Ancient Celtic Clans

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Date Started - 03/17/2007
Date Completed - 03/17/2007

The Hudfat is primarily of Norse origin. Basically it was an early Middle Ages "bivvy bag". It was used not only for sleeping in but it could also be "worn" while rowing a vessel. This means the hudfat could have been introduced to Celts any time during Viking contact. Though it is likely it enjoyed primarily maritime usage. Comprised of two parts, the outer shell was made from a coarse durable fabric while the inner fabric was made from wool with ties in strategic locations that allowed it to be bundled up or secured to the body while rowing.

For our versions, we used heavy canvas painters' drop cloths for the outer and a woolen "emergency blanket" for the interior. We're still experimenting with a variety of variations. Some of the canvases have been coated with water repellants, either oil, lanolin, or modern comercial fabric water repellant. Tie placement is also an on going experimentation both with regard to being able to minimize its size when bundled and also for carrying.

The process of making a hudfat is increadibly simple. An 8' x 6' section of canvas is folded in half and sewn along 2 edges making a bag. The same is done with the wool blanket. Then ties are also sewn on to the canvas shell and that's it! The hudfat in the pictures below was started and finished in a single evening (approximately 3 hours).

Over all the completed hudfat measures 4' x 6'. That's just enough extra material so that it can be doubled over (either on top or underneath) for extra warmth.

Notes - This page has been recreated with older digital photos that had to be modified to fit the newer page layout. Because of this, no large format links are available.

The hudfat completely open and ready for sleeping

One side opens 1/3 down. This might be an area that also needs a tie to secure it shut while sleeping in it.

The inner wool is also stitched to make a bag in a bag.

Hudfat bundled and ready to be attached to a pack.

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