internally strive for something fresh and real.
                  Last edited by Jon The Beloved; 04-29-2015, 09:56 PM.
                  Jon Harris


                  Mang Rifles & Friends
                  Ora pro nobis!

                  ~ McIlvaine’s 64th Ohio Infantry at Missionary Ridge 11/2019
                  ~ Head’s 49th Tennessee Infantry at Fort Donelson - Defending The Heartland 2/2020
                  ~ Wever’s 10th Iowa Infantry at Bentonville 3/2020
                  ~ Opdycke's 125th Ohio Infantry at Franklin, 1863 - For God and the Right 5/2020
                  ~ Pardee’s 42nd Ohio Infantry during the Vicksburg Campaign 5/2020
                  ~ Day's Silent Machines, 12th U.S. Regulars during the Gettysburg Campaign 6/2020


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: Packing for the Weekend

                    Usually 1-2 gum blankets, blanket, coverlet, sleeping cap, extra pair of socks, housewife, extra shirt, hygiene kit, 1 candle, etc.
                    Philip D. Brening
                    Austin's Battalion of sharpshooters Co.A

                    "Somebody put water in my boots" Pvt. John D. Timmermanm
                    3rd New York Cavalry

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Packing for the Weekend

                      Good topic. Your best bet is to think about what you actually need. I Carry a Blanket, Gum Blanket, Spare Shirt, Socks and Sleeping cap in either my pack or blanket roll. I keep a cup, spoon and fork and either plate or canteen half in my haversack along with my rations. In my pockets I carry a handkerchief, pocket knife, match safe, toothbrush, pipe and tobacco, and chewing tobacco (I carry way more tobacco than almost anything else, lol). I also have a bound diary with a small pocket for an NCO's book, notes, and I usually keep a needle/thread and a button or two in there in an envelope. The only cooking gear I carry other than the canteen half is a pint size can boiler. A Canteen, leathers, uniform and weapon complete the ensemble. The above is all I carried at Bentonville, I was perfectly comfortable. I had everything I needed and nothing that I didn't.

                      I consider that my basic active campaign kit. With that as a base you can add any items that you can comfortably carry. I occasionally add a shelter half or a second blanket or gum blanket to the load depending on weather. I used to carry all sorts of small trinkets in my pack. Candle holders, fancy housewife etc. etc. I finally took the approach that if I didn't take it out of my pack at the previous few events I probably didn't need it and left it at home the next time. It's a balancing act, but you have the right attitude, you'll figure it out.
                      Scott Sheets
                      Joliet, IL

                      36th Illinois
                      Dirty Shirts

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Packing for the Weekend

                        My experience has been "no shirt, no socks, no service." Two days (max three) will require much less than you think.

                        -Shirt
                        -Socks
                        -Blanket
                        -Gum blanket
                        -ROPE/TWINE
                        -1/2 tent (OPTIONAL - Works well for extra blanket if not sharing resources)
                        -Knife
                        -Canteen half fry pan
                        -mucket
                        -Coffee

                        Never leave home without these things.
                        Brian Gauthier

                        Rat Tail Mess
                        Wolftever Mess
                        SCAR-Southeastern Coalition of Authentic Reenactors

                        Cry "Havoc" and let slip the dogs of war.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Packing for the Weekend

                          I'd like to see a change in mindset and terminology here. Like the original soldiers, we should pack for the campaign, not "the weekend". Packing for the weekend, you start to rationalize and justify that extra item or overpack the knapsack. You can make it from the parking lot to camp, but can you make it 50 miles with that load?

                          And, while I'm on the topic, I see far too much "bringing extra from home" ration planning for the weekend, with justifications of boxes from home, sutlers, foraging, etc. The reality is that most soldiers did not get opportunities to forage liberally (organized foraging went back to the quartermaster for equal distribution), boxes from home were rare to non-existent on campaign, and during active campaigns sutlers were either in the rear with the wagons or left behind by orders.

                          There was a time we used to celebrate doing with less and traveling lighter. I see less of that lately. The CPH end of the hobby is slowly sliding into the mainstream pool.
                          Joe Smotherman

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                          • #14
                            Re: Packing for the Weekend

                            Originally posted by PogueMahone View Post
                            There was a time we used to celebrate doing with less and traveling lighter. I see less of that lately. The CPH end of the hobby is slowly sliding into the mainstream pool.
                            Well said Joe!
                            Tyler Underwood
                            Moderator
                            Pawleys Island #409 AFM
                            Governor Guards, WIG

                            Click here for the AC rules.

                            The search function located in the upper right corner of the screen is your friend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Packing for the Weekend

                              Originally posted by PogueMahone View Post
                              There was a time we used to celebrate doing with less and traveling lighter. I see less of that lately. The CPH end of the hobby is slowly sliding into the mainstream pool.
                              I agree Joe. I think we saw quite a few folks at Bentonville that underestimated the march and packed WAY too heavy. I couldn't believe how many more Si Klegg looking knapsacks there were vs. bedrolls. In my opinion the CPH end of the hobby needs to get back to it's Authentic roots. Do what the scenario dictates and nothing else. I've noticed a trend lately to pick scenarios, or items of kit because they are cool, or a momento, or unique, rather than documented. Considering we call ourselves the Authentic end of the hobby it is appalling to me.
                              Scott Sheets
                              Joliet, IL

                              36th Illinois
                              Dirty Shirts

                              Comment

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