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BPThingie-art 9/30/94


"BART'S PENNSIC THINGIE: An Instruction Manual for Pennsic War" by Bartholomew the Bewildered. Bart's Pennsic guidebook w. Estrella addm.


NOTE: See also the files: Enchnted-Grd-msg, Fire-Book-art, P-history-msg, Pennsic-ideas-msg, P-stories-msg, P-tale-MWIFO-art, tent-rental-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set

of files, called StefanŐs Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at:



Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be

reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first

or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


                               Thank you,

                                    Mark S. Harris

                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous

                                         stefan at florilegium.org



    BART'S PENNSIC THINGIE: An Instruction Manual for Pennsic War

   ******************** Campaigner's Notes ***********************


       When I came into possession of a copy of the original  issue of  

this  document  (I had lost my last copy more than three years  previously), I

decided to  update  it.   The  reaction that  first   update  received has

prompted me to continue to expand on the idea.   Originally  this  was  a

checklist  of things  to  take, but it has  steadily grown to include other


        The original was targeted for Pennsic XII (back when it  was a  

week-end  war), but it is useful for most camping events. Add more of  any

item as you see fit for longer  periods  and delete  items for   shorter

events.   This  is all meant as advice, I am not associated  with anyone

making  policy  for the War.  

       What follows is a list of useful things to know and to  have  

along when campaigning in the wilds of western Pennsylvania. As well  as an

extended and reorganized checklist, there  are sections on  things to be wary

of (see Section 2, WARNINGS), hygiene (Section 3),  and thoughts on dealing

with  food  and eating.   The  style may seem  severe and the warnings stern,

but do not let these scare you off.   These issues are raised in  this manner

to alert and instruct so that  you may better enjoy the War.  


       2.  WARNINGS  


       There are possibilities for  danger  in  any camping  trip,  

knowing  what  they are and how to deal with them can be the  difference

between  a  little  excitement  and  a  disaster. Included   here  are  some  

of the things to be aware of, and have plans for,  when you go to Pennsic.  

This is by no means a  complete coverage of  dangers, but it hits the points

that cause the most trouble to most  folks.  

       2.1  Storms

       I would like to emphasize a climatological fact.   The  area the  

War  is  held  in  is  part of the Great Plains weather pattern.  This  means

the area is subject to disturbances  at the  leading  edge of   a  cold

front  (a  15  to 40 degree temperature drop).  Friends from  the East (and

West) Kingdom have  variously  referred to these as monsoons, typhoons and

Storms_of_Great_Ferocity_and_Note.  Those of us  who grew up in  the  Midwest

call them thunder showers, except for  some folks I know from Kansas who call

it mild rain  (no  twister and  it did not flatten the crops).  These storm

cells are 15 minutes to  three hours of high winds (50 plus knots),  heavy

rain, and  spectacular lightning.  A storm may be followed by several hours of

rain.  The  fronts  seem  to  roll  through every six to nine days in  August.

I advise all to expect at least one storm.  

       The people who grew up with the weather do  not ignore  the

storms, these folks respect and plan for the weather.  It is

unpleasant, but need not be  a  disaster.   Some  things to remember:  

        * Do not panic.  If you are truly terrified,  tell someone

          so they can keep an eye on you, keep busy so you will not

          have time to panic until the camp is  secured, and  then

          find  company  and  cuddle  or  sing or give back rubs or

          whatever it takes to get through the storm (this can make

          storms fun).

        * Storms usually come from the west.  Avoid setting up your

          tent with the door facing due west.  A slight cant to the

          north or south will keep  things  drier  and lessen  the

          chance of having the tent blow down or tear.

        * Make sure that your tent is set up with all of its  pegs

          and  tie downs (dome tents may need extra guy lines; once

          they start rolling, they are hard to catch).  If you  do

          this  in the first place, you will spend less time in the

          rain doing it after the storm hits.

        * If you are camped on  an  incline  (probable), then  you

          might  consider a small drainage ditch on the uphill side

          of the tent.  This  channels  water  around rather  than

          through your tent.

        * Do not use heroic  measures  to  save  a  dining fly  or

          awning.   Some things were not meant to stand high winds.

          A flapping piece of plastic with a pole attached  to  it

          can  do  a lot of damage, both to people and to property.

          If the wind gets high and the fly  starts  to take  off,

          drop  it  down  over what you want covered and weight the


       2.2  Temperature Extremes

       A more  subtle  climatological  fact  is  that  the average  

temperature  and humidity in August is horrendous during the day,  while the

nights can be down right cold.  (Can you  say frost?   I   knew  you  could.)

Either of these extremes can lead to health  problems that have one symptom in

common: the affected  person  gets   stupid.  As someone who has suffered from

these medical conditions, I   can  think  of  no  better description.   The

mental processes slow  

(or shut) down and you are in a walking stupor.  The sufferer  stops  

listening to  reasonable  advice  and  will  do  things that will seem  stupid

to  them  when  they  have  recovered.   Many  other injuries    at   the  

War  are  probably  related  to  these conditions.  Watch your friends and


       2.2.1  Heat


       Daytime high temperatures average  in  the  high 90's  with  

humidity  to match.  If you are not used to this, or are not in prime

condition, take_it_easy.  More people, fighters and spectators,  are  

lost  to  heat  than  all  other  types of injuries.  Folks who are

used to desert heat are  as  likely to  drop as any.  The high  humidity,

which they are not used to, slows heat loss via sweating. If  the

temperature  and humidity  get  high, drink lots of water, stay in the shade,

eat fruit  (especially  bananas),  and   occasionally taste metabolite

replacement drinks (drinks that  replace minerals that the body sweats out).

While Gator-Aid is not  the best, it is easy to get (too high a concentration

of mineral salts  and  too much sugar; dilute with water for best effect).  If

Gator-Aid  does not taste bad, drink up until  it  does, you are  in trouble.

(How  is that for rough and ready sports medicine?)   Go easy  on  

the  alcoholic   beverages.    An occasional  beer  or wine  cooler   is a

relief, but alcohol speeds dehydration by replacing water in the  body  and

then using  more to be metabolized, so, in quantity, it is a very bad thing.

Other symptoms of heat disorders include flushed  and  dry skin,  lethargy,

no sweat, and, as I said, acting stupid.  

                             * NOTE *

           If you are not used to eating lots of fruit, you may

           experience some intestinal changes.  Some fruits can

           cause constipation, others make you watery. Heat

           illnesses and water change can have similar effects,

           especially diarrhea.  Just another warning.

       2.2.2  Cold

       The  large  difference   between   daytime   and   nighttime  

tempeatures  (night  temperatures  range from mid 30s to the 50s, e.g.

chilly) common  to  the  area  can  also  lead  to another problem  

encountered at the War, hypothermia.  This is a drop of the core  temperature

of  the  body,  which  can lead to coma and death if not treated.  Treatment

is to warm the person up as quickly as possible.   It is easier to avoid

hypothermia  by changing out of wet clothes,  drying off, and getting warm.

If a friend is wet (say after  being   out  in the rain) and getting cold

(since the temperature dropped 30  degrees in the last hour) help them out. Get them into  dry clothes   and  get  them  warm.  Strong drink (liquor) is

not advised if they  are still wet or cold.  While they may  seem to  feel

warmer, drinking  alcohol speeds heat loss, which is what you are trying to


       2.3  Fire

       The next point I will touch on moves from cold back to  hot,  

i.e.  fire.   This wonderful tool is like any other, it will turn and  bite

you if you mishandle  it.   The  Chirurgeonate would  like to   mandate  a

minimum of 10 feet between open flames and tents.  I wish them luck since

common  sense  is hardly  common.   The rule of thumb  I use is far enough

away so that the fire cannot be knocked  into  the   tent.   Never have  an

open  flame  in  a tent.  Lanterns in tents  are an issue I will not address

except to point out I  use  battery  lamps  in  tents. Most modern fabrics

melt too fast and too hot for  me to want to take chances.

       In case of tent fires (Heaven forfend!), the Autocrate  has

demanded  3.5 feet between tent walls, hoping this will keep a fire

from spreading if and when.  If  this  seems  like  a lot, look  at  the guy

lines from a properly set 3-person A-frame tent and you will  find that two of

them  will  end  up having  their  walls  three to  four feet apart.  If they

use that much (my pavillion uses  more),  I   find  this request resonable.  

       As  for  campfires,  if  you  are  not  good friends   with  

Prometheus,  be  very  careful.   Amateurs  make me nervous. There are  very

few  people  in  the  world  (let  alone  at Pennsic)  who are   good  at

treating amateur fire gods who become burn victims.  

       2.4  Invertebrates (Bugs)

       If you have never been camping, you are about  to find  out one  

of the less thrilling things about nature; God must love insects, he  sure

made a lot of them.   Something  for  folks from the left coast  to remember

is that there are a lot more insects, both type and number, on this side of

the  Rockies. I  never saw a tent with zip-out  netting until I helped Duke

Paul set his up at a Pennsic.  They just  are not sold in the Midwest  or

East.  Bring mosquito netting and bug  spray and remember to keep garbage,

coolers and tent  netting  closed.  If  you  are  allergic to bee stings,

bring your medication! Some  types of note:  

          o House flies - That friend you thought you left at  home

            is  here  at the war, too.  Just like at home, he never

            wipes his feet before landing on your table (or  food),

            no  matter  where  he  was last.  Keep food and garbage

            covered and clean food preparation areas, just like  at


          o Horse and deer flies - While you can go the whole  war

            without seeing them, these beauties are not uncommon in

            the area.  They both bite  and  leave  a welt.   Horse

            flies are slightly larger than house flies. Deer flies

            are dark with white "eyes" on the wing and are slightly

            smaller   than  house  flies.   They  are both  easily

            discouraged by using insect repellent.

          o Ticks - Both Woods and Deer Tick are indigenous to  the

            region,  each  can  vector  for  some  nasty diseases.

            Insect repellent works, but a "tick check" twice a  day

            is still a good idea.

          o Mosquitos - While not in the same class as the ones  in

            Alaska  or  Minnesota ("It is awe inspiring to watch as

            the mosquitos majestically flap  their  wings as  they

            carry  off sheep and small children."), mosquitos are a

            pest in the wooded and  low  areas.   Insect repellent

            makes the evenings more pleasant (and pungent).


          o Ground Hornets and Wasps - There  are  usually several

            nests in the woods.  If you find one, mark the area and

            walk away passively.  Do_not disturb the nest. Contact

            site security about it, if it is in a high traffic area

            they will probably bomb it.

       There are other bugs out there -- ants will  find any  open  

food,  given  time,  and  a  cricket  is  not  an ideal tent companion  

-- but they are not threats to health or  comfort. Some are  

downright  good companions.  A Cranefly (Mosquito hawk), for instance,  looks

like a mosquito, but eats several times  its  weight  in mosquitos a day.  

Spiders are also on your side, unless you rile them.  


       3.  HYGIENE

       For many folks, Pennsic is their first and/or  only camping

experience.   When  camping,  the  standard rules of hygiene apply.   There

are also other, camping related, practices  to be  aware of   that help make

camping safer and more fun. It does  not  take  much   to turn  camping  from

fun  into  a nightmare.   Many of the of the  causes for discomfort can be

linked to disregarding some sensible  rules.  

       3.1  General Hygiene

       This topic is an old one.  I had it from my parents, in  the Boy  

Scouts,  and  in High School Gym class, but it is still important.    If  

these   precautions   seem   trivial   and unnecessary, think   again.   The

heralds  have cried these through the camp for the last two Pennsics.  These


        * Wash your hands after using the privy.

        * Wash your hands before handling food, especially if  you

          are preparing it for more than yourself.

        * Use clean surfaces for food preparation.

        * Store food correctly.  This means meats and milk products

          in  a  cooler,  bread in plastic in the shade, et cetera.

          All meat should be kept in a cool place,  even sausages.

          Sausages  with a high fat content, even if smoked, can go


        * Cover or close your garbage  container.   This makes  it

          harder for flies to spread diseases.

       3.2  Camp Hygiene

       Camping also requires some special  provisions  for hygiene  

beyond  those  above.   Looking  through  my  Scout manuals reminds  me of

several that were so ingrained I take them for granted.  I was   also

reminded of some safety and courtesy rules that make camping  more pleasant.

Some of these are:  


        * Keep  your  cooler(s)  closed  tightly.   The ice  lasts

          longer,  the  food  stays  cooler,  and the chances of an

          insect invasion go way down.  Another good thought is  to

          keep drinks in a separate cooler than food.

        * Check yourself occasionally for ticks and rashes.  Poison

          ivy  is  no  fun,  but  can  be contained if you catch it

          early, as can Lymes Disease (which has been reported  in

          the area).

        * Wash dishes completely and carefully.  Get them clean!

           - Wipe off excess food before you start.

           - At least use a basin of soapy water and a hot  rinse.

             Use  a  final  rinse with a sanitizing solution if you

             can, especially if someone in your camp is sick.

           - Change the water (especially the rinse water)  if  it

             starts getting dirty.

           - Air dry dishes on a clean surface.  This may seem odd,

             but  it  is less likely to spread disease than using a


        * Dispose  of  waste   water   carefully.    Under   normal

          circumstances,  this  means  keep  it away from the fresh

          water supply, but it also applies to  not dumping  dirty

          water  around  the  spigots.  After a day or so, the area

          around the water spigots becomes a quagmire from  people

          washing  dishes  and  performing their personal ablutions

          there.  Put the water in a bucket  and  do  your washing

          elsewhere, please.

        * Use a sump hole or grease pit to dispose of waste  water

          and  liquid  waste (e.g grease).  This is your home for a

          while; would you pour  out  dish  water  on  the kitchen

          floor?   This  hole can be sited either near the fire pit

          or in some area that will not be  used  as  a walk  way.

          Mark it to keep people from stepping in it in the dark.

        * Use a fire pit.  Cut away (and save) the sod and  dig  a

          pit  larger  than  your  fire and surround the outer edge

          with stones.  This reduces the chance of grass fires.

        * Never leave a fire untended.  If you are leaving the area

          for  a  while,  or going to bed, bank the fire carefully.

          If you do not know how  to  bank  a  fire,  put it  out.

          (Actually, Security will probably put it out any way and,

          considering the way some encampments were set up, I don't

          blame them.)

        * Do not throw refuse in the fire.   Most  common plastics

          release  toxic  fumes  when  burned,  glass bottles  can

          shatter  (explode),  and  cans  will  still need  to  be

          disposed of after the fire is out.


        * Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it.   Clean  up

          as  you  go  (this  really  makes  the  whole trip  more

          pleasant).  When you are leaving, cover your fire pit and

          refill any other holes you have dug (replacing the sod is

          a nice touch).

       4.  FOOD

       Eating during the War is a problem with  several solutions. If  

the  weather  is  typical  (hot),  you may not feel like eating much.   Do not

give in to this!  Drink lots of  fluids and  force yourself to  eat fruits and

easy to digest protein during the day.  This way, when  it cools off at

night,  you will  have  enough  energy  to  eat   carbohydrates and other

difficult to digest foods that you need.  


       4.1  Supply Yourself  

       Bring some or most of the food you need.  It can either  be  

preprepared and frozen or brought as ingredients if they are not  perishable.

Perishables (vegetables, ice, and such) can be  purchased at Cooper's Camp

Store (which has gotten quite large) or from a store  in town.  Butler is 15

miles east  on 422  and  New  Castle  is  10  miles west. There are grocery

stores,  state  stores  (liquor   and    wines),   and   beer distributors  in

both  cities.   There  are also  department stores in case you need something

else,  like  a  new   tent. (Mine blew up in a storm one year.  That is right,

not down, up.   The front blew right off.  I have witnesses.)  

       4.2  Join or Form a Food Plan

       There may be taverns on site that charge a set price to feed you  

for the  week,  however,  many groups do their cooking together.  For

information on how the local  group  or  your household is doing  things, ask

at local meetings.  If you do pool resources, set it up beforehand. I  advise

cash in advance and an agreed upon work  schedule.  People resent someone who

appears to be free-loading.  

       4.3  Catch as Catch Can

       The taverns open for general business after  the folks who have  

prepaid  (if  any) have  eaten.There are sometimes people wandering  around

selling food  ("Bagels and  cream cheese!" "Here, over here, my  good man.").

There are even some folks willing to feed a waif who   wanders  by  at  meal

time.   The  latter may be the most expensive  choice of this most expensive

method.  (You could wind up doing dishes  for the rest of the War!)  

       5.  WHAT TO TAKE

       This is the real reason I started writing this, to give  a  

basic  checklist.  For ease of reference, the list is broken into two  

Sections: that which you need and that which  might come in handy.  


       5.1  Necessities

       The following should not be  left  at  home.   If you  have  

limited room,the  items  on this list can all fit in one duffel bag or  two

medium sized bags.  

        * Enough of any medication that you need for the length  of

          your  stay.   It  can  ruin your trip if you run out, and

          convincing a local Doctor to write a new prescription can

          be difficult, if not impossible.

        * Sleeping bag and pad.  You can  always  bum  a place  to

          sleep,  but you ought to have something to sleep in, even

          if it is just a couple of blankets.  This  area can  get

          down into the 50's on warm nights.  This is no joke.  The

          pad can just be something to keep you  off  of the  cold

          ground; a thicker pad adds to comfort immensely.

        * Rain gear.  Rain coat or poncho, boots for mucking about,

          wool  socks,  plastic tarps.  While a heavy, somber toned

          poncho most resembles an  oil  skin  cloak  (period rain

          wear),  use  what  you  have.  Better safe than soaked; I

          have found mundanity is accepted  when  it  is bucketing

          rain  and you are holding down a tent (especially someone

          else's tent).

        * Hat.  This gets a separate item because it is important.

          A hat keeps the rain off, cuts body heat loss in the cold

          or at night, and keeps the sun from boiling your brain as

          quickly.  Sun stroke and sun burn can be a drag. The hat

          should be mediaeval looking, but that leaves a lot of lee

          way.   All  oriental  hats,  many  straw  hats, and some

          leather cowboy hats look right.  A note on hat etiquette:

          remove  your  hat in buildings, tents, or even shade.  As

          well as being polite, wearing a hat out  of  the sun  is

          almost bad for you as no hat in the sun.

        * A warm cloak (or a  friend  that  has  one)  or a  plain

          blanket  that  can  be  worn  as  one  and can be sat on.

          Again, the nights get cold and the dew falls heavily even

          (especially) after the hottest days.

        * Portable light sources, both for  camp  and  the port-a-

          castle.   Authentic  if  possible,  but  a  hand flash is

          sometimes more convenient.  If you use propane lanterns,

          be aware that they are bright.  They can hurt the eyes of

          those of us who adjust well to the dark and provide quite

          a  show  if  used  as out-house illumination in a plastic


        * Toiletries.  The usual stuff  (soap,  towel, toothbrush,

          etc.), and do not forget the shower gear.


        * Money to buy fresh  food,  fire  wood,  drink, trinkets,

          instruments,  garb,  armour,  art,  or  whatever else you

          cannot live without.

        * Sun screen.  This is new, but only because I over  looked

          it.   If  you  are typical, this is the most sun you will

          see all year.  Getting severe sunburn can take a lot  of

          the  fun  out  of  the  War;  armor chafes in new places,

          tunics rub, and you feel crummy.  If you are fair skinned

          and/or do not get much sun, take precautions.

        * A bottle opener, can opener, and/or cork screw. I  have

          seen people offered peerages for these things.

       5.2  Et Cetera

       What follows is a list of things that are handy but may  be  

left out if you do not want (or cannot afford) to overburden yourself.  

        * Armour.  This is not mandatory, unless you want to  fight

          or scout.  There is still lots to do without fighting.  I

          know a couple of knights who have just left their harness

          at  home  and relaxed at a War (O.K., so one marshalled a

          couple of times and the other was doing his thing  as  a


        * Instruments.  Whether to just use at  bardic circles  or

          for  more  serious music, instruments can add to the fun.

          If you are a serious musician, or would like to be,  this

          is  about  the  best  place  you will find for S.C.A. jam


        * Garb.  This is an S.C.A. event, and some attempt  should

          be  made  to  dress  in  period  as  much  of the time as

          possible.  Mundane costumes are fine for under armour  or

          for  going  into  town (but you might get complaints even

          then).  The following should suffice:

           - Two to four simple tunics or  dresses  in some  light

             colored  solid,  with  trousers or skirts to match, if

             desired.  These should be a natural fiber that breaths

             well  (e.g.  cotton,  linen,  et  cetera), as light as

             possible, while preserving modesty.

           - A warm piece of garb, or an over-tunic to pull on over

             a  light  tunic (layering is very effective), for cold

             nights or days.  A solid colored cheap velour or heavy

             trigger  work  well  for  this  as  both have  a high

             polyester content and do not breath much.

           - One good or semi-good outfit for court, going to  the

             taverns,  or visiting the campsite of someone you wish

             to impress.  If the piece in item 2 is well made,  it

             will do admirably.


           - Light shoes or sandals, unless you want to slop around

             bare  foot.   Be  warned,  the  gravel on the roads is


           - Heavy shoes or boots if you plan to go into the woods.

           - Accessories.  A belt with a pouch and knife are  good

             things to have around.

        * Change of other clothes for the time spent plus two  that

          is  wrapped  in  plastic to keep dry.  If you do not have

          extra socks, you will need them,  and  there  is nothing

          worse  than  getting  clean and then having to climb back

          into dirty, sweaty clothes.  While washers are available,

          it  is  best not to rely on them, unless you like hanging

          out in laundry-mats.  It is a good idea to have at  least

          one  change  of  mundanes  in your vehicle in case all of

          your clothes on site get soaked.

        * Song books.  Bardic circles, or a  large  tent during  a

          storm,  are a great place to sing old favorites and learn

          new songs.

        * Eating utensils.  What type depends on how  you plan  to

          eat.   If  you are taking care of yourself, you will also

          need cooking and clean up gear.

        * Grill, spit, tripod, camps stove, or some  other way  to

          tame  fire and hold cooking pots.  Which of these you use

          depends  on  preference,   experience,   and   level   of


        * Swim suit  and  towel.   Many  folks  skinny-dip at  the

          swimming  hole  but  a)  I am not skinny, b) the water is

          better at the state park down the road, and c) I am shy.

        * A tent or tents.  An extra  tent  allows  more room  for

          storage  and  hospitality.   While  pavilions are  nice,

          modern tents are acceptable.

        * Coolers are always welcome.  They also can be packed with

          gear during travel.

        * Plastic jugs of any size for water and mixed soft drinks.

          Canned  and  bottled drinks are good, but powdered Gator-

          Aid and Kool-Aid are cheaper and easer to pack.

        * Extra and/or fancy garb.

        * Camp lights.  Kerosene torches,  candles  with chimneys,

          hurricane  lamps,  or  what ever.  They give a campsite a

          nice look and keep people from literally tripping around.


        * Hand Fan.  It may not be 100 degrees in the shade, but  a

          fan is still "a good thing."

        * Books and games in case things get slow (or hot).

        * Bandanas, Band-aids, bug spray  (Avon Skin-So-Soft  bath

          oil  is  an  effective and pleasant smelling substitute),

          hatchet, jack knife, matches (or flint and steel),  rope,

          string,  sewing  kit, safety pins, and anything else that

          is handy in camp.



       6.  CONCLUSION  


       This is not a complete list, nor should it be taken as  one. It    

is a start based on more than 10 years of War experience and more  general

camping experience.  I still tend to use my old Boy Scout manual checklist, I

just substitute "garb" for "uniform" and go.  If  you forget, or do not  have

an  item, you  can  probably  obtain  it  on site or near by.  The main thing

to remember is to have fun.  See  you there!  

       (c) Copyright Paul S. Kay, 1988, 1989, 1990.  This document

           may be freely reproduced as long as the author's name

           and this copyright notice are included.

        Bartholomew the Bewildered, Carillion, East Kingdom

        (mka Paul Kay, 58 Winchester Dr., Tinton Falls, NJ 07724, USA)


                  ADDENDUM: Camping at Estrella War

                                -Ioseph of Locksley

2.5 Bugs at Estrella, and other Wild Life

        o SCORPIONS: Scorpions look like a cross between a spider and a

          crab, and come in all sizes. The -small- ones have a more

          virulent poison than the large ones. they hide under rocks, logs

          boards, in shoes left out overnight...anywhere it's dark and cozy.

          The effects of being stung range from a sensation of a mild bee

          sting to severe shock. DON'T MESS WITH THEM.

        o SPIDERS: Most are harmless, but Black Widows and the Brown Recluse

          are quite poisonous. DON'T MESS WITH THEM. They hide in out of the

          way corners, and under things that have not been moved in several


        o SNAKES: Yup, we have rattlesnakes in the area. They will usually

          keep away from people, but if you see or hear one, GET AWAY, and

          report it's location to the Constable. DO NOT MESS WITH IT.


                        GENERAL ADVICE ON BUGS AND SNAKES:

                -Don't put your hand where you cannot see.

                -Kick a rock over with your foot before you pick it up.

                -Shake out your shoes in the morning.

        o TWO-LEGGED PREDATORS: This is a public park, and mundanes of all

          types can be expected.


        Estrella War is held over President's Day Weekend, in a very large

        park at the foot of the South Mountain/Estrella Mountain ranges.

        These mountains will channel the wind, and therefore you must be

        prepared for high winds, blowing dust, and occasional rain with

        high winds. The wind -usually- blows from the west, so take that

        into consideration when you set up your camp.

        The park is on pretty level ground, so ditching around the tents is

        not necessary.


        o Sun Screen is a MUST. The Sun in these parts is Not Your


        o This is an official SCA "event." Garb is REQUIRED.

        o Glass containers are -not allowed- in the Park.

        o Loaded firearms are -not allowed- in the Park. Leave them in

          your car.

        o "Recreational chemicals" are a FELONY in Arizona. Don't even

          bring them along.


        The main thing to keep in mind here is the warning about bugs and

        other critters, and to impress on the kids the ABSOLUTE necessity

        of NOT wandering out of the main Park area (the War is held in a  

        large, grassy and treed area within an oval formed by a road.) Tell

        your kids NOT to wander across the road, and NOT to wander in the

        scrub-brush area to the west (where the broken-field battles are


        To the south, across the road, are the Estrella Mountains. To the

        north is the Agua Fria river-bed (snakes, bogs, and Here-there-be-

        Monsters.) To the east are more mountains. The scrub-brush is to the

        west, along with a golf course and the Ranger station. These are Not

        Nice Places for kids, especially small children with no outdoor

        experience in desert lands. They can get lost in these areas VERY




        There are motels, hotels, restaurants and so forth within 5 minutes

        of the Park. There are also stores, hospitals and so forth in -very-

        easy reach.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org