Right now I’m sitting at a cafe, in the south of Wales. Outside I’m staring at a typical early British summer. Now that doesn’t sound like that bad of an image. That is until I tell you that outside there is nothing but torrential rain.
It’s always important to remember that we live in the UK, and our weather can’t make up its mind at the best of times. When planning for weather at LARP we need to expect the worst and hope for the best.
When it comes to LARP and weather there is a massive divide between LARPing at a large fest event, with a myriad of tents and even hard structures, and LARPing at a small event where you’d be lucky to have a scout hut. With both of these, it’s important to accept that there will be mud. Don’t bring anything to a LARP field that is too valuable to not be lost or ruined when things get rough.
It’s so important to wear layers. The great thing with layers is that you can always take some off if it gets too warm. If you’re lacking the layers in the first place you can’t add them later. Sometimes it’s possible to feel that you may be breaking character by wearing more or bigger layers. In regards to this I had some great advice from a friend a while back:
“Characters get cold and wet too, so there should never be an issue with ‘but my character wouldn’t wear more.’ If they are from a hot climate, then don’t get tied into hot weather clothing, they are used to hot weather so they will feel the cold more, it is a license to break out the warm kit, not a barrier!”
One of my first ever memorable LARP experiences was the first ever Empire LARP event where it snowed almost out of nowhere, or at least that’s how I remember it. As it was the first LARP event for so many people many were not given this advice. That event saw quite a lot of people having to leave early due to minor hypothermia and other problems. Ultimately not having layers when they’re needed will lead to a fairly miserable event. This is especially the case for waterproofing. Making sure your top layer, including boots, are waterproof. Clocks are great for this, depending on the setting, and there are some great waterproofing sprays out there to help waterproof clothing that isn’t already.
Most thermals are great for this as well, as they can go under a layer of in character kit un-noticed. Having throws, capes or similar items is also a great way of keeping the cold off during the evening hours.
I love sleep. I especially love sleep after I’ve been running around a LARP field all day. Generally, for LARP events, you’ll have a time out (game end) at around 1am each day. You will also have a time in (Game begin) at around 10am. This means with some leeway for showering and getting in kit you’ll be getting about 6 to 7 hours of sleep. That’s not bad as long as those hours count. Having a wet sleeping bag or collapsed tent can ruin this entirely.
Something to get you off the floor; a sleeping mat, camp bed or blow up bed is so important. As well as this having multiple sleeping bags, duvets and pillows can drastically improve a nights sleep.
I’ve done events in the past without access to hot food or drinks and in all honesty, it’s not that great. Having access to a nice warm meal can make all the difference. Coming together with some friends and arranging a cooking router or making sure that the LARP site has a caterer is an important step in this direction.