Re: Living History

Recreating the Lives of Our Ancestors

Winter Options (The 5 R’s)

Posted By on January 9, 2012

Sometimes nothing can be quite so depressing and demotivating as winter. So here are some suggestions for keeping up to speed even when the main reenacting season has gone into hibernation.

Use the "down time" of winter to check out all those resources and references that slipped through the cracks during prime reenacting season

Research – Remember all those book titles, suggestions, and tid bits your friends and the people in the forums suggested you look into? Well, now is the time to go back over that info and take the time to do something with it. Review the forums for interesting references, dig into the footnotes and bibliographic listing to locate potential sources. Then head over to your local library and give them that nice long list so they can get it for you via Inter-Library Loan.

Review – Take a look back over the year(s) and consider past events, venues and projects. Did they meet your expectations? Can they be improved/changed? Maybe it’s time to try something new? But in addition to just thinking about these things, winter can be the perfect time to lay the groundwork to take care of them. Make calls and contacts for the new event venue, hook up with fellow members and plan the next project or a new event. Our group even goes so far to finalize the entire year’s event/project calendar every winter.

Repair – Double check your personal kit and/or group equipment. This is especially critical if items weren’t sorted and stored properly after events. Is it all working right? Do you need something more for it? There’s plenty of small things that can made or repaired over the winter months.  In fact, it can be an ideal time to ditch the big projects and focus on all the little things that have slipped through the cracks over the past year(s).

Re-Search – While you were busy with projects, events, and meetings a lot of activity was happening elsewhere too. Talk to friends, fellow reenactors, and even Google for stuff that you think you know all about. Maybe there’s a new  sutler, class, source for leather, forum, group, or publication that formed while you weren’t looking. Even if things are still the same you will have reached out to others and kept communication flowing.

This Hussite (circe 1420CE) group had a very successful winter immersion event in 12" of fresh snow

Refrigerate – Consider gearing up for winter. Many reenactment groups automatically hold any and all winter gatherings in places like community centers, fire halls, or church basements.  But these places have one huge drawback, they’re modern and clash horribly with most reenactments. Ask around your group and see which hearty souls would be willing to hold a real winter event instead of  in the local community center; it’s not impossible nor unthinkable.  Not only have medieval groups held some successful winter events, historic trekkers often set off for period winter hikes.

So next time you’re bored, bummed, and disheartened that winter has put a freeze and reenactment activities consider these options.


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